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How to handle your cat’s shedding this Spring

Cat laying on cat tree advice
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The sun is out, the warmth is back, and, like every year once Spring arrives, your cat sheds ABUNDANTLY, to say the least.

By Justine Seraphin

Outdoor cats are actually more prone to excessive seasonal shedding than apartment/indoor cats. Indeed, an indoor cat lives with artificial lights, which can confuse their circadian rhythm, resulting in a steady shed all year long. Cats shedding in the spring-time is completely normal, and although it is hard to reduce shedding, there are ways to limit the cat hair flying around and subsequently leaving the house looking like a snow globe!

This guide will not only help you keep fur off your clothes, furniture, and basically everything you own, but it will also help you keep a healthy cat during this time of year.

Watch out for hairballs

As you may well know, cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves. Amid the excessive shedding they go through during Spring, your cat may swallow even more dead hairs than usual. These hairs can accumulate in their stomach, creating hairballs which can get in the way of their digestive system functioning properly.

Anorexia, vomiting, and/or constipation are signs that your cat may be suffering from an accumulation of hairballs in their digestive system. You should consult a vet as soon as possible if this is the case.

Adapting your cat’s diet to the season

Some cat food brands create recipes richer in fibre, and therefore better for helping your cat to eliminate hairballs. If this is a recurrent problem for your cat, especially during shedding season, don’t hesitate to ask your vet about the dietary options available.

To help your cat eliminate hairballs, you can also add a little paraffin oil to his food from time to time.

Furthermore, catnip can also be a remedy, as it can induce vomiting if ingested.

Brewer’s yeast to help care for the coat

Brewer’s yeast can be found in the form of treats for pets. Not only does it reduce hair loss, but it also keeps your cat’s coat healthy, making it silkier and smoother to the touch.

The brush: ultimate tool to rid your cat of all those dead hairs

After reading the above paragraphs, you understand how important it is for your cat’s health that you limit the amount of dead hairs on the loose during shedding season. Your best friend for fighting hairballs: the brush.

Cats with long coats in particular will need to be brushed every day during shedding season. During the rest of the year, long-haired cats should be brushed every 2-3 days at least. Long-haired cats can benefit from a shedding rake or comb which can reach the skin and dislodge hair from the undercoat.

If the coat is short, you must brush your cat 2-3 times a week during shedding season. The rest of the year, a short-haired cat should be brushed 1-2 times a week. Short-haired cats can benefit from the use of a bristle brush, which can loosen some of the hair trapped near the skin.

For both types of coats, you can follow-up grooming sessions with a slicker brush, which is ideal for collecting cat fur before it flies off your cat in big clouds of fluff. Regular grooming all year round will ensure the health of the skin and coat. Little side-note: once you’ve collected clumps of fur with the aid of the brush, you can dispose of your cat’s hair as you desire, but know birds love using fur to build nests! You could stuff your cat’s fur into a small bird house to place outdoors – and you’d be making good use of it!

If cats are not habituated to brushing, grooming sessions can be quite frustrating for both pet and owner. You can, however, tempt your kitty to stay calm by bribing him with treats. Start with short grooming sessions and lengthen them in time.

Getting rid of fur in the house

You’ll be using the vacuum a lot this time of year. Some are even made specially for getting rid of pet hair! Rubber brooms with squeegee bristles are also extremely effective to clump fur together in a ball, making it easier to pick it up.

You’ll also want a lint roller handy! Other DIY tools you can use to get rid of hair on clothes and furniture are a humid towel, torn tights or even dish-washing gloves!

If your cat has a favourite spot on the couch or on the bed, try to place an easily-washable blanket on it – this will spare your furniture during the heavy shedding season.

If you get a cat – unless it’s a hairless one – you should know you’re going to have to handle a certain amount of shedding. And although it tends to be heavier in the Spring when they are shedding their heavy winter coats, cats are renowned for their incredible capacity to shed all year long! So have those lint rollers and cat brushes handy! And best of luck in the next coming weeks!