Do Tabby Cats Shed? (6 Ways To Limit Cat Shedding)


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The word ‘tabby’ refers to any domestic cat with an ‘M’ shape marked on its forehead and narrow vertical stripes on the side of its body. Many breeds of cat have a tabby variety. Often, Tabby owners will wonder if Tabby cats shed?

Tabby cats may shed based on their cat breed. Tabby is a coat pattern and not a determinant of cat shedding. Many cat breeds have a Tabby variety. Besides cat breed there are other factors that could impact if your cat sheds, such as stress, diet, and hydration.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into why tabby cats shed, how to limit shedding, and which breeds of cats shed the least.

If you wonder what the best products are for your cat, check out this article that will break down all my recommendations for you: Things To Buy For A Cat Right Now!

Tabby Cats and Shedding

Tabby Cat

Shedding is a part of being a cat owner and comes with all the love and affection you receive from your feline friend. Depending on the breed of your Tabby cat, you may experience more or less shedding. If you have a Domestic Shorthair Tabby like I do, you will likely have a cat that sheds a moderate amount. This means I do some things to try and minimize her shedding, such as brushing, baths, and carefully selecting her food.

However, it pays to learn about the shedding process so you can prepare your home accordingly and limit the amount of fur that ends up on your furniture or carpet.

  • Regular brushing helps to control shedding. In addition, brushing your cat will help remove clumps of fur and long hairs that are expected to fall within the next few days.
  • Cats shed more in certain seasons. For example, irrespective of breed, tabby cats put on a thicker coat of fur during Winter and tend to shed more around autumn and spring. By keeping track, you can fur-proof your home accordingly and prevent too much hair from getting on your furniture.
  • Some cat breeds shed more. As mentioned, ‘tabby’ refers to a distinct pattern and not the type of cat. You can find tabby cats under every breed, and the rate at which they shed will differ based on their breed.

How Do I Stop My Tabby Cat from Shedding?

Your tabby cat may be shedding for various reasons, and sometimes it can be challenging to pinpoint the cause of excess shedding.

You can take measures to limit how much fur your cat sheds, which include

  • Watching your cat’s diet.
  • Creating a stable home environment for your cat.
  • Bathing your cat.
  • Keeping your cat indoors.
  • Brushing your cat.
  • Keeping your cat hydrated.
Ways to Limit Cat SheddingDescription
Watching Your Cat’s Diet.Work with your veterinarian to ensure you feed your cat the right foods and the right amount of daily calories.
Creating a Stable Home Environment for Your Cat.Limit the amount of change, give your cat affection, ensure your cat feels safe and has safe spaces to spend time.
Give Your Cat a Bath.Depending on your Tabby cat’s breed, you will likely want to give your cat a bath at a regular interval to cut down on the amount of shedding fur.
Keep Your Cat Indoors.Indoor cats shed year-round but will usually shed far less than year-round than outdoor cats will shed after Winter. 
Brush Your Cat.Most cats benefit from being brushed often, which will help collect loose cat hair.
Ensure Your Cat is Hydrated.Cats need to be adequately hydrated to be healthy, and when this does not happen, it could cause them to shed more. Therefore, ensure you keep water available for your cat, and if your cat does not drink much water, try using wet cat food, which has a lot of moisture.

1. Watching Your Cat’s Diet

An unbalanced diet can lead to excessive shedding as your cat may not be getting ample nutrition from the food they are eating. All cats need proper nutrition to keep their skin healthy, which improves their fur’s health and reduces unwanted shedding.

Being carnivores, cats also need a steady supply of protein to stay in optimal health. The best way to ensure they get enough protein is to switch to canned wet food, as these contain chunks of meat that directly increase your cat’s protein intake.

Have a conversation with your veterinarian to determine what foods you should feed your cat. This is the easiest way to ensure that you are feeding your cat the right quality of food.

I talk about the food I feed my cat (a Tabby named Charlotte) in my article:  Things to buy for a cat right now!

2. Create a Stable Environment for Your Cat

Cats living in a calm, stable household tend to shed a lot less than those brought up in a chaotic environment with an erratic schedule.

Loud noises, frequent changes of location, and unfamiliar smells can elevate stress levels in your cat, causing them to shed hair more frequently and in more significant volumes.

If you want to help limit the amount of fur shed by your cat, work on creating a more stable household environment. For example, invite fewer people over and host gatherings once a week or less frequently.

Cats (including Tabby cats) are not huge fans of change. This can include leaving the house at odd times. Having a routine will give your cat a sense of stability, allowing them to feel less stressed and reducing the amount of fur they shed.

Part of having a stable home environment for your cat is having places that your cat can go and be safe.  Often, this safe place is a cat tree or a cat condo.  To learn more about this, check out my article:  Do Cats Like Cat Condos?

3. Give Your Cat a Bath

It’s no secret that most cats hate water. But bathing them once in a while is an effective way to reduce shedding. Use shampoos that oil their skin and cause the fur to loosen up so it can be easily brushed off.

Tangled and matted hair are the prime causes of excess shedding, and regular baths can help smooth out your cat’s fur in the long run. With smooth, untangled fur, your cat is sure to shed no more than the necessary amount.

However, be sure to bathe your cat only once a month and not more. Too many baths can cause the loss of necessary oils on their skin, leading to itching and irritation.

Cats who scratch too much also tend to shed the most hair, and by keeping their skin oiled and hydrated, you reduce their need to scratch too often.

If you are wondering if Tabby cats enjoy being in the water, check out my article:  Do Tabby Cats Like Water? (Swim, Bath, Drink).

4. Keep Your Cat Indoors

Indoor cats shed far less than those who frequently move in and out of the house or are kept outdoors. However, outdoor cats are often exposed to sunlight, dirt, and adverse weather conditions that lead to excessive shedding.

By keeping your cat indoors, you keep their skin safe and limit the volume of hair they will shed naturally.

One type of cat that people may wonder if they want to be indoors is the feral cat.  To learn more about this, check out my article:  Do Feral Cats Want To Be Indoors? Serious Advice.

5. Brush Your Cat

Brushing your cat should help collect any free hairs, which will prevent them from getting scattered around the house. In addition, this will help control your cat’s shedding.  There are many different cat brushes on the market.  I often use a glove-type cat brush, which I think works pretty well. 

Here is the glove-type cat brush on Amazon that I use (Affiliate Link):  Click Here To See The Glove Cat Brush On Amazon That I Recommend!

6. Keep Your Cat Indoors

Cats that live outside or even spend a lot of their time outside are exposed to more natural sunlight.  Additionally, these cats will be exposed to the seasons and likely grow much fuller fur coats in the Winter that will then shed dramatically when the season is over. 

Cats that are kept indoors will be exposed to more artificial light (as opposed to natural light) and will often shed year-round.  However, they will likely shed less year-round than the cat that spends time outside and has the full Winter coat. 

If you are considering whether or not to let your cat go outdoors in Winter, please check out my article:  Do Cats Like Cold Weather? Best Info on Cats and the Cold.

Why Does My Tabby Cat Shed So Much?

Orange Tabby Cat

Your tabby cat may be shedding excessively for various reasons, including

  • You may have a stressful home environment.
  • Your cat may not be receiving adequate nutrition.
  • They have a thicker fur coat than most regular cats.
  • Your cat may be of a breed that tends to shed more.
  • Your cat is indoor-outdoor.
  • You don’t groom your cat regularly.
  • You don’t give your cat a bath at least once a month.

Whatever the reason, there’s no way to eliminate shedding completely. However, with the proper knowledge and practices, you can limit the quantity of fur your cat sheds.

One cat breed that you can certainly find in a Tabby variety is the Munchkin cat. The Munchkin cat can shed a lot.  To learn more, check out my article:  Do Munchkin Cats Shed? (Best Information).

Are Tabby Cats Hypoallergenic?

Cats have a protein called Fel D1 levels in their saliva. Fel D1 gets transferred to the cat’s fur when it licks itself, and certain humans are allergic to this protein. A hypoallergenic cat is less likely to provoke an allergic reaction in humans due to lower levels of Fel D1.

Tabby cats are not hypoallergenic because being tabby has nothing to do with the levels of Fel D1 in the cat’s saliva. In addition, the word ‘tabby’ refers to the pattern on the fur of the cat and not the actual cat breed, so in essence, tabby cats are not hypoallergenic.

Certain breeds like the Cornish Rex and the Balinese (especially the females) are less likely to cause an allergic reaction as they have lower levels of Fel D1 in their saliva.

However, this doesn’t necessarily imply a lack of allergies, and certain humans will still be adversely affected.

I have a Domestic Shorthair cat that is a Tabby (her name is Charlotte).  If you also have a Domestic Shorthair Tabby, check out my article on if they are hypoallergenic:  Are Domestic Shorthair Cats Hypoallergenic? (Allergy Talk).

Cats That Shed the Least

Now that you’re aware of how to prevent or limit shedding, you can take steps to avoid the same. You can also take this further and bring home a tabby cat breed that sheds a lot less than most other cats. Here are a few:

  • Sphynx
  • Thai
  • Siamese
  • Oriental Shorthair
  • Bengal

Of course, the sphynx is a hairless breed, so you won’t have to worry about shedding there. Bengals, Burmese, and Siamese cats are popular domestic breeds that shed a lot less than most other cats.

If you’re looking to limit the quantity of stray fur lying around your home, getting yourself one of these breeds should do the trick.

Sphynx cats were one of the cats mentioned above as shedding the least.  To learn more about Sphynx cats, check out my article:  Can Sphynx Cats Go Outside? (The Most Reliable Reasons).

Final Thoughts

Video: Tabby Cats 101

Tabby cats are not a specific breed of cat.  Tabby is a fur coat pattern.  So, some Tabbies will shed a lot, and others may only shed a little.  This will depend on the breed of the cat.  Sometimes shedding also depends on other factors, such as diet, hydration, and stress.

While fur-covered furniture is a part of being a cat owner, you can limit the amount your cat sheds by monitoring their diet, brushing regularly, and creating a peaceful home environment.

Aside from dealing with less fur, creating a stable, healthy space will strengthen the bond you share with them.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out a few more:

  • 10 Cat Breeds That Don’t Shed A Lot (Epic List!):  Click Here.
  • 10 Breeds of Cats That Shed A Lot (Reliable Knowledge!):  Click Here.
  • Why is My Persian Cat Shedding So Much? (Clear Reasons):  Click Here.

Here are some of my favorite cat products

In addition to checking out some other More Meows articles, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite cat products as well.  These are affiliate links, so if you end up using them, I’ll get a commission at no extra cost to you.  These are the products I really do find most helpful.

Litter Box:  I started out with normal, traditional litter boxes for my cat.  Then, I tried this automatic litter box on Amazon (affiliate link), which helped reduce the litter upkeep.  Finally, I am now a believer in the Litter-Robot 3 Connect on Amazon (affiliate link).  This robotic litter box is not for everyone based on the price tag, but for me the benefits (very little upkeep, works efficiently, clean, mobile app) far outweighed the cost. 

My Cat’s Litter-Robot 3 Connect (with night light on) – See the link above the photo!

Cat Tree:  I have purchased a couple of this Amazon Basics Cat Tree on Amazon (affiliate link).  My cat spends a lot of time on and around this cat tree, which I position near my sofa.  She uses the scratching posts on this cat tree multiple times a day, which means she is not scratching the sofa instead.

Cat Water Fountain:  I love this cat water fountain on Amazon (affiliate link).  There are three main benefits to having a water fountain like this for your cat.  The first benefit is that it keeps water running so that my cat doesn’t need to drink still water.  The second benefit is that it filters the water.  The third benefit is that my cat uses it – keeping my cat hydrated is important.

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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