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If you have a cat, you’re probably used to finding cat hair just about everywhere. Shedding is normal for cats, but how much is too much?
Some cats simply shed more than others but, in some cases, excessive shedding could be a sign of illness. Keep reading to learn more about excessive shedding in cats and how to resolve it with dietary changes.
Things to Know About Shedding in Cats
Most cats shed year-round, but some cats shed more during certain seasons. For example, many cats shed more heavily in the spring to prepare for summer. If you notice an increase in shedding, ask yourself whether it may be tied to a change in seasons. If not, consider talking to your veterinarian.
Excessive shedding in cats can be caused by a number of things including low-quality food, stress, age, and certain health problems.
Stress caused by a change in the cat’s routine or environment can trigger hair loss, and many cats experience an increase in shedding as they age. Certain health problems that may increase shedding include allergies, parasites, hormonal imbalance, and infections.
On top of these causes, poor diet is frequently a contributing factor for excessive shedding. Your cat requires a balance of specific nutrients for optimal health, so a low-quality diet could lead to poor coat quality and excessive shedding. Your cat’s food also needs to be highly digestible and rich in omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat support.
A Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: NomNomNow Flavorful Fish Feast
- Best Wet Cat Food for Shedding: Hound & Gatos Salmon Formula Grain-Free Canned Food
- Best Dry Cat Food for Shedding: I and Love and You Lovingly Simple LID Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Food
- Best Affordable Grain-Free Cat Food for Shedding: Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Salmon Recipe Wet Food
- Best Cat Food for Hairball Control and Allergies: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Indoor Hairball Control Dry Food
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Tips for Reducing Shedding in Cats
If you notice that your cat is shedding more than usual, your first step should be to consult your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to determine whether your cat’s increase in shedding is due to an underlying health problem and if so, will tell you how to treat.
Aside from treating underlying health problems, here are some tips for reducing shedding in cats:
- Make sure your cat is protected against external parasites by using a topical flea and tick preventive or a flea collar.
- Brush your cat’s coat on a regular basis to distribute the natural oils produced in its skin and to remove excess hair before it can be shed.
- Consider bathing your cat occasionally, especially if it suffers from skin problems – look for a medicated shampoo designed to treat your cat’s specific issue.
- Increase the moisture content of your cat’s diet to improve hydration – try getting a cat fountain to encourage your cat to drink or add some wet food or broth to its diet.
- Supplement your cat’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids with fish oil supplements or switch to a cat food naturally rich in essential fats.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to deal with your cat’s excessive shedding, you’re ready to start shopping for new and better cat food! Keep reading to learn what to look for when shopping for cat food to reduce shedding.
How to Choose the Best Cat Food for Shedding
All cats have the same basic nutritional requirements when it comes to key nutrients like protein and fat.
Your cat needs a minimum of 26% protein and 9% fat in its diet, though more protein is always better and higher fat content equates to higher calorie content, which is important for kittens and active cats. Your cat also needs certain vitamins and minerals to ensure nutritional balance.
The best cat food for shedding will meet these nutritional needs while also helping to reduce shedding.
Here are some things to look for in the best food for shedding:
- Rich in animal protein. Cats are obligate carnivores, so meat should be the foundation of your cat’s diet. Animal proteins like meat, poultry, and fish are the most nutritionally valuable for your cat and should make up at least 26% but ideally 30% or more of its diet.
- Plenty of omega fatty acids. Healthy fats provide your cat with a concentrated source of energy as well as support for healthy skin and coat. Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial.
- Limited number of ingredients. Food allergies are a common cause of skin and coat issues in cats, so you may want to consider a limited ingredient diet to reduce the risk of food allergies.
- Highly digestible. The digestibility of your cat’s diet affects its ability to absorb nutrients, so look for a cat food made with high-quality, natural ingredients to ensure optimal digestion.
- Complete and nutritionally balanced. Most commercial cat foods are nutritionally complete, but it never hurts to check. Look for vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure balance.
Also Read: The 5 Best Cat Foods for Senior Cats
Now that you have a better understanding of your cat’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for a new cat food. If you still aren’t quite sure where to start your search, keep reading to see our top picks for the best cat food for shedding.
Our Top 5 Best Rated Cat Foods for Shedding Reviewed
Your cat’s nutrition should always be a top priority, but as long as its nutritional needs are met, you have the freedom to choose whatever cat food you like. If your cat sheds excessively, you might consider switching to a cat food designed to reduce shedding.
Here are our top picks for the best cat food for shedding:
If you want to provide your cat with a highly nutritious diet, fresh food is the way to go. Fresh pet food retains more nutritional quality than dry food cooked at high temperatures and it is higher in moisture as well.
NomNomNow is a great option for fresh cat food and for shedding because it is made from wholesome, natural ingredients including premium animal proteins and fresh vegetables.
This NomNomNow Flavorful Fish Feast recipe features fresh tilapia and salmon as the top two ingredients with real vegetables for carbohydrate energy, fiber, and essential nutrients.
Because fish is the main ingredient, this recipe is naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids which is essential for skin and coat support, helping to reduce your cat’s excessive shedding.
Wet food is typically higher in protein and moisture than dry food, making it an excellent option to reduce your cat’s excessive shedding.
This Hound & Gatos Salmon Formula Grain-Free Canned Food is one of our top picks because it features real salmon as the main ingredient, making it a rich source of protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
This formula contains no carbohydrate ingredients but does contain supplemental fiber to ensure healthy digestion. It is supplemented with vitamins and chelated minerals as well to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
For cats that suffer from food allergies, a limited ingredient diet made with a novel source of protein may be the way to go. This I and Love and You Lovingly Simple LID Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Food is a great choice because it is designed for simplicity and digestibility.
It features fresh salmon as the main ingredient, a rich source of animal protein and omega-3 fatty acids. This recipe contains digestible grain-free carbohydrates like peas and sweet potatoes as well as supplemental fiber to ensure healthy digestion.
Overall, it is a nutritious source of protein and healthy fats to reduce your cat’s shedding.
Another excellent option in wet cat food to reduce shedding, this Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Salmon Recipe is packed with premium animal protein and healthy fats.
It features 95% salmon and pork liver with 5% fruits, vegetables, and supplements. Salmon is a rich source of protein and a natural source of skin- and coat-supporting omega-3 fatty acids.
This recipe contains fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key vitamins and minerals as well as supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. It is also loaded with moisture and natural flavor.
This Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Indoor Hairball Control Dry Food is uniquely formulated for indoor cats to support healthy skin and coat.
It features lean chicken as the first ingredient and a rich source of protein with menhaden fish meal as a source of omega-3 fatty acids.
This recipe contains digestible grain-free carbohydrates like tapioca and peas, as well as supplemental fiber and probiotics to support your cat’s digestion.
It also contains fresh fruits and vegetables which provide natural sources of key vitamins and minerals, balanced with supplements as needed.
You can’t stop your cat from shedding, but if your cat is shedding more than normal, you can talk to your veterinarian to identify the underlying cause.
Once you know what’s causing your cat’s excessive shedding, you can take steps to remedy the problem – changing your cat’s diet might be one of those steps. A high-quality, easily digestible diet is the key to optimal health and reduced shedding.
Now that you understand your cat’s excessive shedding issues and how to resolve them through diet, you’re ready to start shopping! If you’re still not quite sure where to look, try one of our top-rated picks for the best cat food for shedding reviewed above.