How to Survive Your Cat's Hair Shed This Summer

cat hair problems

Nobody likes wearing cat hair to work.

It's summertime and your cat may be turning your home (and wardrobe) into a hairy mess.

Rather than single-handedly keeping 3M Lint Rollers in production, here are a few cat hair solutions while your feline friend goes through her summer shed.

Shedding Breeds

young maine coon cat

As much as we love our fluffy, soft felines, there are some that shed a ridiculous amount. If you’ve ever given your cat one affectionate stroke down her back and come away with a hand that resembles Chewbacca’s, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

  • American Bobtail
  • Kurilian Bobtail
  • Maine Coon
  • British Longhair
  • Oriental Longhair
  • American Curl
  • Chartreux
  • Cymric
  • Nebelung
  • Coupari
  • Ragamuffin
  • Ragdoll
  • Himalayan
  • Siberian

In general, cat breeds that originate from colder climates - for instance, the Maine Coon and Himalayan cats - are more prone to shedding. However, don’t be fooled by short hair cats. Even cuties like the short-haired Chartreux can be heavy shedders.

If you have a moggy cat - aka, a mixed breed - she could have the shedder’s curse common among the above breeds, too.

Non-Shedding Breeds

non shedding ocicats

Thinking about getting a new feline companion but want to avoid the fashion faux-pas of wearing cat hair to work? Consider getting one of these breeds known for their minimal shedding:

  • Ocicat
  • Bengal
  • Bombay
  • Burmese
  • Sphynx
  • Devon Rex
  • Cornish Rex
  • Colorpoint Shorthair

While some of these cat breeds do shed a bit during seasonal changes, their fur follies are far less noticeable.

Of course, if you want to be that cat parent, you could always go for a hairless sphynx and sidestep the shedding dilemma altogether.

Know Your Cat’s Fur... or Hair

Cats come in so many different colors, body types, and personalities – but did you know they also have different types of coats?

1, 2, 3 Coats!

The cats that shed the most are those with multiple layers of fur. Cats have either a single-, double-, or triple-coat of fur. Single-coat cats shed far less and triple-coat cats shed far more. By understanding your cat’s unique coat, you can apply the grooming regimen that’s going to have the best impact on the shedding issue.

turkish angora cat

single coat Turkish Angora cat

Single-coat cats only have guard hairs, which makes their coats silky, smooth, and fine. Turkish Angoras, for example, are a single-coat breed with only guard hairs.

Double-coat cats, like Persians, have an outer layer of awn or down hairs that provide an added layer of warmth.

Triple-coat cats, as you probably guessed, have all three types of hairs. Siberian cats are a common example of triple-coat cats and can shed an infuriating amount each day.

Fur or Hair

In addition to having different numbers of layers of fur, some cats don’t even have fur at all – they have hair! While it’s common to use the words “fur” and “hair” interchangeably in the world of cat parenting, they’re actually quite different things... sort of.

All fur is technically hair, but not all hair is fur. Just like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

Stay with us here.

In other words, all cats have hair. Just like all people have hair. But only cats that have very thick, dense hair are considered to have fur.

If your cat’s coat is particularly dense to the point where you can’t separate it with your fingers to see her skin on most of her body, she likely has fur. If a quick puff of air allows you to separate your cat’s coat and see that cute pink belly, she has hair.

Be Proactive

Why does all this matter? Well, because cats with double- and triple-coats, and cats with fur need far more grooming than cats with single-coats or thin hair.

Groom, Groom, Groom

cat being groomed

Thanks to modern inventors, there are dozens of great products out there that can help you whisk away as many hairs from your cat’s body in one motion. The trick is to find what your cat will tolerate best.

While some cats yearn for brushing time, others dodge it every chance they get. If your cat runs away when she sees you pull out the hair brush, consider switching to a grooming glove instead. For many cats, it feels just like you’re petting them and they’ll be completely oblivious to the fact that you’re actually getting ahead of the shedding problem.

Baths

cute kitten getting a bath

Yes. Baths. We know, we know... cats and water don’t mix. But baths can significantly help reduce shedding and some cats may even surprise you by tolerating the water.

If your cat absolutely despises baths and refuses to cooperate, wet a washcloth and wipe her down, from head to toe. The water will help trap lose hairs and give your kitty a better clean than brushing alone.

Do this every 4 to 6 weeks and you’ll notice a dramatic reduction in the amount of cat hair in the air and on your clothes.

Get a Check Up

If you’ve been staying on top of your cat’s grooming and she’s still shedding like crazy, or if you have a cat breed that’s known for being a low-shedder but she’s still losing lots of fur, you may need to call your vet.

There are several internal issues that could be causing your cat’s excess shedding. For example, poor nutrition from low-quality food can cause your cat’s hair to fall out at an alarming rate. Allergies (yes, your cat can get allergies, too!) can also be a factor in shedding.

More serious issues like hyperthyroidism and hormonal problems may require medical intervention. If you’re concerned about your cat’s hair loss, don’t wait. Take her in for a check up as soon as possible.

To Cut or Not to Cut?

You probably noticed that we didn’t recommend getting your cat’s hair cut. That’s because while it may solve a problem for you short-term, there are two giant downsides.

cat hair cut

First, even if your cat’s hair is cut shorter – or, gasp!, shaved – she’s still going to shed. The hairs that fall are just going to be shorter.

Second, and more importantly, getting a haircut can be an extremely stressful experience for a cat. Even if your groomer is the sweetest, most gentle person you know, your cat may still get anxiety. That stress can wreak havoc on your cat’s health, so to us it’s just not worth it.

Have a brilliant trick for minimizing cat hair problems that you’d like to share? Post in the comments below! We’re all (cat) ears.




Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

Author



10 Responses

CAROL
CAROL

July 18, 2018

i love pretty litter and so does my cat it has no smell at all when i clean it my cat like to lay in it for a little while
and when he come out he has no smell on him at all and PS my vet said it was a good litter

Susan
Susan

July 03, 2018

Just a heads up though -DO NOT cut whiskers. This is like taking away the radar from a submarine. Your cat will suffer balance issues and won’t be able to function. (And a note to pretty litter – how do you find these articles after you log in without going to the SITE MAP feature? I didn’t know they existed until I somehow found them)

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

June 27, 2018

@June Levin – If your younger cat is getting knots under his belly, I’d recommend trying to combine a bit of cuddle time with grooming. It’s always difficult on our cats when we try to hold them in place, even if it’s for their own good (unfortunately, they don’t know that). But if you can approach your cat while he’s lounging, pet him a bit, and trim the knots from his fur while he’s lying on his side, he’ll be none the wiser. :)

@Robert Patterelli – My cat does that too! Especially in the summer. Everytime he lays down (or, rather, plops!), tufts of fur fill the air. I recommend taking your fur baby to the vet to rule out any medical issues, but if he gets a clean bill of health, he may just be one of those cats who carries the shedding curse.

@Raymond Clark – Oh boy. Brush-averse cats are a challenge, aren’t they? My boy, Hunter, is the same way. There are a few tricks you can try. If Wyatt has a favorite treat, give him a couple nibbles while you pet him. Soon he’ll come to associate the brush with treats and tolerate the grooming. Another option is to get a grooming tool like the glove (in the article above), which is less abrasive than a brush. With the brush, Wyatt will just thing he’s getting some welcomed attention – but secretly, you’ll be grooming him. ;-) Let us know what you try and how it works for you and Wyatt!

Kathy
Kathy

June 27, 2018

very informative, great, I will try a grooming glove..

June M. Levin
June M. Levin

June 27, 2018

Absolutely wonderful information. thank you. I see my 14 yr old Lyla an orange/black Maine Coon getting brushed with the pink brush. What kind is it? Her hair always looks oily, not sure if it is though. I am ashamed to say I don’t brush her every week and definitely will now. Afterwards, I wash her down with a cat product in sheets no fragrance and organic. She seems to really like it. I also have a new 2 yr main coon who we are trying to get hold of him and hold him down to remove knots around under his arms, and rear legs. Should we just take him to the vet to be groomed. we did this when we first got him; his whole stomach was knotted. thanks for the info.

ROBERT PATTERELLI
ROBERT PATTERELLI

June 27, 2018

One of our cats every time he lays down leaves clumps-piles of hair.What does that mean?? When we pet him you can see the hair just floating away.If we brush-comb it comes out a lot and sometimes there’s like knots in it.

Jo Ann Glasscock
Jo Ann Glasscock

June 27, 2018

I am a customer and like Pretty Litter.

Rebecca
Rebecca

June 27, 2018

I have 3 siamese, 1 male and 2 female. They both shed the same as the tabby cats we have.

Gloria Lester
Gloria Lester

June 27, 2018

So far I like the litter. Consistency prevents it from sticking to debris when flushed down the toilet. But some does stick to her feet and is drawn into the living area. Although they called my cat a domestic medium hair at the shelter, I think I have a Turkish Angora. She looks just like your picture.

Raymond Clark
Raymond Clark

June 27, 2018

Thanks for the great tips on fur/hair. As a new cat owner, I didn’t realize all that is involved. My buddy Wyatt is a shedder! Despite being a relatively short hair/fur cat. I am constantly cleaning up hair, but Wyatt doesn’t like to be brushed, even with the mittens. Any tips for brush-averse cats? P.S. Love the PrettyLitter! Been using for two months now.

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