Cats, like humans, lose hair. As the weather warms in the spring, older cats frequently lose more hair. Stress, poor food, allergies, medicines, infection, and sunburn are all examples of medical concerns that cause them to shed.
An elderly cat may be unable to groom herself as effectively as she once did, resulting in matted fur and excessive shedding. If you have another senior cat, they may groom each other, but they might still benefit from your assistance.
Check for redness, lumps, cuts, fleas, ticks, or other parasites while brushing your senior cat. If you notice any of these symptoms or are unsure why your cat is shedding so much, then pay a visit to your veterinarian.
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Why Is My Older Cat Shedding So Much?
Your older cat is shedding excessively because of poor nutrition, lack of grooming, and stress.
Cats brush themselves less frequently as they become older. This might result in increased shedding or mattification of their fur.
Shedding is a natural process that removes dead hair and releases natural oils into the skin. Shedding will eliminate any dead hair that isn’t removed by grooming or brushing. If it isn’t, it might cause skin irritation.
Cats go through one or two cycles of severe hair loss and growth each year. Typically, these occur in the spring and fall.
The spring shed aids in the removal of your cat’s heavy winter coat. They are preparing for the growth of next winter’s coat in the fall.
This cycle, however, can be disrupted depending on how much time your cat spends indoors vs. outside. Indoor cats are exposed to artificial lighting, air conditioning in the summer, and heaters in the winter. This can confuse their system, resulting in relatively consistent shedding.
The quality of an animal’s coat varies with age. The hair coat may become less elastic and more prone to clumping and matting. It’s possible that some shedding will occur. As a result, there’s a probability that the cat’s age is causing the shedding.
Do Cats Shed More When They Get Older?
Yes, cats shed more when they grow older.
The first step is to rule out any medical conditions that might be causing this. Hair quality can be affected by thyroid illness, diabetes, and various other disorders. Additionally, any bald areas on your cat’s coat might be an indication of problems.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you see bare patches or irritation/redness on your cat’s skin. They can discover the underlying reason for the shedding based on your history and a physical examination.
They’ll look at the pattern and distribution of hair loss, as well as if the hair is being shed or broken off. The skin will be checked for symptoms of illness or parasites.
They may also need to undertake lab testing such as skin scrapings, hair examinations, blood work, and urinalysis.
If your veterinarian believes that shedding results from a medical problem, they will recommend a treatment plan to address the underlying problem. It’s critical to pay great attention to their advice. Your cat’s shedding should return to normal after the underlying medical issue is resolved.
There are things you can do to attempt to keep your cat’s shedding under control, whether it’s typical or caused by medical difficulties. Of course, you must ensure that you are not doing anything at home that contradicts your veterinarian’s medical recommendations.
Feed a veterinary-recommended, nutritionally adequate food.
Even if your cat is exclusively indoors, use veterinary-recommended parasite prevention all year (think how many bugs still find their way into your home).
Ensure your cat is well hydrated; water fountains may encourage them to drink more.
Reduce the amount of stress in your cat’s environment. Ascertain that they have a safe and secure area to retreat to. Use food puzzles and other stimulation to keep their brains occupied.
Groom your cat regularly with a veterinary-approved brush or comb. Making treats a part of the procedure might help your cat be more patient and joyful.
Groomers and certain veterinary offices may give cats a trim if they need additional help with their fur. This is especially beneficial for senior cats that are unable to groom themselves and cats with lengthy hair.
If your cat’s stress creates excessive grooming, speak with a veterinarian behaviorist.
Sweep and vacuum daily, and wash your cat’s bedding regularly.
Interesting Read: Do Black Cats Shed?
Why Is My Older Cat’s Hair Falling Out?
Your older cat’s hair is falling out because they experience skin infections.
Your cat likely has a fungal infection such as cat ringworm, a parasitic infestation such as mites or fleas, or another allergy-related cat skin issue. Because all of them will irritate your cat’s skin, they may find it challenging not to scratch!
They can have bald patches and fur balls by ingesting hair when they lick or chew the region if they over-groom or itch.
When you’re under stress, you’ve probably heard the expression “tearing your hair out,” and this may be quite true for anxious cats, as they may begin to rip out their fur. Cats can over-groom an area if it causes them discomfort, such as a painful joint, which is rare but conceivable.
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A hormonal imbalance in your cat can also cause bald patches and hair loss. Hormones are responsible for your cat’s hair development and, as a result, may also be the cause of your cat’s hair loss. Hair loss can occur when certain hormones are in excess or deficient.
Because of the changes in their hormones, your pregnant or breastfeeding cat’s hair may fall out at this period, but don’t be frightened; the fur should come back over time.
Your cat’s hair loss might be caused by an improper diet, poor health, or an undiagnosed condition. Because these are all broad causes, it’s critical to see your veterinarian determine the underlying problem.
Some causes of hair loss in cats are infectious and can also affect people. Despite the rarity of this occurrence, it’s recommended to make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible to avoid an unhappy pet and owner.
Remember that cats shed their fur all year, but they shed more in the summer and fall, known as cat moulting season. This is entirely normal if they are losing hair all over their body with no bald spots and will go away shortly.
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How Much Shedding Is Too Much For A Cat?
If your cat is shedding a massive amount of hair regularly, then it’s a matter of concern.
While it’s natural for your dog or cat to leave a few hairs here and there (think of it as their “calling card”), how much shedding is normal?
The answer is that it is debatable. Long-haired dog and cat breeds are more likely to shed than short-haired varieties. In addition, your pet may shed more during the summer than during the winter.
Cat owners need to remember that the typical development cycle of new hair is always followed by shedding old hair. If your pet’s shedding isn’t accompanied by bald patches or symmetric hair loss, the shedding is most likely merely a step in the expected renewal of the hair coat.
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How Do I Know If My Cat Is Shedding Too Much?
When you detect more hair than usual, it’s an indication that your cat is shedding excessively.
You are the expert on your pet. You probably feel how much hair is usually from being so close to them, and you’re aware of seasonal fluctuations in shedding.
Cats groom themselves for up to half of their waking hours. However, if you find your cat licking or scratching herself more than average, to the point that grooming takes precedence over other activities, something is wrong.
Fortunately, most reasons for excessive shedding in cats are simple to address. And, of course, shedding is unavoidable with cats. While it is impossible to prevent a cat from shedding, there are techniques to minimize the problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Excessive shedding in cats mean?
True, cats shed as part of the natural process. Still, excessive hair loss might indicate more significant problems, such as External parasites, such as fleas, anxiety or stress, allergies, irritation, or skin inflammation.
Why is my old cat losing clumps of fur?
Some cats suffer from skin allergies, which can result in hair loss. Cat alopecia is commonly caused by mange-causing parasites and fungi such as ringworm, especially in younger cats or those with underlying health problems. Hair loss in cats can also be caused by nervous illnesses (e.g., over-grooming).
Why is my indoor cat shedding so much?
Cats, like us, lose hair. As the weather warms in the spring, cats tend to shed more hair—stress, poor food, allergies, medicine, illness, and sunburn cause cats to shed. Feed your cat nutritious, well-balanced food.
Brushing your older cat regularly removes dead hair and fur and reduces the number of hairballs it produces. Brushing your cat daily will drastically reduce the quantity of stray hair and cat dander in your house.
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