Do older pets shed more?


My 13-year-old cat sheds a lot. I’ve tried bushing and vitamins, but there is still no change. Does my cat shed because of his age or can it be something else?

Kansas City, MO

As many middle-aged men know, the quantity and composition of one’s hair changes with age. The manufacturers of Rogaine have made a fortune from this fact.

In animals, coat quality changes with age as well. The hair coat may become less supple, or more likely to clump or mat. More or less shedding may occur. So, there is a chance that cat’s age is contributing to the shedding.

What can you do? The first step is to make sure that no medical condition is playing a role in this. Thyroid disease, diabetes, and a number of other conditions can cause changes in hair quality. As well, if your cat has developed any bald spots, they could be signs of trouble.

If your cat hasn’t had a recent veterinary checkup, I’d recommend one. Hopefully the vet won’t find anything wrong.

And, most likely, there isn’t anything wrong. It is a fact of life: pets shed. If your vet determines that your cat is healthy, then I recommend the following: feed a high-quality diet, brush your cat regularly, use a good flea preventative and buy a good vacuum cleaner.

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