cat molting

What is Cat Molting?

It’s great that we have the option to dress for different weather now. We can still keep our coats on and pull them out when the temperatures drop during the winter and put them back in storage when it gets hot in June.

Your cat also has seasonal outfits but they can be difficult to dress for the seasons. In this article, you will know everything about cat molting.

What is molting in cats?

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With fall, warmer weather, and the changing of seasons comes a certain type of shedding that is common in cats called “molting.” Your cat sheds their old coat once a month to make way for a newer one. Any dead hair will be left behind in the furniture or clothing.

Cats molt twice a year and it can depend on some factors. However, they often remove the unwanted parasites while they are molting so there’s really no downside to this process!

When cats shed their winter coat, they are getting a “spring molt”. This is where they get rid of the old coat. Then, when it gets warmer outside, cats may experience a “fall molt” that is an entire new coat. It’s to keep them warm as they nap through summer.

Is shedding the same as molting?

Molting and shedding are similar because both refer to replacing a part of an animal’s body with a more suitable adaptation. They’re so interchangeable that people often use them interchangeably.

Cats (technically) don’t molt like other animals. But when people talk about cat “molting,” they’re really talking about hair shedding. So, yes, it’s the same thing — but no, not all types of “molt” are the same!

Do all cats molt?

Yes, all cats have to shed and molt, but the time spent on each hair coat will vary depending on a number of factors. For example, cats that have short hair will spend less time than those with longer coats when they molt.

Cats in cold environments may molt more intensely than cats in warmer climates. The reason for this is that molting is a hormonal process triggered by environmental cues, so it’s possible for them to either stay the same or get worse.

Although the cat’s body sheds its skin due to seasonal changes, the amount of time spent outside and inside can vary. Additionally, climatic conditions and the amount of daylight may affect what type of coat your cat has–both short-haired cats and long-haired cats can develop different coats.

How to care for a molting cat

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Your cat will undergo some additional grooming during their molts. This will help your cat expel excess hairballs, so they don’t need to spend too much time doing that since it is a natural process.


When cats groom themselves, they remove and ingest matted fur. The majority of the ingested hair sheds off naturally due to the cat’s natural preening. If too much gets stuck, though, a hairball can be formed and some things need to be done about it.

The Cornell Feline Health Center explains how hairballs can pose a threat to your cat’s health if ingested and often accumulate anywhere in the mouth or stomach, where they can cause blockage.

Sometimes messy hairballs can get stuck in your cat’s intestines. This can cause discomfort and if obstructed, surgical intervention may be needed. Your cat may also be losing his appetite, have digestive issues, and get irritated from vomiting and regurgitation during this time.

Brushing and grooming

During their molting cycles, brushing and grooming your cat can help them manage hairballs. There are a number of different dog and cat-grooming products that you can find at your local pet store, Walmart, and Amazon. Popular grooming supplies for cats include combs, mat-splitters, detanglers, brushes, gloves, and even specialty lint brushes.


Cats are part of the typical domestic mammal family, with many species having seasonal changes in their body temperature. One way cats regulate this is by molting their fur each season. Molting is a natural process that shouldn’t be confused with other symptoms in cats.

Though shedding is natural, hairballs sometimes occur and can be dangerous for your cat. It’s best to monitor their size so the issue does not turn into a bigger problem.

You can ensure your cat’s health and happiness by brushing them often during molting seasons.

Read Also: Parakeet Molting

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