Bald spots, scabs, scaly patches, or flakes similar to dandruff are signs that your cat has dry skin. They are most commonly found around the nose, tail, lower back, and ears.
When you are sure your cat has dry skin, the next step is to figure out what is causing it, and then how to treat it.
“Dry skin is a common concern for cats, often bringing cats and their pet parents to the veterinarian,” said Lauren Leonard in “5 Treatments For Cat Dry Skin Getting Rid of Your Cat's Itchy Skin” in petcarerx.com
“Dry skin is no fun for anyone, including cats, but there can be many different reasons for it. Luckily, there are just as many ways to get rid of it,” Leonard said.
Dry skin is common across all breeds. You will usually see a cat with dry skin constantly scratching and itching, especially focused on a certain spot on the body.
Top Home Remedies for Dry Skin on Cats
Here are five remedies from Leonard to treat your cat’s dry skin and heal their discomfort quickly:
1. Give a cat food that has a higher protein content.
2. Consult your vet if you suspect your cat has allergies and ask for an allergy elimination plan for your cat.
3. Giv an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement to provide natural moisture for your cat’s skin.
4. Use a humidifier to help protect your cat’s skin from becoming dry If your home is naturally arid.
5. Put a natural moisturizing agent (such as coconut oil) on your cat’s dry areas. There are shampoos and essential oils that can also be used as remedies for dry skin on cats.
Indications of dry skin in cats
Dandruff and flakiness are the main indications that your cat has dry skin. “The skin itself may appear dull when you part the fur to have a look. Also, your cat may be itching, scratching, or licking more than usual, “ said Leonardo.
Scratching of the head and neck may be due to food allergy.
Hair loss, or thinning hair by the tail, may be due to fleas.
Cause of dry skin
“More often than not, dry skin is a red flag alerting you to some other condition. By addressing the real issue, dry skin should go back to normal,” said Leonardo.
The common causes of dry cat skin are:
Allergies: Ask help from your vet to determine if your cat is allergic to an ingredient in his food or to the pollen in the air. Your cat may be reacting to something in the environment, like a new bed or grooming product.
Poor Diet: Your cat may need more vitamins and minerals. Their dry skin could be an indication of a deficiency in the cat food.
Changes in the Weather: When it is colder and you use heaters, even a human’s skin gets dry. This is easy to treat. Just use oils that are safe for cats when put on the skin.
Other causes of dry skin in cats are:
1. Fleas: Flea infestation can cause dry skin. Removing the fleas can solve the problem unless an infection has developed. This, in turn, will require antibiotics and/or a special ointment.
2. Lice and Other Parasites: When parasites are removed, the problem stops.
3.Overgrooming: Cats can over groom themselves. “Over grooming can indicate a serious medical problem or a behavioral issue like OCD. Both the medical problem, and the excessive licking, can lead to dry skin,” Leonardo said.
4.Fungal Infections: “Fungal infections like yeast infections, ringworm, and sporotrichosis, for example, can lead to dry skin. Sporotrichosis can spread to humans, and should be managed right away,” Leonardo said.
5.Serious Health Conditions: Older cats can develop hyperthyroidism, heart conditions, and diabetes. Dry skin are usually early indications of one of these illnesses.
The 5 treatments
1. A Better Diet
More Protein: Most commercial dry cat food do not contain sufficient amount of protein that a cats needs. They “are low on protein and high on carbs, which is the opposite of what nature requires for a cat’s health. The solution? More protein. Consider buying a higher protein food and/or mixing some wet food into your cat’s diet, and see how their skin fares,” Leonardo stressed.
Eliminating Allergens: Ask your vet immediately for a plan to identify the cause of allergy.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids & Other Supplements
If your cat has a well-balanced diet, you can ask your vet if you can give an Omega 3 supplement.
“The benefits of fish oil for pets even go beyond skin moisture -- some tests indicate it may help prevent cancer. You may also consider a more general supplement, like Dermatrix, that includes keratin for skin health,” Leonardo said.
3. Topical Treatments, Shampoos, and Grooming
Shampoos: Use shampoo only if your cat is very dirty, greasy, or sticky. If not, there is no reason to bathe a cat, Leonardo said.
Flea and tick Topical treatments will remove lice or flea infestations, which may skin issues.
Brushing your cat regularly will help spread their natural skin oils.
4. Antibiotics & Antifungals
The vet will prescribe medicine like antibiotic for any infection-related skin condition.
5. Household Changes
Dry Heat: If the air is very dry due to the hot weather or use of heater, use a humidifier in the room where your cat spends the most time in.
Allergies: “Have you changed laundry detergents? Brought in a new scratching post? Started using a new household cleaner? Your cat’s dry skin could be a reaction or an allergy to one of these substances,” Loenardo said.
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