Have you always dreamed of owning a cat with stunning coat colors and markings? Then a calico cat could be the choice for you! However, if you suffer from allergies, you may be worried about how much these cats shed. Let’s find out!
So do Calico cats shed? Calico cats do shed, just like all cats. However, the amount of fur they shed will vary as calico simply refers to the name of the coat color pattern and not a particular breed. If you suffer from allergies, then you will need to ensure you adopt a lower-shedding or shorter coat calico cat breed.
Read on to find out about the various shedding patterns of calico cats and how you can manage them successfully.
- 1 How Much Do Calico Cats Shed?
- 2 Factors That Influence Shedding In Calico Cats
- 3 Are Calico Cats Hypoallergenic?
- 4 How To Manage Shedding In Calico Cats
- 5 Finally
How Much Do Calico Cats Shed?
Calico is simply the name of the distinct coat color and pattern (also known as tri-color), which can be found in numerous cat breeds. For this reason, the shedding will vary greatly depending on the breed you choose.
Interestingly, most calico cats are female, which is thought to be down to the different genetic biology of the two sexes.
Only one in every 3000 calico cats is male and, if you manage to find one, he is likely to be sterile.
The genes that determine coat patterns actually have nothing to do with the ones that regulate the amount of hair a cat sheds.
It would be like saying black cats shed more than white ones!
The amount your calico cat will shed depends on its breed, coat density, and fur length.
Luckily, many breeds exhibit the calico pattern.
Best Calico Breeds For Allergy Sufferers
These cats have a thin, curly coat that sheds very little compared to many other cat breeds.
This breed has a unique short and sparse coat which is very similar to that of the Devon Rex.
This makes them a great choice for allergy sufferers; however, you will need to take steps to keep them warm in the winter months as these cats are susceptible to the cold.
This breed is thought to be one of the oldest naturally occurring breeds on the planet, known for its distinct rabbit-like tail.
These cats come in both long-haired and short-haired varieties.
However, due to their short coats and minimal undercoat, they are considered to be good options for allergy sufferers.
Despite being a long-haired breed, ragdolls lack an undercoat which means they shed less than many other breeds.
However, a ragdoll will still need regular brushing to keep the silky coat in good condition.
Just as several low-shedding cat breeds exhibit the calico pattern, there are several long-haired breeds that are not considered to be suitable for allergy sufferers.
Not So Good Calico Breeds For Allergy Sufferers
Persian cats have a long, dense layer of fur that is known to shed regularly.
These cats require daily brushing to remove dead hair and keep the coat in good condition.
The long, double-layered coat of this breed is perfectly suited to protect these felines from the harsh Russian climate.
However, it doesn’t make them great for allergy sufferers!
These cats tend to shed when the seasons change, so expect your Siberian to shed lots in Spring.
It is important to note that all cats shed to some degree, and it is a perfectly natural process.
If you are an allergy sufferer, your best bet is to choose a low-shedding breed and keep on top of your cats’ shedding as much as possible to prevent any allergic reactions.
Factors That Influence Shedding In Calico Cats
Aside from breed, several other factors can affect how often an individual feline sheds. These include diet, health status, and time of year.
Let’s run through the main ones now:
Cats require certain nutrients to keep their coats in good health.
If these are missing from the diet, a cats’ coat may become more brittle, which will cause more hair to fall off than usual.
Cheap kibble diets are often filled with carbohydrates that are difficult for a cat to digest.
They are also not particularly good for your cat’s health.
To maintain good coat condition, cats require high levels of animal protein and taurine in their diets, as well as Omega 3 and Omega 6, which can be found in marine sources such as fish.
It is also preferable to ensure your cats’ diet has a high-water content as cats are notoriously picky when it comes to drinking water!
Cats in the wild do not drink water from a water source that is close to where they eat because of the risk of cross-contamination.
So always ensure you place the water bowl at least 5 feet away from the food bowl.
This is a common culprit when it comes to excess shedding in cats.
These animals love a structured routine and are very territorial on top of that.
So, any furniture rearrangement in the home, or the addition of a new pet, can cause stress.
If this is prolonged, your cat may start shedding more, and hair can even start falling out in clumps if the situation is not addressed.
Some cats may even develop psychogenic alopecia, which is caused by the repeated licking of an area on the body (such as the belly) due to boredom or stress.
Time Of Year
Most cats will shed minimally all year round, but their main shedding seasons are in the Spring and Autumn months.
In the Spring, cats will shed their thick winter coats in favor of a short, lighter summer coat.
Similarly, in Autumn, cats will shed their summer coats for the thicker, denser coat that will protect them from the cold weather to come.
Interestingly, indoor cats are less likely to follow this routine than outdoor cats.
Cat shedding season is triggered by the amount of sunlight available, yet indoor cats have constant artificial light available.
For this reason, you might find that your indoor cat regularly sheds throughout the year and may even skip the main shedding seasons altogether.
Tiny organisms such as mites, fleas, and ticks, can cause havoc on a cat’s coat as they often cause a lot of skin irritation.
The best way to avoid this issue is to give a cat regular flea and worm treatments, even if they are indoor cats.
Some cats may also be allergic to flea saliva, which can cause excessive hair loss, particularly down the middle of the back.
Cats can have allergic reactions, too, often caused by a particular chemical, plant, or dust mites.
If this is the case, you will usually be able to see red bumps or blisters on a cat’s exposed skin.
Some cats may also have food allergies, so it is best to speak to a vet if you think that your cat may be suffering from an allergic reaction.
Alternatively, excessive hair loss may indicate endocrine issues and hormonal imbalances such as Cushing’s disease, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes.
Are Calico Cats Hypoallergenic?
Calico cats are not considered to be hypoallergenic as the amount of fur they shed is dependent on breed. However, some breeds that exhibit the calico pattern are considered to be low-shedding, such as the Devon Rex and the Japanese Bobtail.
It is important to note that scientists have yet to find a truly hypoallergenic breed.
So, the term hypoallergenic simply means they shed less than other breeds, rather than not at all.
If you have a severe cat allergy, you should visit the cat you wish to adopt before making the final decision.
This way, you will be able to determine if the cat is a good fit for you.
Whichever cat you choose to go with, it is important for you to put precautions in place to ensure you stay on top of your cat’s shedding.
This will help you to minimize any potential allergic reactions.
How To Manage Shedding In Calico Cats
The most effective way to minimize shedding in your calico cat is to brush them regularly. This will help to remove any dead fur and dander, which would otherwise have found its way onto your carpet or furniture.
Work With The Right Brush
You will need to choose a brush that works with your cats’ fur type.
For example, cats such as the Cornish Rex will require a grooming glove or short bristle brush to prevent damaging their fragile skin.
A Siberian will require a more robust brush that reaches down into the thick undercoat of this breed.
When you brush your cat, you are also distributing the natural oils across their skin which will help to keep the coat in good condition and prevent it from drying out.
Go Easy On Bathing
You shouldn’t need to bathe your cat too regularly unless he is particularly dirty.
In fact, over-cleaning may dry your cats’ skin out and cause even more dander to be released.
On top of that, most cat breeds dislike water, so being held in a tub is likely to cause a lot of stress!
Apply Flea And Worm Treatments
In addition, you should ensure you regularly apply flea and worm treatments to your cat.
Even indoor cats can pick up these organisms as they can be brought into the home via other means such as human clothing.
Most treatments require application once a month but check with your vet if you are unsure.
Aside from keeping your cat healthy, you should maintain a regular cleaning routine of your home to get rid of potential allergens.
A vacuum is your best friend if you suffer from allergies but make sure you purchase one that is specifically designed to pick up pet hair.
You may also want to consider investing in a HEPA filter as these are very efficient at absorbing microscopic dander particles that can trigger allergies.
Try to keep your cat contained in specific areas of the house to prevent you from having to clean your whole home on a daily basis!
Offer them a cat bed, so he is less likely to lounge all over your sofa and keep your bedroom off-limits at all times.
Calico cats do shed, but the amount varies quite widely.
The good news is that there are lower-shedding calico cat breeds out there, and you have plenty to choose from too.
Unfortunately, if you did want a Calico Persian and do suffer from allergies, they’re not going to be as ideal for you as, say, a Ragdoll.
Of course, how you care for your cat and your home can dramatically improve the situation, regardless.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.