Is it possible to brush a cat too much, trying to remove the loose hairs? Can I overdo it and brush a cat so much that it gets bald or bald spots?

Lots of loose hair is always coming out of the fur of my cats especially with change of seasons.

According to the vet my cats are European shorthair and I have no reason to doubt that, but their fur is pretty thick in comparison to the neighbor's European shorthair cat.

2 Answers 2


Fur thickness is a separate variable from fur length. I have two shorthair siblings, and one has a slightly longer guard-hair layer than the other -- enough so that I can tell them apart by touch. Similarly, the thickness of the undercoat varies from breed to breed and animal to animal. Between the two, some animals do shed more than others. I've seen some where you could brush out enough fur to make you wonder why the cat hadn't shrunk noticeably.

As long as the cat isn't standing up and walking away, it's pretty safe to assume that you aren't hurting them.

  • I known I'm not hurting them because they start purring when I brush them and turn around to have their other sides brushed. I enjoy brushing them and I enjoy them enjoying it. I just don't want to overdo things. With the start of the summer there is of course a lot of winter fur coming loose. BTW: I am unfamiliar with "guard-hair".
    – jippie
    Jun 14, 2015 at 7:28
  • Many animals have two layers of fur, a very fine hair that acts as an insulating inner layer (the undercoat) and a coarser, longer-growing hair that forms an outer coat. The latter is sometimes referred to as guard hair since it's purpose appears to be to help keep the inner layer from getting waterlogged and losing its insulating properties. I presume other words for this distinction exist, and that other languages have their own terms for this distinction.
    – keshlam
    Apr 19, 2023 at 15:09

One of my cats LOVES to be brushed with a similar brush. During the winter (when she gets dandruff) I'll usually brush her every night for 30 minutes or so at a time. Even with this amount of brushing her fur has never seemed to "thin".

Other types of brushes (like the popular Furminator) actually cut the fur and you can accidentally brush all of your cat's fur off. This type of brush is better when limited to shedding seasons, or a few times a month.

  • In my experience, the furminator does not cut the fur. But this is a matter of endless argument on the internet, with a lot of strong opinion and little scientific testing, so all I can tell you is to make your own decisions.
    – keshlam
    Apr 19, 2023 at 15:14

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