The Shedding Inspection: Do Cats or Dogs Shed More?

Whether you are a dog person or a cat person, you are most likely familiar with the annoyances of finding hair all over your house. But which sheds more hair? Unfortunately, it’s not a simple answer 🙂 Both dogs and cats that have hair tend to shed, although a variety of factors affect how much your pet sheds. The breed, size, age, and a number of other details affect how much your feline or canine sheds. Let’s talk about each factor in a bit more detail…..

Your Pet’s Breed

The breed of your furry — or perhaps not so furry — friend, will affect how much fur you find around the house. Some dog breeds, such as the husky or the chow-chow, have very long hair that sheds completely a couple of times every year, although this process occurs gradually over time. Some cats have longer coats than others, such as the Chartreux cat.

Even if your dog or cat is not a long-haired breed, you may find shed hair often. Many short-haired breeds shed hair consistently, usually more often during specific seasons. If your pet is not shedding hair as often as usual, it is possibly a sign of an underlying condition or disease.

When deciding on which breed of pet you want to go with, do a little research on the number of coats it has. All dogs have at least one coat, while some breeds have two, which you can think of as the dog equivalent of a winter jacket. Cats, however, have one, two, or three coats. The higher the number of coats, the more your pet has to shed.

Although it is not dependent on your pet’s breed, you will not find the shed fur of outdoor animals inside as much as indoor animals. This is another factor you should consider if you worry about cleaning up fur inside your house. Some cats and dogs are better suited as outdoor pets, although the climate you live in also plays a large part in that decision.

The Size of Your Pet

As with the number of coats your dog or cat has, the size of your pet dictates how much fur and hair it has covering its body. Small dogs tend to shed on the same time intervals as other sizes of dogs, although the amount of fur on their bodies is much smaller. Cats are the same way, although the size spectrum for pet cats is not as wide as that in the dog world.

Be careful not to assume that all small dogs and cats will protect you from lots of shedding, as this is not always the case. Especially in some climates, small pets will end up shedding often, which often makes up for the small quantity of their shedded fur. On the other hand, some large dogs and cats naturally shed very little, one example being the Airedale terrier.

Your Pet’s Age

Interestingly, the older your pet gets, the more it will shed. The reasoning behind this phenomenon is the fact that your dog or cat’s skin gets old, which in turn makes the fur weaker. The life cycle of an older pet’s hair cycle also becomes shorter while its daily activity also goes down. When a female dog or cat becomes pregnant, it will shed more as a result of the added stress it undergoes.

While there are natural changes that happen to your pet due purely to age, the difference in the amount it sheds should be minimal. Abrupt changes or a large increase in how much your animal sheds may show a health issue or disease. Changes in daily activity might cause you as the owner to see more concentrated fur shedding, where the shedding was more spread out in your pet’s early years.

As a result, it may seem that your dog or cat is shedding more fur than earlier, although you probably are just noticing it more since your pet is not rolling around or moving as much. Older pets often acquire health problems, which makes them more stressed and anxious than healthy dogs. This excess of stress often leads to your pet expelling hair more often.

One similarity between humans and our pets is that we lose hair as we grow older. This is usually a natural process, although it is not always the case. For this reason, make sure to pay attention to your pet so that you do not miss any important health issues.

Seasonal Shedding

You will find that your pet sheds more during specific times during the year, most notably when the weather warms up or cools off a lot. Specifically, your dog or cat will shed the most during the spring and fall, when it sheds from a winter coat to a summer coat, or vice-versa, from a summer coat to a winter coat. Many breeds, especially in areas where the seasons change, change coats quite often.

While there is nothing you can do to prevent your pet from shedding, being aware of when it will shed the most can help you prepare for maintaining and cleaning up any fur that ends up around the house. Even during the peak seasons in which dogs and cats tend to shed the most, the answer to which one sheds more fur is nonexistent. The categories of dog and cat mean little without further context.

Final Thoughts

Domestic cats and dogs are loving creatures that we attach ourselves to like family. Also, like humans, pets shed their fur. There are a number of factors that affect how much fur your four-legged friend sheds, including breed, age, size, and the changing seasons. Shedding in itself is completely normal and something that you should embrace rather than loathe.

Different cats and dogs can have different numbers of coats, with some dogs having one or two coats and cats able to have one, two, or three different coats! The higher the number of fur coats your pet has, the more fur it is going to shed. Shedding is a part of life for most pet owners, although knowing what you are dealing with can save you time and energy.