Feline Hair Loss Prevention through Diet

Feline hair loss occurs in a large number of cats each year. While a certain degree of hair loss is to be expected through natural shedding, as your cat changes between a lighter summer coat and a heavier winter coat, excessive thinning or loss of fur can signal a health concern of some kind. The first step toward addressing your pet's hair loss is to properly chart his symptoms. Using that information, you and your veterinarian can make an educated diagnosis and begin to treat the problem at its source. As with other symptoms that may indicate a variety of conditions, it is crucial that you act promptly to ensure that your pet maintains his health.

One of the most common causes of feline hair loss is malnutrition. Even domesticated house cats may lack certain necessary ingredients and minerals. Recognizing your cat's dietary needs and providing him with a high-quality, balanced food source can help to significantly reduce the chances that he will experience excessive hair loss.

Qualities of a Superb Feline Diet

Cats in the wild are exclusively carnivorous animals. As natural predators, cats catch and eat a variety of smaller animals, including fish, rodents and other creatures. Your pet's diet should closely approximate the diet that a cat might expect to find in the wild. Specifically, your cat requires a majority of his diet to consist of proteins. Studies have shown that fish- and poultry-based proteins offer the widest and most complete selection of feline nutrients, as these meats signify a closer representation of a cat's diet in the wild.

When addressing your pet's diet with hair loss prevention in mind, look for high quality brands of cat food like Natural Balance, Science Diet or Innova. These brands are superior to others because they provide a large volume of protein-based nutrition, all of which is derived from meat sources. Wheat and gluten proteins are not as good as meat proteins, and may actually contribute to feline hair loss, rather than prevent it.

There is no significant difference between dry food and canned food when it comes to hair loss prevention and management. Both types of cat food vary depending upon the brand, and it's possible to find high quality examples of either type. The most important consideration when selecting a cat food is your cat's preferences and tastes. Cats are picky eaters, and many felines will refuse to eat or will not eat sufficiently if they don't like their food. Because this can also contribute to malnutrition and, subsequently, hair loss, choosing a food that your pet likes is just as important as picking a food that's high in quality.

Many brands of cat food offer specially formulated mixes that encourage coat sheen, color or thickness. A diet that meets all of your pet's dietary requirements should be enough to keep his fur healthy and full. Still, you may find that these other brands of cat foods help to boost your pet's coat quality, provided that they also contain a sufficient balance of nutrients.

As with all dietary modifications, it's important to consult with a veterinarian if your pet experiences any side effects or unusual reactions to his new food.