A cat’s coat will grow and shed throughout the year to suit the changing temperature of the seasons. The thing that triggers these coats to come and go away is the amount of daylight, not temperature. This means that even if you indoor cat is warm at home, they will still grow thicker fur for the winter.
Most cats will spend a lot of time taking care of their own coats through grooming but its a good idea to help them out yourself. Read on to find out how winter coats work in cats and how you can maintain them.
When do cats get their winter coat?
Cats start growing their winter coats as daylight hours become shorter. The exact time that this happens will depend where in the world you live but generally winter coats will gradually start growing in Fall. The change happens over a long time, it may not be completely obvious when it comes in. Winter coats will make your cat look a bit bulkier.
Cats grow winter coats to stay warmer during winter and this trait hasn’t gone away with domestic cats. Although indoor cats will be warm enough if they live indoors with humans, they have no control over their coat and it will come through regardless of it they are warm or not.
Do indoor cats shed?
All cats with hair will continually shed throughout the year. However, shedding will increase in spring as your indoor cat gets rid of their winter coat. During this time you will probably find a lot of cat hair on your furniture and clothes.
Shedding is normal and healthy behavior for cats throughout all of the year. Not only is thicker hair falling out to help your cat stay cool in the summer, but old hear is falling out to let new healthy hair grow in.
Your cat may be excessively shedding if you start to notice bald patches on their body. These patches can happen anywhere on your cat but are most common along their tail and on the base of their rear. Cats may be missing patches of hair due to parasites or over grooming. In both cases, it is best to take your cat to a vet for a check up.
Controlling shed hair is important for indoor cats. Not only does shed hair cause an eye sore around the house, it can make allergies worse for humans. This is caused by the “dander” or dead skin cells that are found in cat hair and may cause skin or respiratory issues like sneezing.
Cats will eventually remove their winter coats through grooming if you leave them alone but the amount of hair that they eat during this can give them hairballs. Most pet owners would much rather occasionally brush their cat than deal with hairballs.
How do I stop my cat shedding indoors?
The best way to control shedding indoor is by frequently brushing your cat. Short hair cats should be brushed about two times a week to control shedding. Long hair breeds like the Maine Coon may need daily brushing to stop their fur from becoming matted which can be uncomfortable for your cat.
De-shedding brushes are often the best way to quickly clean your cat. If you’ve been using a soft bristle brush and switch to a de-shedder you may be surprised just how much more hair they remove. They can also be a bit over-stimulating for some cats. Try to make brushing a fun time for both you and your cat.
If your cat’s shedding has triggered your allergies, avoid picking them up. You may also find buying an air purifier for the rooms that you spend your time in to be beneficial. If you don’t want to spend money on this, you can try airing out rooms that you stay in when your cat isn’t around. If you find that brushing your cat releases a lot of fur into the air you can try to brush them in a closed room like the bathroom or bring them outside.
Bathing your cat will help with shedding if you regularly wash them. This works by removing the majority of their shedding hair in one go with water. This may mean washing your cat every three or four weeks depending on how much fur they have. Cats don’t normally need to be washed and can find the whole process very uncomfortable. We wouldn’t recommend washing your cat to deal with shedding as it isn’t a permanent solution and may damage the relationship between you and your cat.