|Purred: Wed Dec 24, '08 7:30pm PST |
|First of all, white hair shows up more on dark surfaces, like black clothing!
Secondly, having owned both short-haired cats (moggies) and long-haired cats (purebred Maine Coons), I can say that the moggies seem to shed more of their underfur than the Maine Coons do, especially during the spring and early summer. This could have something to do with Maine Coon fur--other long-haired breeds might be different. But I get a handful of fuzzy underfur when I stroke Spike in the spring, and nothing from my MCs.
If your cat is short-haired, I recommend the Furminator or Zoom Groom for getting out the underfur. I prefer the latter because it seems to get out more fuzz, doesn't damage the guard hairs, and doesn't weird out the cat as much--most seem to think it's a kind of massage. Also, it's a lot cheaper.
If your cat is long-haired, I recommend the occasional shampoo. When I gave Harvey his first few show shampoos, he shed so much dead hair that he plugged up the drain. Now that I regularly shampoo my MCs, they shed very little and don't get hairballs. It might be difficult to persuade your cat to endure a shampoo, but use a hand-held shower head, if possible, any brand of non-medicated pet shampoo (or dishwashing detergent if the cat is particularly dirty), and scrub and rinse well. Don't worry about drying out the cat's skin or fur--I shampoo Harvey every weekend for shows and he has no problems with dryness.
The other key is to use a metal comb, rather than a brush. A brush will be generally effective for a shorthaired cat, and the cat will enjoy the feeling of being "groomed," but a comb reaches all the way down to the skin and gets out the underfur. Long-haired cats MUST be groomed by a metal comb; a brush is only good for distributing natural oils and getting out loose surface hair and dirt.
Khira is right about diet. If your diet is not well-balanced, it can show in your fur. But unless you are eating a diet that is not meant for cats, or not designed for any particular health problems you might have, almost any diet is likely to be sufficient to give you healthy-looking fur. Most cat shows are sponsored by either Science Diet or Royal Canin, which are pooh-poohed by people who feed their cats premium foods, but so many samples of SD and RC are given out at cat shows that we can assume that a majority of breeders and exhibitors are feeding these brands to their cats, who, needless to say, have shining, healthy fur and eyes. If you have the option, however, you might want to try premium foods or a raw diet--lots of information on Catster regarding both. But occasional showers and use of the Zoom Groom and/or a metal comb will work wonders for shedding.
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