Know that your cat is shedding when you start noticing a lot of cat hair around you, on furniture, clothes, and rugs. Although it is a natural process in pets, excessive shedding can be problematic and embarrassing for many cat owners.
Usually, the owners of long-haired cats take the easiest resort of shaving their cat to decrease excess shedding. Shaving your cat can help reduce hair shedding, but it should not be a regular practice as it can remove the natural oils and moisture from the cat’s skin.
Moreover, the fur and coat of a cat maintain the body temperature. Also, your cat might not be comfortable with the shaving process itself. Following is the answer to your question regarding can I shave my cat to stop shedding.
Can I Shave My Cat to Stop Shedding?
Shaving your cat is an easy way to reduce shedding, especially among long-haired breeds. Domestic cats are more used to shaving as they have more human contact. Shaving does decrease shedding and can even stop cat’s shedding if it is practiced religiously. However, you can shave your cat to stop shedding if you are not harming the healthy coat.
Cat Hair and Shaving
The cat coat’s type also determines the co-relation between shaving and shedding. If you have a short-haired pet, it will take up to 3-4 months to regrow hair follicles after shaving. Whereas, if your pet has long hair, the hair growth period will vary.
You will have to study the layers of your cats’ fur. The protective hairs on the undercoat of a cat help in the regulation of the body temperature. For instance, the hair or fur on a cat’s body traps in hot air during winters while cold air in summers. So, it is better not to shave off all the excess fur from the cat’s skin.
Pros of Shaving Your Cat to Stop Shedding
You can reduce shedding in a cat with shaving as it removes the bulk of the cat shed and all loose hair. Apart from this, shaving your cat’s hair protects it from parasites as there is lesser room for their invasion. Once a parasite enters your cat’s fur, it multiplies in no time. It can cause irritation, itchiness, and pain to your pet. Thus, it will help in the removal of pests and parasites as well.
The long-haired breeds of cats may start to look weird, with matted hair, if they do not get a grooming session. However, if you cannot afford a professional groomer, you can do the job home with some pet maintenance tools. It would help if you were careful while trimming or shaving, ensuring that you do not remove protective hairs.
Cons of Shaving Cats to Stop Shedding
In contrast, shaving can be harmful in some cases. For instance, removing the hair can expose wounds and injuries to germs and infections. Most of the time, the coat and fur of a cat act like a protecting shield for the wounds that prevent disease and promote healing.
The constant practice of shaving may deprive the cat of its skin’s natural oils. These oils create a protective shield against germs, bacteria, and harmful UV rays. If you shave your cat close to the naked skin, it can create an imbalance in the skin’s pH levels and natural oil production.
To err is human. Therefore, it can happen that you do not shave your cats properly, which leads to some ingrown hair. This ingrown hair can further lead to health problems like alopecia and bald patching with growing age. So a cat owner will have to be extra careful while shaving the cat’s hair.
What Causes a Cat To Shed a Lot?
There are numerous reasons and factors that cause a cat to shed a lot. Although shedding is a normal body process, it can get serious due to some intriguing elements. Thus, if you notice heavy shedding, you must consult a vet first. However, the following are a few main reasons that cause a lot of hair shed.
Like the breeding seasons of birds, the cats have a shedding season. They follow the weather for the shedding season. For instance, the cats shed hair twice a year, once in spring and then in autumn, except for the hairless breeds. This changing or shedding of fur enables them to adapt to new weather conditions.
The pet owners can observe that there is more shedding in summers. This increase in shedding hair can be due to a warmer environment, so you should not worry much if your cat sheds extra hair than usual in months of the summer season.
Cat Food Allergy
Some cats have sensitive stomachs and develop food allergies due to high levels of proteins or dairy. For this reason, they may start shedding a lot of hair and have patching on their skin along with vomiting, itching, and diarrhea.
To cure this problem, you will have to switch to high-quality wet cat food for about 12 weeks, so your cat has enough time to repair the damage and build up a new layer of healthy skin cells. Cat wet food with omega fatty acids is great for healthy skin and undercoat hair. Ensure you do not add dairy or eggs to your cat’s diet during these 12 weeks of recovery.
The temperature also affects the cat’s shedding cycle a lot. Although the fur or coat of a cat is self-sufficient in regulating body temperature, the external temperature can be a contributing factor. It works for both domestic and outdoor cats.
For instance, domestic cats usually have hair shed because they are indoors most of the time. The air-conditioned areas create an imbalance in the regulation of temperature. So they tend to shed more hair regardless of the shedding season.
If your cat has some particular medical condition, that can also determine the amount of hair shedding. However, sunburn, itchiness, alopecia, malnutrition, and dehydration are the primary health conditions that cause your cat to shed a lot of hair. Try to check their nutrition, hydration, and overall health. It will help you reduce long-haired cats shed to some extent.
Best Ways to Prevent a Cat from Shedding
If you are on the team no-shave, you are at the right place; here, we have some best ways to prevent a cat from shedding or reducing shedding.
Shed-reducing Brush for Cats Shed
One of the most convenient ways is to use a shedding brush for your cat. You must get a cat brush for shedding according to your cat’s size, coat, and breed. Brush your cat regularly regardless of long or short hair to reduce shedding.
You can get various grooming tools according to the coat type. For instance, depending on how much shedding occurs in your pet, you can get a slicker brush, wooden brush, or a stainless steel comb for the cat’s shed. The fundamental rule is to brush your cat with a routine if you want to prevent a cat from shedding.
Cleanliness also matters a lot in the overall maintenance of your pet. Bathing your cat regularly will not only keep your act clean and tidy but will also help in decreasing the shedding. Try to scrub the cat’s skin while bathing so that it can get rid of loose hair, dirt, and filth, and do not forget to dry them and leave no moisture on their fur.
Moreover, you can use home remedies like oatmeal baths and chamomile oil massage to cure itchiness and keep your cat’s coat healthy. Make sure you bathe your cat at least once a month for thorough cleaning.
Switch Cat Foods
Hair loss or hair shedding in cats is often due to some food allergies. First of all, try and look for the triggering ingredient and consult a vet. Change your cat’s food immediately, and balance the levels of protein and dairy in their diet.
Moreover, you better switch the cat food if you are habitual of giving them packaged food. Try some new brands of high-quality cat food that incorporate healthy ingredients. Ensure you add all the nutrients to your cat’s food to prevent excessive hair loss or shedding.
Should I Shave My Cat in the Summer?
Shaving or not shaving your cat is one’s personal choice, but we will not recommend you to shave your cat in the summers. The reason behind this negation is that the cat’s fur or coat is responsible for the temperature maintenance of the body. If you shave off all the hair, then it will overheat the cat’s body. However, you can use other remedies to reduce heavy shedding during the summer season.
It would be best if you got over the misconception that shaving off the cat coat will keep the cat cool; instead, keep your cat hydrated. There are different layers of a cat’s coat; the last layer, known as an undercoat, regulates the body temperature. So, it is better to avoid shaving this undercoat if any of the other remedies do not work in reducing the cat shedding.
During summers, the sun is in full rage. In such a case, if you shave off your cat’s hair, it will have more exposure to the sun. You cannot lock your cat in an air-conditioned room for the entire summer. Eventually, the shaved cat will have sunburn due to direct penetration of sun rays.
Thus, it is better not to shave your cat in summer; instead, you can take your long-haired pet for a trim to keep your cat calm. Or else, you can keep your cat indoors after shaving as much as possible to avoid severe skin damage.
In a nutshell, shaving your cat is your personal decision, but we can only make you aware of some related facts. No doubt, shaving helps reduce shedding, but as responsible cat owners, you should not use this procedure excessively. While it helps you in pet grooming, it can also affect the natural mechanism of its skin.
You should take veterinary advice in case of excessive shedding and patching due to poor diet. Moreover, you should record your cat’s allergies as they can also cause hair shedding. You cannot completely stop hair shedding, especially in cat shedding season. However, the temperature also contributes to the severity of cat shedding.
However, it would be best if you did not shave a cat till the undercoat or the deepest layer of your cat’s fur as they act as protective hair. It is responsible for body temperature regulation. Hence, try to be moderate in shaving your cat to stop shedding.