Just as humans, among cats too, dry skin is an extremely common phenomenon – particularly when the weather turns colder during winter. During winter, we push our cats inside the house and crank up the indoor heat – this is when they mostly suffer from dry skin. Dry skin on cats is an extremely uncomfortable occurrence as it leads to itching and itching leads to skin infections.
While it is irritating for the cats, it is equally problematic for the human parents of the cat as dry skin usually leads to excessive shedding and dander. This increases human allergies to cats. Hence, what is the way of getting rid of dry skin among cats? Scroll down to read more on the veterinarian’s trips for recognizing and treating signs of dry skin among cats.
Dry Skin among cats – What are the potential causes?
One of the most common causes of dry skin among cats can be related to the food that your pet cat eats. If you want to ensure that your cat receives all the nutrition that its tiny body requires, you have to give her the right amount of zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, according to Cornell Feline Health Center. Only the right nutrition will give her a healthy coat and skin. Hence, dry skin can be a solid indication of the fact that your cat is not getting sufficient nutrition through diet.
Dry skin can also a strong symptom of a cat that is overweight or one that is challenged with several mobility issues. An added cause for flaking among cats is poor grooming which is common among the overweight cats that are suffering from arthritis. Due to their pain or shape, they are not able to reach their back portion for proper grooming. This leads to hair matting, flaking and skin inflammation.
There are several other causes like the rituals you may use for bathing your cat everyday. If you use the wrong shampoo or too hot water, this can lead to dry skin, says vet, Carol Osborne. This can also lead to allergies, parasitic skin issues like lice, mites, fleas and other hormonal disorders like thyroid issues.
Dry skin among cats and its symptoms
The symptoms of dry skin on cats include white flakes of dandruff appearing on their fur and you may even notice your feline friend scratching the itchy areas too often. The shine on the cat’s fur will be lost due to dry skin. Dr. Osborne says that the cats will have something on their fur that exactly looks like dandruff.
Treatments for dry skin among cats
Now that you’re worried about how you’re going to treat dry skin among cats, here’s help for you. Check out the ways in which you can do so.
#1: Give her a proper diet
Now what does a proper diet mean for your furry friend? Here’s what you should ensure while feeding her.
- More Protein: The commercial dry foods for cats tend to be high on carbs and low on protein and this is the opposite of what your cat’s health actually requires. So, you have to buy foods with higher protein or mix some wet food into the diet of your cat and check if there’s any improvement in her skin
- Let go of allergens: Do you think your cat has some sort of allergy? If yes, you should consult with your vet so that you can eliminate all the allergens from her diet so that they don’t accelerate dry skin.
#2: Include supplements and Omega-3 Fatty acids
If your cat is already taking a properly balanced diet, you should consider giving her an Omega-3 supplement. There are several benefits of fish oil for the pets and the advantages go beyond bringing back the moisture on their skin. There are few tests that indicate that omega-3 fatty acids can also prevent the cats from suffering from cancer. You can even choose to give her a supplement like Dermatrix that boosts keratin for improving skin health.
#3: Groom her and use topical treatments and shampoos
- Shampoo: Use shampoo only when your cat has gotten extremely greasy, dirty or sticky. Otherwise there is no other reason to bathe your cat and they too hate the idea of bathing.
- Flea and tick topical treatment: These types of topical treatments will help your cat get rid of any flea or lice infections (if there are any) and this may in turn resolve all sorts of skin issues.
- Brushing: When you brush your cat everyday, this will lead to the right spread of their body natural oils.
#4: Use antifungals and antibiotics
Prescription medicine will only be considered as necessary for any type of infection that is related to the skin. However, make sure you apply these only after consulting with your vet.
#5: Household tweaks
- Allergies: Did you recently change your laundry detergent? Or did you bring home a new scratching post? Or did you recently begin to use a household cleaner? These might become the potential reasons behind your cat’s dry skin as they can all cause allergy among animals.
- Dry heat: Is the air in your home dry? If yes, bring home a humidifier into that room where your cat spends maximum time.
Home Remedies for Dry Skin in cats
Are you wondering about the best home remedies for your cat’s dry skin problem? Here are few you can keep in mind:
- Use cat food with high protein content
- In case of allergies, opt for an allergy elimination plan
- Use omega-3 fatty acid supplements to bring back the lost moisture on your cat’s skin
- Use humidifiers if your home has naturally dry air
- Use a moisturizing agent like coconut oil on the dry areas of the cat
So, if you are a cat parent, you have to educate yourself on the issues that a cat may have so that you can take best care of her health. Make sure you treat dry skin as soon as you detect it. If needed, you should also consult the vet for professional and expert advice.