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Why Is Your Cat Shedding So Much All of a Sudden? 7 Possible Reasons

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

newly groomed maine coon cat with comb and hair nearby

If your carpets are littered with fluffy tumbleweeds and you’re cracking out the vacuum cleaner way more often than usual of late, you’re likely wondering why your cat is shedding so much all of a sudden.

Shedding at certain times of the year is normal, and certain breeds shed more heavily than others. That said, in some cases, shedding can be caused by a medical issue. In this post, we’ll explore seven possible reasons why your cat is suddenly shedding so much.hepper cat paw divider

The 7 Reasons Your Cat Is Shedding So Much All of a Sudden

1. Seasonal Shedding

During shedding seasons (spring and fall), it’s normal for cats to shed more than usual because they’re getting rid of dead hairs to make room for new growth. It can be surprising to new cat parents just how much cats can shed during shedding season.

During shedding season, you’ll likely need to brush your cat’s coat daily to keep things under control. For long-haired, heavy-shedding breeds, you’ll need a de-shedding tool to remove their shedding undercoats and a metal comb to help keep matting at bay.

ginger cat on a gray sofa next to a pile of his fur after combing out with a furminator
Image By: Tatiana Osipova, Shutterstock

2. Stress

If your cat is stressed out, they may shed more than they usually do. Poor coat condition and overgrooming are other symptoms of stress in cats. Cats can become stressed for a variety of reasons including a change in routine (a new pet, moving house, etc.) and living in a loud, hectic environment.

To combat this, make sure your cat’s environment is as peaceful and consistent as possible. Find the perfect spot for their bed, litter box, and food and water bowls, and try to avoid moving them around.

Introduce new pets gradually and try to keep your cat’s living environment chilled out and free of loud noises as much as possible. Provide hiding spots that your cat can climb inside and feel safe, like a cat bed with a roof, a cat condo, or even their favorite cardboard box! Always handle cats sensitively and gently and make sure every member of the family does the same.

3. Low-quality Diet

A low-quality diet can also contribute to excess shedding. Cats need a diet that contains animal-based proteins, a moderate amount of fat, and a small number of carbs. Their diet should also contain vitamins minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids and it must contain taurine, which is an essential amino acid for cats.

Your cat’s diet must be complete, balanced, and suitable for their age, and the flavor must be something your cat likes. While some cats like a variety of flavors, some stick to only one. Look for high-quality commercial brands—especially ones that have a seal of approval from an organization like AAFCO in the US and PFMA in the UK.

woman grooming cat at home with tool for shedding hair
Image By: U__Photo, Shutterstock

4. Health Conditions

Certain health conditions can cause cats to shed excessively, as can certain medications:

  • Allergies
  • Parasites
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Adrenal gland disease
  • Cancer
  • Skin infections
  • Sunburn

5. Pregnancy

When pregnant or lactating, your cat’s stores of calcium and minerals are in shorter supply than usual, which can affect the condition of their coat. According to Vet West, it’s common for cats to shed after giving birth or while nursing. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to speak to a vet to find out if a special kind of diet or supplements would help.

owner is brushing grey pregnant cat outdoors
Image By: Only_NewPhoto, Shutterstock

6. Getting Older

For some senior cats, self-care isn’t as easy as it once was. Since it may be harder for them to groom themselves, senior cats need you to brush their coats daily to prevent matting, knotting, and tangles.

7. Breed

Long-haired breeds like Ragamuffins and American Bobtails shed more than others and their coats require more work than short-haired cats to prevent matting and tangling.

Other heavy-shedding breeds include:

white persian cat shedding and grooming hair on yoga mat
Image By: bombermoon, Shutterstock

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Cat Coat Care Tips

Here is a summary of steps you can take to make sure your cat’s coat stays in tip-top condition.

  • Brush your cat’s coat regularly—daily during shedding season.
  • De-shed heavy-shedding breeds during shedding season with a de-shedding tool.
  • Check your cat’s coat regularly for mats and tangles and use your fingers or a comb to gently remove them.
  • Feed a high-quality, nutrient-rich, complete, and balanced diet.
  • Keep up with your cat’s flea, tick, and heartworm treatments.
  • Make sure your cat always has access to plenty of clean, fresh drinking water.
  • Reduce stress for your cat as much as possible.

Most cats do an excellent job of cleaning themselves, but with the Hepper Cat Brush, they no longer need to spend hours licking at their loose fur.

Hepper Deshedding Cat Brush
  • ONE PUSH RELEASE - This kitten brush / cat brush pops out fur with just a simple press, leaving you...
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This is our product, but we love it so much that we have to share! It is designed to be gentle yet effective, removing loose hair and stubborn knots without any painful pulling. What better way to bond with your favorite feline?

hepper cat paw divider


In summary, there are several possible reasons why your cat is suddenly shedding so much, ranging from normal, seasonal shedding to medical issues. If you’re concerned about your cat’s excessive shedding or have noticed dry, patchy, or irritated skin or other symptoms of a health condition, we’d urge you to consult your vet for advice.

Featured Image Credit: Maximilian100, Shutterstock

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