The Best Grooming Tool For Cats - The Furminator
Dixie loves it, Misty not so much!
When you own a cat (or two!) shedding is a fact of life. I didn't notice the shedding so much when we lived in the Midwest, perhaps because of the carpeting throughout our home. When you move to a home with dark wood floors, or if you replace your carpet with wood flooring, believe me, you notice!
This, combined with the fact that we moved from a mostly cold climate to a very hot one, caused some major shedding issues. It's totally natural, it is your cats way of getting rid of the unnecessary "undercoat" that helps to keep them warm throughout the winter months. Once the temperature is warm again, they will shed.
Shedding is a sign of a healthy cat, because sick cats will not shed. Their exposure to sunlight triggers the process, called "photoperiod." Now indoor cats will shed throughout the year because of living in a climate controlled environment.
If you have allergies, two breeds that shed minimally are the Cornish Rex, and the Devon Rex. Both of these are curly haired breeds, and their shedding tends to be minimal and hardly noticeable. There is one hairless cat, a purebred cat called a "Sphynx." When we lived in Wisconsin, the veterinarian we took our cats to specialized in "cats only" and they had cats that actually lived at the clinic. One of the newest additions right before we moved out to Las Vegas was a Sphynx... they are very different looking, and this one had a very sweet personality. That was my first experience being around a "Sphynx" cat in person, before that, I had only seen pictures of them, or movies (remember "Austin Powers?")
The best solution to a cats shedding is to groom them regularly, especially if they are medium hair (like our cat Dixie is) or have long hair (over 2 inches is considered to be long hair). Cats do spend 30% of their lives grooming, but it is nearly impossible for them to remove all of this hair by themselves, and you wouldn't want them to do that anyway because of the hairballs they would develop which can make cats sick.
When you first get a kitten you may think, this is GREAT, she (or he) is not even shedding! Just wait, kittens and puppies do not shed, it is when they are older that it occurs. If you feed them good quality cat food, a diet rich in fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6, this will help your cat to shed less overall and promote a healthy, shiny coat.
The very BEST grooming tool I have ever used is called "The Furminator"... this will remove 90% of the hair that would come off anyway, that "undercoat" that they no longer need. It'll help to keep your home cleaner, and your cat healthier. The Furminator was designed by a groomer, and is the only tool I've found that is really totally effective at eliminating loose hair.
You want to comb in the direction of the cats hair, and combine longer strokes with shorter strokes. Remove the hair from the tool from time to time (I usually use a small plastic garbage bag to put it in), and if your cat is anything like Dixie, they will love it! They love the attention they are getting while you are grooming them, and it is a great bonding experience! While you are grooming your cat, be watchful for any changes in their skin or coat, and be sure to talk to your vet if you see anything that concerns you.
Misty on the other hand, doesn't particularly care for being groomed, but that may be because she has much shorter hair than Dixie does, and she is part Tabby (Ok, so I blame the "tabby" thing for a lot of her quirks, like being VERY, VERY "talkative.") But I do believe that she knows that she does not need as much grooming because of her shorter hair. I can groom her occasionally, but those times are fewer than they are for Dixie.
Take good care of your cat, and they will be a wonderful addition to your home and provide many hours of entertainment and much love. It's nice to walk in the door and have a cat RUN to you just because they hear the sound of your voice. Unconditional love, the very BEST part of being a pet owner!