Does diet affect the amount my cat is shedding?

Cats shed every day, some breeds more than others.

Finding hair around the house or all over your clothes regularly is therefore nothing to be worried about.

There is no way of stopping the natural shedding process, and you wouldn’t want to. This is how cats get rid of any dead, unnecessary hair.

If you are noticing larger clumps of fur though or their coat is beginning to look a little thinner, this could be a sign of excessive shedding. And that is not normal.

One of the factors often associated with a shedding cat, and the amount they are shedding, is diet.

Feeding your feline low-quality foods will not provide them with all the nutrients they need for fit, strong bodies or shiny, healthy coats.

Improving their diet can actually go a long way to reducing the amount of hair they’re shedding, too; not to mention the amount of time you’re sweeping up after them.

What diet should I give to my cat if it has persistent shedding issues?

Too much shedding can sometimes be a sign of underlying health problems.

If you think your cat’s hair loss may be linked to a more serious medical condition, you will need to speak with your vet.

However, more often than not, a mealtime re-think will help with any persistent shedding issues.

Two nutrients you need to be looking out for when devising a coat-loving diet are protein and fat.

Cats need high-quality protein in their diet for many reasons, one of those being their coat.

Cat hair is made up of proteins, so a diet lacking in these nutrients may well affect the condition of the fur.

Healthy fats can also play a major part in reducing the amount of hair they are losing. Fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 promote healthy coats and skin, and should be included in any well-balanced diet plan.

Take your time when changing a cat’s diet, and be patient. It may take a few weeks to notice a reduction in the amount of shedding.

Are there other issues that could be causing shedding?

  • Lack of grooming. Most cats are very adept at the art of grooming, but for some the act of self-cleaning can prove tricky. Overweight felines may struggle reaching certain areas while dental issues, illness or general pain can leave some cats needing a helping human hand. Even if your cat is a highly efficient groomer, they may need your help from time to time in removing loose hairs. Regular combing and brushing will help them remove dead hair, preventing your carpet from filling up with fur in the process. Grooming is also a great de-stressor for you and your pet.
  • Persistent stress and anxiety levels. Like humans, animals do get stressed from time to time. A stressed cat may start obsessively licking themselves culminating in excessive hair loss, bald patches, and irritable skin. Sources of stress include moving home, car journeys, loud noises, change in routine, other pets in the home. Excessive shedding is a normal psychological response to stress or anxiety. Once you eliminate the offending stressor, the amount your cat sheds should return to pre-stress levels. Stress can cause serious health problems so it is advisable to contact a vet for guidance if the issue persists.
  • Parasites. A flea infestation will have your felines scratching more than usual, inevitably leading to increased hair loss. You may begin to notice patches of their skin where fur is missing, combined with nasty red spots. Left untreated, parasites can lead to further health issues down the line, including inflammation and potential infection. Preventative measures are difficult as fleas, ticks and lice can end up on our pets in any number of ways. However, treatment is generally quick, easy and painless. Speak to a vet about the best course of action.
  • Medical problems. Certain medical conditions can result in cats shedding excessively. Hyperthyroidism is a common disease in cats caused by an increase in the production of thyroid hormones. This hormone imbalance can bring skin and coat woes to cats with hair loss a subsequent symptom. Without treatment, hyperthyroidism poses a real risk to the health of cats, so consult a vet immediately if you believe they are suffering from it. Ironically, some medications can also cause itchiness, leading to scratching and extreme hair loss. Talk through any potential medication side effects with a vet before administering them to your cat.
  • Pregnancy. A pregnant cat's body may deprive itself of some of the minerals needed for a healthy coat. This coupled with ongoing hormonal changes is a recipe for excessive hair loss in cats. Commonly referred to as “blowing their coat”, the amount of shedding should return to a normal level following the birth. There still may be significant hair loss around the new mother's stomach while she is nursing her kittens. But don't worry, the fur will grow back in time.

Choosing the perfect diet for your cat

A cat’s diet should contain natural sources of essential nutrients, and be free from any artificial flavors or additives.

Wholesome, well-balanced meal times will ensure your feline’s skin and coat remain in pristine condition, eliminating any persistent shedding issues.

A high-quality diet will do more than this though. It will give your cat energy, fuel their muscles, and strengthen their immune system.

At Reveal, we know just how important it is feeding your cat the perfect diet.

That’s why we have spent years perfecting recipes like our Tuna with Sea Bream in Broth Pouch and our Chicken Breast in Gravy Can.

Filled with goodness, your cat will love feasting on them as much as we love making them.

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