Felines have their way of growing up: they wean off their mother’s milk, start walking, and eventually become independent. But their bodies also have unique ways of developing. Shedding is one of them. As they grow up, they keep losing their older fur intermittently.
But when does it occur? When do kittens lose their baby fur?
We will find out in this blog. Keep reading.
When Do Kittens Lose Their Baby Fur?
Kittens start losing their baby fur between the age of six to 12 months, entering adolescence age. This is also the first shedding experience for kittens, and they usually take around one month to completely shed the baby fur and grow in their adult fur coat.
What to Expect After a Kitten Sheds Baby Fur?
Kittens grow a new, adult coat once they are done shedding their baby fur. The new hair is generally sleek and shiny, though not all cat breeds can have it, depending on several factors. The new coat will also be longer and harder.
The new hair will also have patterns in it. For instance, if the cat is a Mackerel Tabby, the adult coat will include stripes running perpendicular to its spine, lines on the legs, rings on the tail, and an M on the forehead.
Did You Know?Unlike human beings, kittens have compound follicles, which means they can grow as many as 15 hair strands from a single follicle.
Do Kittens Shed More Than Adult Cats?
No. Kittens shed very little when compared to adult cats. Kittens only start shedding their fur when they reach adulthood, between six and 12 months of age. Kittens have shorter, softer, and less glossy coats as compared to the adult coat that they develop after shedding the baby coat. The whole process usually takes around one month.
However, sometimes it might take a bit longer, but if the shedding process is entering the third month without completion, you should take your kitty to a veterinarian. Remember that kittens are more likely to pick up diseases because their immune system is not as strong as adult felines. Here are some non-natural causes of shedding in kittens:
- Parasites: If mites or fleas infestations have taken place, your kitten will scratch the affected area more often. As the new fur grows, the previous one keeps falling, leading to excessive shedding.
- Allergy: Diet or environment can lead to allergies in kittens, which may accelerate/prolong the shedding process.
- Diseases: Kidney and thyroid issues can cause excessive shedding in cats. Some breeds, such as Persian and Abyssinian, are more prone to such conditions.
- Stress and Anxiety: A kitten coming to a new home and facing environmental changes can easily fall into depression. This can lead to behavioral changes such as excessive licking, leading to shedding more than often.
If you spot more-than-normal shedding in your kitten, consider getting a vet’s help. Also, ensure proper diet and hygiene to minimize all sorts of effects.
The Cycle of Hair Growth in Cats1. Anagen: It is the active hair growth period. The hair-root cells divide rapidly.
2. Catagen: Hair growth speed decreases considerably.
3. Telogen: It is a rather dormant phase.
4. Exogen: Hair life completes, and it starts falling from the follicles.
How to Help a Kitten With Her First Shedding?
Take the steps focused on getting rid of dead hair while maintaining proper hygiene. These include:
- Get the Right Tools: Get gloves, soft brushes, and a comb that can touch the skin deeply. These tools are ideal because they can quickly help your kitten get rid of dead hair. In addition, matt formation will also be prevented.
- Brush Regularly: Preferably, brush your kitten every day until the shedding process is completed.
- Consider Bathing: While your kitten reaches the peak of her shedding, just bathe her once, and it will help her get rid of excess hair. Do not forget to use a shampoo and also brush and comb your kitten once the skin dries.
- Feed Appropriately: Consider feeding your cat a diet that is rich in animal proteins and fats. Besides reducing the shedding amounts, it will also improve coat health and give it a sleek and well-groomed look.
The Types of Hair in Cats1. Vibrissae: These are the whiskers.
2. Guard Hair: These are the hair strands found on the outer coat and repel dirt.
3. Undercoat: Present just beneath the guard hair, this coat is primarily important in maintaining the body temperature.
4. Awn Hair: It is the second layer just beneath the guard hair.
How to Prepare a Kitten for Her First Brushing Session?
Not rushing to the grooming is the key. Let us explain. Get a soft brush but do not begin combing right away; instead, just touch your kitty with the comb and wait for the reaction. If she is calm, proceed with gentle brushing. If the kitty is uncomfortable with the brush, you should leave her alone and let her play and get accustomed to it. Once the kitty seems comfortable, you can try brushing her gently.
How to Manage Your Home While Your Kitten Sheds?
During the shedding season, you should brush your kitty more often, which will limit the amount of shedding. Besides that, you should focus on removing the lost fur from every nook and corner of your home to make it look neat and clean. Try doing the followings:
- Use vacuum cleaners frequently. Clean the places in your house daily where your cat sits the most.
- Wash your cat’s blankets and bed every week.
- Use a lint brush to access the difficult-to-reach areas for removing the shed fur.
- Accept that cats shed! Taking care of shed hair is part of petting a cat.
How to Know Which Type of Fur Your Cat Will Regrow?
Whether your cat will be fluffy or not depends on the breed and genetics. If your kitten is a Persian or Himalayan, she will grow with a lot of hair. However, if you are unsure about the breed, say you have rescued the kitten, you can go for professional genetic testing services to find your cat’s breed. But you can wait—it is just a matter of a few weeks after the first shedding, and you will know what breed your kitten is.
Conclusion: When Do Kittens Lose Their Baby Fur?
Kittens start losing their baby fur anywhere between 6 to 12 months of age. Shedding the baby fur and growing an adult coat is completed in around a month. You can help your kitty with her first shedding to make sure it is smooth, effective, and quick. Moreover, if your kitten sheds more than normal, you need to get her checked by a seasoned veterinarian.