Your feline friend’s coat has lost its shine, its fur is less thick and the surface of its skin is dry and itchy? There are a number of causes for this problem, some of which may be bad nutrition, too frequent bathing or absence of bathing, allergies to food, weather changes, fleas etc.
However, dandruff and itchiness that may occur when the cat’s skin is dry could be indicators of a more severe medical condition. Dry skin in cats is not an uncommon condition in cats of all ages, but be sure to take your pet to the vet if you notice any symptom that may signify something graver or if the dryness is persistent.
These are multiple ways you can alleviate, and ultimately, cure dry skin:
- Changes in Your Home
Your cat may be having an allergic reaction to recent changes you may have made to your home. Perhaps you brought in a new toy or piece of furniture which is made from materials that do not agree with your pet’s organism.
It may be the new carpet, or the heating system drying up the air during winter months, which can be solved by removing those new objects from the cat’s environment or using an air moisturizer to raise the humidity. However unlikely this may seem, make sure to inspect whether recent changes to your household may have been the cause of the problem.
- Feed your cat properly
Lots of protein, fewer carbs! Buy food that is designed to stimulate and improve the state of your cat’s coat, skin, and health in general. It’s important to feed your cat Omega-3 fatty acids, as they improve substantially the condition of the skin.
Feed your cat with fresh fish as often as you can (suggestion-salmon). Also, a small amount of fish oil added every other day to the food may prove to be beneficial for the skin and for your cat’s health in general. Also, there are food supplements that contain Keratin which can help the skin as well.
In the case of dehydration – your cat may be reluctant to take the required daily intake of water, thus damaging organ functions and having a detrimental effect on the condition of the skin and coat. Consider purchasing a water fountain, or any other stimulating object to help it hydrate properly.
- Relieve Possible Allergies
Your cat might have developed a reaction to either a food substance, something from the environment or fleas, ticks and other such parasites. This is something that you requires a visit to the vet, as there are various tests to determine the trigger of the skin reaction.
Get rid of parasites
Although it is rarely the case to have a serious reaction to fleas, ticks and other types of parasites, in such cases, some of the household remedies include bathing a cat with a proper anti-parasite shampoo, especially for fungal infections. If something more serious is at hand, usually antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and antihistamines are prescribed to relieve the allergic reaction. However, you must consult your vet in order to get proper medication.
- Bathing and mental issues
Cats need to be bathed only in occasions such as these when they are experiencing some sort of unease, injury or disease, as they usually keep their own hygiene by grooming themselves.
Use shampoos with moisturizers, natural oils ( the homemade essence of peppermint, pennyroyal, especially for fleas) and baths with various herbs (catnip, aloe, rosemary). Washing your furry friend is highly recommended as the flow of cat’s natural oils is stimulated in this way.
Stimulate the cleanliness of your cat by regular brushing and combing, as that improves the blood circulation and oil secretion. When groomed, wipe your cat with a wet towel.
Be sure to abstain from frequent bathing, as cats keep their hygiene by themselves, by self-grooming. Frequent exposure to water and hair products may over sensitize the surface of the cat’s skin, thus making ground for the appearance of skin diseases. In that way, this may be a cause of the dry skin condition.
Ditto, if your cat has bald patches, loses hair, or any other type of external irritation, it may be caused by licking the coat to the point of self-inflicting damage to the dermis. This may come as a result of a lack of exercise, or result in a compulsive, affective state due to stress. Also mere idleness, inactivity can be what makes the cat over-groom.
Make sure that your cat develops an active, healthy lifestyle, try introducing new toys or even a companion if the cat is left alone a lot, as there is proof that this may prove beneficial in a situation such as this one. These issues may develop into a full blown compulsive disorder. Try seeing a vet if this behavior is persistent.
- More serious conditions
In principle, dry skin and irritation of the dermis in its less severe forms should be easy enough to cure. Follow the instructions given above in accordance with the cause that you are most suspicious of. In due time, the problem should be solved.
Unfortunately, the dryness of the skin may be just a symptom of a more serious condition. If you notice that the state of the skin is becoming worse by the second, you ought to put the matter in a vet’s hands. Do not panic, because if dealt in time, and with proper care and medical aid, you can get to the bottom of this issue, and the underlying cause as well. But do not take this condition too lightly. Dry skin may indicate the following conditions:
- Thyroid disease (Hyperthyroidism)
- Heart disease
- Malassezia (fungal infection, hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, causes dandruff)
- Seborrheic dermatitis (redness and flaking, yellow or red scaly pimples)