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Do British Shorthair Cats Shed More Than Average? Breed Comparison & Helpful Tips

British Shorthair cats don’t shed more than average. Compared to other shorthair cats, their shedding is about even. Usually, they shed particularly badly during the spring and fall, when their coat is changing. You’ll probably find more hair on your clothes and furniture during this period. Many people recommend brushing these cats around once a week to help limit the hair that ends up around your home.

These cats aren’t low-shedding by any definition. Therefore, if you don’t like cat hair around your home and on your clothes, you should choose a different cat breed.

With that said, some cats do shed more than others. It is possible for a particular British Shorthair to shed more than others, depending on their environment and genetics. Luckily, there is a little you can do to control your cat’s shedding, though you will never eliminate it completely.

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The 6 Tips to Reduce a British Shorthair’s Shedding

There are many ways you can reduce the amount a British Shorthair sheds. We recommend trying several options depending on what you think would work best for your feline.

1. Treat Underlying Medical Conditions

First and foremost, you should treat any underlying medical conditions. Some conditions can affect how much your cat sheds. Anything that reduces your cat’s health can also reduce the health of their skin and coat, causing extra shedding.

British Shorthair cat with cone eating
Image Credit: Lillia Solonari, Shutterstock
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2. Upgrade Their Food

You may also want to consider upgrading their cat food. Many cat foods are low-quality and may not keep your cat in peak condition. These cat foods may affect your feline’s skin and coat health, causing extra shedding. Therefore, you should consider upgrading your cat’s food if you believe they are shedding excessively.

Some cats may also just do better on different cat foods, even if their current one is high-quality. Be sure to always follow the transition instructions on a cat food package and prepare for some extra shedding during the initial transition phase.

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3. Reduce Stress

Stress can increase a cat’s shedding. Of course, you can’t always control stress. Some stressful life changes simply must happen, such as changes in routine and housing. However, you can reduce this stress by keeping your cat’s environment as normal as possible.

For cats that are overly anxious, you may want to speak to your vet about medication or try other stress-reducing methods. For instance, cat pheromone collars can help reduce stress in some felines.

Of course, this method isn’t going to work if your cat isn’t stressed to begin with. Therefore, we only recommend observing your cat for signs of stress, such as excessive hiding or grooming, before attempting these methods.

British Shorthair cat
Image Credit: Rebekka D, Pixabay
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4. Brush Your Cat

You should brush your British Shorthair about once a week. While your cat may get along fine with no brushing, it can lead to more hair ending up on your furniture and clothes.

You should start brushing your cat early. Many cats will enjoy being brushed if you start when they are kittens. However, starting with an adult is a bit more complicated and requires a lot of positive reinforcement. You should go slow and help ensure that your feline is always comfortable. Don’t expect the cat to sit for a while grooming session at first. Just a few brushes is enough to start and then slowly work your way up to a full session.

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5. Supplements

Sometimes, supplements can help treat any deficiencies that may be causing shedding. Most cat foods include all the vitamins your cat needs. However, that doesn’t mean that they include enough for some cats. Often, they include the minimum amount, which isn’t necessarily the best amount. Therefore, adding certain supplements can be helpful.

Never start your cat on any supplement without speaking to your vet, as some vitamins and minerals can be overdosed on. Always stick to the recommended dose; more is not necessarily better.

playful british shorthair cat
Image Credit: Richard Stocker, Pixabay
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6. Environmental Quality

Sometimes, cats may have poor reactions to the quality of air in your home. Allergens can damage your cat’s skin and coat health. An air filter can help improve your indoor air quality. However, depending on your cat’s sensitivities, allergens may be unavoidable. Cats can be allergic to seasonal pollen and similar things, just like humans. In some cases, cats may also need allergy medication to prevent reactions.

If you think your cat is having a reaction to seasonal pollen, then you may want to speak to your vet about medication.

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When to Worry

Of course, not all shedding is normal. Excessive shedding that leads to fur loss is not usually a sign of health. However, unless your cat has obvious fur loss, it can be hard to determine if their shedding is normal or excessive.

When in doubt, we recommend speaking to your vet. Cats are very good at hiding their signs and illnesses. It’s a development from when they used to live in the wild. In the wild, showing signs of illness could lead to predators or even other cats. Therefore, they evolved to hide their illness very well.

Therefore, it is typically best to ere on the side of caution and get your cat seen ASAP.

Obvious bald patches warrant a vet visit. However, itchiness, excessive shedding, irritated skin, and lethargy can all indicate an underlying problem.

Sometimes, cats may develop excessive shedding for reasons not immediately obvious. Of course, skin rashes and similar issues can lead to excessive shedding. However, anything that causes unhealthiness in your feline can lead to problems with your cat’s skin and coat.

British shorthair cat hiding
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Are British Shorthairs Hypoallergenic?

Hypoallergenic cats are a bit complicated. Often, people use this phrase to refer to felines that shed less than average. The British Shorthair sheds about average, so it does not fit into this category.

However, hypoallergenic cats are very rare and not related to a cat’s hair. Those who are allergic to cats are sensitive to the proteins the feline makes. These proteins are in a cat’s skin, saliva, and urine. All cats have these things, so it is impossible for a completely hypoallergenic cat to exist.

With that said, some felines do produce lower levels of this protein than others. British Shorthairs do not fall into this category, however. They will produce the same level of protein as other cats out there, causing allergy symptoms.

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British Shorthair cats shed about the same amount as your normal feline. These cats may shed more in the spring and fall when they are switching their coats. However, for the most part, they should shed a moderate amount. There are several things you can do to reduce their shedding, though. For instance, you should brush these cats at least once a week to remove as much fur as possible.

Ensuring your cat is healthy and on a complete diet is also vital. Otherwise, they may shed more than necessary.

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Featured Image Credit: FotoMirta, Shutterstock