June 15, 2010 "Ask Seth"
My 7-month old cat, a mix of tiger and Siamese, sheds terribly. Is there some food or vitamin supplement that helps control this?
I have a 7-month old cat that sheds terribly. He is not anything special, only to us. Sam is part tiger and part Siamese, with seal-point coloring and blue eyes, mitten pawed with tiger feet and very light striping. Does his background have anything to do with his shedding? He is very soft and keeps himself very clean. I would like to know if there is a food or vitamin supplement or something I can give him to prevent this heavy shedding.
Mary (Susie) Durham
Many things can cause shedding in cats, including stress, breed, dry skin, illness and seasonal shedding. Stress causes excess shedding in cats but usually subsides when the cat calms down. Some cat breeds are considered known shedders. Long-haired cats don’t shed more; their hair is simply more noticeable. Dry skin can cause a cat to have increased shedding. Diet also has an effect on dry skin.
Cats that are fed a nutrient lacking diet will have more skin and shedding problems. Hyperthyroidism and other illnesses can also cause excess shedding. Your cat is too young to be in this category at this time for this disease, but will become a differential diagnosis when the cat becomes 4-6 years of age and shedding gets worse or he experiences weight loss.
Seasonal changes are also normal for cats to exhibit increased shedding. This is completely normal, yet can be managed by daily brushing. Daily brushing helps prevent hairballs which are more common during the shedding season. Use of a deshedding tool when brushing your cat, will also help with the excess hair. Cats should be fed a premium food. Vitamin supplements formulated for skin and fur health contain essential fatty acids can be given resulting in less shedding. If these do not work, speak with your veterinarian about other available options.
Seth Mayersohn, CVT