Do British Shorthair Cats Shed A Lot? Understanding Cats Grooming Needs

Do British Shorthair Cats Shed A Lot

Before actually finding and adopting a kitten I’ve spent countless hours doing research about my future British shorthair cat. Tidiness is very important to me, so there should be no surprise that this was one of my questions.

Do British Shorthair cats shed a lot? No, British Shorthairs shed very little when compared with other healthy indoor cats of this size. British Shorthair’s coat does not have an undercoat which makes the texture very pushy and reduces shedding significantly.

So we know that British Shorthairs will shed a little, and this is natural, but what to do to minimize this, or at least the visual effect of it? Let’s start from the beginning…

Why do British Shorthair cats shed fur?

Your cat’s fur will follow the seasonality of nature (even if kept indoors only). He will develop a much thicker coat during the winter months and lose a bit of it during the warmer months and summer. This is a natural mechanism that for the outdoor cats can make all the difference between dying and staying alive.

Why do British Shorthair cats shed fur

Based on the above and because Frank (my British Shorthair) is spending the majority of the time indoors; I will be able to control (reduce) shedding by the thermostat. WRONG – British Shorthair and any cat for that matter will develop his fur based on the amount of daylight available, not the temperature! So, when at the beginning of autumn the amount of daylight is lower and lower, my Frank will grow his fur thicker and thicker, then is spring, the whole process will reverse.

Because British Shorthair is predominantly an indoor cat, exposed quite a lot to artificial light, this process will be less drastic, and he will shed evenly throughout the year. If you want to find out if a British Shorthair is suitable as an indoor cat check this article: Are British Shorthairs Good Indoor Cats?

Do the Shedding of British Shorthair Cats Contribute to Allergies in Babies?

British shorthair cat allergies in babies can occur due to their shedding. Shedding is a natural process where cats release hair, and unfortunately, the allergens present in their fur can trigger allergies in some infants. To prevent this, it is recommended to minimize the contact between the cat and the baby, keep the living area clean, and consider alternative hypoallergenic cat breeds.

There are 5 steps that you can take today and reduce shedding:

Make sure it’s not a health-related issue.

As a good cat owner, you should visit the vet regularly, and this would be a great time to make sure that your British Shorthair is healthy and excessive shedding is not caused by any health issues. You can also look for any dry or bald patches in the fur, these are usually caused by parasites, allergies, dermatitis, or stress-related over-grooming. If that’s the case, you should take your cat to the vet immediately and start the treatment; otherwise, you are seriously risking the health of your cat – skin diseases will worsen quickly, so every day counts.

Follow the right diet

The coat of your furry friend is an accurate reflection of his diet. So what he eats (or doesn’t) will definitely impact the shedding process. Make sure that you feed him only a quality food that is rich in both: Omega 3 and Omega 6. Lack of these fatty acids can cause hair loss, dry coat, or even skin infections. Luckily once you start a healthy diet, the problems should go away quite quickly. If you still notice excessive shedding even after improving nutrition, I would suggest visiting your vet.

Cats Contribute to Allergies

Unfortunately, the quality of the cat food will be usually reflected in the price so you can expect better food to be more expensive. You can try to home cook, but from experience, I can say that this is actually more difficult than it sounds (at least for me)… You would have to follow very strict recipes to make sure that you will provide your cat with all the necessary nutrition, I would suggest this option only for those who can cook, and have time to do so. Me… I will stick with ready-to-eat quality food that can be delivered directly to my door:)

Also, pay attention to the ratio of dry /wet food as the quality of the fur will be closely related to hydration (wet food contains about 9 times more water than dry food).

Weekly brushing and grooming

Start brushing your British Shorthair every week and after a while, you will notice that with each brushing there is less and less hair. This process will help your cat to get rid of the dead hair regularly. To help you (or rather the cat) even more, I would suggest using the following tools at least once a week:

  • Mat removing tools – you can remove any tangled hair without irritating the skin.
  • Slicker brushes – will help you to add some shine and remove any mat residue.
  • Desheding tools – remove dead hair.

Bath (only for the brave) or day-to-day wipe

In the ideal world, you would like to bath your cat once a month – this would allow you to remove any dirt or dead hair. However, we all know how British Shorthair “love” the water and bathing. This is Frank after his bath – not a happy bunny! In this case, you can use special (cat-friendly) wipe towels – this will make the whole experience much less stressful for the cat and definitely less messy for you. However, if you are thinking of bath (you are so brave:), please remember to keep your British Shorthair indoors for at least 4-6 hours after the shower. Any sudden change in the temperature, while the fur is still wet can really affect the health of your cat… Better safe than sorry I say.

Environmental Factors Affecting British Shorthair Shedding

Impact of Living Environment on Shedding Patterns

The living environment plays a crucial role in the shedding patterns of British Shorthair cats. Factors such as humidity, temperature, and exposure to natural light can influence the rate and amount of shedding. In households with controlled climates, these cats may experience less seasonal variation in shedding. However, households with fluctuating temperatures or humidity levels might notice a change in their British Shorthair’s shedding patterns. Understanding these environmental influences can help cat owners create a more stable environment, potentially reducing shedding.

Interaction with Other Household Pets and Its Effect on Shedding

British Shorthairs living in multi-pet households may experience different shedding patterns compared to those in single-pet homes. The presence of other animals can create a dynamic environment, potentially leading to stress or increased activity, which in turn can affect shedding. For instance, playful interactions or territorial behaviors with other pets could lead to increased grooming or stress-related shedding. Cat owners should consider these dynamics when assessing their British Shorthair’s shedding and overall well-being.

Long-term Health Implications of Shedding in British Shorthairs

Shedding as an Indicator of Health Issues

While shedding is a natural process, significant changes in a British Shorthair’s shedding pattern can be an early indicator of health issues. A sudden increase in shedding, patchy hair loss, or changes in the texture of the fur could signal underlying problems such as nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, or skin conditions. Regular monitoring of a cat’s shedding pattern can aid in the early detection of these health issues, allowing for timely veterinary intervention and better management of the cat’s overall health.

Managing Shedding to Prevent Health Complications

Effective management of shedding in British Shorthairs is not only about maintaining a clean home but also about preventing potential health complications in both the cat and its human companions. Excessive fur in the environment can lead to respiratory issues or allergies in sensitive individuals. For the cat, improper grooming or lack of regular brushing can result in matting, skin irritation, or ingestion of excess hair leading to hairballs. Hence, a proactive approach to managing shedding, including regular grooming and maintaining a clean living space, is essential for the long-term health and well-being of both the cat and its owners.

How to keep it clean

We have now established that British Shorthair cats will shed, still less than other breeds but they will. Despite your best efforts, great diet, and exciting baths, you will still have to deal with the cat hair in your home. There is no point in overcomplicating this as you can get rid of the hair quite quickly.

I have two tested ways of dealing with it.

  • Use a wet towel – this will allow you to pick up most of the hair from almost any surface and clean it at the same time. If you do it regularly, you will never notice that your British Shorthair is shedding. A wet towel will work great with any large areas like sofas, chairs, or even the carpets…and everything that you can use a damp cloth on (I wouldn’t use it on electronics though…)
  • Get a lint roller – this would work for all the narrow and more fragile spaces. Definitely great for removing cat hair from your clothes and electronic equipment.

Related questions you might have:

Are British shorthair cats hypoallergenic?

Yes, British Shorthair cats are classed as hypoallergenic. However, what is important is that having a hypoallergic cat will not eliminate all the risks of allergy. Different people react to different things and if you are already suffering from allergy, make sure you know your triggers before deciding on the breed of the cat. Look out for the next article about allergies, where I will try to give you a comprehensive understanding of the issue.

Which breed of cat sheds the least?

If you are looking for a cat that will shed the least, then I would suggest having a closer look at following breeds:

  • Sphynx
  • Siamese
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Cornish Rex
  • Devon Rex
  • British Shorthair

Which cat breeds shed the most?

While on the subject of shedding – let’s also have a look at the most shedding cats out there:

  • American Bobtail Cats
  • American Curl Cats
  • Chartreux Cats
  • Cymric Cats
  • Nebelung Cats
  • Ragamuffin Cats
  • Ragdoll Cats
  • Russian Blue Cats

When I look back, I can say now that shedding was one of the most important factors when selecting my first cat. And I need to tell you that I’m so glad that I’ve decided on British Shorthair. This is a perfect indoor cat for busy people, but also a great addition to a family. Great personality, easy to groom and maintain, furniture-friendly and absolutely fine when left alone for short periods of time – this is indeed a cat of 21 century.

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