Domestic cats have adapted to indoor life and in the process lost the ability to shed their coat seasonally. Wild cats will shed more of their coats in the spring months in order to stay cooler. In the winter months, a wild cat will shed less fur. Their thicker coat acts as an insulator and keeps the cat warm.
The environment in which a domestic cat lives tends to have a near constant climate year-round. This disrupts the natural shedding cycle and causes the cat to shed more all year long. This is completely normal for a domestic cat and you can help keep your cat cool and comfortable by grooming them regularly. Grooming with a brush or comb will help remove the dead hair and skin as well as stimulate the hair follicles. If this is not done, your cat will consume a lot of fur during grooming which will increase the size and frequency of hairballs.
Cats with longer fur require close attention and frequent grooming. You must check your long-haired cat's skin occasionally to make sure that there is no redness, swelling or infection. These symptoms can indicate a skin condition that is made worse by the long, dense fur. The occurrence of excessive shedding is usually indicating that there is an underlying cat illness or disease.
If you notice that your cat has bald patches, this could be due to excessive grooming. A stressed cat will tend to groom more often and can eventually lick away the fur entirely, causing skin patches to appear. Cat stress is often caused by events such as the introduction of a new animal into the house or a move to a new location.
Cat allergies can cause inflamed and irritated skin which will change the blood supply to that patch of skin. This change will hurt the health and growth of your cat's hair follicles and fur that is shed will not be replaced. Fleas and parasitic worms (such as ringworm and hookworm) can also cause excessive shedding for the same reason. Ringworm in particular will cause tell-tale round bald patches on your cat's skin. These rings are due to a skin fungus that weakens the roots of the hairs.
There are many treatments available for the above cat illnesses and diseases. Your vet can prescribe stronger medication if necessary. Some of these treatments include oil and vitamins that will improve the strength of your cat's hair follicles and ringworm medication. The best way to keep your cat's fur healthy and strong is to feed it a cat food that has all of the essential vitamins and nutrients.