With spring just around the corner, you may be anticipating the inevitable – hair all over everything. Cat’s shedding hair. On everything. Everything you love and cherish, covered in a not-so-thin film of, just, so much cat hair. I know that I, personally, am beginning to have war flashbacks to the time I was riding the trolley and a man took one look at me and said, with a smug sense of the obvious “you have a cat?” He knew I had a cat. Everyone on the trolley knew I had a cat. I was wearing my all-black bartending garb and I was covered from head to toe in cat hair, on my way to try to serve people draft beers without them knowing that I was a literal walking allergen. That was one of the many times I could feel my soul leaving my body due to the overload of embarrassment. I remember getting to work and stealing duct tape (I don’t know where I found the duct tape) and trying to use it to pluck what I could off of my clothes in shame.
If you are a cat person, you can probably relate. But there are some things you can do to try to keep the shedding at bay, as well as keep your clothes in a somewhat presentable state. Gather ‘round, my children, and allow me to instruct you thusly.
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Ya gotsta brush ya babies
Image: Anne via Flickr
First, we begin with the obvious. Please brush your babies. If you have a long haired cat, please take care to brush him at least a few times a week. What I’ve often found with long haired cats is that they really do struggle to take care of their coats all by themselves, particularly, their little tushies. Lula Littlefoot, my long hair, always manages to get mats and tangles on the top of her butt, under her tail and around her little hind leggywegums. Mats are the WORST. Once a mat forms, it will begin to pull on the skin, and the longer you allow it to sit there, the bigger it will grow and the harder it will be to try to cut off. If you have a particularly gnarly mat, do not attempt to cut it out yourself. Take your cat to a professional groomer, lest you risk hurting your baby.
Localize the fuzz overload
Image: A.Davey via Flickr
Make it a habit of giving your cat a lil’ spritz of dry shampoo every once in awhile.
My personal favorite is Pet Head’s Blueberry Muffin Dry Clean Cat Shampoo Spray. Not only does it help loosen up that excess hair and natural oils, but it leaves your little blueberry muffin smelling like a gosh dang blueberry muffin. How precious is that? Too precious. Too precious. You may be thinking to yourself “oh man, what? Spray my cat? With dry shampoo?? Is that really an okay thing to do? It is! You can even *make some shampoo yourself* if you’ve got the time! 100% vet-approved! Once you give your cat a little spray of that, comb through her fur with a cat brush until you’ve pulled out as much loose cat hair that you can. Another good reason for brushing your cat is that it distributes the oils on her skin throughout her body and leaves her feeling fresh and silky, like an Herbal Essences commercial. Delicious.
Try to get your little dumpling the fancy schmancy cat food.
I know that sometimes we’re left in financial situations where all we can afford is the $3 bag of bargain-brand kitty chow, but if you have the means, aim for the top shelf stuff. It’s all-around better for your cat and it will help keep her coat sleek and healthy. Brands that carry grain free cat food with real proteins that are specifically designed to keep your cat’s skin and coat looking and feeling like a million bucks, so consider getting your hands on some of that.
If you make these small efforts to go out of your way and tend to your kitty baby’s shedding needs, not only will you reduce The Dreaded Shedding Problem, but your cat will thank you. Helping your cat to maintain good hygiene will give you a happy cat and a hair-free closet. Plus, no more side-eyes from strangers on the trolley! Hooray!