At 6 months, your kitten is an adorable little ball of fluff who may be leaving that adorable fluff all over your house. Although a bit annoying, this shedding normally isn't anything to be concerned about. Most kittens start the regular habit of shedding somewhere around their six month mark.
When compared to humans, kittens change from tiny, wobbly bundles of fur to full-grown cats in practically the blink of an eye. At around 5 months or so, depending on the breed, your kitten typically starts exchanging his soft baby fur coat for the tougher adult version he'll sport for the rest of his life. His color pattern usually stays the same, but the texture of the hair is different. During the transition stage he'll leave hair all over, better preparing you for the regular shedding you'll experience when he's an adult.
In an example of really bad and coincidental timing, your kitten's shedding could be a result of parasitic invasion. Fleas and skin mites can greatly irritate your kitten's skin as they party on his back, resulting in over-grooming or hair loss. These parasites are difficult or impossible to see, so you may not even know your kitten is dealing with these uninvited hitchhikers.
External parasites are not the only invading buggers that can take up residence in your kitten and irritate his skin. Various bacterial and fungal microbes can cause infections such as ringworm that result in hair loss. Most of these microscopic invaders are highly contagious and spread quickly in environments with multiple cats, and your kitten's immature immune system leaves him especially vulnerable to a more severe reaction to their effects.
Knowing the Difference
So your little 6-month-old kitten's shedding could be totally normal or require a trip to the vet for care. How do you know the difference? It all depends on how he's shedding and behaving otherwise. If he seems perfectly healthy and doesn't scratch frequently but drops hair like mad, odds are he's just switching out for his adult coat. If, on the other hand, he scratches like a little kitty possessed and seems obviously bothered or uncomfortable, he may need a checkup to make sure he's not playing host to any unwanted microscopic guests.
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