In order to answer this question, we need to understand cat hair and its function. Because cats do not wear jackets or sweaters, they need a barrier to protect themselves against the cold, heat and the damaging sunlight. Also, they need something to protect them against physical and chemical trauma to the skin. These demands change all the time and, as humans, we change our clothes according to the weather. Cats, however, do not. There are many factors that can influence a cat’s coat and they include temperature, nutrition, hormones, other body chemicals, health of the cat, and genetics. Also, it has been observed that the amount of daily sunlight to which a cat is exposed plays a huge role in how much a cat sheds.
Outdoor cats do shed more (as compared to their indoor feline furry friends) just before a season change like spring and fall. The hair adjusts to the climate. Cats will grow more short and fluffy hair in the fall to add more warmth to their coat. This is what is known as “undercoat”. When spring comes, there is a chemical change in the cat’s body signaling it to shed this “undercoat” and replace it with longer, more coarse primary hair to help the cat stay cool in the warm summer months. This signaling system acts differently in a strictly indoor cat. They do not get as much natural light as their outdoor furry friends and are exposed to more artificial light. As a result, their bodies lose their natural ability to detect a season change and they shed all the time and do not follow the same shedding cycles as outdoor cats.
Regardless of whether or not your cat is an outdoor cat, an indoor cat, or a combination of the two, it is important to realize that shedding is a normal cycle for cats. It is essential that cat owners manage their cat’s grooming to help prevent hairballs. In extreme cases, hairballs can
cause obstructions of the throat and/or the intestines (speak with your veterinarian about the dangers of hairballs to your cat). By providing your cat with frequent grooming, proper nutrition, plenty of exercise, and annual vet visits, you can manage their shedding and prevent potentially harmful hairballs.
So, now that we know the basics of shedding, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the FURminator brush?
- deShedding Edge - The stainless steel edge (or teeth) reaches through the topcoat to remove loose undercoat hair as well topcoat hair. After testing a conventional brush versus the FURminator brush, there was a huge difference in the amount of fur each brush managed to trap. The conventional brush was not able to reach and remove the “undercoat” whereas the FURminator removed it with ease. Also, it was able to remove any dirt or debris very easily where the conventional brush could not reach.
- Effort - you really do not have to use much pressure as you brush. The edge is that good at grabbing the hair! Only use short, light strokes of the brush. The brush is lightweight so your hands do not tire.
- Less frequent grooming time! It is so good at pulling the hair that you can groom your cat less often. I used to groom my cat 2-3 times per week with a regular cat brush. Now, with the FURminator brush, I only brush her once per week!
- Handle - Sleek and ergonomic, wrapped with rubber, making for an easy and comfortable hold.
- FURejector button – Releases hair with ease, making “deShedding” easier than ever.
It is an investment. FURminators range in price from $25 - $100 depending on the type.
Check out our video demonstration of the FURminator with special guest cat, Maggie!
Personally, I love the FURminator brush! It does the job in less time and more effectively. No need to brush my cat more than once a week so this leaves more time for me and less stress on the cat (for those cats who hate being groomed). I was hesitant at first because of the cost, but now I really do not know what I would do without it!
An important note! If you are doing regular grooming and you are still noticing a lot of shedding, please seek medical advice from your veterinarian. In some cases, over shedding may be a symptom of a medical condition.