Q: Why does my cat shed so much?

June 27, 2010 | By Mary T. | 1 answer | Expired: 2037 days ago

Mary T.

Why does my cat shed so much hair all over everything?

Chosen Answer

Your cat sheds a lot because he has a lot of hair to begin with — and more growing all the time — something to think about while giving that daily brushing.

There’s plenty of hair to spare (and shed) because the typical cat has about 130,000 individual hairs per square inch of body surface. And they grow about ¼ inch a month, depending on the type of hair. There are the so-called guard or primary hairs, each growing from an individual follicle. Clustered around each primary hair are even more, secondary hairs of two types: the thicker, bristle-tipped “awn” hairs and the fine, woolly “down” hairs.

Secretions from sebaceous glands amongst the follicles give the hairs a “sebum” coating (for water repellency, among other things) and some cholesterol (the good kind, for cats) that converts sunlight to Vitamin D — right there in the fur. When your cat grooms himself he gets vitamins without having to pop a pill.

Something to think about while brushing.

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