Many cats continue to shed even after winter has set in. In fact, many of our homes are filled with a storm of shed hair no matter the season or temperature. It gathers on our furniture, clings to our clothes, and floats through the air like new fallen snow. But there are simple ways to help control your cat's winter shedding.
Many factors influence your cat's hair growth and shedding, including temperature, nutrition, breed, and age. But research has shown that photoperiod, or the amount of sunlight in a single day, is the most influential factor. As your cat's brain detects changes in seasonal sunlight patterns, it signals the hair follicles to respond in an appropriate manner. Shorter days spur cats to grow a heavier undercoat to insulate against the coming cold. When the weather warms and the days lengthen, this extra hair is shed.
Outdoor cats often follow a more expected hair growth and shed pattern. But indoor cats spend their days lounging beneath the artificial lights of our heated homes. This causes their bodies to lose track of seasonal changes. Therefore, they tend to shed hair continuously throughout the year.
The easiest way to reduce problem shedding is to keep your cat's skin and coat healthy. The following tips can help:
- Feed a high quality diet with the proper balance of protein, fats, essential vitamins, nutrients, and fatty acids.
- Use bath wipes to condition skin and catch shed hair before it spreads.
- Feed supplements with Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.
- Brush daily using the right combination of function-specific gloves, brushes, and combs to remove all dead hair.
- Cover your furniture with appropriate throws to grab shed hair before it spreads.
- Remove shed hair as soon as possible with tape rollers. Also vacuum often.