The Cat’s Fur Is in Bad Condition! I Thought About the Causes and Solutions!
Cats with soft fur that’s pleasant to the touch are delightful, but a healthy and active cat also exhibits a shiny, taut coat with distinct hair strands. Nonetheless, there are some healthy and active cats that have poor-quality fur. What determines whether a cat’s fur is good or bad? And what can be done to enhance the fur quality of a cat with poor fur?
✨ The mechanism of a cat’s fur
When you live with a cat, shedding is an inevitable problem. During the shedding season, many pet owners become troubled when they notice hair clumps in various areas of the room, such as corners. Although a cat may lose a lot of hair, they will regrow it during the colder seasons. While it may seem like a natural process, the mechanism of a cat’s fur is quite mysterious.
Let’s delve deeper into the cat’s soft fur and understand how it works.
❂ One Pore Produces Multiple Hairs
Cats grow multiple hairs from a single pore, resulting in their fur having around 300 times more hairs than humans do. During molting, hair growth can reach up to 2mm per week, which is surprising. As new hair grows, old hair is pushed out and falls off, which may cause concern for cat owners. Interestingly, a cat’s fur has a mechanism to change itself during hot and cold seasons, which is fascinating.
❂ Three Different Types of Hairs with Different Properties Grow in Cats
Cats are known for their dense fur, which is the result of multiple hairs growing from a single pore. The concentration of fur is highest on the belly and decreases towards the back, which is why a cat’s appearance can change dramatically when wet. This is because the fur of a cat is a structure that contains a lot of air, and its thinness is related to the presence of three different types of hairs with distinct properties.
The longest and hardest hair on a cat is known as the “guard hair,” which grows in a single follicle and serves to repel water and protect against ultraviolet rays. The two types of undercoat, “awn hair” and “down hair,” serve primarily to keep the cat warm. The fur type a cat has depends on its breed, with some cats having only guard hair or undercoat.
❂ The Fur Can Be Moved by Muscles
Cats are capable of raising their fur in response to stimuli such as surprise or intimidation. While it may seem like cats can move their fur at will, this is not the case. The movement of a cat’s fur is actually controlled by its “erector muscles,” which are located in the skin. These muscles allow cats to raise their fur in a manner similar to the “goosebumps” people experience when they are cold.
The erector muscles run from the neck to the back and tail, resulting in a unique form when a cat raises its fur. Nerve transmission also causes the fur to react to touch with a twitch or wave-like movement. When a cat is cold, it raises its fur to trap air and increase insulation, providing protection against the cold.
✨ Causes of Poor Coat Condition in Cats
The mechanism behind a cat’s fur is mysterious, but when it becomes unkempt and loses its fluffiness, the person responsible for the cat naturally becomes concerned.
Determining the cause of the change in the fur’s condition is also a concern, as it may be due to the complex mechanism of the fur or repeated changes.
There are various factors that can result in a decline in the condition of a cat’s coat.
❂ Nutritional Deficiency
A balanced diet is considered the most significant factor in determining the health of a cat’s coat.
An imbalanced diet can result in a loss of shine and dry, fluffy fur for the cat.
The fur of a cat can change quickly, and if the nutrition is inadequate, the new growth will also suffer from malnutrition, leading to a persistent poor condition of the coat.
Cats are carnivorous, so a diet high in protein is recommended, but it is also important to ensure a balanced intake of various nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, for overall health.
Reducing food intake to prevent obesity may have negative effects on the coat if the calorie and fat content of the cat food is also reduced.
Maintaining a balanced and nutritionally rich diet is crucial, even if it means addressing the health issues associated with obesity in cats.
The habit of grooming is not neglected by cats. The act of grooming is not only a demonstration of a cat’s preference for cleanliness, but also serves to remove any dirt or debris that may be present on their fur. Even indoor cats may come into contact with dust, garbage, mites or fleas, and their grooming helps to eliminate these unwanted substances. Cats have bristle-like protuberances on their tongues known as filiform papillae, which serve as brushes to effectively clean their fur. Cats that are unable or unwilling to groom themselves will often have a build-up of dirt on their fur, leading to an unkempt appearance.
One of the factors that contributes to disheveled fur in cats is dryness. Similar to human hair, dryness can lead to frizziness, which can be addressed by providing moisture through a cat grooming treatment. Increasing the room’s humidity levels, for instance by using a humidifier, during winter can result in smoother fur and also prevent static electricity.
In addition to malnutrition and dirt, there are times when a pet’s fur becomes unkempt due to illness.
The prevalence of unkempt fur is commonly observed in instances where the pet is experiencing internal or skin illnesses or oral problems like stomatitis.
In cases of internal illnesses, the pet may experience dehydration, leading to a breaking undercoat and a gradual decline in the appearance of their fur.
Skin illnesses can also result in hair growth from the skin pores, causing the undercoat to become affected.
Have you experienced discomfort while eating or drinking due to an issue in your oral cavity? The same can happen to cats, where any abnormality in the oral cavity can lead to decreased appetite and malnutrition, making grooming difficult and allowing dirt to accumulate on their fur.
As a result, the fur will lose its shine and become unkempt. If you observe such changes along with other unusual symptoms, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian promptly.
The occurrence of unkempt fur in pets can indicate the presence of some underlying illness, so if different symptoms are observed in addition to the change in fur appearance, it is best to consult a veterinarian immediately.
✨ What to Do When a Cat’s Coat Gets Poor
When a cat’s coat deteriorates as a result of illness, it is important to seek veterinary care. However, even when the cat is not unwell, there are steps that can be taken to enhance the condition of its coat.
❂ Reviewing the Cat Food
The recommended course of action if a cat’s coat is lackluster due to poor nutrition is to assess its food.
It is common for cats to have distinct preferences when it comes to food, and this can be reflected in the food they select.
General cat food, which is known for its strong aroma, is often favored by many cats over food that provides comprehensive nutrition.
However, relying solely on general food can lead to a decline in the health of a cat’s fur over time, due to the lack of essential nutrients. To ensure the well-being of your feline companion, it is important to determine its daily caloric needs and provide it with a balanced and nutritious diet.
❂ Supplement the missing nutrition with a supplement
General cat food, which is commonly consumed by cats, typically has a high protein content, but other nutrients may be lacking in balance.
When consuming a well-balanced nutritious food, the nutrient levels are carefully calculated and formulated. However, if a general diet is consumed on a daily basis, the nutrients may become imbalanced.
If your cat prefers that food and refuses other options, consider supplementing the missing nutrients with a supplement.
The supplement can be mixed with your cat’s preferred food without altering its taste.
It is recommended to use supplements such as minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6.
❂ Try shampooing or brushing
Cats who struggle with grooming or have skin issues can benefit from being shampooed or brushed.
Improved blood circulation and the removal of shed hair can be achieved through shampooing or brushing.
Regular brushing is recommended even if shampooing is not feasible, as it also helps remove dirt.
Pet-specific products should be used for brushing, rather than products intended for human use.
Brushing can also contribute to the bonding process, making it highly recommended.
The use of treatment or brushing spray can help prevent hair dryness when brushing.
The “velvet-like fur” of cats is widely regarded as a desirable aspect, with a gleaming coat being considered one of their distinct attractions.
While it may seem to only enhance their appearance, it is now known that it serves multiple functions in safeguarding their body.
Therefore, it is important for cat owners to maintain the health of their fur.
If any decline in its luster is noticed, utilizing a solution can help restore it to optimal health.