Just as we begin to wear thicker clothes, similarly our feline companions begin to work on their own fur.
Cats naturally have thicker fur during the cold season, which increases the amount of undercoat. A cat living outside will have more “heavy” fur to increase the thickness of the diaper and help maintain body temperature.
Once the cold season comes to an end they will shed a big portion of their fur to stay cool during warmer months and grow it back, again and again, each year, to insulate themselves from the cold season.
Of course, not all hairs fall at the same time.
The hairs are not immortal; they follow a cycle that ends with the fall of hair, this process is called moulting. The moult begins at the animal’s hindquarters and progresses forward.
Dogs and cats have two molting phases each year and change accordingly between cold weather hair and warm weather hair. This seasonal hair loss is explained by the activity of the hair follicles which comprises three phases:
- The growth phase (anagen) during which about 0.3 mm of hair is produced (grows) every day,
- The intermediate phase (catagen), and finally,
- The rest phase (telogen) during which the hair follicle breaks up until the hair finally falls.
Be careful with young kittens and older cats because they tolerate cold less well: the former because they have less efficient thermoregulation, the latter because, because of their age, suffer from diseases such as arthritis or a decrease in immune functions as well as a less prominent muscle mass.