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Why Do Cats Shed All Year?

Shedding in cats is influenced by everything from genetics to nutrition to environmental temperature to sunlight exposure.

two kittens

If you brush and groom your cats regularly, they’ll have less hairballs, and there will be less stray fur on your couch. (cereza_juana, Flickr)

You vacuum and vacuum, but your cat just keeps shedding its fur year around. Don’t worry, your cat’s not going bald. Here’s why your furry friend is shedding so much.

Shedding Light on Cat Fur

Cats’ fur not only insulates them, but also provides a barrier against physical and chemical damage to their skin, and protects them from harmful sunlight.

Cats can’t take off their fur the way people can take off coats, so they need to shed. But shedding isn’t just a seasonal phenomenon.

Shedding is influenced by everything from genetics to nutrition to environmental temperature. Research has shown the main factor that determines when a cat sheds is the amount of sunlight outside.

Changes in sunlight cause a cat’s brain to signal to its hair follicles that they need to respond. When there’s less sunlight, cats start growing short, fluffy secondary hairs whose job is to provide insulation. And when there’s more sunlight, cats start shedding to have a lighter summer coat.

Splitting Hairs

Indoor cats who are exposed to less natural sunlight and more artificial light can lose track of seasonal changes, and they just shed pretty constantly year round.

Good nutrition, lots of exercise, and plenty of grooming can help keep your cat healthy and happy, but the thing is, shedding is a natural part of the hair life cycle, and you’re just going to have to learn to live with it.

Want to learn more about cats? Read this article to learn about why their eyes sometimes look like they’re glowing.

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