A cat changes its look throughout the year. Sometimes the cat owner may think that the cat has lost or gained weight.
Usually, that is not the case.
Growing a winter coat is a natural thing for a cat, and this usually takes place during the fall months when the days become shorter and the amount of daylight decreases.
It's important to understand that cat coat changes are triggered by the number of daylight hours rather than temperature. Both outdoor and indoor cats grow thicker coats and shed seasonally.
A cat’s coat consists of several layers. The outer hairs are known as guard hairs; long, visible hairs that show the pattern and color of the cat.
Underneath the guard hairs, there is the most important part of the winter coat – the undercoat that every cat has. The main difference between breeds is that some have thicker coats than others.
The undercoat consists of shorter, softer hairs which increase in number during colder months and help the cat maintain body heat and regulate body temperature.
Well, to regulate body temperature, cats move their hair follicles. This is a process which is called thermoregulation.
So, how does that work?
When they are cold, they bring the follicles closer together, and when they’re hot they move them further apart. Fascinating, isn’t it?
With the arrival of warmer days, cats begin to shed to reduce their winter coats and adapt to summer temperatures. The transition from winter to summer coat can be very noticeable.
Even indoor-only cats that don’t need extra insulation will grow fur coats and go through shedding.
If you wish to learn more about it, swipe up!