Calico Cat Hair Problem

by Joni
(Lake Tahoe, NV)

Sami Lynn

Sami Lynn

My cat has very fine medium length fur similar to rabbit fur. Sami is a beautiful calico who turns into an alien fur ball by the end of Summer. She is 16 and has never "allowed" brushing. I carefully snip out knots and avoid claws and teeth for two months a year - what to do?

- Sami's mom

Suggestion from Cat Health Guide Editor:

Calico cats are predisposed to a number of skin problems genetically. Abnormalities such as pigmentation, hypersensitivity and allergic reactions are more frequent is such cats.

In other words, the skin and hair follicles are relatively sensitive, thus extra care is needed.

In the case of your Calico, she is an older cat who is experiencing a sub clinical form of a skin problem. Since she does not allow brushing, it seems that the cat hair follicles or the base of the hair is weak. This makes Sami sensitive to the feeling of brushing which is somewhat annoying to the cat.

On the other hand, as you said, that by end of summer, things get worse, which I think is because of excessive hair shedding.

Unfortunately, there is no solution for genetic abnormalities, like what is happening to your Calico. Also, age is another factor in skin sensitivity.

You can use a quality herbal shampoo for keeping the skin healthy and which will help to strengthen the hair follicles such as a Waterless deShedding Shampoo & Conditioner. Secondly, you can try using a special tool for grooming your cat such as a grooming glove like this one offered by Simple Solution. When you stroke your cat using the glove, it will feel more familiar to Sami while helping with the hair problem.

Also, you can use medications that are primarily used to address a cat’s aggressiveness, but those are usually available via prescription only. You can also try using herbal preparations in place of prescription drugs that address skin health such as Skin and Coat Tonic

Your cat has sensitive skin, so snipping knots yourself can be a risk since cats have very thin skin. Preferably you should consult a professional groomer for this purpose.

Comments for Calico Cat Hair Problem

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Jul 11, 2015
lack of Furballs and grooming
by: lynda and cassie {cat}.

My CALICO CAT called Cassie is 4yrs old. I have never seen her bring up furballs. Why is this, and can anybody give me the answer?. My other question is why are they extremely hairy?
I comb,{backwards and forwards}, Cassie every day, and a good lot of hair comes away in the comb. I should save it and knit a wee jumper with it!! anyway after grooming Cassie likes nothing more than to sit on my knee, after 5mins she will get up and my blue trousers, are automatically turned to white. Why is this? If anybody out there can give me an answer I would be very happy, and hairless trousers.

Response from our Editor

Hi Lynda (and Cassie)

It is not normal for a cat to have fur balls. A healthy cat should be able to naturally remove any hair through the stool. Cats that frequently vomit (every day or 1x a week) indicates that there is a problem that should be reviewed with a veterinarian. Since it is a digestive problem, there may also be a connection between diet and Calico fur balls.

Calico itself is a hair color pattern, not a breed. Calicos can be found with any hair length, long or short.

Sep 29, 2013
My Calico cat shed hair
by: loveyouhun

My Calico cat, Jewl lick herself clean and a quite a bit of hair came out. I saw it other day and am concern is she losing her hair. Is that normal for Calico cat?

Dec 15, 2010
Bacterial Infection
by: Bob

Some of these problems may also be related to bacterial infection. In most cases, bacterial skin infections are caused by another skin problem where the hair follicles have been irritated. Generally the infection is treated with an antibiotic, and depending on what the other skin problem is, treatment may call for more medication, a medicated shampoo, or something else.

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