What Causes A Cat To Shed Excessively?

Do you find yourself constantly picking cat fur off your clothes, furniture, and even your food? Shedding is a natural process for cats, but when it becomes excessive, it can be a major headache for cat owners. It not only makes your home look unkempt but can also lead to health problems for your furry friend. So what causes a cat to shed excessively and how can you put an end to it?

First things first, shedding is a normal part of a cat’s life cycle. It helps them regulate their body temperature, remove dead hair and skin cells and make way for new growth. However, several factors can cause excessive shedding in cats such as poor nutrition, stress, medical conditions, and excessive grooming.

An imbalanced diet or lack of proper nutrition can result in skin and coat problems that lead to excessive shedding. Stress and anxiety can trigger excessive grooming behaviors in cats which ultimately leads to more shedding. Medical conditions like allergies, infections or hormonal imbalances are also known culprits that affect the coat quality of felines.

As a responsible pet owner, there are several steps you can take to manage and reduce excessive shedding in your cat. Providing a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, reducing stressors in their environment through playtime or designated hiding spots and regular grooming sessions all help keep shedding under control.

Understanding what causes excessive shedding in cats is the first step towards ensuring your feline friend stays healthy, happy and well-groomed. With the right care routine and attention to detail on your part as an owner – you’ll be able to enjoy cuddles with your furry pal without worrying about excess fur everywhere.


Don’t worry, genetics may be playing a significant role in your furry friend’s shedding habits. Yes, you read that right. The genetic makeup of a cat can influence their shedding patterns.

Some breeds of cats are more prone to shedding than others due to their genetic makeup. Long-haired breeds such as the Persian or Maine Coon tend to shed more than short-haired breeds like the Siamese or Burmese. If you have a long-haired cat, you may need to put in some extra effort to manage their shedding.

But it’s not just breed-specific tendencies that affect shedding. Certain genetic conditions can also cause excessive shedding in cats, such as feline endocrine alopecia. This condition occurs when there is an imbalance in the hormones that regulate hair growth, leading to patchy or widespread hair loss and excessive shedding.

Moreover, genetics can affect a cat’s overall health, which can also impact their shedding patterns. If your cat has a genetic predisposition to certain health issues such as allergies or skin conditions, they may experience excessive shedding as a result.

While genetics cannot be changed, there are steps that can be taken to manage excessive shedding in cats. Regular grooming and brushing can help remove loose hair and prevent mats from forming. Additionally, providing a healthy diet that meets your cat’s nutritional needs and addressing any underlying health issues can help improve overall coat health and reduce shedding.


As your furry feline grows older, you may notice that they are shedding more than usual. But don’t worry, it’s a common occurrence. Age is a significant factor that contributes to excessive shedding in cats. As cats age, their bodies undergo various changes that can cause them to shed more than usual.

One of the primary reasons for excessive shedding in older cats is thyroid problems. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, and when it becomes overactive or underactive, it can cause hair loss in cats. This condition is relatively common in older cats, and hair loss or excessive shedding are some of the symptoms.

In addition to thyroid problems, kidney disease can also lead to excessive shedding. The kidneys are responsible for maintaining healthy skin and fur, and when they malfunction, it can cause hair loss and shedding. Therefore, monitoring your cat’s shedding patterns and seeking veterinary attention if you notice any sudden changes is vital.

Skin allergies are another common culprit of excessive shedding in older cats with weaker immune systems. Allergies can result from various triggers such as food, pollen, dust mites, or flea bites. If your cat is allergic to something, they will often scratch or lick their skin excessively, leading to hair loss and shedding.

Health Issues

This could be an indication of underlying health issues that need to be addressed. As an expert on health issues in cats, let me break down some of the common causes of excessive shedding in our furry companions.

Allergies are a common culprit when it comes to excessive shedding in cats. When exposed to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or certain types of food, their immune system goes into overdrive and produces histamines, leading to skin irritation and excessive shedding.

Skin infections such as ringworm and bacterial infections can also cause excessive shedding in cats. These infections can irritate the skin, causing hair loss in affected areas.

Hormonal imbalances are another cause of excessive shedding in cats. If your feline’s thyroid or adrenal gland is overactive, hormonal imbalances can result, leading to excessive shedding.

Nutritional deficiencies can also cause your cat to shed excessively. A lack of essential fatty acids or certain vitamins and minerals can make their fur dry and brittle, causing it to shed more than usual.

If you notice any unusual shedding patterns in your cat, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately. A veterinarian will conduct tests to determine the underlying cause and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. In some cases, dietary changes or medication may be necessary to address the underlying health issue and reduce excessive shedding.

Environmental Factors

While underlying health issues can cause excessive shedding, it’s important to note that environmental factors can also play a significant role.

Temperature and humidity levels are among the environmental factors that can cause cats to shed more than usual. Extreme temperatures or fluctuating humidity levels can lead to dry and brittle coats, resulting in increased shedding.

Exposure to allergens such as pollen or dust can also trigger excessive shedding in cats. Allergies can cause skin irritations and other health issues that may lead to increased shedding.

Stress is another environmental factor that can cause excessive shedding in cats. Cats are sensitive animals and may experience stress due to changes in their environment, such as moving to a new home or the introduction of a new pet. This stress can lead to hormonal imbalances that may result in excessive shedding.

Poor nutrition is yet another environmental factor that contributes to excessive shedding in cats. A lack of essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and biotin can lead to a dry and brittle coat, which results in increased shedding.

Lastly, inadequate grooming practices can cause excessive shedding in cats. Regular grooming helps remove loose hair and distribute natural oils throughout the coat. If a cat is not groomed regularly, their coat may become matted and tangled, leading to increased shedding.

As a responsible cat owner, it’s crucial to be aware of these environmental factors and take steps to minimize their impact on your cat’s health and well-being. Ensure your cat has access to an appropriate living environment with stable temperatures and humidity levels. Keep your home clean and free from allergens that may trigger allergies. Provide opportunities for your cat to relieve stress through play and other activities. Ensure your cat’s diet is well-balanced and includes essential nutrients for a healthy coat. And most importantly, make sure your cat is groomed regularly to keep their coat healthy and reduce excessive shedding.

Poor Nutrition

While temperature and grooming habits can play a role in excessive shedding, it’s important not to overlook the impact of poor nutrition on your feline friend’s coat health.

Cats require essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals to maintain a healthy and shiny coat. If their diet is lacking in these crucial elements, it can result in dullness and excessive shedding. This is especially true for obligate carnivores like cats, who need a diet rich in animal-based protein to thrive.

Feeding your cat low-quality commercial food or human food that’s not nutritionally balanced can lead to nutritional deficiencies that affect their coat health. On top of this, some cats may have food allergies or sensitivities that cause skin inflammation and irritation, leading to increased shedding.

To keep your cat’s coat healthy and prevent excessive shedding due to poor nutrition, it’s essential to provide them with a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet that meets their unique needs. Your veterinarian can help you determine the best options for your feline friend and monitor their coat health regularly.


While shedding is a natural process for cats, excessive shedding can be caused by stress. Just like humans, cats can experience stress due to various reasons such as changes in their environment, introduction of new pets or family members, loud noises, and even boredom. But how does stress lead to shedding?

When a cat feels stressed, their body releases hormones such as cortisol, which can negatively impact their coat and skin health. Stress disrupts the hair growth cycle in cats, leading to more hair loss than usual. Additionally, stressed cats may engage in excessive grooming behavior, which also leads to increased hair loss. When cats lick themselves excessively due to anxiety or stress, it irritates their skin and causes further hair loss. This behavior can also lead to the formation of hairballs in their digestive tracts.

As a responsible cat owner, it’s essential to identify the cause of your pet’s stress and take steps to alleviate it. Creating a comfortable and safe environment for your cat can significantly reduce their stress levels. You should also provide them with regular playtime and exercise, attention, and affection to help them feel secure and happy.

If you notice your cat shedding excessively or engaging in excessive grooming behavior, consult with your veterinarian immediately. Your vet will be able to rule out any underlying medical conditions and recommend treatment options if necessary.


In conclusion, while shedding is a natural process for cats, dealing with excessive shedding can be a nuisance for cat owners. It’s essential to understand the reasons behind excessive shedding in felines to ensure your furry friend stays healthy and well-groomed. Poor nutrition, stress, medical conditions, genetics, age, and environmental factors are all known culprits that can affect the quality of your cat’s coat.

Although genetics and age are beyond our control, we can take steps to manage excessive shedding in cats. Providing a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is crucial. Reducing stressors in their environment through playtime or designated hiding spots also helps. Regular grooming sessions and seeking veterinary attention if you notice any sudden changes in your cat’s shedding patterns are other ways to keep shedding under control.

Environmental factors such as temperature and humidity levels, exposure to allergens such as pollen or dust, stress due to changes in their environment or inadequate grooming practices can also cause excessive shedding. As responsible pet owners, it’s important to be aware of these factors and take necessary measures to minimize their impact on our cat’s health and well-being.

By following these tips, you can enjoy snuggling up with your furry pal without worrying about excess fur everywhere.