Cats shed in order to remove dead hair from their bodies. Dead hair can cause skin irritation and thus needs to be removed. If you do not remove it for them, they will release it on their own.
Hair shedding is considered a sign of health in the cat, because sick cats do not shed. It happens for different reasons, but basically it depends on the time your cat spends outdoors or whether your cat is purely an indoor cat. The shedding is largely influenced by daylight, and this is called “photoperiod”. The number of hours a cat is exposed to sunlight in a day (photoperiod) triggers the shedding process. In addition, shedding varies considerably with breed as well as husbandry practices (i.e. bathing, grooming, activities, etc.).
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