Do you own an American Bobtail cat? If so, you’re probably well aware of how much they love to shed! While some people may find this frustrating, there are actually many reasons why American Bobtail cats tend to shed more than other breeds.
In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 of the most common reasons why American Bobtails shed so much. So if you’re wondering why your beautiful furry friend is leaving trails of hair all over your house, keep reading!
Do American Bobtail Cats Shed?
Yes, American Bobtails shed. How much they shed varies from cat to cat; some may hardly leave any hair around your home, while others can make you wonder if someone gave them a haircut now and then!
Usually, American Bobtails shed more during their heavy shedding seasons (usually in the spring and fall) than at other times. It’s important to note that all cats are different; what you see on your end may not reflect what is actually happening with your cat. Not everyone believes in the idea of “heavy” or “light” shedding; as long as there is some shedding going on, it’s considered normal.
Why Do American Bobtails Shed So Much? 10 Reasons
1. Seasons for Shedding
American Bobtails have 2 heavy-shedding seasons every year in the spring and fall. During these seasons, their old or damaged coats are shed in preparation for the new winter coat that they are growing underneath.
2. Temperature Changes
You’ve probably noticed this yourself; when you go from a humid to a dry climate, your skin feels itchy and uncomfortable until your body adjusts to the change in temperature. American Bobtails are no different; their bodies react to humidity changes in the environment by shedding more hair, which helps regulate moisture in the coat and skin.
Whenever you brush your American Bobtail, they tend to shed more than usual, don’t they? Obviously, this is because when you brush them, you detangle and remove loose hair from their coat.
Male and female hormonal changes can cause your American Bobtail to shed more at certain times of the year; it’s not uncommon for cats to experience a temporary increase in shedding during the breeding season (in the spring), or when they are going through heat (in the summer).
5. Physical Changes in Coat
Any physical changes in your American Bobtail coat can cause increased shedding, especially if the change affects the undercoat (which is what they use to regulate body temperature). If they get a new hairstyle or their hair color changes, this can also affect their coat and make them shed more.
6. Age Changes in Coat
Just like with humans, American Bobtails can experience changes to their skin and coat over time. This is especially common in older cats; the skin and coat begin to thin and become less effective at holding in moisture (causing increased shedding). Even indoor cats will experience gradual hair changes due to age.
7. Stress Changes in Coat
Just like with humans, American Bobtails can also experience changes to their skin and coat due to stress. This may happen when they are especially nervous or anxious, such as during a thunderstorm or other stressful event. If your cat is stressed out, some of their old hair may shed in clumps, and they may experience an increased amount of shedding.
8. Changes in Diet
Changes in your American Bobtail’s diet can affect their skin and coat, resulting in changes to the amount of hair they shed. The ingredients in cat food play a huge role in healthy skin and coat; this is especially true if you are feeding your cat low-quality food.
You may notice increased shedding when you switch to a new brand or flavor of treats/food, especially if they are made with different ingredients than what your American Bobtail is used to. This can also occur when you change the type of food that you feed them (i.e., if you switch your cat’s diet from wet food to dry food or vice versa).
9. Changes in Grooming
Just like with humans, American Bobtails can experience changes in their skin and coat over time that are caused by grooming habits. If you change the way you groom your domestic short hair, this can increase hair loss. Some common examples include:
- If you switch from nail trims to regular grooming (which might happen if your cat stops using their scratching post)
- If you stop brushing them altogether (you should brush your shorthair 1-2 times per week; or 1 time per week for longhairs)
- If you switch from brushing them with a short-bristled brush to using a slicker brush
10. Lifestyle Changes in Grooming
Just like with humans, American Bobtails can experience changes to their skin and coat over time that are caused by daily habits. Some common examples include:
- If you take your cat outside (or if they go outside) and you start to keep them indoors
- If the environment that you keep your American Bobtail in changes (i.e., if you move to a different house, apartment, etc.)
- If you start bathing your cat more often (or if you stop giving them baths)
- If you take your American Bobtail to the groomer more often (or less often)
How To Overcome American Bobtail Shedding
There are some ways that you can help to reduce or manage the amount of shedding that your American Bobtail does. The following tips will not only make them look their best, but they will also keep them healthy and happy; these include:
- Feed your cat high-quality food (look for ingredients like fish oil, flaxseed, and B vitamins; we recommend Wellness CORE dry cat food)
- Brush your American Bobtail regularly (ideally 1-2 times per week)
- Clean the area where your cat sleeps (e.g., their bed or favorite napping spot) frequently to reduce skin irritation that may cause them to scratch/lose hair
- Don’t take your American Bobtail outside (unless you plan to keep them there); this will also help prevent them from bringing in fleas or other parasites that can irritate their skin and cause excess shedding
- If you are moving, don’t take your American Bobtail with you; this can be especially stressful for them
- Keep your home nice and warm (but don’t make it too hot) to help them stay comfortable
- Give your cat plenty of napping spots throughout the house; if they are able to relax, this will lower their stress levels
- Let them explore/exercise frequently; this will also help to reduce their stress levels
- Don’t bathe them too often; this can make their skin and coat dry and cause more hair loss
- If you switch from a short-bristled brush to a slicker brush, make sure that your cat is comfortable with the new grooming tool (i.e., don’t yank on their skin)
Final Thoughts on American Bobtail Cats Shedding
All breeds of cats will shed some hair throughout the year, but American Bobtail cats seem to be known for their excessive shedding. While this can certainly be annoying (and even embarrassing), you should remember that it is completely natural and there are things that you can do to help reduce the amount of cat hair in your home.
If you have any questions about the shedding habits of your American Bobtail or you would like to share your own experiences, please leave a comment below.