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Is It Normal for My Pet to Shed So Much?

Updated May 16, 2024
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If the idea of countless balls of fur drifting across your wood floors bothers you, then you probably aren’t a good candidate to own a cat or dog. Nearly all pets shed, and they may shed heavily at least twice a year. In most cases, cats and dogs shed in the fall in preparation for growing winter coats. In the spring, they shed those winter wraps to get ready for warmer temperatures.

In addition to temperature regulation, the shedding process gets rid of dead hair, stimulates blood circulation, and releases natural oils in the skin. Some breeds shed more than others. Maine Coons, Persians, and Ragdoll cats are known to shed a lot, while Siberian, Bengal, and Siamese shed the least. Labs, Newfoundlands, and Pekingese dogs are major shedders, while dachshunds, poodles, and schnauzers leave behind the least amount of fur.

Pet hair everywhere:

  • Cats and dogs have three types of fur: primary hairs that are long and coarse, secondary hairs that are soft and fluffy, and tactile hairs, which include whiskers. Regular brushing can reduce the mess.

  • Shedding cycles can vary depending on how much time a pet spends inside or outside. Pets confined inside and exposed to air conditioning and artificial light may shed throughout the year.

  • Pets can become stressed at the vet’s office and shed profusely. Other causes of shedding include parasites (such as fleas and mites), endocrine diseases (such as diabetes and thyroid disorders), poor nutrition, and excessive grooming.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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