Lindsey Browlingdon

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How to Get Flea Dirt Off Your Cat (Pics, Guide & Tips)

If you have sen flea dirt on your cat, you may be thinking of how to get rid of it. Obviously, with fleas, you can use some effective cat flea shampoo (Click here to the price on Amazon). However, what about the actual flea dirt?

Whats the big issue with Flea dirt? Flea dirt is an indication of an infestation of fleas. It is an alarm bell that should not be ignored. If you see it on your cat you need to take immediate action before the matter spirals out of control.

Now you know what the big deal is, let me explain how to get rid of the fleas as well as the flea dirt. As well as how to prevent the fleas from coming back to cause you problems and more. Keep reading…

What is Flea Dirt?

Flea dirt is essentially the feces of fleas. It looks like a messy dirt patch, hence the reason it is called “Flea Dirt”.

Basically, it looks like little flicks of black or brown colored dots. Sometimes they are noticeable immediately, from your cat’s fur. Especially, if they’ve got light or white colored fur.

However, if they have darker fur you may only notice it if you run your hands through their fur and see this. In some cases.

If you have noticed your cat scratching itself more than usual or noticed flea dirt specks on their fur. There is a good chance that they have a flea infestation.

How do you get rid of the flea Dirt & Fleas on your cat?

Getting rid of flea dirt is the easy bit. To be honest you can just brush or wipe this off without an issue. The true challenge is getting rid of the actual fleas themselves.

To get rid of the fleas on your actual cat the best solution is to use a fine-tooth comb which is designed for this.  This Flea comb, if used regularly will help. It will help to clear the eggs settling in your cat’s fur and remove any fleas that may be hanging around.

Also, it is a good idea to use flea shampoo on a regular basis. To prevent them from coming back. Be warned, your cat will not like this, but it is needed.

Why is Flea Dirt such an issue?

Flea dirt is an issue because it is a natural sign that there are fleas infesting your cat. The problem with this is if the signs are correct, and your car has a flea infestation, then this can affect you, your family as well as your cat.

In addition to this, some cats have allergic reactions to fleas. Meaning the actual flea saliva can cause an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, this can result in severe irritation. Or even, in extreme situations, actual fur loss.

The problem with fleas is, once you see one or two, there is a good chance that there are another hundred more you haven’t seen yet.

Also, their numbers are going to grow substantially within a short period of time. Therefore, it is a good idea to get in front of the problem and deal with it sooner rather than later.

One last thing to consider, in some cases fleas can carry diseases as well. Which can be dangerous to you, your cat and your family.

How can you prevent fleas coming back?

Firstly, you can deal with the fleas directly by using a good cat shampoo which has flea protection built into it (click here to see my best Cat flea Shampoo choice). Alternatively, there are cat collars (click here to see the price on Amazon) which have flea solutions built into them as well.

In addition to this, there are ways that you can do basic things around your house to prevent fleas from coming back. Let me explain…

Vacuuming on a regular basis

This is quite simple and obvious but doing regular vacuuming in your house will help a lot. This will hoover up the eggs that are being laid by these fleas and reduce the chances of them coming back.

However, to make this effective you have to be quite thorough with your vacuuming. You need to catch all the hidden crevices as well as fabrics and carpets. Basically, anything that could be infected.

In addition to this when you finish vacuuming, do not just leave the vacuum until you use it next. Why? because all you have done is transferred these flea eggs from one place to another. They are just now living in your vacuum bag.

So, it is important to empty the bag and throw it away immediately. Also, wash out the canister with hot soapy water to get rid of the flea eggs.

A weekly deep clean

As well as vacuuming, it is a good idea to have a weekly clean. This needs to cover the fabrics that you use in your house.

This includes any duvet bedding any fabrics. It should even include cushions that you use on your sofa, etc. Take all of these fabrics, which your cat is likely to have rubbed against and potentially left eggs on.

Then place them into your washing machine. Put them on a high-temperature wash, just make sure that it doesn’t shrink the fabrics (read the fabric labels first to check). This will help to prevent the flea eggs coming back.

How can you prevent fleas from transferring into your house?

Fleas are clever. Sometimes they will use you, even if you have no idea what is happening. Let me explain…

Sometimes you may visit a house, which may have a cat with fleas. The danger of this is, you can unwillingly bring a flea infestation to your own home. Which can, in turn, transfer to your pets, including your cat.

The best way to avoid this happening is to immediately remove your clothes once you return home. If you can take them off before you actually enter your home then this is best practice.

However, I understand this may not always be practical, depending on the layout of your home. Once you’ve taken your clothes off. Immediately put them into a high-temperature wash to get rid of any fleas or flea eggs.

Related questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some related questions to Flea Dirt. If you feel there are some extra questions that are not covered feel free to leave a comment.

How do you know if the fleas are gone for good? The only way to check this yourself is by inspecting your cat. If you have the opportunity to visit your vet’s do so. This will completely verify they are gone or not.

However, if you want to check at home. The best way to do this is to get some white paper or a light surface. It has to be light because you need to check for fleas and you need the contrast of color to see them clearly, are you with me?

Place your cat on the whitepaper (or light-colored surface) and use a flea comb. Comb around the areas which typically gather fleas the most. Comb the area to see if any fleas or flea dirt are speckled on the white paper.

If you see any at this stage it is obvious that the problem is not gone and you need to continue the treatment.

If you still don’t see any then you can try and apply a little bit of petroleum jelly and continue combing. The idea behind this is to catch any loose fleas in the jelly.

If you do not see any fleas or flea dirt then this is a good indication that the problem has gone.

However, the only thing I would say is this, unless you do this very thoroughly there is a chance that you can miss a flea. If you miss one, you may find the flea problem will still be there. Hence the reason why visiting a vet is the best way.

How Do Feral Cats Deal With Fleas? (The reality!)

If you are curious about feral cats, you may wonder how they deal with fleas, right? We know a normal domestic cat can use things such as flea shampoo (Click here to see my best flea shampoo on Amazon), but how do feral cats deal with this?

how do feral cats deal with fleas? They can’t deal with it. They have to live with the fleas. Unfortunately, the fleas will, in turn, lead to other issues, such as causing them to scratch their skin severely to create open wounds that get infected and leads to other diseases.

Now you know it’s not that easy for a feral cat just to use flea shampoo (click here for my top cat shampoos) let me explain what happens when a feral cat gets fleas, how you can help them if feeding them is a good idea and much more, keep reading.

What is a Feral Cat?

Firstly, what is a feral cat? It is essentially an abandoned/stray cat that typically avoids any human interaction. Basically, it is not used to humans and sees them as a threat. Hence the reason they avoid them.

Let’s be honest, wouldn’t you be scared of us, if you were as small as a feral cat?… Exactly…

What happens to feral cats that have fleas?

Unfortunately, the reality is, these cats do not deal with the problem. They basically suffer in silence and deal with the related symptoms and follow on issues that lead on from this.

Here is a list of a few of the problems they face:

  • Scratch themselves until they cause patches and open wounds.
  • Flies infiltrate these wounds and lay eggs.
  • Fur loss: Due to repeated scratching, their fur won’t grow in areas, leaving patches.
  • Tapeworm infections.
  • Fungal and other related infections.

It sounds grim, I know. But this is the harsh reality of a feral cat. They have no idea how to deal with the issue. And, they do not have anyone that cares for them to deal with the issue.

What is the life-cycle of a Flea on Feral cat?

The problem with fleas is, they multiply on a rapid scale. If you do not deal with the issue early on, they will quickly spread and cause an infestation in no time.

For that reason, for your knowledge, let me explain what their typical life span is…

First, there is an egg…

Firstly they start life as an egg, which is laid by the female flea, as you would imagine. It will end up falling onto a fabric surface or on your cat. It gets its nourishment and food from your cats dead skin, other fleas feces (lovely!) or any other related organic matter.

They grow into Larva…

In time, they grow and turn into larvae. Following this stage, they will eventually hatch and become an adult flea (this sounds ling, but it really isn’t for them).

At this point, they either live within your cat’s fur feeding on their flesh or hitch a ride on the nearest human (a host). If they latch onto a human, you probably won’t notice this, by the way, you will unwillingly transfer this bad boy to your house.

You unwillingly transfer this cheeky flea into your house

If the flea takes the route of using you as a host. You simply walk him right into your home, he hops off onto your cat and the cycle continues, over and over again.

How can you help a feral cat with fleas?

You may be thinking, well, I have heard enough, how can I help, right? Well, you can, let me explain. To do this correctly, you need to deal with the host (the cat) as well as the environment around the host.

If you do one without the other, there is no point. Why? Because these little scoundrels will just grow in the neglected area. E.g. You clean up the feral cat and leave their environment. All that will happen is the cat will get infected again from its contaminated environment, are you with me?

If you really want to help the feral cat, you need to really take the cat into your house. While he is free it will be a perpetual cycle. Wouldn’t be worth your time in the first place.

Once you take the cat in, you can consult your vet on what flea treatment he recommends.

Why are Feral Cats Susceptible to disease and infection?

You may be thinking, why are these feral cats always picking up these diseases and ailments? Well, let me take some time to explain this now.

The short answer to this is their environment. They tend to live in abandoned houses, dumped cars, etc. Places where rats and vermin are rife. They even routinely eat from rubbish bins.

As you can see its a recipe for disaster. They face a content cycle of disease, infection and content reproduction. Each kitten is born into the same environment and the cycle continues.

In addition to this, their life span is often quite short. You can expect them to live as little as 2 or 3 years in these conditions.

Is it a good idea to feed these Feral cats?

If you see one of these cats out in the wild, there is a chance that you may feel sorry for them and attempt to feed them to ease your conscious. But is this the right thing to do?

To be honest, no it’s not. Although it may make you feel better, it doesn’t address the real issue. It’s similar to feeding a homeless person one meal or giving them some coin. Yes, they will appreciate it, but does it really solve the route cause of their problems? No.

To really help, they need to be taken in and nursed back to health. This will break the vicious cycle and make a difference.

On the other hand, if you throw them a sandwich, they will eat it, move on with their day and have more kittens, and the cycle continues, are you with me?

Related Questions:

In this section, I will answer some questions related to feral cat fleas. If you have a burning question that you need to be answered, that you can’t see covered, drop me a comment below.

Q: What other diseases or infections can feral cats pick up?

Unfortunately, feral cats are subject to many diseases, for reasons discussed earlier.  It is not limited to fleas. To help you get a feel of these, let me explain them now:

Ear Mites

You can usually see some obvious symptoms for this one. Typically the cat will scratch and shake their head. To be honest it will usually look quite excessive. These ear mites cause some serious irritation.

The good thing is, they are not lethal. But they are still very painful and frustrating. In some cases, they may even draw blood and scratch themselves quite severely.

Parasites

These parasites come in a few different forms. Such as Coccidia and roundworms. These annoying scoundrels lay dormant in the cat’s system. You may find that they may suffer from diarrhea at this time, which is a known symptom.

Q: Do all feral cats have fleas?

Many people may assume that all feral cats have fleas. To be honest it is a fair assumption because it is quite a common issue. However, no they do not all have fleas. But, the chances are they do.

The reality is, even an indoor cat can get fleas (click here to see how to get Flea Dirt off your cat). The reason for this is because of the way fleas work. Remember earlier when I talked about the flea life cycle? Well, this is the reason why. They travel from one place to the next using innocent bystanders, in particular, you. So, they can multiply and reach many unexpected areas.

How Much do Calico Cats Shed? (Prevention, Tips & Guide)

If you have a Calico cat and wondering how to get rid of their shedded fur (click here for my best shedding and Dematting Comb on Amazon)  and interested to know how much these cats even shed, then you are in the right place.

How much do calico cats shed? Calico cats are not actually a type or breed of cat. They are actually a colour variation. Therefore, many different breeds of cat can be labelled as Calico. It’s like saying look at that grey cat. Therefore being a calico cat has no bearing on the amount of fur that they will shed.

So, the short answer is it varies a lot. Let me now explain what a Calico cat really is, if it has any other aliases, why cats even shed and how you can reduce this happening.

So, what exactly is a calico cat?

A calico cat is really a type of colour and pattern variation of a particular cat. It’s a way of describing a particular colour and patterns on a cat’s fur.  It’s similar, in a way, to a tortoiseshell cat.

In fact, there is only a very small variation of their patterns which differentiates a calico from a tortoiseshell cat.

The main difference you will see between a calico cat and a tortoiseshell pattern is the lack of white patches on the tortoiseshell.

Where does the name calico come from?

Calico, strictly speaking, is an American name. The name is given because of a type of fabric which is called Calico.

The name calico has been used by Americans for years. In fact, it goes back as early as the 1700s. This is when this particular fabric design was largely used.

Calico cats also have other names. These other names are used interchangeably. Sometimes they are referred to as “tricolor or Brindle. Also, specific Japenese names and Dutch variations called “lapjeskat”.

Are there any more variations of the calico cat?

Yes, there are a few different variations.  For example, the standard calico is known for its large spots which are typically black and orange.

Then you have the diluted calicos, such as the “Calimanco”. This is a different variation that typically has lighter colours. This variation has a white coat with large spots that are typically a smokey greyish colour. Also has a strawberry blonde looking effect.

Also, there is another variation called the “calibby” this is a mashup of the Calico and the Tabby cat.

This variation usually has the same orange spots that you’d see on a calico but with the addition of tabby stripes as well.

Why do cats shed?

Cats shed for a number of reasons but firstly it’s important to state that shedding is normal and expected. The amount of shedding varies quite a lot depending on the type or breed that you have. Either way, it is expected, regardless if you have a long or even a short-haired cat.

Usually, shedding is heavily affected by the season. For example, in spring you should expect to see some shedding of their winter coat. If you think about this logically it makes sense, right?…

Why would they need their big heavy winter coat as the sun starts to come out, do you get me?

Usually, there are obvious signs of shedding. Such as, if you attempt to pet your cat, you may notice that that there will be fur stripping off in your hand.

Or, you may even notice shedding of fur around your house. In obvious places where your cat usually hangs out. For example, on their cat bed or on your beloved sofa!

Sometimes, you will notice shedding for unexpected reasons. Such as health-related problems or other issues. For example, fleas (click here for my best flea shampoo) if your cat has a problem with fleas it will naturally get irritated as the fleas attempt to bite into its skin.

The obvious reaction from your cat is to bite and scratch its skin to get rid of the irritation. This usually results in fur starting to shed. And, you may even see skin patches in their coat of fur because of this behaviour.

Nutritional Reasons

This can be seen in two different ways. Such as poor nutritional value of food. This is where your cat is lacking in certain nutrients. This may take time manifest, but if they are not receiving the correct nutrition, on a regular basis, you could see fur loss.

You may also see fur loss related to food if they are consuming something that they may be allergic to. Obviously, this may be consumed by accident.

Scabies Issues

Scabies is little mites that attach themselves to the skin of your cat and cause it irritation and pain. This can usually result in fur loss or unsightly patches in their fur.

Anxiety

Anxiety and stress is another issue that can result in fur loss. To be honest, this is similar to us humans. If they are stressed your cat may start to suffer from fur loss.

Things that can cause anxiety and stress for your cat may seem simple to us but never the less can cause problems and stress for your cat.

Such as, fighting with a neighbouring cat or another stray cat. Even a new member of your family. This may make me feel pushed out.

It could be another cat or it could even be a new baby joining the family that is taking all the attention.

Alternatively, it could be something as simple as a change of environment, such as moving house and your cat may start to feel a little bit anxious about its new surroundings.

Do cats shed their fur all year round?

Yes, you can expect cats to shed their hair all year round. However, this isn’t a consistent ongoing thing. It just means that it’s not isolated to any particular month of the year.

In reality, the type of breed of cat you have makes the difference between how much shedding you should expect. Or, how much of the year they are likely to shed for.

Cats that are from a colder climate typically have longer fur. And, you would expect them to shed slightly more than a short-haired cat.

Examples of cats that are known to shed a lot include a Maine Coon (click here to see why Why are Maine Coon cats are so big) cat or even a Bobcat.

How can you reduce the shedding?

If your cat is left to shed naturally without you getting involved it is unknown exactly how much shedded fur will be dropped around your house.

Therefore, there is a simple way of controlling this and helping to reduce the amount of shed that you see.

If you simply use a shedding brush (click here to see my best shedding and de-matting tools) , you can get rid of a lot of the shedded fur and control this in your own time rather than walking around the house and picking up clumps of hair everywhere.

Related questions:

I’m going to cover some frequently asked questions related to cat shedding. If you feel that you have additional questions in your mind that I’m not answered feel free to leave a comment below.

Does giving your cat a bath help with shedding? No, it is not a good idea to give your cat a bath to help with shedding. Although you will notice some of their shedded fur being removed.

The reason I say no is because cats typically do not like being bathed. And, this can cause them a high level of anxiety. And to make matters worse, if you bath a cat solely to remove shedded fur, you won’t really see a massive benefit from it.

Therefore for the sake of lacklustre results, it’s better not to put your cat through the pain of having this.As discussed previously in the article it’s better to use a shedding brush which will be 100 times more effective.

Can I Use Human Shampoo on My Cat? (Is it safe?)

If you are keen to clean your cat you will need shampoo to get it done (click here to see my best cat shampoo on Amazon). However, is it possible for your cat to use the same shampoo you use?

can I use human shampoo on my cat? The short answer is no. But, why? The main reason for this is, humans have different PH tolerance levels. Meaning cat shampoo is specially formulated so it does not harm cats.

The shampoo we use can be very harsh on a cats skin. This can result in dried-out skin and other related skin issues, such as skin flaking and dandruff, etc. The main ingredients that cause issues for cats are Parabens, dyes, etc. Let me now explain the difference between our skin and cats, what shampoo kittens can use, which ingredients are important and more.

What are the differences between a cat and humans skin?

Apart from the obvious visual differences, there are other issues under the surface that I will discuss. The main difference is the acidic level on a human is different (hence the PH level mismatches).

Also, humans have distinct glands made for sweat, while cats do not. These subtle differences require a cat to have different ingredients in their shampoo. This is so they do not get harmed by the chemicals (as discussed earlier.

Can Kittens use any Cat Shampoo?

You may be thinking, what about my little loveable kitty, right? Can she use just any cat shampoo? The short answer is no. But let me explain why…

Kittens skin is even more delicate than adult cats. Therefore you need to take extra precaution with them, are you with me? You can get special shampoo for kittens that is more delicate. This is ideal and better for your peace of mind.

Important Ingredients in cat shampoo

When looking for cat shampoo you need to make sure the ingredients are right. Therefore in this section, I am going to explain what to look out for to make sure you get this right.

Basic is best (but is it?)

The main thing is making sure the ingredients are basic. But, what do I really mean by that? Well, ideally from natural ingredients. Basically, avoid all those chemicals and “E numbers”. The problem with these chemical ingredients, it is not always obvious exactly what is in these chemicals by glancing at the ingredients, are you with me?

However, even if the ingredients are basic, it does not guarantee that it is safe. Yes, that’s right, it is a bit complicated. The problem is, there are some natural ingredients that cause unwanted side-effects for your cat.

Unwanted Basic Ingredients

Let me give you an example of what I mean by this. Vinegar is a great thing to have on your chips (or fries for people in the US)? And in fact, it makes a great cleaner for fish tanks coincidently. However, it is not great for cats. This is just one example.

Here are a few others to avoid:

  • Tea Tree
  • Lavender
  • Glycerin.
  • etc.

One thing to be mindful of. Even if you attempt to rinse off these things from your cat, in the event that they come into contact with it, it does not mean it is gone for good, but why?….

The reason is, they can penetrate their skin and a surface level rinse may not cut it. This is worrying because you may feel its gone. And, there is still a chance that your cat can lick the contaminated area and fall ill. So, best to avoid them at all costs.

Are Natural Soaps Good for cats?

You may have seen the ads, don’t these natural soap bars look, prefect pure and natural, right? Well, unfortunately, as good as it looks, it is still a risk. But, let me explain.

The problem is, not all natural products are good for your cat (as briefly discussed above).

The danger of essential oils

In some of these products, you will find essential oils. They are natural oils that help to make the soap smell delicious. But, even though they smell great, they are not good for your cat.

In fact, these essential oils are quite dangerous for your cat (toxic even). The problem with these oils is, unlike us humans, cats can’t metabolize these oils. Therefore it causes them issues.

In extreme cases, cats could suffer from liver failure. Best case vomiting or other related sicknesses. So best to avoid this.

How can you stop your cat from getting dirty?

Cats are not really built to be bathed on a regular basis. The more you bath them it increases the chances of irritating their skin. The best way to prevent this is to avoid them getting dirty in the first place. Are you with me?

For that reason, I am going to share some ways that you can reduce the chances of your cat getting dirty.

  • Reduce its exposure to the outside world (indoor cat basically).
  • Groom and clean her regularly.
  • Keep your house and surfaces clean.
  • Provide fresh and clean cat litter.
  • Keep your hands clean before handling.

These may seem quite obvious, but you will be surprised how many people overlook these simple tips and instead over bath their cat.

Related Questions:

In this section, I will answer some related questions to cat shampoo that will help you. If you feel that there is a question in your head that has not been answered, feel free to leave a comment below.

Q: What can I use instead of cat shampoo?

You can actually create your own homemade shampoo products. However, be warned, it is not cheap to do this. But, I will give you some ideas never the less.

Dry Shampoo

You can create a dry shampoo. You may be thinking, why would I want to do this? Simple, it will fluff up and clean your cat’s fur. Think of this of the home equivalent to waterless shampoo (click here to see my best waterless cat shampoo).

To make this you will need oatmeal, cornmeal, baking soda, and corn starch. The corn starch will add a nice shine to your cat’s fur. And the baking soda will remove any unwanted odors. To use this you just need equal parts of oatmeal and cornmeal. With the addition of a few tablespoons of corn starch and baking soda.

Q: How can I clean my cat’s fur without water?

Bathing your cat is quite a difficult and unpleasant activity. This is for you as well as your cat. Therefore, you can consider cleaning her without using water. One method is using a damp towel.

The idea is to substitute running water completely and uses a damp towel. This is less traumatic. But I will say, it is still not a walk in the park, are you with me?

You can still use shampoo using this method, but it’s not 100% necessary. Another thing I would say is this, it will never be as effective as conventional water and cat shampoo. But it is a viable alternative.

Q: How can I get my cat to like water?

In reality, there is no easy way to do this. Simply because cats naturally hate water. There are ways that you can help to improve their natural fear though. For that reason, I will share some pointers here for you.

The first thing you can do is start exposing your cat to water earlier. Ideally as early as a kitten. This will acclimatize your cat and make here less likely to put up resistance.

Before actually trying to bathe her, allow her to play in the water first. This will help to associate fun with water, rather than being dragged into an unwanted bath, are you with me?

 

Vet’s Best vs Tropiclean Cat Shampoo (Waterless & Flea)

If you are looking for cats shampoo, no doubt you stumbled across Vet’s Best vs Tropiclean. But, which one is the best for your cat? Let me help to explain…

What is the best Shampoo overall (Vet’s Best vs Tropiclean)? This is the best shampoo overall (click here for the price on Amazon). The reason I like this is that it smells really nice, lathers up well and has great ingredients.

Now that you know my overall best one. What about if you have a cat with fleas or just want a waterless shampoo instead? I got you covered, keep reading…

Quick Cat Shampoo Comparison

NameImageMy Rating
01. TropiClean (Best Overall)
Papaya and Coconut Pet Shampoo
Click here for the price on Amazon
5 stars
02. Vet’s Best (Best Waterless)
No-Rinse Clean Waterless Cat Shampoo
Click here for the price on Amazon
03. Vet’s Best (Best Flea Treatment)
Flea & Tick Waterless Shampoo
Click for the price on Amazon

Why do you even need cat shampoo?

In general, cats do a great job of grooming themselves. They instinctively clean and groom their fur from as early as a kittens age. However, there are occasions when their normal grooming tactics, e.g. licking themselves, is not enough.

Sticky messes that are not to be licked

If your cat gets her fur in a big mess, such as getting paint, caked in mud, etc. Then ideally, you do not want your cat to go ahead and try and lick this off. Not only is it not practical, but it can also be a potential health risk, are you with me?

Health-Related Issues

Then there other issues like fleas, ticks, dandruff, etc. All of these issues cannot be resolved with your cat’s normal measures of just licking its fur.

Can’t you just use regular Shampoo?

You may be thinking to yourself, why the big fuss with Cat shampoo, I can just grab my own bottle of hair shampoo and be done with it, right?…

Wrong!

You can’t use normal, conventional hair shampoo on your poor kitty. But why?…

Simple, there are different PH levels in your shampoo, that just won’t work well with your cat. The PH levels in your shampoo at home is not compatible with your cat.

This is one of the reasons why there is cat-specific shampoo in the first place.

What should you be looking for?

In this section, I will give you an idea of important things to look out for before buying your cat shampoo.

Important Ingredients

Ideally, you want to look for a shampoo that has natural ingredients. This is a good sign of high quality and more quality for your cat’s skin & fur.

However, there are exceptions. If your cat has issues with fleas (more on this later), then you will need a shampoo that deals with this issue, that uses chemicals.

Chemicals to avoid

In general, there is a list of chemicals to look out for and avoid:

  • Petrochemicals
  • Sulphates
  • Parabens
  • and artificial dyes

Cats with sensitive skin

If your cat has issues with sensitive skin. Best to look out for specialist shampoos that deal with this. The reason being is, they have ingredients that cater to this issue in particular.

When I say “sensitive skin”, this includes other issues such as dandruff, itchy skin, etc.

My Best Cat Shampoo (Vet’s Best vs Tropiclean)

In this section, I will compare my best cat shampoos by Vet’s Best & Tropiclean. This will be based on overall best, best for flea treatment and best waterless shampoo.

01. TropiClean Papaya and Coconut Pet Shampoo (Best Overall)

Click here for the price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Smells great.
  • Great ingredients: Papya, coconut, etc. (Keeps fur soft).
  • 2-in-1: Shampoo & Conditioner (more value)

Cons:

  • Smells good, but the smell does not last long.

Things I Like about this Tropiclean Papaya Shampoo…

First and full most, this shampoo smells great. You have to smell it to believe it. It will make your cat’s fur smell great. It lathers up well and has a great smell. This must be due to the great ingredients such as coconut, papaya, etc.

Another thing I like is the fact that it is not just shampoo, it also doubles up as a conditioner as well. Great value two in one product in my opinion.

Things I Do Not Like about this Cat Shampoo

My only gripe with this shampoo is the lastability of the smell. What do I mean? Well, it does smell great, no doubt about that. However, it doesn’t have that long-lasting lingering smell. After some time the smell wears off and you will be in need of another shampoo. And, as you may know, it’s not good to shampoo your cat too much.

02. Vet’s Best No-Rinse Clean Waterless Cat Shampoo (Best Waterless)

Click here for the price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Really easy to use.
  • Lovely light fragrance.
  • Helps with cat dandruff.
  • Has great natural ingredients.

Cons:

  • The pump it comes with is not that effective.

Things I Like about this Vet’s Best Waterless Shampoo

I love the fact that it is really easy to use, childs play actually. I know this is subjective, but I love this smell. It is a lovely light fragrance, in my opinion.

It also helps with dandruff and the fact that it has natural ingredients, such as Aloe vera and oatmeal just adds to the appeal for me.

Things I Do Not Like about this Waterless shampoo.

It comes with a pump to funnel out the shampoo. However, maybe it’s just me, but, the pump is really not that great. It’s not a deal-breaker though, the worse case just apply it by hand.

03. Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Waterless Shampoo (Best Flea & Tick Treatment)

Click here for the price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Gets rid of fleas & ticks.
  • Quick & easy to use.
  • Smells wonderful.
  • No added perfumes.

Cons:

  • You need a lot to cover your cat.
  • Deals with fleas, but more will return.

Things I Like about this Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Shampoo

Firstly, it does the job. It will get rid of your cat’s fleas & ticks. Great! But there is more…

It’s really quick and easy to use and on top of this, it smells delicious. Well, I think so anyway! Also, it’s great to see they have achieved this great smell without loading the product with perfumes.

Things I Do Not Like about this Flea Shampoo

It does the job, as in it gets rid of the fleas that your cat may have. However, you may find that in time the fleas will return. I am not sure if this is the shampoos fault or not to be honest. But it does deal with the short term issue at least.

Also, bear in mind, this is a waterless shampoo. Meaning you won’t be lathering it up with water. So what? Well, it means you will need a fair amount to fully cover your cat, are you with me?

Related Questions:

In this section, I will address some related questions to cat shampoo to help you. If you feel there are other questions you have, that are not covered, feel free to comment below and let me know.

Can you over bathe your cat? Yes, you can over bathe cats. Why? Because cats have natural oils in their fur that helps to protect it. If you over bath them, it strips their body of these valuable oils.

If you want to have a general idea of what is classed as “over bathing” or what is acceptable, let me give you a guideline. Generally, long-haired cats can be bathed more than short-haired cats.

Long-haired cats should not be bathed more than once a week. As for short haired cats. They can go months without a bath. In fact, some people don’t even bath them. Really they only need a bath if they are covered in something unpleasant.

Can you use dog shampoo on cats? No, however tempting this may be, don’t do it. Dogs and cats have different needs. More importantly, they react to certain flea products different from cats. These products are specially formulated with these reasons n mind. That is why it is not a good idea to mix them.

Do Cats Usually Follow You Around? (Is this weird?)

Are you wondering if the fact that your cat is following you around like a shadow if this is normal? Well, I am here to put the record straight once and for all.

Do cats usually follow you around? Yes, they do. This is for a variety of reasons including curiosity, need attention, separation anxiety, boredom, territorial marking, feeling hungry and many more. In general, it is normal and nothing to be “weirded out” about. 

Now that you know that it is normal for cats to follow you, let’s dig into these reasons a bit more to understand why. Also, let me explain what the “Mother Kitten connection” is (I think you will relate to this) as well as “Imprinting”, and how this affects them following you around, keep reading.

Why do cats usually follow you around?

Cats have a number of different reasons why they follow you around. For that reason, I’m going to break down a few common reasons why they do this…

Curiosity

Curiosity is one of their most popular reasons. For example, they may be interested in gaining access to a room that they know they should be in. Or they may just be feeling nosey, and curious as to where you are heading.

Want attention

Sometimes your cat simply wants your attention. They can be quite persistent and constantly follow you around. This is usually followed up with them “meowing” as well.

In fact, cats are more likely to meow to get your attention (with humans). Even more than using this same tactic with their own fellow cats.

If you do not want your cat to get his own way, and feel that she can just call out and follow you to get your attention, just don’t always give her what she wants.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to offer an alternative to their request. But, let me explain what I mean…

For example, if your cat is following you around and “meowing”,  instead of giving her more food, because she’s crying and begging for more and following you around, instead, give her an alternative such as a food puzzle or slow feeder (click here for my 3 best slow feed cat bowls).

Separation anxiety

This is a complicated one. Usually, this happens if you return home from a long weekend away or maybe even longer.

You may find on your return that your cat may defecate around the house. This may be out of character for them. It may seem weird, but its a way of them dealing with this complex separation anxiety.

Straight up Boredom!

Boredom is another reason for your cat following to start following you around. This is usually more apparent with indoor cats that really do not have much to do to be honest.

Indoor cats are notoriously starved of their natural hunting and day-to-day activities by being stuck indoors all day.

For example, the moment you come in from work, you may notice your cat is really happy to see you. After being bored all day she will start to follow you around the house like a shadow, right?

This is her way of getting some stimulus and something for her to look forward to.

Marking of territory

Cats like to mark their territory. This is an instinctive behavior. You may be thinking, what’s that got do with it following me, right?

In fact, this may be because they are trying to mark their territory, by gliding their body against furniture but this actually includes you. Yes, you may be categorized as “their territory”, in their head.

In other cases, your cat may get a bit confused. See you pacing around the house, during your normal day to day activities, and may interpret this as your method of marking your territory.  This, in turn, may trigger your cat to follow you around to do the same.

They may need your help

If a cat is in pain or has an issue it can’t solve, it will naturally try to hide away and become defensive if you attempt to approach it. It may even try and bite or scratch you if you try and pick it up while it is feeling in this way.

This is nothing to worry about and it’s just a natural response, to be honest. However, to confuse matters, there are some cats which will do the complete opposite.

These type of cats will follow you around, trying to tell you that they have a problem or in pain.

Feeling hungry

Another obvious reason why your cat may be following you around is the fact that she is feeling hungry. It may be close to their normal mealtime and want to prompt you to feed them.

Or, they may just generally be begging for more food after they’ve had a meal. BAsically being a bit greedy, are you with me?

Typically they will meow around their cat bowl if this is the case. To direct you towards their food bowl.

Will stray cats follow you as well (if yes, why?)

Yes, there is a good chance that a stray cat will follow you. If you were walking along a road minding your business, and notice that a stray cat is following you, this could be for a few reasons…

Picking up cat scent (really?)

If you are a cat owner yourself there is a good chance that a stray cat picked up on your sent and feels comfortable around you. Understand this, cats have a very sensitive nose. They can pick up on scent quite easily.

The chances are the stray cat is hoping that you may take it in or show it some love. It may feel safe around you because it detected that you have cats, are you with me?

Sometimes, or shall I say, for the most part, they are generally hungry and looking for some food. There is also a chance that just wants you to pet them as well.

What is the mother kitten connection?

This stems from when a kitten is first horn and has an instinctive connection with its mother (sound familiar?).

For the first week’s of its life, usually up to the age of 12 weeks, sometimes this can be earlier, the mother cat will do everything for their beloved kitten. You name it,  feed them, groom them, protect them, etc. Naturally, the kitten will build an amazing bond with their mother, similar to humans in a way, right?

Becoming the substitute mother…

When the kitten is eventually separated from their mother. For example, they are re-housed with another family, as you can imagine, the kitten misses this connection with its mother. As a cat owner, the kitten will typically latch onto you as a substitute mother.

Therefore this mother kitten connection has been re-created through your bond with your cat. In a way, this is great because your cat will always be loyal to you for this reason.

What is “imprinting”?

Imprinting is a close natural bond with a kittens mother (similar behavior to newborn babies). Imagine when a newborn baby is born and the first time it opens his eyes he is pressed against his mother’s naked skin. He naturally accepts his mother as a special/trusted person, right?

This is similar to kittens…

Especially if they are rescued as newborns. To be honest, even adult kittens, that have been in a traumatic situation, can have this same feeling. Why?

Because they will associate you with being their savior, understand? They will build a natural bond with you.

Basically imprinting is when the newborn kitten (or rescued adult kitten) takes you as a trusted person in their life and will follow you around at all costs. You will always be someone really special in their eyes and nobody can change that.

Do Cats Like their Fur Shaved? (The real answer!)

If you have issues with your cat’s fur, such as matted (click here for my best De-matting comb), tangled or shedding problems, you may feel that shaving is a consideration. But is this really a good idea?

Do cats like to have their fur shaved? No, cats do not like having their fur shaved. This is because it’s important to them. It not only protects them from the cold and windy conditions, but it also helps to regulate their body temperature in the hot weather.

Without their fur, they will also face psychological issues such as feeling embarrassed. This is quite similar to how humans feel. Their fur is a critical part of their body. Let me explain other ways to avoid shaving, the importance of their fur if you should consider the controversial lion shave, and much more, keep reading…

Are there other ways to deal with shedding without shaving?

Yes, shedding is expected behavior from any cat (click here to see if how much Calico cats shed). In fact, it is quite a healthy thing for a cat to do this. Think of it this way, if an animal has fur, it will naturally shed. This is natures way of dealing with excess fur and refreshing itself with new growth.

Shaving fur is more of an extreme measure. It should not really be used unless you really have to, are you with me?

Also, even if you decide that shaving is the only way forward, it should not be done at home by you. Instead, it should be done by a professional.

The best way to avoid shaving is to maintain your cat’s fur in the first place. Prevention is better than cure, right?

This includes using a shedding tool or comb (click here to see my best shedding and de-matting combs) which can help to get rid of the unwanted fur leftover from shedding.

Also, you can make a conscious choice to make sure that your cat has a good diet, including proteins. Protein is an important part of fur health. It will help them avoid extreme issues with shedding.

Are there other methods to deal with matting instead of shaving fur?

Yes, grooming your cat, such as using de-matting tools, should be used as a preventative measure to avoid shaving your cat.

I’ll admit, there are times when shaving can’t be avoided. But, this is reserved for extreme measures.

To avoid this, prevent it from happening by using a de-matting tool or comb. Making sure matted fur doesn’t even get a chance to form.

You can even use your fingers and run it through your cat’s fur. It’s not great, but better than nothing. To be honest a de-matting tool is better.

What’s the point of a cat’s fur Anyway?

A cat’s fur has many different purposes. It’s not just to keep them warm. It is used to keep them dry in wet weather and to keep them warm when it’s cold.

Keeps them cool

Not many people know this but, your cat’s fur can also keep them cool during hot weather. This may sound unbelievable, but it’s true. Their fur has the ability to trap a layer of air which can protect them against extreme heat conditions.

It is also used as a communication channel, yes communication! Think of a startled or shocked cat, what do you see? a cat being shocked with its fur standing on end, right?

Skin protection

Cat’s fur also protects their skin underneath from sunburn. Also, from any other injuries that may occur. The reality is the skin underneath their fur is quite sensitive. So, the fur is needed to protect it.

If the skin is exposed to too much extreme heat conditions and they get sunburned, there are risks of other health-related issues such as skin cancer.

Do indoor cats need their fur shaved more than outdoor cats?

No, in fact, whether the cat is indoor or outdoor it doesn’t matter. There is not really a strong argument for shaving unless there is a real extreme issue.

Let’s look at indoor cats, to begin with…

Your average indoor cat really does not need its fur shave in the summer. Even though some cat keepers swear by it.

The reality is if it becomes too hot indoors the indoor cat has the luxury of reducing its activity (not that they do much indoors anyway) or hiding in a more cool area within the house to avoid the sun.

As long as they have access to freshwater to stop himself getting dehydrated there should be no issues. and thus, they should not need to have their fur shaved.

Outdoor cats

Outdoor cats need their fur even more than indoor cats. This is because they have more exposure to the sun while they’re outdoors. And, fewer places to escape from it if need be. Their fur is needed to help regulate their body temperature. So, it is not a good idea to shave it.

In fact, if you do shave your cat in the summer, you run the risk of exposing them to sunburn. This can cause other related health issues.

If you are really concerned that your outdoor cat is getting too much exposure to the sun and you are considering shaving her, it is much better to bring her indoors. Keep her away from the extreme outdoor heat rather than considering shaving.

What is a lion shave?

There is a trend amongst cat keepers to shave their cats in the shape of a lion’s mane during the hot weather.

Typically the cat’s hair is shaved on the belly and the body leaving the head area looking like a lions Maine. Also, the tail and paws are typically not shaved. Leaving the rest of the body shaved right down to the skin.

It is not advised to attempt to do this at home. Arguably, not advised to do at all.

Why do cat owners decide to lion shave their cat?

In this section, I will go through a number of different reasons why cat owners decide to use this lion shave.

Weather conditions

The main reason people do this, as discussed in the previous section, is to do with weather conditions. Such as in the summer when it gets hot.

Also, sometimes it is done because of problems with heavily matted fur or fur shedding issues.

Obesity

Other issues can be obesity.  Basically, the cat is unable to groom themselves due to being heavily overweight.

Also if there is heavily overgrown fur, which may be a health issue, can sometimes cause a cat owner to resort to this.

Fleas

Lastly, if some cat owners have serious problems with fleas, they may resort to this as well.

Why is it not a good idea to consider this lion shave?

In this section, I’m going to go through a number of reasons why you should avoid this lion shave trend.

Sensitive skin

Firstly regular shaving of a cat’s fur can cause follicular dysplasia. Something that you need to avoid. Also, a cat’s skin is a lot more sensitive than human skin.

In fact, it is up to 30% more sensitive. So, when the cat’s skin is exposed to the natural elements (outdoors) by shaving its fur, it is more susceptible to health-related issues.

It basically strips their natural defenses against the environment.

Avoid this for Elderly cats

Also, this lion shave is definitely to be avoided if your cat is overly aggressive, elderly or has any other health-related issues.

An elderly cat’s skin is even more delicate and susceptible to health problems than your average cat.

Avoid this for aggressive cats

If the cat is aggressive and they don’t have their protective fur, its a recipe for disaster.  And finally, Any cat with health-related issues, obviously avoid this. Because it can increase their problems.

How to Remove Matted Hair from a Persian Cat (2019 Guide)

If your Persian cat has issues with her fur matting (click here to see why these De-matting Combs are the best) you may be stressed trying to find a solution. Let me give you some valuable tips to get around this.

What causes matted fur in Persian Cats? Matted fur is when clumps of cat fur appear to be stuck or grouped together. This becomes unmanageable by your cat and gets from bad to worse. This is typically caused by neglect or lack of grooming.

The problem with matted fur is, it leads to discomfort for your cat because it’s unable to groom itself properly. You may find it trying to bite or pull at the clumps of fur, confused, and generally unhappy. Let me explain which type of Persians are likely to get this, and how you can deal with it.

What Type of Persian cats Are susceptible to this?

Older cats are susceptible to this. Simply because they are not as agile as they were in their younger days. They may find it hard to clean and groom all areas of their body.

This is also similar to an obese cat. They may find it hard to move around and clean and groom their entire body due to the excessive weight they are carrying.

Cats that are not feeling well may also neglect grooming. They could be suffering from dental-related problems or even arthritis.

For indoor cats, specifically the ones with short hair, you may find that they get this build-up from dust or dander. For your information, dander is little flecks of skin that build-up and cause matting in the fur.

How to remove the matting from your cat’s fur

In this section, I’m going to discuss how you can remove the matting in your cat’s fur.

Important Preparation

Firstly you need to prepare the area so that you can attempt to remove the matting. This is relatively simple in concept, but sometimes in practice, it can be a little bit challenging. Your cat may move around and cause resistance. So, be patient.

You need to use some talcum powder. Gently massage this into the affected matted area. You need to gently stroke and hold your cat, then attempt to work the talcum powder into matted area.

If your cat causes resistance, instead of trying to force it, take your time. Gently pet your cat and make them feel reassured and then try again shortly after when they’re a bit more relaxed.

Cutting the matt way

Using some sharp, but round-nosed scissors, attempt to cut the mat away. However, you have to be careful while you are doing this. Because you do not want to cut unmatted clumps of their fur away.

The idea is to locate the matting then gently ease the round nose scissors, in line with their skin, and glide it up towards the matted area.

Make sure you cut the mat and not the skin of your cat. So, you need to be very careful. Once you gently snip the matted area, move it along about half an inch and repeat the process until the matting has gone.

Combing through the matted area

Once you have cut through the chunks of matted fur, that is causing the biggest problem, you need to get hold of either a flea comb or a specifically designed de-matting comb.

The idea is to use your left hand to grab hold of the base of the fur. This is to ensure, when you’re combing it, you do not cause discomfort to your cat or pull her fur away from her skin.

Gently comb away from your left hand so that you gently comb out the matted fur. Bit by bit. If you do this correctly you should find that the matting starts to free up making your cat happier.

How do you prevent these mats coming in the first place?

The best way to deal with this is prevention. So, for that reason, in this section, I’m going to give you some tips on how you can prevent this happening.

Regular Brushing & Bathing

Firstly, it is important to maintain your Persian cat’s hair by brushing it. This needs to be done on a regular basis.

It is a good idea to bathe her at least every 2 to 3 months, just to maintain their lovely fur. However, when you are bathing her, it’s important that you use specific cat safe products that are designed for them. Do not use a standard conditioner or any product you personally use.

You can get specific products that are tailor-made for cats. For example, cleaning products for cats with white coats, products that provide extra shine, etc.

In addition to this, it is a good idea to have a selection of brushes and combs. Make sure to include a de-matting brush link.

The idea is to get ahead of the problem and to keep them regularly brushed and tangle-free, are you with me?

Should your cat be grooming itself?

Yes, all cats should be instinctively grooming themselves. You should not have to prompt them to do this. They should be doing this as standard. Grooming is not just for vanity. It is important to keep their fur coat in good health and avoid tangles and matting.

If your cat neglects grooming, you need to be concerned

If you find that your cat is not grooming itself and you are finding that its fur is getting matted up. It’s an indication that there is an issue. It could be a health-related problem or it could be linked to other things such as obesity.

If you have any doubts, the best thing to do is to check with your vet. See if there could be an underlying issue that you cannot see.

When is it a good idea to seek professional help?

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to deal with all matted or tangled fur. In some extreme cases, you may have to shave down your cat’s fur (click here to see if cats like their fur shaved) to get rid of the problem. This is something that you should not attempt at all.

If it’s more than a few clumps of matting I personally wouldn’t attempt to do it myself. In fact, if you feel uncomfortable with any of this, even a few clumps, the best advice is to contact a professional groomer or your vet. Get some advice about how you can get this done.

A professional groomer will know the correct conditioning products you should use, how to do it correctly and to keep your cat in the best comfort.

Related questions:

In this section, I’m going to go answer some related questions to de-matting your cat’s fur to help you. If you feel that there are some questions missing, that you feel that you need answering, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Why is my cat pulling her fur out? Chances are she is feeling anxious or has some psychological problem. Grooming is expected, however, if you are seeing excessive grooming, such as pulling at her fur.

Or, anything like that, or seems erratic behavior, then there’s a good chance that she is feeling anxious or have some kind of psychological problem.

If that’s the case, and you are not sure how to deal with it. Then, the best thing to do is to contact your vet to verify if your suspicions are correct and establish a way forward.

Why do older cats stop grooming themselves? As cats get older they can get tired very easily. Meaning they may stop grooming.

However, another big issue that can cause this to happen is arthritis (or other health issues). As your cat gets older, her joints age.

Her joints can start to cause some severe pain. Even to move in basic positions. Especially, in difficult to reach areas, like trying to groom their lower back area.  So, there is a very good chance that this could be the case.

Why is My Cat Getting Fat? (Is this normal?)

If you are noticing your cat gaining weight, you may be wondering why, and how you can stop this happening. Using simple tools like Automatic feeders to help portion control is one thing (Click here to see why I love these automatic Cat Feeders), but are their other ways and reasons why your cat is getting fat?

Why is my cat getting fat? The reason why your cat is getting fat could be linked to a few reasons. Most likely linked to not enough activity, overeating or having too many treats. Fortunately, most of these issues can be resolved.

Indoor cats, in particular, find it harder to get regular exercise. So, it’s important that you get around this ( but more on this in detail later on the article). Let me explain why older cats tend to gain weight easily, the risks that weight gain introduces, how to reduce weight and more.

Older Cats and weight gain

Older cats have different challenges. They tend to have a slower metabolism and reduced activity as they get older. This is natural and expected.

The thing that you need to be careful of is their diet. In particular, avoid feeding your older cat the same volume of food as you did when she was younger.

This is because they won’t be able to burn off as many calories as they once did. You need to re-evaluate their diet if you find out your older cat is putting on a lot of weight.

Is your cat really overweight or is this all in your mind?

It is not always easy to establish if your cat is really overweight. One of the challenges is, each individual breed of cat has a different expected weight.

For example, if you have a Maine Coon (click here to see why Maine Coon’s are so big), they are naturally larger. So, you can’t expect to look at the numbers on a scale and compare them to the weight of a Persian cat, are you with me?

Body Conditioning scoring

Instead of looking at the weight of your cat, there is body conditioning scoring. You can easily find this online. This system allows you to benchmark your cat weight and get an idea if they are overweight or even underweight.

Meantime there are simple things you can do while you’re at home that can help you to establish if your cat is overweight or not.

Bear in mind that this will need a certain amount of practice to get right. So, don’t expect to do this once and get a conclusive result. Here are a few techniques that you can use…

Checking your cat’s ribs

With this technique, the idea is to feel your cats ribbed to get an idea of how much fat is in between her rib bones and the rest of her body.

This is done by gently stroking her as normal, to make her feel comfortable, so you can move to her ribs area to gauge her weight.

The idea is to stroke your hands around her rib cage area and see if you can feel her rib bones. Do not to apply too much pressure. You should be lightly touching it. If you find that you can easily feel her ribs without too much pressure, this is a good sign. It indicates that she is not overweight.

However, if you find that you have to really press hard to find where her ribs are, then the chances are your cat is either overweight or something else.

Check if you can identify her waistline

With this technique, you will be gauging the shape of her body. In particular, in relation to her waistline. Look down at your cat from above and see if you can see the shape of her waistline.

Ideally, you should see an hourglass looking figure from above looking down. Her abdomen should not be wider than the width of her shoulders.

If you find that the abdomen is protruding quite a lot beyond the width of her shoulders this is an indication that she is overweight. Again, note that I said “indication” and not “she is overweight”, because this is not conclusive.

Check the condition of her back

Have a look at your cats back, in particular, is their back flat? Is there signs of matting or greasy fur around that area? Can you see obvious signs of a potbelly?

Also, look out for dandruff around the middle of their back. You tend to find that obese cats have difficulty grooming these areas, and this is an indication that she is overweight.

How can too much weight affect your cat?

As with humans, feeling overweight tends to affect us, not only physically but also psychologically. This is similar to the behavior of your cat.

If she is overweight, especially if she is obese she will start to neglect certain things. For example, she may stop grooming herself, neglecting general hygiene and may even neglect basic exercise.

Basically, your cat may become anxious and depressed.

Also, cats that are obese or largely overweight are also susceptible to other diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and other health-related issues.

So, this is why it is important to monitor your cat’s weight and prevent them from getting in this situation in the first place.

How can you help your cat to reduce weight?

Firstly, you can do this by reducing her portions. Some cat owners have a technique called “free feeding” (click here to see if you should be leaving food out at night or all day). The idea is to leave food out all day for the cat to graze on food at their leisure.

The problem with this is cats typically do not know when to stop eating and will just continually eat all day, which can lead to obesity.

Switching to a Scheduled Diet

To prevent this happening it is a good idea to switch to a schedule based diet. Which, will allow you to give a couple of portion-controlled meals a day. This will allow you to monitor your cats eating activities and reduce the amount of she is eating.

Solo feeding

This tip is more applicable to people that have got more than one cat in their household. It is tempting and more practical for you to feed them your cats at the same time and put out one supply of food.

The problem with this technique is, a more dominant cat can start to consume the smaller cats food. Meaning one becomes underfed and the other becomes obese and overweight.

Using this technique of separating meals, will allow you to monitor each individual cat and spot if they have any feeding or health issues. Also, if they’re losing their appetite or just flat out not eating.

Start to incorporate activity on a daily basis

This one may seem completely obvious to you but you need to start to incorporate daily activity/exercise. This is specifically for indoor cats that struggle to get much exercise at all.

Simple things like providing them with a cat tree (click here to see why they are my best 3 Cat Trees). This will allow them to get exercise.

You can also use toys such as a laser toy (click here to see the price on Amazon) which will keep them happy and active for hours.

Other things that you can consider using are very simple toys such as a piece of string dragged around the room, a ball of wool or even a little plastic ping pong ball.

As simple as this sounds, these little things will add to the activity of your cat and help them to burn off unwanted calories rather than sitting around all day sleeping and not getting any activity. This little activity could be the difference between a healthy cat and one heading down the road of obesity.

Is it OK to Feed Expired Cat Food?

If you want to save food waste, you may be curious if you can still use expired food. Or maybe you regularly leave food out (click here to see why I rated these Iseebiz & WOpet Automatic Cat Feeders my best for leaving food out) and are paranoid it may go off, let me guide you on the done thing.

Is it ok to feed your cat expired food? No, to be safe it’s best not to do this. Technically speaking, it is possible but, it is far too easy for someone to get wrong and make their cat sick. In my opinion, it’s best to avoid it. Just stay on the safe side.

However, in this article, I will go on to explain how you can differentiate between the “best by date” and  “expired date”.  Also, things that you can look out for to confirm if the food is actually off.

What happens after cat food is expired?

When food hits the expiry date there is usually a little bit of extra time available before it really goes off, are you with me?

You will notice that dry food typically lasts longer than wet or moist food. With time the proteins and nutrients within the food will start to break down, hence the need for the expired date.

Depending on the type of food that you have, whether it’s a premium type of food or not, there could be a big difference in the expiration dates.

What makes canned food go off?

Firstly the biggest thing, that can make can food go off, is exposure to the air. This can cause food to grow bacteria. This can happen for a few reasons, for example, if you’ve opened a sealed can and half-used it.

Also, high humidity in the air can also cause mold to start to produce in the canned food. Hot weather can also cause the food to go off. It can make the food go rancid.

What is the best way to store the food to prevent this from happening?

The best place to keep it is in a cool dry place. Keep it away from extreme temperature fluctuations. Usually within a pantry or kitchen cupboard is ideal because it can shield it away from these types of fluctuations.

Why is the best by date important?

The best by date is important because it explains when the nutritional value of the food will start to diminish.

Be careful not to confuse this date with the “expiry date”, they are different. “Best by” an “expired by” dates are two different things.

The best by date simply suggest, after its expiry,  it will no longer guarantee the nutritional benefit that is printed and promised on the packaging.

In other words, they can’t guarantee the nutritional benefits promised once it passes the best by date. The expiration date on the hand is an indication of when the food is not safe to eat anymore.

The expiration date on different food types can fluctuate quite significantly. To give you an example, dry food can last anywhere from 4 months to as long as 3 years. However, with canned food, you can see rather long expiration dates such. Anywhere from 1 to 5 years.

Cat snacks and treats usually last about the same sort of duration as dry food. This is a general guide because each individual product will have the expired and best by date clearly printed on the product.

What other things do you need to look out for in cat food?

In this section, I am going to explain what other things that you need to look out for before you feed your cat its food. This can be before the expiration date. In fact, its good practice to check this anyway.

The nutritional quality

Even if you have some food that, on the surface, it smells good does not have any noticeable deficiencies. It could still have a lack of nutritional benefit due to its age. So, for that reason, you have to be cautious before giving this type of food to your cat.

On a one-off basis, you may get away with it. But, over a long duration of time, your cat could start to have nutritional deficiencies because they are not getting the expected nutritional benefits that is promised on the packaging.

Look out for contamination

As time passes by, the packaging that the food comes with can also get contaminated. This is more likely with biodegradable packaging as opposed to other types. But, is still something to look out for nevertheless.

It is important to check the packaging and make sure there are no signs of contamination. Because if the packaging breaks down it could expose the food too early degradation. So, it’s always worth checking.

Spoilage of fats

In most cat food you will notice a certain level of fat content. This is expected because it’s an important part of your cat’s diet.

However, this presents a problem with the food that has expired. Potentially, this fat can contribute to it getting spoiled. It is important to check that the food has not spoiled before serving up for your cat.

Things to look out for, if you’re familiar with the particular product and it just doesn’t smell right or if it’s past its expiration date then take caution and do not feed this to your cat.

Preservatives Going off

Preservatives are in cat food to help increase its shelf life. However, the preservatives themselves also have a shelf life. After the expiration date, they no longer do their job. Meaning, the food can get moldy and go off. This is another reason why it is important not to go past the expiration date.

Related questions:

In this section, I will cover some helpful questions related to expired food. If you have any other questions feel free to let me know in the comments box below.

Does canned food need to be refrigerated after it is opened? Yes, it does. Once you open canned food it has limited time left before it goes off. Read the directions on the can itself, it will usually indicate how long you can keep it after it’s opened.

In general, canned food does last a long time. But, only if it’s sealed. Once you’ve broken that seal it doesn’t last long at all.

Should you leave cat food out all the time? No, cat food should not be left out all the time. Even if you are using a free feeding technique (click here to see if you should leave food out overnight), which allows your cat to graze on food all day, this does not mean that you should just leave it out all the time.

Instead, at the end of each day, you should refresh the food the next morning with new fresh dry food. If your cat is not consuming the food you leave out in one day. And this is happening consistently, say over a few days, then you need to consider reducing the amount that you leave out on a given day.

Can you refrigerate dry cat food? No, you shouldn’t really. Ideally, it should be kept in a cool dry place. Also, it is good to keep it in a sealable container to increase its shelf life. Canned food, on the other hand, is fine for the refrigerator. In fact, that is the ideal location for it.

However, as discussed earlier, it is important to not keep food long once it is opened. For example, canned wet food can not last that long once the seal is broken and it’s in the fridge. If it’s sealed it can last a very long time. Also, lastly it is not advised to put the metal can in the fridge, it should be transferred to a suitable container first.

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