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Persian cats are renowned for their beautiful hair, but that beauty comes with a price. Owners must live with the normal shedding of hair, but there are other times when Persian cats experience excessive shedding.
Persian cats experience excessive shedding that is not natural, and owners need to be aware of those times. Hair loss in Persian cats is caused by:
- Natural shedding
- Lack of regular grooming
- Lack of bathing
- Fleas, lice, and ticks
- Poor quality food
While natural shedding will always happen, cat owners can reduce the abnormal shedding caused by these other factors. Owners can significantly reduce the shedding of their Persian cats by understanding the causes and remedies of those problems.
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When Do Persian Cats Shed?
Persian cats shed all the time, but they also shed almost all their hair twice a year – in late spring and late fall. Persians have two layers of hair, the hair we see in the outer coat and then a shorter layer more like fur close to the body. In the spring, Persian cats shed their winter coat, while in the fall, they shed their spring coat to get ready for a heavy winter coat.
This seems to be nature’s way of taking care of so much hair on one cat. While a Persian cat is pretty adept at cleaning himself, it cannot clean the inner layer of fur very well. This shedding is natural, and there is nothing that an owner can do to prevent this. Stray cat hair is the price to pay for having a beautiful pet.
Learn if Persian cats have hair or fur in my article answering this confusing question: Click Here.
The Causes of Excessive Shedding in Cats
There are some common issues that are known to cause excessive shedding in Persian cats. Knowing these common issues allows owners to take the best care possible of their Persians while avoiding unnecessary shedding problems.
|Not grooming well, matted hair, lack of bathing
|Food with minimal nutrients
|Fleas, Lice, and Ticks
|Cats will scratch at parasites like fleas, lice, and ticks
|Just like in humans, stress can affect felines
|Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy
Check out my article on the nine reasons for Persian cat hair loss to learn some interesting information: Click Here.
Poor grooming increases shedding. Persians are cold-weather cats, with the inner layer of fur providing warmth against the cold. Brushing is most important during the two times a year when your cat will lose almost all its hair. But brushing should be done regularly, even daily. The brushing needs to reach into the fur layer to prevent tangling.
Tangling results in matting, and matted hair results in pelting of the hair and even pulling the hair out of the skin. Regular brushing will reduce shedding or at least keep most of the hair in one place – the brush or comb.
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A lack of bathing causes excess shedding. A cat secretes oil that attracts dirt. The hair is long, so it keeps in the dirt. If you do not bathe your cat at least monthly, the hair and fur become matted, even with regular brushing. Matting of dirty, oily hair causes the cat to shed more rapidly.
While saving some money, low-quality cat food does not provide your cat the nutrients it needs. Good nutrition is essential to a beautiful coat. For a quality coat, Persian cats, much like humans, need specific nutrients. For instance, Persians need an omega-enriched food with amino acids.
While good quality packaged cat food is beneficial for Persian cats, pets.webmd.com suggests making your own cat food. Cats are predators, meat-eaters. Making your own food provides them with the raw food they need. In addition to good food, be sure that your cat has plenty of water available all the time.
Do Persian cats drink water? Find out more about this in my article answering this critical question: Click Here.
Fleas, Lice, and Ticks
Fleas, lice, and ticks can increase hair loss. Like we scratch a mosquito bite, a cat will scratch at fleas, lice, and ticks. Constant scratching damages the skin and the hair roots, increasing hair loss.
Regular bathing helps, but when you are brushing your cat, watch for little critters that should be eliminated. A flea and tick collar will be useful as well, mostly if your cat spends time outside.
Stress causes hair loss. Do cats have stress? Yes, they do. Changes in diet, house residents, or routine bring stress to Persians. One immediate sign of stress in a cat is trembling. A longer-term sign of stress is hair loss. Maintain a consistent diet.
Limit your cat to individual rooms in the house, so there is less opportunity for change. Be sure your cat has a place to hide that is exclusively his, a place he can go where nobody will bother him. And play with your cat.
Just as recreation helps relieve stress in humans, so recreation relieves stress with cats. Buy toys that your cat can play with regularly, with or without its owner. It is a good idea to purchase one or two mechanical toys that will keep your cat entertained for hours.
Sometimes Persian cats can get lonely; check out my article to learn more about how long you can leave a Persian cat alone: Click Here.
One final cause of abnormal hair loss is pregnancy. If your cat is expecting, her hormones will change. That will cause hair loss. There is nothing an owner can do to prevent this hair loss, but it is temporary. When she has her kittens, her hair will quickly return to normal.
To learn more about Persian cats and mating, check out my article explaining more on this subject: Click Here.
Can I Cut My Persian Cat’s Hair?
There are two basic approaches to Persian cats and haircuts. Some who do not like to deal with long hair or who like the look of shorter hair will give their cats the “Lion” cut to reduce shedding. The hair on the body is cut short, while the hair on the bottom of the legs, the tip of the tail, and the head are left long.
The result is the look of a small lion. Others prefer a simple shortcut, leaving about ½ to 1 inch of hair. Sometimes owners cut their cat’s hair short in the summer, especially if they are in a hot climate, but let it grow in the winter. If you want to try cutting your own cat’s hair, check for some helpful hints.
Most people who own Persian cats do not cut the cat’s hair. A Persian cat is supposed to look like a fluff ball. There are short-haired cats (and even a short-haired Persian breed, as well as Persian-mixed breeds), so if you want a short-haired cat, get one.
Many suggest that there is one area of hair that should be cut routinely – the area around the anus. The cat can only clean this area by licking (and then lick your face? – gross!).
People who cut their Persian cat’s hair probably also wonder about cleaning their eyes. Read my article on how to clean Persian cat eyes to learn more: Click Here.
Should I Groom My Cat Myself?
Regular professional grooming can get expensive for owners of Persian cats. If you use a professional groomer, you should take your cat to her at least once a month for a bath, a good brushing, and an examination for fleas, ticks, and lice. The groomer can also trim your cat’s hair and should always trim around the anus.
Most owners can do most grooming themselves: brushing, examination, and trimming their hair. Bathing your cat, however, is an entirely different story. Cats generally do not like water.
If you start bathing your kitten regularly, it will get used to it. But if you wait for several months before you begin giving your cat a bath, you will quickly discover you made a mistake! Petfirst.com gives some great instructions for bathing your cat on your own. You and a spouse or friend should be able to handle a little cat, however.
Persian cats are beautiful creatures. They will provide years of delightful companionship for you. In return, take good care of your friend.
Persian cats have a lot of fur, and that fur can shed. Sometimes, that fur sheds excessively. There are a whole lot of potential reasons out there for excessive shedding in your Persian cat. If you are worried, it is probably best to get your veterinarian to check your Persian cat out and make sure it is healthy.
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