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Is this a hopeless shedding case? Please Help!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello, I’m new to this site.

I’d like if some of you could tell me about shedding: specifically, what is normal and what is not.

Three weeks ago, I took in a cat from a no-kill rescue centre. I also signed a contract saying that if I could not keep the cat, I would return her to them. She is an adult, spayed female with a medium-length white coat. She was found outside with her three kittens last August or September. She is a regular domestic cat, not a Persian. She was spayed one week before I got her - her kittens had already been weaned.

I really like this cat – Lilli is a very sweet girl. It took her a couple of days to adjust to her new surroundings but ever since she’s been coming to me and cuddling and purring. I already spent almost $400 on her at the vet’s to get her vaccinated, and have blood and stool tests. I’m happy to say that she doesn’t have FIV or FeLV; however, her eosinophils were high so the vet has started her on de-worming pills which I’m administering. Though her stool tested negative for worms, the vet said they could be migrating in her system. Her bilirubin was slightly high (17 instead of the maximum 15) but the vet said that was nothing to worry about.

Now I really want to bond with Lilli and have her forever – but she sheds so much. She sheds so much that her fur becomes airborne by just touching her head lightly and I even get it in my eyes. She just brushes against me and leaves so much fur. Small undercoat and long overcoat alike.

The vet said it could be that my place is warmer or dryer than where she was before or that it’s stress. But it’s three weeks later and there are no signs that this degree of shedding is letting up. I’ve bought a wire slicker brush and still tufts of fur are left after I pet her. I can lightly slide a cloth over her and it will be spattered with fur. I have had cats in the past and have baby-sat friends’ cats but have never in my life seen so much shedding from one single cat.

Is this normal?

Apart from general everyday shedding, how long does a seasonal molt usually take?

I have ordered the Furminator which will hopefully arrive soon – but honestly I’m losing hope.

I haven’t bathed her because she still has the sniffles she brought with her from the rescue centre, and still sneezes. I’m going to make another trip to the vet – but they’ve looked at her skin and don’t think she has fleas or ringworm. I’m going to get an ultraviolet light to check for ringworm myself. The vet could culture her skin for ringworm but said she didn’t think it was necessary.

Do you think I have a real shedder on my hands? Could it she be allergic to something, her food for example, and that’s causing her to shed? I feed her what the rescue centre told me (Royal Canin Adult) and that has corn gluten in it (She was fed Royal Canin Kitten when she was nursing at the centre). Could the gluten be the problem? I’m going to change her litter from the agglomerating type of litter (just in case the dust is causing her to sneeze).

I don’t know what to do.

In case you are wondering why I didn’t figure out that she was a shedder when I went to adopt her – well, it was because she lived free-range in one lady’s house which was shared by 26 other cats, 6 large dogs, a room full of birds and some rabbits. Yes, the place was like a circus but seemed clean and all the animals seemed happy. I played with so many animals that I wasn’t shocked to be covered from head to toe in fur – so her shedding didn’t stand out, you see. I sat on the couch and was covered by jumping cats and dogs, all vying for my attention.

Do you think this a hopeless shedding case?

Is there something I can do or try?

I need to know.

Thank you,
post #2 of 9
when I adopted my Dante (black DSH), he was shedding at the Petsmart shelter, but I thought that after a good grooming, we'd be ok. Like your Lilli, he's sweet, affectionate, and wanted to get along with me and my girl cat. But hair was flying all over the place - just touch him and it was flying in my face, my eyes, everywhere.

I almost despaired too, but I'd say within 6 weeks, Dante must have figured out that it was going to be ok, that he wasn't going to be shuttled off someplace else, and he calmed down. Now his coat is glossy and thick and best of all, just a little normal shedding like any cat. He does, however, start shedding a lot at the vet, but now that stops almost immediately upon our return home. I agree with your vet that it's probably just stress. And, don't forget, Lilli's probably picking up on your feelings about her coat, and that's just making her more nervous. I know it can be hard, but I just kept telling Dante that I loved him and we were going to get everything to work out - it did come true (and I had some stress-related litter box issues as well with him).

For what it's worth, I noticed slowly switching him from Eukanuba, which is what he was getting at the shelter, to Nutro made his #2s smell a lot better and I think Nutro really helped both my cats with their coats.

Good luck - she sounds wonderful. But while you know she's in her forever home, she doesn't quite know what's happening yet. It takes a long time for them to feel really secure and not think they're just in a way station, I think.
post #3 of 9
Environment (stress and climate)
Diet (free of allergens)
Grooming (combing and furminating)

are three key ingredients to stopping the clouds of hair when the vet has declared the cat healthy otherwise.

I would say that you may experience escessive shedding for the first several weeks as the cat adjusts. Be sure to have a quiet area that is the cat's space where the cat can go and not be bothered by even you. If you have dogs (like i do) I have found putting Nanuk in his room (complete with toys food water and a bed) while i am away from home gives him quiet relaxation time in his "safe place".... but he will nap along side the JRT as well.
Lots of factors make up a healthy diet, and honestly it will take research on your part to pick what is best for your cat. I personally steer clear of anything containing corn, wheat, or soy as they are common allergens. I dont like biproducts, chemical preservatives, excess sugar, or a grain as the first ingredient. Some cats really like grain free diets like EVO, others dont or have problems on them. Remember, when choosing a food to read the ingredients and the guaranteed analysis, and not just the front of the bag.
If you havent been introduced to a furminator, i highly suggest one. They remove dead undercoat (that fluffy stuff wafting all over the place) and are much faster and way more comfortable than a slicker brush. go here: http://www.furminator.com/ they have video demonstrations.

I have a DLH (in my siggy) that i comb every other day, and furminate once a week. I can hold my buff kitty with a black knit top on, snuggle with him, put him down and walk out the door. No lint roller, no signs of kitty on my shirt. They really are worth the $ they ask for these things!
post #4 of 9
I have been wondering about shedding lately too. Raven has started to shed like crazy. She is also a black kitty, only 6 months old. I had switched her from nutro natural choice complete care indoor kitten, to nutro max cat kitten and noticed that she started shedding and getting dandruff, so I am switching her back. We are also moving and the kitties know something is up with all the boxes and stuff, so maybe that has contributed as well.

good luck, to both of us.
post #5 of 9
I hope that you have been brushing & combing her daily.
Over time, that will make a huge difference.
post #6 of 9
I agree its probably more stress of the changes. Charlie is on Royal Canin and has an excellant tight coat. However, sometimes at the shows, he "sheds" a bit more then he does at home

Keep combing every day or every other day and I'm sure things will get better.
post #7 of 9
I think that shedding season has started. My Juno sleeps on my bed and I need to either vacuum the comforter or use one of those lint brushes that are double sided each morning to remove the hair. I use a comb on her to remove loose hair, she is medium haired. She won't let me use the furminator. My other cat sweetie sleeps on a pillow and I need to do the same. She does let me use the furminator, but what a mess. I need to almost get naked in the bathroom because she enjoys it so much she won't hold still. The hair flies all over. She's shorthaired. Cats can be a mess, but we love them anyway.
post #8 of 9
When I first brought Matilda home (she has very long white hair and is part Persian), hair fell off of her just by looking at her. She wasn't brushed at the shelter and so everything she sat on ended up being covered in hair. Now that I brush her regularly, it isn't an issue at all. I just started using the furminator and all I can say is WOW. This thing is amazing, it gets so much hair, you will be shocked.

Just start brushing your cat every day or every other day and shedding shouldn't be an issue at all.
post #9 of 9
My cat Pause sheds quite a bit. He's white and he leaves hair EVERYWHERE! He does groom himself and has a very nice coat, but he's always been quite the shedder in the couple years I have had him. Napolean hardly sheds at all, but both cats are so different anyway. I think some cats are just have more hair than others, and that can help be eliminated by brushing.
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