One guilty pleasure of owning a kitten is rubbing that heart-meltingly soft fur against your cheek. Your kitten most likely isn't complaining and probably enjoys the snuggle, too. Enjoy his soft, fuzzy coat while you can, because soon he'll shed his baby coat for the coarser hair of adulthood.
Making the Change
With maturity comes many changes, and for your kitten one of those changes is his coat. Kittens are born with a soft, cottony-like coat to keep them warm and melt human hearts. Starting at around 5 months of age, your kitten may start shedding this soft fur for the thicker, tougher coat he'll carry as an adult. It usually takes about a month or so to make the change, during which time you'll find his baby fur coating your couch, bed and clothes.
As you mourn the loss of your kitten's soft coat, rest assured that his pattern will remain more or less intact. The kitten's hair follicle decides the color of the hair that grows from it, so that patch that looks like an eyebrow above his right eye will still be there when his adult coat grows in. Sometimes the hair grows in darker than the baby coat, or darkens as he sheds as an adult, but the shape of any patterns in his coat will always be there.
Easing the Transition
Kittens have been molting their baby coats for centuries, so your little dude generally doesn't need any intervention to help him get through it. But living indoors means that his baby hair will end up all over your house if you let him shed as nature intended. Brushing him daily with a pin or natural bristle brush helps remove shed hair before it lands on your sofa and removes other soon-to-be-shed hairs before they have a chance to fall out.
Unfortunately, a shedding kitten doesn't always mean he's about to cross the breach into adulthood. Sometimes hair loss results from less innocent causes, such as fleas, mites or skin infections, which require a vet to treat properly. If your kitten is losing hair in batches, has distinct bald spots or suffers changes to his behavior or grooming routine, have your vet check him out for unseen medical issues.
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