The lyrics of the old song state that, “Love is where you find it; don’t be blind, it’s all around you everywhere.” Those of us who have pets, especially cats, know that the same applies to fur during the shedding season which has become a continual year-round occurrence.
Wild animals on this continent shed in the Spring and Fall to renew a healthy coat. Now here’s the bad news; since the advent of air conditioning, domesticated animals have changed their shedding seasons to adjust to their environment. Cats especially down here south of the Carolinas shed nearly continuously due to the coolness provided by constant air conditioning.
Now for some “shedding science.” I’ll bet you didn’t know that shedding is influenced not only by temperature, but by the amount of sunlight the animal is exposed to. Since sunlight triggers the shedding process called photoperiod, indoor cats will shed at any time during the year depending upon how much light (including artificial light) they receive and how low you keep your thermostat set. That’s why those of you with indoors-only cats keep getting the recurring thought of “where the @#$% is all this fur coming from?” Of course, you could trade them in for one of the three breeds of cats that don’t shed at all . . . the Devon Rex, Cornish Rex and (duh) the hairless Sphynx.
Now for some Allie Katz insight as to where to find it. If you vacuum constantly or have a Roomba Robot, you may think you’re getting all the fur, but guess again! I’ve found wads of fur in places where I’m sure some of you never even thought to look for it, and in places impossible for today’s miracle machines to go. Here are some examples: behind pictures on the wall, on the top edges of the slats under your bed, behind your headboard, and under the bottom edge of your interior doors. The other day I saw a tuft of fur sticking out from under my office door. I took my small Swiffer duster and drug it under the door, then repeated the process for all my doors. I came up with enough fur to cover three kittens or one small adult cat!
I pity those poor souls who are allergic to cats. Actually, it’s not the fur they are allergic to, but the saliva on the fur. Loose fur may be an annoyance, but outside of the allergic reaction it causes some people, it is relatively harmless, considering that most of us who have multiple pets have, through the years, unknowingly inhaled or ingested enough fur to fill the bed of a 5-ton pickup truck without ever knowing it. So, dear hearts, the next time you go in for your colonoscopy, don’t be too surprised if they tell you they found fur balls! (Bet you never thought to look there either! 😉) Allie