3 Ways to Control Your Cat’s Shedding

Cats certainly have beautiful coats. Your kitty’s soft, pretty fur is one of her most distinctive traits, and helps make her unique. That lovely coat, however, definitely looks a lot better on your cat than it does on your clothing or furniture. While you can’t entirely stop your feline friend from shedding, you may be able to at least reduce the amount of fur you find on your sofa and clothing.

Here are a few tips:


Kitties are very diligent about their beauty rituals. Your feline friend will carefully groom herself each day to make sure her fur stays soft and clean. This doesn’t mean that Fluffy can’t use a helping hand now and then, however. By brushing your cat regularly, you’re helping remove dead fur that may otherwise end up stuck to your sofa. The more fur you get with the brush, the less you’ll find on your clothing and furniture. Brushing your furball will also reduce the amount of fur she swallows, which will in turn help prevent hairballs. Incorporate treats and cuddles to make this more fun for both you and your kitty!

Keep Fluffy Indoors

Indoor kitties often shed less than those who are allowed outdoors. This is because outdoor kitties are more exposed to the temperature and seasonal changes that trigger shedding cycles. Keeping Fluffy indoors is not only beneficial in reducing her shedding, it’s also much safer for her overall. Outdoor cats are at risk from cars, predators, other cats, toxins, weather, parasites, and other hazards.

Proper Diet

Make sure that you are feeding your feline buddy a healthy, nutritious diet. This will keep that pretty fur shiny and healthy, and can reduce the amount of dead hair your furry friend sheds. If your cat’s coat still appears dull, consider reading our article on “Dealing With Your Cat’s Dull Coat” for more tips. Certain vitamins and supplements may also be beneficial. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, for instance, can be great for Fluffy’s skin and coat. If you’re concerned about skin allergies or other dermatological issues, check out our Pet Allergies and Veterinary Dermatology services. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.


There are a few tricks that will make cleaning up Fluffy’s fur a bit easier. Try using a squeegee on your sofa: you might be surprised at how effective it is! You can also use blankets or furniture covers to protect couches, chairs, and loveseats.

Our Advice on Control Your Cat’s Shedding in 2024

How does the shedding cycle differ between short-haired and long-haired cat breeds?

The shedding cycle differs between short-haired and long-haired cat breeds primarily in the volume and management of shed fur. Short-haired cats tend to shed less fur overall and may have a more consistent shedding cycle throughout the year. Long-haired cats, on the other hand, shed more significantly, often experiencing seasonal shedding where they lose their thicker winter coat in spring and summer. Long-haired breeds require more frequent grooming to manage the increased volume of shed fur, prevent matting, and reduce hairballs. Regular brushing helps both types of cats maintain healthy coats and minimizes shedding around the home.

Are there specific seasonal patterns to cat shedding?

Yes, cat shedding often follows specific seasonal patterns. Many cats experience increased shedding during spring and fall, known as “blowing their coat.” In spring, cats shed their heavier winter fur to prepare for warmer weather. Conversely, in fall, they shed lighter summer fur to make way for a thicker winter coat. Indoor cats may shed more consistently throughout the year due to artificial lighting and controlled temperatures, which can disrupt natural shedding cycles. Regular grooming and proper diet can help manage seasonal shedding and maintain a healthy coat.

What role do hormonal changes play in cat shedding, particularly in unspayed or unneutered cats?

Hormonal changes significantly impact cat shedding, especially in unspayed or unneutered cats. These cats often experience fluctuations in hormone levels that can lead to increased shedding. For instance, female cats may shed more during their heat cycles due to hormonal shifts. Pregnancy and lactation can also cause excessive shedding as the body undergoes stress and hormonal adjustments. Neutering or spaying can stabilize these hormone levels, leading to more consistent and manageable shedding patterns. Managing hormonal influences through spaying or neutering can contribute to a healthier coat and reduce excessive shedding.

How can stress or anxiety impact a cat’s shedding patterns?

Stress or anxiety can significantly impact a cat’s shedding patterns, often leading to excessive or abnormal hair loss. When a cat experiences stress or anxiety, it can trigger the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that affects hair follicles and can cause increased shedding. Stressors such as changes in the environment, new pets, or routine disruptions can exacerbate this condition. Additionally, anxious cats may groom themselves excessively, resulting in more fur being shed. Managing stress through a stable environment, enrichment activities, and possibly calming aids can help normalize shedding patterns.

Are there any specific health conditions that can cause excessive shedding in cats, and when should an owner be concerned?

Yes, specific health conditions can cause excessive shedding in cats. Conditions such as hyperthyroidism, allergies, fungal infections (like ringworm), and parasitic infestations (such as fleas or mites) can lead to abnormal hair loss. Nutritional deficiencies, particularly in essential fatty acids, can also result in poor coat health and increased shedding. Owners should be concerned if they notice sudden or significant changes in shedding patterns, bald spots, skin irritations, or signs of illness. Consulting a veterinarian for a thorough examination and appropriate tests is crucial to diagnose and treat any underlying health issues.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health, care, or behavior? Contact us any time! We are here to serve all of your cat’s veterinary care needs.

Contact us, your local animal clinic in Hobe Sound, FL!

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