The Undercoat - What Is It and Why Is Removing It Necessary featured image

Your Cat’s Undercoat – What Is It and Why Is Removing It Necessary

What is the undercoat?

The majority of cat breeds have a fine lower layer of soft hairs, with the exception being the hairless Sphinx cats and Rex breeds. This lower layer of hair that grows closest to their skin is called the undercoat and it provides cats with additional insulation. Most cat parents in Singapore have cats that are indoor cats and boy do they shed a lot. Unlike their outdoor counterparts who shed seasonally, indoor cats shed all the time.

Why should I request for undercoat removal?

Short-haired, medium-haired and long-haired cats alike will all benefit from regular brushing. While you won’t need to brush your short-haired cat daily like you need to brush your long-haired cat, it is still important to ensure that you groom them frequently. Brushing your cat’s fur regularly will reduce the amount of loose hair and cat dander floating about your home, and it will also reduce the amount of hair that your cat swallows when she self-grooms.

But grooming regularly takes a ton of commitment and patience so it is likely that many busy cat parents sometimes miss a brushing session once in awhile. What’s more, removing the dead hairs beneath your cat’s outer coat isn’t just a matter of brushing with a normal brush – it requires the right tools and the right technique.

When removing loose fur from your cat’s undercoat, you’ll need to use a comb with stiff bristles such as a straight comb. The bristles of such a tool are designed specifically to remove tangles and mats; they are also long enough to comb through the outer layer of your cat’s fur to reach the undercoat to remove the loose hairs there.

When not groomed regularly and carefully, a cat’s undercoat tends to tangle, mat and clump. In some extreme cases, the coat can clump together so badly that a shave is in order because attempting to comb it out or remove it could be too painful for your cat.

What’s more, removing the undercoat makes the bathing and drying processes much more effective!

Why don’t most other salons talk about undercoat removal?

Undercoat removal typically takes a long time – imagine, a grooming session normally takes 2 – 3 hours. But with undercoat removal, it can take up to 4 hours! Plus, most salons tend to find it a tad bit troublesome to have to explain it to every customer that walks through their doors. It is quite a lengthy explanation!

Is undercoat removal the same as deshedding?

It is slightly different! If undercoat removal refers to the act of using a straight comb to comb out the loose hair in a cat’s undercoat, then consider deshedding as upping the undercoat removal game by a few levels; deshedding is removing a lot of loose hair that have since clumped together because the cat hasn’t had her undercoat removed in a very, very long time.

What benefits do I enjoy from regular undercoat removal?

1. Prevents matting

Matted fur blocks air flow and prevents oxygen and moisture from reaching your cat’s skin, leading to dry, scaly skin. Your cat may then start to groom herself more and more which could irritate the skin further. Grooming herself more also means that she would ingest even more fur which could lead to health problems. By removing your cat’s undercoat removal regularly, all these problems can be avoided!

2. Reduces hairball

With more loose fur trapped in her coat, your cat ingests more fur when she grooms herself. Most hair should pass through the gastrointestinal tract without any issues. However, sometimes, it can accumulate in her stomach, forming hairballs which she will then vomits back up.

3. Coat health

Removing your cat’s undercoat keeps her fur free of any dirt, debris and external parasites. When grooming your cat, the lack of an undercoat will let you distribute the natural oils in her skin along her hair shafts for a glossy and smooth coat!

The next time you’re thinking of bringing your cat to Nekomori for her grooming session, consider adding on the undercoat removal to your package!

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