What’s most loveable about cats? This is dependent on individual cat lovers and the breed of your cat. In all, you can agree with me that fur is one undeniable attraction to cats. But this same fur can become a problem when your cat starts shedding tons of it around the house.
At that point, many cat owners decide to shave or trim their cat’s hair. This is the reason why many cat owners commonly ask; how long does it take for cat hair to grow back? While there’s no straight answer to this, there are few pointers you should watch out for in caring for your cat’s hair.
How does cat hair work: The cat hair cycle
Your cat’s hair is more important to its health than you think. The fur covering your cat says a lot about how healthy he is. While your kitty’s hair isn’t solely affected by health, it does play a huge role. Several other factors affect a cat’s hairiness; the breed, seasons, diet, and care.
That said, you should learn to pay good attention to your cat’s hair health. Your feline pet’s hair can give away signals when something is fundamentally wrong health-wise.
The cat hair cycle
Cat hair has its physiology that is different from that of other animals. For example, a cat’s hair is essentially different from a dog’s hair and ought to be treated differently.
A cat doesn’t just get its hair in place at once as we see it. Before the hair got to that lovely furry state, it had gone through different stages of growth. It’s therefore important that you put this into consideration when it comes to your feline hair care.
This indicates the start of the hair growth cycle of a cat. At this stage, as is expected, your cat’s hair is young and at its best. This is also the stage with the fastest growth of hair for any cat.
The catagen phase follows immediately after the growth spurt of the anagen stage. It’s a period of stability; hair growth stops and your cat keeps its luscious furry look for quite a while.
This phase marks the end of the cat’s hair growth cycle. It is the stage where the cat gets rid of old hair to make way for the growth of another set. It also means that this stage is followed immediately by the anagen phase, and the cycle continues.
The telogen phase is characterized by a period of hair shedding usually called molting. The need to molt differs in cats and can be mostly influenced by their environment. For example, indoor cats have less need for molting than outdoor ones that are often under weather elements.
Hair growth is a gradual process. The complete cycle happens just twice a year in most cats. Usually during the spring and fall seasons to get their coats ready for the two other extreme seasons. These processes are natural and help your cat stay more healthy.
On the other hand, there are cases where molting is induced by physical conditions and not naturally occurring. This often happens when a cat is subjected to high amounts of stress, it leads to a condition called telogen effluvium. This condition is a disorder in which the hair cycle stops at the telogen phase without being replaced by the anagen phase.
When this condition happens in a cat, it would appear that the cat is losing all its fur and might even go bald for a period. Generally, the alopecia disappears with time without any treatment. But in some cases, you might need to visit a veterinarian for proper consultation.
Why does a Cat have fur?
Why does a cat need fur? Surely, it’s not so you can have something to pet and have fun with cat cuddling. This question is one you ought to have the answer to as a cat parent. It would make the issue of fur or no fur become less about you and more about the cat. Let’s consider the importance of fur in cats.
This is the most obvious reason why a cat has fur which is to provide a covering that regulates body heat to the expected level per time. In seasons of heat, the fur helps a cat to stay aerated by being loose while during cold seasons, the fur serves as a source of heat to stay warm. A cat’s hair coat also serves as a protection for the skin from the sun’s radiation.
A cat’s hairy coat serves as protection against physical dangers like injuries, parasite infestation on the skin, scratches, and bruises, and other forms of harm that could cause serious damage.
Cats let out their feelings using their hair as a signal. Cats have body language which is usually shown when they are aggressive or in danger. They bristle their hair to look bigger when about to attack. Or in a bid to frighten an attacker as a defensive mechanism.
As a sense
Just like the eyes, nose, and other sense organs, cats have their hair also functioning as part of their tactile senses. Cats feel their environs using their hair. It helps them understand their surroundings and navigate areas to avoid danger.
With all these listed, a cat mustn’t just have fur to be cute but also an important part of their wellbeing. All the more reason why you have to take good care of your feline friend’s fur the proper way.
How to maintain your cat’s hair
Here’s the big problem that many cat owners face. It’s about how to beat groom their cats to keep their fur looking Sharp and healthy.
Here are some professional tips to follow
Trim more, shave less
Cat grooming is one of the best practices for raising a healthy fur ball. Grooming has more to do with trimming the hair extremes using a scissors and comb. It is different from having to shave the hair off a cat’s skin. Hair grooming helps prevent matts which can be painful for cats or even become a breeding space for insect infestation.
You need to start grooming your cats at a young age. That way, they are used to the practice and won’t give you a hard time. If you’re dealing with an adult cat not used to hair grooming, you need to be more gentle. If he still won’t agree to have you do his hair, then you should take him to a professional groomer.
Shave only when needed
Your cat’s main skin is fragile and can tear easily unlike humans or even dogs. Shaving a cat can easily lead to a cut due to the elasticity of their skin. A cut often results in a tear which can be painful for the cat or even fester into something requiring medical attention.
In cases where it looks like shaving is the only way to go, probably the fur is severely matted or there’s a sticky material glued to their skin. You can try to work a comb in between the skin and affected hair region. It’s easier to cut off the hair without injuring the skin this way. Otherwise, you should seek the help of a professional groomer with experience shaving cats or maybe a veterinarian.
How long does it take for cat hair to grow back?
Many cat owners resort to having your cat’s hair shaved or trimmed for diverse reasons. It could also be that your cat has lost a lot of fur from shedding naturally. And you’re wondering how long it would take for her hair to grow back to full length.
The answer to this question is subjective to the condition of the cat. Reason being that various factors affect the growth rate of your cat’s hair. In most cases, it takes a few weeks to grow back to full coverage and in some, it can take up to months depending on the severity of the alopecia.
Other major determinants of hair growth include cat breed and time of the year. Short-haired cats grow to full hair in a shorter time than long-haired cats. And when cats are shaved in the anagen phase, they grow hair faster than during the catagen or telogen phases.
How to make your cat hair grow faster
Cat hair growth is majorly about diet. If you’re giving essential nutrients and if they are in the right quantity. In cases of severe changes like the majority of the hair falling off, then you can take a cue from that and check for underlying health conditions.
All things equal, here are some nutrients you should pay attention to for faster hair growth in your feline pets;
Proteins: The basic composition of hair is protein. For a good hair growth rate, your cat needs a sufficient supply of proteins. The quality of protein in a cat’s diet is also important. Focus on the major amino acids like taurine and lysine.
Minerals: These are also required for hair formation and growth. The major mineral in this class is zinc; watch out for it in food constituents.
Vitamins: These are necessary to improve your cat’s immune systems which can ward off deficiencies causing baldness. Vitamins are also required for a fresh and colorful appearance.
On a Final Note…
Here are some take-home points to keep your cat looking at her best. Limit exposure to stress, brush her hair regularly, feed with a rich and quality diet, do routine deworming, and visit the vet for checkups every once in a while.