What cat parent doesn’t want to reduce their cat’s shedding? Loose cat hair is kind of annoying. How does it get in the refrigerator anyway? It seems like we’re always having to vacuum and use a lint roller. Petting our kitties gives us a handful of fur that goes flying everywhere.
Improve Their To Stop Cat's Shedding
Shedding is a natural process of old, dead hair falling out. So, we can’t stop cats from shedding altogether, but it can be significantly reduced to a healthier level. The main reason a cat will shed excessively is due to an unhealthy coat. Emotional stress will also cause excessive shedding. This article focuses on improving your cat’s coat and overall health to reduce excessive shedding caused by an unhealthy coat.
What to expect when your cat’s coat improves and shedding is reduced
- The most obvious is going to be less cat hair everywhere.
- You can vacuum and sweep less often. Like maybe twice a week instead of nearly every day.
- It may reduce sneezing in the humans sharing space with cats.
- You don't have to clean your air filters as frequently
- The frequency of fur balls being hacked up decreases. Cats should produce only one to two fur balls per month.
- Fur balls will contain more liquid and less fur. This is kind of a downside for us to clean up, but much healthier and easier for your cat.
- Less fur ingested during grooming may minimize digestive disturbance.
- You can happily pet your cat without getting a handful of fur. And go in for a nose snuggle without your face getting coated in fur. You’ll still get some fur, but a lot less.
- Your cat will just plain feel better!
#1 – Use A De-Shedding Tool
Regular brushing is necessary to reduce shedding and fur balls in cats. But cats also have a thick undercoat that a regular brush tool doesn’t remove. A de-shedding tool is designed to remove thick undercoats of old fur. The tool is especially helpful when summer approaches, and your cat sheds it's winter coat.
The de-shedding tool removes a lot of undercoat fur, so be sure to have a trash can on hand. It removes so much fur, you’ll wonder how there is any fur left on your cat when you’re done. Removing the undercoat really helps to reduce shedding.
A de-shedding tool distributes skin oils to condition the coat and help with dandruff.
All brands claim to reduce cat shedding up to 90%.
How To Use A De-Shedder
Manufacturers recommend using a light touch. However, my cats like it firm. They get goofy, rolling around and making funny sounds. I guess it tickles your cat's skin.
The first time using one, start with a light touch to get your cat accustomed to the tool. In the beginning, you can use the tool once per week for several weeks. During summer when your cat is shedding his or her winter coat, use it two times a week for two weeks. After that, once every two weeks should be enough. And continue to use a regular brush on a weekly basis.
Where to buy a de-shedder
Your local pet store probably has a bunch of options for a de-shedder. If you are like me and love to do extensive research on everyting before you make a purchase, I suggest Amazon. Here's the de-shedder I've found to be the best, not that we've tried any others. But for $15, it's a great purchase and it's reliable.
#2 – Mackerel And Sardines Help Reduce Cat Shedding
Of course your cat's diet plays a big part in your cats loose fur. So here's how to fix up a poor diet: mackerel and sardines. They are high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which are beneficial for cats just like they are for humans! The fatty acids are good for the skin, fur, allergies, eyes, heart, and immune system. Omega 3 Fatty Acids also have anti-inflammatory effects.
The reason for using mackerel or sardines, as opposed to other types of fish, is because they have lower mercury levels than other fish. Mercury levels are lower along the ocean floor where mackerel and sardines feed.
Chub Mackerel vs. Mackerel:
Chub mackerel is a bit lower in mercury than non-chub mackerel. The only chub mackerel I can find is by Chicken of the Sea. All brands have rather high salt, but you’re feeding it only 1-2 times per week.
Make sure the sardines are unflavored and packed in only water. Sardines can often be found in a salt-free version, making them a slightly better choice than mackerel. Avoid sardines packed in oil, mustard, hot sauce, etc., for obvious reasons!
Allergies to Fish:
Some cats are allergic to fish. Allergies show as itchy skin, watery eyes, diarrhea and may include throwing up the food. Discontinue use of the mackerel or sardines. Also check your store-bought cat food, as many of them contain fish.
Choose green lip mussel oil instead as a substitute for mackerel/sardines.
How to Feed Mackerel/Sardines:
Sundays are a special day for my kitties. It’s Sardine Sunday!
Here’s how I prepare it.
— First, drain off the liquid into a small food storage container. Then scoop the fish into a bowl. You can mash the fish up a bit. Or, with sardines, you can leave them whole for a more prey-like meal. Add half the juice back in, plus an equal amount of water. I add water to the can to “rinse” it and get all of the bits out. Then keep the other half of the juice for a mid-week treat that my cats love.
Not all cats are crazy about mackerel or sardines, and those cats may eat only part of their meal.
NOTE on fish oil: In place of feeding mackerel or sardines, Fish Oil in liquid form or capsules can be used.
#3 – Digestive Enzymes
Enzymes are vital to the good health of all living creatures. Naturally occurring enzymes are found in raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and animal products, and ofcourse they help prevent your cat from shedding (and keep your cat healthy).
Long before there was so much emphasis on the convenience of processed cat food and long before many cats spent most of their time safely indoors, cats hunted their food and were fed table scraps. Their prey was raw flesh, bones, organs and glands, which provided enzymes.
But what about cats on a commercially prepared cat food of canned or dry kibble? These processed foods are produced using very high heat. The heat destroys naturally occurring enzymes in the original source of the food. Which means cats on processed foods aren’t getting the enzymes vital for thriving health. Their pancreas produces some enzymes. However, the pancreas enzyme production rapidly declines as cats age.
The result of no enzymes in a cat’s food
Over time, cats develop:
- Poor digestion
- Bad smelling feces
- Dry, rough fur
- Excessive shedding
- Frequent fur balls
- Low energy
- Faster decline of their organ function–kidneys, liver, pancreas
- The pancreas works overtime trying to produce more enzymes, which increases the risk of serious health problems
- Faster decline of their health and metabolic functions
How digestive enzymes help improve health
A cat’s health can be greatly improved by adding digestive enzymes made specifically for a cat’s gut.
Digestive enzymes can help reduce shedding and, in turn, the frequency of fur balls, as well as improve skin and fur, making it thicker and shinier (you read that right longhaired cats). It can also clean up skin allergies and reduce stool odor while protecting vital organ function and just improve your cat's overall health.
The best brand of digestive enzymes
My favorite brand is by Dr. Goodpet, but I'm sure there's a lot of options.
#4 – Feed Wet Food or Raw Food
Even though this is last on the list, it is the number one way to improve the coat and reduce shedding in cats. Cat's are carnovores and when you only feed them dry kibble, your cats shed a lot more. A cat regularly sheds, but cat's only eating kibble have way more loose hair than cats on a good diet.
Canned food is a much better choice than dry kibble. Well-balanced homemade cooked food is even better because it is less processed than commercial canned food. Many cat parents have taken it as far as feeding raw meat, which is the best because it’s the most natural food for a cat.
Whether feeding canned, homemade, or raw (or some combination of them) rather than dry food, cats have healthier, thicker, glossy coats that shed much less. They have more energy, free-flowing urinary tracts, a stronger immune system and better organ function. Not to mention it's an easy way to keep your cat hydrated.
A diet of dry food causes a chronic low level of dehydration, which strains the kidneys. When cats are thirsty for water, they are already dehydrated (same goes for us). Genetically and physiologically, cats are prone to kidney disease. Feeding dry food adds to the problem by putting stress on the kidneys. Health conscious vets, and knowledgeable conventional vets, recommend canned food for treating kidney disease.
To reduce excessive cat shedding and get a healty cat, be sure to use a de-shedding tool once every two weeks. Keep brushing them regularly though!
Give your cats mackeral and sardines at least once a week. It's an easy way for cat owners to slowly introduce better food to a cat's diet.
Use digestive enzymes in your cat's food. It will help aid them if they suffer from a poor diet and may be the easiest way on this list to control excess shedding and give your cat a healthy coat of fur.
Most importantly, make sure your cat has some canned food in their diet. Most cats want more variety in their food, and this is an easy way for you to ensure you have a healthy cat who lives a long time.
This is not veterinary advice, but advice from a cat owner who has seen the positive effects on their cat's fur from following a few simple steps. Now our house has less loose hairs all over the place and our cat's shed hair way less often than they used to.