Your cat suffers from dry skin and has a dull coat, possibly combined with dandruff, scaly dermis and fur loss? Dry skin and is a condition that affects cats of all ages and could be perfectly benign, a result of a number of external causes. However, it could be related to some of these internal health conditions:
- an early indicator of a more severe disease
- an allergic reaction to a number of parasites (fleas, ticks, etc.)
- a generally unhealthy organism
- an indicator of certain mental health issues related to an inactive lifestyle.
Fortunately, there’s no need for panic, as it is extremely rare for it to be anything more than a reaction to some external changes in the cat’s environment, bathing habits or simply a case of malnutrition or an allergic reaction to some substance in the cat’s meal. Before you start suspecting something more severe is at hand, try examining whether it is simply a case of inappropriate food that it eats or something that is curable by adding certain helpful substances to its diet.
How to improve poor nutrition
Poor nutrition may be a major setback to the state of the cat’s health, including skin and fur.
If they don’t intake enough vitamins, minerals, and proteins, that could be detrimental to its condition. The insufficiency of essential fatty acids, which is a key substance when it comes to cellular health, affects the skin and fur of your feline friend.
The treatment involves a protein rich diet. So, fewer carbs, more protein. Try switching to a food brand of better quality that includes the Omega 3 fatty acids, and substances that especially aid the poor skin condition. Try avoiding the food brands that lack these substances at least for a certain period of time, until you are certain that your cat’s previous diet was not the cause of the dry skin
You can also feed your cat with fresh fish (especially salmon!), as fish is food rich in these essential fatty acids. Also, try giving it small amounts of fish oil to its food every other day. This may fix the nutritional imbalance that might be the source of the cat’s ailment.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are building blocks of the body and a necessary basis for a healthy organism. You may find appropriate supplements to aid the condition in limited ingredient formulas or special skin and coat aid food supplements. Pay attention to the ingredients list, and be sure to look for food and supplement products that include some or all of these vitamins – Vitamin A, E, Biotin. When it comes to minerals, the essential ones are Copper and Zinc. Also look for the essential fatty acids, namely Omega-3 fatty acid and Omega-6 fatty acid.
Obesity may be a major influence on the state of the cat’s skin, and health in general. It is estimated that as much as 57% cats in the US fall under the category of being overweight. If the cat is mostly inactive or left alone too much, this could be not only the cause of obesity issues but also a trigger for mental health issues such as compulsive disorders and depressive episodes.
All in all, this amplifies the cat’s weight problems significantly, with skin and coat health issues being a sign of this. Obesity has a devastating effect not only on the state of the cat’s skin and coat but also to the health of bones and joints.
Neutered (castrated), middle-aged or old and indoor cats are especially prone to having excessive body fat. Cats that score more than seven points in a nine-point scaling system are diagnosed with obesity. This means that the surplus of body fat amounts between 10 and 20 percent, which means that your cat should lose 10% to 20% of its current weight to go back to normal.
Usually, sources of protein in cat food include beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, and eggs. It is crucial for the novel diet to include protein—but it must be taken from a source the cat hasn’t adapted, that is consummated previously, such as venison, fish and kangaroo meat.
It’s the same for carbohydrates – the vegetables that are frequently used in cat foods—wheat, barley, and corn —should be reduced to a minimum in the novel diet and replaced by – for instance, potato.
- Avoid leaving dry food in the cat’s feeding bowl all day
- Avoid dry food in general – dry food is mostly based on plant proteins (as opposed to animal proteins), different from the metabolic design of the carnivorous cat
- Make up an eating schedule and stick to it. If the cat finds it hard to adapt to it, try feeding it multiple times a day in smaller doses to make it easier for them to accept the introduced change
- Introduce a food brand that contains the necessary nutritional balance in accordance with your cat’s individual needs
- Buy canned food, which typically has a higher protein and lower carbohydrate content compared to kibbles. Canned food is 90 percent water – a fluid intake increase with proper nutrition.
- Do not introduce the change in the feeding habits too drastically- starving the cat or making the diet plan too drastic at the start may worsen the cat’s health. Take small steps by losing 1 or 2 percent of body weight per week.
Cats may be sensitive to certain foods or its components. Food allergy is the third most frequent allergic reaction in cats, one of the symptoms being rashes, fur loss, skin dryness, itchiness. The dryness of the skin may provoke incessant scratching, that may cause skin wounds.
It is unknown still scientifically uncertain why the allergic reaction to some types of foods occurs. See a vet and determine what foods could be the cause of the skin dryness and eliminate the substance from the diet.