Skip to main content
A fluffy cat shedding on the carpet

Is my cat’s shedding normal?

Q: My cat Cupcake sheds profusely. Is he normal?

A: As many as 60,000 to 120,000 hairs adorn every square inch of a cat's skin, and many are in the process of being released at a given time. Outdoor cats shed heavily during the spring and fall in response to changes in temperature and daylight. If Cupcake lives indoors, he likely sheds throughout the year because temperature and lighting are consistent.

It's not uncommon for cats to shed profusely when they're stressed, like when they ride in the car to the animal hospital or someone new visits the home.

The most common reasons for a pet to lose so much hair that the skin shows through are fleas and other parasites; ringworm and other fungal infections; bacterial infections; and hormonal imbalances. Fleas irritate cats and bite people, and ringworm is contagious to pet and human family members, so contact your veterinarian if Cupcake develops any bald patches. Otherwise, brush him regularly to remove any loose hairs before they're deposited on your clothes and furniture.

As long as Cupcake has no thin or bald spots, his shedding is probably normal. If his coat gets sparse or loses its luster, or you see redness or debris on the skin or hair, it's time for a veterinary exam.

Editor’s Note: Detecting health problems in cats can be difficult, and the quality of their fur could be key to assessing their wellness. Here’s a list of fur conditions that may signal health problems in cats.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in North Carolina. Contact her at vet@askthevet.pet

Protect your pet from the unexpected with Figo Pet Insurance, rated “Best Pet Insurance” by Reviews.com since 2017.

Man sitting on bench with his dog

We believe that seeking out the best...

Small dog being examined by veterinarian

At Figo, we hear this question often...

What do the Cockapoo, the Puggle, the...

Dog receiving treat from woman

August 8th is #NationalCBD day! At Figo...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Kristin Levine with dog

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...

Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...

Woman with dog looking at tablet

Since 2017 Americans have spent between $17...

Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

Small dog sits in front of steps of house

Moving from a 2 bedroom condo in the city to...