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C2008-11

Dear Christopher Cat

My calico cat, Callie, loves to be brushed. I brush her every other week and get a couple of brushes full of hair each time.

When my daughter visits, she brushes Callie and obtains large gobs of hair.

I think Callie likes my daughter’s brushing so much that she sheds more hair for her. My daughter says cats can’t will themselves to shed. Who is right?

Christopher Responds

Your daughter is, but you’re partly correct, too.

We cats shed more when we’re anxious or excited, so those feelings may explain some of Callie’s increased shedding when your daughter visits.

We can’t help it. We just shed more at such times, like some humans who perspire when they’re stressed.

Another factor may play a role, as it does in our family. My dad doesn’t remove much hair when he brushes me, but my mom knows just how to maneuver the brush to get rid of lots of old hair.

So it’s likely that Callie sheds more than usual during your daughter’s visits, and that your daughter is also a skilled cat brusher.

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