How to Make Cat Hair Grow Faster
See files for Cats
A thick lustrous coat on a cat is a good sign. It implies that underneath all that fur is a happy and healthy cat. If we are talking about a domestic cat, a shiny coat in excellent condition is also a reflection of a caring owner who makes their pet's welfare a priority. Unfortunately, even with the most caring of owners, there are situations and circumstances when our cat's hair might become dull, lank or even fall out. This could be as a reaction to illness, undergoing a stressful stage or another factor outwith our control.
This is why AnimalWised is here to show you how to make cat hair grow faster by encouraging general health habits and specific fur friendly tips. Before we do, however, it is important to note that some cats have naturally short hair. Health is much more important that length of hair, so don't try to stimulate growth unnecessarily.
The importance of a healthy coat
Although hair may seem like a minor issue in the health of our cat, the fact is that the condition of their fur actually says a lot about their overall health. More than just a general health monitor, your cat's coat also provides some very important functions, including:
- Thermal insulation: their coat protects a cat from both high and low temperatures as well as from the dangerous effects of the sun's rays.
- Mechanical insulation: the hair is also a barrier for more tangible dangers such as injuries, scratches and insect infestation.
- Communication: a cat's hair is a key part of its body language. When about to attack or on the defensive, they can bristle the hair and give more height to their appearance. This is in an attempt to deter their attacker.
- Sense of touch: a cat's fur is also part of its tactile sense. It can help them to understand their environment better, sense danger and even affects their activities.
The importance of a cat's hair is indisputable. This is why we need to take good care of their coat and should raise concern if we see deterioration with it. This is why we look into how to care for cat hair to make it grow in the sections below.
The hair cycle
A cat's hair doesn't just appear once and stay there. Its fur goes through different stages of growth which are:
- Anagen phase: the phase during which the hair grows most quickly.
- Catagen phase: this is the transition phase during which the hair stops growing.
- Telogen phase: this is the phase when the hair starts to fall out. When the new hair pushes through the old, the cycle begins again.
Cats usually experience a couple of hair shedding periods per year which we call ‘moulting’. However, indoor cats may not experience it as intensely as those who are more at the whim of the elements and may only experience it once a year. The spring and fall are usually the most critical moments for cats when it comes to hair. Its renovation takes place in a gradual way so that the coat comes in thick and full all over.
Occasionally, when a cat is subject to high amounts of stress (whatever may be the cause), a process called ‘telogen effluvium’ occurs. This is a disorder by which the anagen phase is not started with the hair cycle being interrupted in the telogen phase. When the cause of stress disappears, new hair forms again. The result is a generalized alopecia that doesn't require treatment, rather patience for it to grow back.
How long does it take for a cat's hair to grow?
Since there are different factors which affect the rate at which a cat's hair will grow, there is no exact answer. A cat's mantle (it's coat) can be expected to grow back at a rate of weeks or even months. Sometimes hair is removed by vets by shaving areas to practice surgery or to find a vein for blood tests. If this is the case, many owners will want to know when the hair might return to normal.
Cat hair growth
The information we share below is not a magical formula for cat hair growth. Instead, they are recommendations we provide to encourage hair to grow and to provide the necessary ingredients for a healthy coat. If, however, our cat's hair stops growing or always looks unhealthy, then it is a symptom of some other problem and you will need to see a vet for an appropriate diagnosis. This could be due to some systemic disease and your cat's hair may only grow back when the underlying condition is treated.
The basis for encouraging a cat's hair to grow is their diet. This is why we have to pay special attention to the following nutrients:
- Proteins: these participate in the growth and structure of our cat's hair. A very slow hair growth may be explained by your cat not receiving a sufficient supply of proteins. The amount of food we provide for our cats is important, but its quality is even more imperative. The cat's biosynthesis will depend on it, which is why amino acids such as taurine and lysine are so important.
- Minerals: in particular zinc which is important in hair growth. A lack of zinc can lead to a deficiency which, in turn, causes delays in hair growth and can even result in hair loss in some areas.
Other nutrients are important in avoiding hair and skin problems for cats:
- Vitamins: many are necessary for good appearance and strength of both skin and hair. Vitamin deficiency can lead to alopecia, bald spots and a compromised immune system.
- Essential fatty acids: Omega 3 and Omega 6 are particularly important as without them, the cat will not be able to synthesize on its own.
Deficiency in these nutrients stems from a diet which does not adequately provide them or from a disease which prohibits their synthesis in the bloodstream. If you don't provide them in their diet, then not only will they not grow hair, but they will start to lose it.
Basics for healthy fur on a cat
As a recap, growing a cat's hair and keeping it in optimal condition are based on the following aspects:
- Stress control: this can prevent telogen effluvium as well as other dermatological problems. Stress affects the immune system, lowers their defenses and can cause the conditions which facilitate hair loss.
- Brushing: some cats will need more brushing than others, but all will benefit from regular brushing to remove dead hair and promote new growth.
- Diet: a nutrient rich diet which has the correct amount of protein, vitamins and minerals to ensure healthy skin and fur is essential.
- Deworming: this is essential as infestations of mites and insects can serious damage your cat's skin and lead to hair loss. Regular deworming will keep these pests at bay and encourage a healthy coat.
- Veterinarian: regular vet check ups (at least once or twice a year) will mean you can keep an eye on any conditions which may be developing. They can provide treatment when it is needed and ensure they are healthy to grow their hair.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Make Cat Hair Grow Faster, we recommend you visit our Beauty tips category.