Shedding is a natural and healthy aspect of being a feline. Shedding entails the elimination of dead hairs from the coat. Although bathing may indeed lessen pesky shedding, regular brushing is a significantly more kitty-friendly option.
Cats typically are meticulous grooming wizards, using their unique spiked tongues seemingly day in and day out to manage their hygiene needs. However, once in a while, your pet may actually get into a messy situation that calls for something beyond just her tongue. For example, if she gets into your kitchen trashcan and gets icky leftover vegetable stew all over her beautiful coat, it may be time to run bath water and break out the gentle cat shampoo. Apart from these types of situations, there usually is no need to bathe a feline. Although a bath may indeed help get rid of loose hairs within your cat's coat, the result probably isn't worth stressing the poor thing out. Cats usually aren't the biggest fans of baths. Getting wet is often a source of anxiety in kitties.
Although bathing is typically a stressful means of keeping your cat's shedding to a minimum, brushing isn't. Whether your cat has long or short hair, frequent and consistent grooming sessions -- twice a week or more -- may reduce the appearance of fur all over your floors. Brushing your cat's coat keeps it glossy, neat and mat-free, and it pulls away loosened dead hairs, reducing also the frequency of hairballs -- not a bad deal at all. The fewer stray hairs your cat has the fewer will appear on your sofa, rug and lap.
For most cats, shedding is an ongoing process that takes place throughout the year. One of the potential issues with bathing cats, apart from their basic fear of water, is that frequent baths removes healthy natural oils from their skin, not to mention dries it out. On the other hand, brushing may diffuse those same oils within the fur. Although bathing may be OK for occasional messy "emergencies," it's not the most sensible regular solution for controlling shedding.
Never make assumptions about your cat's health or body; that applies to shedding. If your pet's hair loss seems inordinate, it may be a symptom of a medical condition. Grooming or bathing may not be an appropriate solution. Some ailments that may be linked to excessive shedding are bacterial infection, food allergies, dietary deficiencies, external parasites, overactive thyroid and emotional stress. In the event of too much hair loss in your kitty's life, it's time to head over to the trusty veterinarian's clinic.
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