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7 great ways to reduce cat hair shedding

Cat hair is part of life with cats, but if your cat is shedding more than normal, that hair might become a nuisance. If you’re wondering, “Why is my cat shedding so much?” then it might be time to try some strategies to minimize your cat’s shedding. Many factors can affect the health of your cat’s coat and how much he sheds. Finding ways to support your cat’s coat health and minimize his shedding can make for less cat hair around your house and less cleaning for you. While you won’t eliminate extra hair entirely, there are ways that you can reduce cat shedding.

Person brushing a happy cat lying on a bed

Get your cat to drink plenty of water

Your cat’s hydrating habits affect his coat health and the moisture in his coat. (Hydration is also important for your cat’s overall health!) But some cats don’t drink enough, so you may need to encourage him to hydrate.

Consider adding a wet food to your cat’s diet, if you haven’t done this already. Your cat will get moisture from each meal.

To encourage your cat to drink more, think about getting a cat water fountain. This running water is enticing to cats, much in the same way that water dripping from your faucets is so captivating.

Check your cat’s nutrition

If your cat’s diet is lacking in nutrition, it could cause his coat to be dry and brittle, which leads to more shedding and hair breakage. A diet that doesn’t have enough omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can be particularly problematic, since omega-3 fatty acids are important to hair health.

Look for a food that offers a balanced diet for your cat. Your vet can advise you about foods that meet your cat’s nutritional requirements.

Provide plenty of brushing

Regular brushing is important to keeping your cat’s coat healthy. Brushing helps remove loose or dead hair, so there’s less of it left to float around your house. It also helps spread your cat’s natural oils through his coat, contributing to healthier hair.

Brushing can help prevent mats from forming, which is particularly important for cats with longer hair.

Shave your cat

If you’re really fed up with shedding, then you might consider shaving your cat in the summer. This is an option for indoor cats only, and you’ll probably want to enlist the help of a professional groomer to ensure your cat’s safety.

Bathe your cat

Giving your cat a bath can also help remove extra hair, but most cats won’t be thrilled with this idea. Alternatively, you might use moistened wipes designed for your cat’s coat, which will give you some of the same effect. You also could try textured cat grooming gloves designed to gently pull out loose hair while you stroke your cat.

Reduce stress

Excessive stress can contribute to shedding, and some cats may even overgroom in response to stress. If you’ve recently moved, added a new family member, or even drastically changed your schedule, your cat might be stressed as a result.

Look for ways to reassure and calm your cat. Using pheromones can help reduce his stress, but it’s also important to give him some space and to help him feel secure, even amid change.

Person brushing a happy cat lying in their lap

Check with the vet

If your cat is shedding an unusual amount, a trip to the vet might be in order. Your vet can give your kitty a thorough exam to help determine whether there might be underlying causes to his shedding. Your vet can also recommend supplements or diet changes that can promote a healthy coat.

In some cases, hair loss might not be shedding. A cat who’s losing hair in patches could be suffering from ringworm or other skin infections. Allergies can also result in excessive scratching and hair loss. Your vet can help you determine whether your cat is shedding or experiencing a different issue.

All cats (except hairless breeds) will shed, and some more than others. You may notice your cat’s shedding much more when he has a longer coat, compared with a short-haired cat. While you can take these steps to help reduce your cat’s shedding, it’s also important to learn to deal with the hair. Thoroughly vacuuming your home, using lint rollers, and even covering your furniture with blankets can help control the hair a bit. You’ll still have to contend with hair tumbleweeds floating around your home, but when you’re vigilant about cleaning, they’re a little easier to manage.

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