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Do American Shorthair Cats Shed?

by Lucy

American shorthair cats are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S, Canada, and Japan. They are a short-haired cat which are known for their thick, rounded appearance and array of colors and patterns.

The American shorthair is said to be an easy, relatively low-maintenance cat to keep, and therefore it is clear to see why this breed is so popular amongst the cat-loving communities around the world.

One of the key points new owners mostly want to know about when buying a certain breed of cat is if they shed, how much they will shed, and how much grooming is required.

So, do American shorthair cats shed? Yes, American shorthair cats do shed a moderate amount. Although they have short hair, you should expect some shedding, especially during spring when they are trying to discard their winter coat. American shorthairs should be brushed weekly to manage shedding.

These are very important questions, as some cats are far more high-maintenance than others in this respect. Let’s take a look at this subject in more detail to provide you the complete low down on American shorthairs shedding activities.

Do American Shorthair Cats Shed a Lot?

Like most cats, American shorthairs do shed. It’s a natural part of feline life and one that you should not be too concerned about as long as you believe your cat is happy and healthy and you’ve got a good vacuum cleaner.

American shorthairs are considered to shed a moderate amount and therefore fall into medium maintenance levels as far as grooming is concerned.

It is a common misconception by many that short-haired cats do not shed. This is just simply not true. Most cats will shed to some degree unless you are referring to cats such as the Sphynx or Peterbald which have almost no hair at all to shed.

Some breeds of short-haired cats such as the Russian Blue have what we call an ‘undercoat’ which can cause much more shedding even though the coat is fairly short.

In comparison, American shorthaired cats do not shed a ton. They have no undercoat and the hair is very short and soft. This makes them the ideal breed for those that are unable to spend excess time each day grooming and like their houses to stay clean and relatively hair-free.

How Often Do American Shorthair Cats Shed?

American shorthair cats tend to shed the most at certain key times throughout the year which makes this process much more manageable for cat owners. Light shedding should be expected on a day to day basis, but nothing too horrendous that a quick vacuuming won’t fix.

During the spring months is when you should expect to see some higher levels of shedding. This is the time when your cat is trying to remove their winter coat and get ready for the summer months.

Would you wear a parka in the summer or a tank top in the winter? Likewise, it doesn’t make any sense for cats to keep the same coat throughout the whole year as the seasons change (sometimes quite dramatically depending on where in the world you live).

The winter coat is far too thick and dense for your cat to feel comfortable during the warmer months. Nobody wants a very sweaty, very unhappy cat around. When the winter coat sheds, a much thinner coat grows through, ideal for the warm weather to help keep your cat nice and cool.

Another key time you will likely see your American short hair shed is around fall time. This is a time when the coat is doing a complete reverse of the spring shed.

Once summer is over, your cat’s fur will start preparing itself for the winter months. The summer coat will shed and a denser coat will slowly grow through. This will help to keep your cat warm and cozy during the colder months.

Why Do American Shorthair Cats Shed?

There are several reasons why American shorthairs and other cat breeds shed their fur. It isn’t always to do with the time of year and therefore is something you should keep an eye on closely.

American shorthairs do not generally shed in huge amounts all year round and if you were to notice that all of a sudden your cat was starting to shed right in the middle of winter, then there could be something else wrong. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why an American shorthair may shed.

1. Season

Natural shedding usually occurs during spring and fall. In spring, your cat is preparing its coat for the summer months by growing a much finer coat to deal with the hot weather approaching. During fall, your cat will shed its summer coat in favor of a much thicker coat to be able to hand the cold weather.

2. Health-Related Issues

There are many health-related issues, both minor and severe, that can cause your cat to shed excessively outside of seasonal changes.

Allergies and skin conditions are a common cause of shedding, as are fleas. These types of conditions are so irritating that it is in fact your cat that is scratching the fur off of themselves for some relief.

One of the most common illnesses in cats that causes excessive shedding is hyperthyroidism. This is a serious condition, and it is advisable to see your vet if you think your cat is dealing with a health issue.

3. Nutritional Reasons

Nutrition is high up on the list of reasons why your American shorthair may be shedding excess fur. Just like us, nutrition plays a huge part in the overall health of your cat.

Poor nutrition can cause the coat to become dull and dry, which means it can fall out much easier. Always feed your cat food that is nutritious, high in protein, and free from any nasty bits such as fillers, preservatives, and grains. It’s amazing what a change in diet can do for the condition of the coat!

4. Anxiety and Stress

Anxious and stressed cats often lose their fur as a symptom of these disorders. When a cat is feeling this way, you must look for the key cause immediately, or levels of these symptoms will increase, causing your cat additional stress.

Things such as moving houses, a change in routine, new cats about town or in the household, visitors, and separation anxiety can all play their part in increasing levels of stress and anxiety.

Can You Stop an American Shorthair Cat from Shedding?

Unfortunately, there is no way of stopping an American shorthair from shedding. Seasonal shedding is a natural process that occurs throughout the cat world and serves a very important purpose.

As mentioned previously, cats shed usually twice a year in spring and fall to ensure that their coat is suitable for the environment they are about to experience over the following 6 months ahead.

In some ways, as owners, we should be thankful for shedding since it allows our cat to become much more comfortable throughout the seasons of the year without too much intervening from us. Knowing your cat is nice and cool in the summer and cozy and warm in the winter should give you peace of mind.

With that being said, if your cat is shedding due to any of the other reasons mentioned above, such as health-related issues, lack of nutrition, or stress, then this is something that we as owners can stop through proper care. Of course, health issues such as allergies or reactions to medication must be directed towards your vet for assistance.

Stress and anxiety issues usually boil down to finding the root cause and addressing it. Shedding thanks to a lack of nutrition can be rectified by feeding good quality food that doesn’t have too many added or unnecessary extras such as fillers.

How Can You Control Shedding?

It is very possible to control shedding once you know how. Living in a sea of hair is not much fun for anyone. We all like to keep a nice tidy and clean home with a minimal amount of effort on our part.

Here are some handy tips for managing your cat’s hair:

  • Regular House Cleaning – Vacuum the house daily to prevent a much bigger job later in the week. Daily cleaning may seem like a pain, but all in all, it is a much lower maintenance job and can leave you with a much cleaner and tidier home.
  • Brush Weekly – Brush your American shorthair once or twice a week to remove loose hair and detangle knots or matted hair that may escalate. Invest in a good quality brush that is soft and non-irritating for your cat but really does well at removing loose hairs and detangling knots.
  • Diet Check – Check your cat’s diet and nutritional intake to ensure they are eating nourishing and healthy meals at every sitting. There’s no doubt about it – a poor diet can create much more shedding. Cat foods with excess grains, preservatives, and fillers can often be a problem.
  • Fatty Acid Supplements – Some owners choose to feed their cats fatty acid supplements. These types of supplements are known to help with shedding thanks to the Omega 3s present in the formulas. Omega 3s are often used to help with skin problems in cats.

Up Next: Do Calico Cats Shed?

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