Are there ways to prevent my animal from shedding so much? If not, can I curb it?
Shedding is the normal process of hairs being replaced by new ones.
There are a number of factors that can influence the rate of shedding, including hormonal issues (for example, the thyroid gland) as well as diet and immune system (i.e. allergies).
Sometimes these systems can be unregulated.
However, owning pets means that we have to deal with a certain amount of hair.
Assuming there is no medical problem leading to increased hair loss, the best thing we can do is manage the coat.
Grooming on a regular basis can help a lot, particularly the undercoat.
There is a tool that has been used with success by some of our clients called the ‘furminator.’
How often should a cat be professionally groomed, if at all?
Most cats do not need grooming, as they enjoy grooming themselves.
Some long-haired cats can get their fur matted, and can benefit from a regular brushing (which most of them enjoy).
As cats get older they can become arthritic, and have a harder time getting to their back end to groom it, particularly if they are overweight.
If the mats become excessive, they need to be removed; preferably professionally as we do see grooming mistakes from time to time where their skin is cut by accident.
Grass Valley Veterinary Hospital’s Mace Dekker, DVM, will answer questions regarding pets each month in the Vet Tips. Have a question? Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org, attention Dr. Dekker.