If you are new to having a pet cat and you live in temperate regions where seasons change often, you may notice some cat hair all over your sofa or even your clothes. This may leave you wondering why your cat’s hair or fur is falling. Is your cat suffering from hair loss? Do you need to buy your feline friend a man-made cat coat?
Now, if you’ve asked the same question, you’re on the right page. Below, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about cat coat change, and we’re also going to tell you whether or not your cat needs a man-made cat coat. Just read on!
In this part, we are going to tell you important things you need to know about your cat’s coat.
What Is a Cat Coat
The cat coat is the natural hair that covers a cat’s body. It’s best known as fur. However, it may not apply to hairless breeds of cats like the sphinx. Regardless of color and pattern, the coat is important in protecting them from wind, cold, heat, rain, and other elements. You can think about it as their natural clothing.
Now, a cat coat is also referred to as man-made clothing or costume for cats. So, the term can be interchangeable depending on the usage. However, it can still be confusing for some.
Why and When Does Cat Coat Change Occur
Hairy cats change their coats according to the environmental conditions around them. This is to maintain a normal temperature and for survival. It’s how they adapt. Typically, the normal temperature for them ranges from 38.1°C to 39.2°C. Above and below that could mean trouble for any cat.
Somehow, our feline friends can detect whenever seasons change. When they know that winter is about to come, they’d start to shed their thin fur and change it to a thicker one. This happens gradually; that’s why you only see bits of hair wherever your cat goes.
When the season’s about to get hotter, they will replace their thick coat with a thinner one, and the cycle goes on and on. The coat change usually happens twice a year– typically between summer and winter. However, certain factors affect outdoor and indoor cats differently
On the other hand, non-hairy breeds rely on their fast metabolism to maintain a normal temperature. That’s why they need to eat more often to keep the “engine” working. But still, there are times when food is not enough to keep them warm. If that’s the case, a man-made cat coat can help.
You shouldn’t let your guard down. Sometimes, a cat’s coat may change unnaturally due to sickness or diseases. If you are unsure, you better have your cat checked by a professional.
How to Know if there’s Something Wrong with Your Cat’s Coat Change
Cat coat change is normal, and you usually don’t have to worry about it. More often than not, cat coat change is not a sign of a serious issue, However, there are rare instances when the shedding of fur is excessive. The coat changing should be gradual, if not, it should be a cause for concern.
You’d know it when some spots on your cat’s coat show signs of balding due to ringworms. Sometimes, it’s even accompanied by feline scabies, a skin infestation caused by a parasite that can live in the skin. It typically appears as a yellow-grayish crust on the surface and is really itchy, forcing your cat to scratch and making the infection worse.
When such a thing happens to your beloved cat, you better visit a vet ASAP before it causes irreversible damage. Do not treat your cat yourself, unless you’re an expert in treating cat issues.
Part 2: Things to Do During Cat Coat Change
There are two main things you can do during a cat coat change. You need to help your cat go through the process as comfortably as possible, and you have to figure out a way to deal with the hair issue.
Ways to Help Your Cat During Cat Coat Change
Grooming and Brushing
If your cat has long fur that’s tangled, you may cut it gently using a scissor. Just make sure that you don’t startle your cat to avoid accidents. However, if the cat coat is not tangled, using a cat brush is enough. Since the coat is shedding naturally, you only need to brush excess dead hair to prevent accumulation. The last thing you’d want is for your cat to ingest hair accidentally.
Feeding the Right Food
It may not seem like it, but your cat is probably going to be exhausted during the cat coat change. It takes a toll on our feline friends. That’s why, as a responsible cat owner, you must feed your cat on time and with food that can give enough energy to help your pet get through the whole process.
We recommend that you focus on food that has:
Omega-3 – fish meat, salmon skin, mackerel. tuna, and sardines.
Omega-6 – chicken, pork, and beef (only a little amount)
Vitamin B – animal kidney/liver, chicken meat, pork, turkey, salmon, and eggs
Aside from that, there are also formulated cat food that helps in cat coat change; you can buy them in most pet shops.
In case your cat happens to ingest some hair, you may want to add some oil to the food. Why? It can help your cat vomit or cough up the accumulated hair. But don’t just use any oil. We recommend half a teaspoon of olive, linseed, or fish oil. Besides oils, catnip, mint, and basil can help as well.
Getting Your Cat to Drink Water
For us humans, water is indispensable. We can’t live a healthy life without drinking water. That goes the same for pets like cats. Drinking water is good for your cat’s coat. Not to mention, it can keep your cat hydrated and healthy. However, our feline friends are known to be not so fond of drinking water. They are desert animals by nature and instinct.
So, it can be pretty challenging. But you can still encourage drinking water by always refilling their water bowl with clean water. We recommend that you place it near where your cat usually hangs out. You wouldn’t want to know how long a cat can last without water personally, right?
Ways to Get Rid of Cat Hair in the House
Using A Lint Remover
Hair can get stuck into the fabric of your clothing, bedding, and furniture, and it’s annoying to remove each strand one by one. You can solve that with a lint remover. It’s a roller that has an adhesive, which is perfect for sweeping surfaces off cat hair. You can buy it online or at any department store near you.
Regular Vacuum Cleaning
Well, to avoid the accumulation of hair in the house, it would be better to regularly put your vacuum cleaner to work regularly. That way, you can reduce the hair strands that could get stuck to your furniture, clothing, etc.
Well, if you don’t have a vacuum cleaner to remove hair from furniture, you may use wet towels for wiping. This is perfect for solid surfaces such as tables, chairs, etc. that your cat likes sitting on. Not only are you getting rid of hair strands, but you’re also removing dirt and dust.
Using Extra Blankets
You may need to do this if your cat hangs out on your sofa and bed. Just put extra sheets and blankets above them. This way, all the hair will stick to the cover, not your furniture.
Creating a Spot for Your Cat
To avoid having your cat roam around and leave traces of hair, you can arrange a specific spot in the house where your pet can stay during the coat change. Preferably, choose an area that’s in the corner. Cats love places where they can easily curl and feel the corners against their body. It gives them comfort.
You can make your cat’s hideout much more comfortable with soft foams and blankets. And if possible, we recommend that you put the litter box near the spot but not too close. You may also deliver your cat’s food there so your furry friend won’t have to leave for a meal.
Bonus: Does Your Cat Need A Man-Made Cat Coat
Since hairy and hairless cats have a way to maintain their temperature, it’s highly unlikely they would need man-made cat coats. However, there are a few situations that may require you to get one for your beloved cat.
Your feline friend may have undergone surgery and there are stitches that need extra cover.
You may also need to dress up your cat for a photo shoot or contest.
Your cat is prone to getting anxious whenever s/he is scared of vet visits, separated from you, or hears disturbing sounds (thunder, fireworks, etc.).
If that’s the case, we have a few man-made cat coat suggestions for you:
If you want your pet cat to be fashionable wearing a man-made coat, you can’t go wrong with this cat coat by QWINEE. It’s using tie dye design that mixes two or more colors to produce a bright and attractive vibe. Such a coat will surely make your cat stand out from other cats.
Aside from the design, you’d be happy to know that this cat coat is made of breathable polyester fabric, which provides enough airflow and comfort. Also, it’s really easy to put on and take off your cat, thanks to the three buttons on the front.
Overall, this man-made cat coat is really stylish. It’s perfect for photo shoots and even your cat’s birthday. The material and the construction feel durable as well. Surely, your cat can wear it for many months or years.
2. Best for Hairless Cats – SUNFURA Turtleneck Sweater Coat for Cat
Hairless cats may be able to keep themselves warm during cold times by eating more often, but sometimes it’s not enough. There may be instances where you forget to feed your cat twice or thrice during winter. So, we looked for a sweater that can deliver adequate warmth to hairless cat breeds.
This one by SUNFURA is made of a fabric called fleece, which is a material similar to sheep’s wool. This means that it can provide adequate insulation and should keep the cat warm. It’s like your cat has a natural cat coat.
Apart from that, this coat has a turtleneck design and it completely covers the neck area, and the sleeves are long enough, too. Indeed, it’s a perfect gift for your hairless cat during winter. And one thing we really liked about this sweater is that it fits and sticks to your cat’s body shape. It would feel like they’re not wearing anything at all.
As for the design, it may be plain and simple, but the color options are pretty solid. So, this coat is still good for taking pictures and pet parties. Not to mention, the colors are bright, making your pet stand out in darker areas.
3. Best for Anxious Cats – ThunderShirt Classic Cat Anxiety Jacket
Cats may be known for their independence and bravery, but some do experience fear and anxiety from time to time. This can be quite a challenge for any cat owner. That’s why we also picked a cat coat that can help ease such an issue. This jacket from Thundershirt can provide gentle and reassuring pressure to your cat’s body when worn. It has a calming effect to it, effectively reducing your cat’s meowing and aggressive movements.
This is a perfect jacket for cats that are afraid of storms, fireworks, heavy rains, etc.
Durability-wise, this cat coat/vest is made of three sturdy materials: Spandex, Polyester, and Rayon. That’s why it’s also okay to machine wash it without worries of damage. In fact, many faithful users have confirmed that the coat can even outlive the cat using it. That’s how durable it is.
All things considered, we really like this vest. The benefits it gives, plus the vet recommendations, make this jacket worth the price. It may be sitting around 41 bucks, but it can last longer than most man-made cat coats you can find. You can actually save more in the long run if you think about it.
Cat coat change is our feline friends’ way of keeping their normal temperature through winter and summer. And for the most part, it’s normal and should not be a cause for concern. The things you need to pay attention to are how you can help cat coat change easier for your cat and what you need to do to deal with the falling hair around the house.
However, they may be occasions when you need to rely on a man-made cat coat to attend to your cat’s needs.