Cat Fur Maintenance

Cat fur serves as a protective covering to the body from the environment and harsh climatic conditions. A change in cat fur such as hair loss or hair fall is often a symptom of an underlying condition like dermatitis. In order to protect the fur, pet owners should follow simple grooming techniques that help maintain a healthy coat. Severe coat conditions that lead to partial or complete alopecia should be examined by the vet in order to treat skin conditions with medication.

Types of Cat Fur Include:

  • Guard hair
  • Awn hair
  • Down hair
  • Whiskers

Function of Feline Fur

Each type of cat hair performs different functions such as protecting the body from heat or cold or dust. The outermost hair also reveals individual cat colors. Lighter colored cat fur and thin fur makes the pet more susceptible to skin cancer. Although fur shedding is also common in certain seasons, pet owners should monitor unusual hair loss accompanied with skin inflammation or skin lesions.

Cat Fur Care

Cat fur should be groomed regularly to prevent hair matting and reduce the occurrence of cat hairballs. During the routine grooming procedure, it's important to check the pet's skin for redness, inflammation or bumps. Longer haired pets may require more frequent brushing in order to prevent the cat from excessive self-licking. A wide-toothed comb is better for long haired cats as it penetrates deeper into the fur. Flea combs are also beneficial as they remove flea dirt which is a strong indicator of flea infections. Matted hair shouldn't be cut out. Instead, it should be gently loosened with a comb.

Cat Bath to Maintain Fur

Although cats don't need to be bathed as often as dog's, it's best to bathe the cat from an early age in order to keep the coat free from deposits and prevent skin conditions. Cats should be bathed with a gentle shampoo unless otherwise directed by the vet. The bath should be quick and pets may be brushed once they are dry.

Nutrition for Healthy Cat Fur

In addition to keeping the fur clean and well groomed, it's important to feed the cat, a diet that's rich in vitamins and minerals. The vet may also prescribe supplements that will help to maintain healthy skin and coat. Vitamins A, E, C and B are beneficial to the cat as it helps improve their metabolism and skin condition.

Commercially available supplements for cat coats include:

  • Brite coast XS for cats
  • Upper joint omega for cats
  • Lipiderm for cats
  • Super pure omega 3

Preventing Cat Fur Problems

In order to protect the cat's healthy coat, pet owners should vacuum the home and disinfect the surroundings. Since flea eggs and larvae thrive in the environment, it's necessary to steam clean carpets and wash pet bedding to kill flea larvae and prevent dermatitis in cats. Cats that suffer from frequent hairballs should also be helped with regular grooming to minimize the intake of loose or dead fur. Although cat fur doesn't require trimming, cats that require a trim should be professionally groomed to avoid damage or cuts to their skin.

Skin conditions or skin lesions should be diagnosed and treated promptly to prevent hair loss. Pets suffering from hair loss should also be protected from external sun rays to prevent cat skin cancer.