The condition of your cat’s skin and coat means more than just what you see. They are a reflection of the health of the feline. According to veterinary experts, building a strong foundation that includes healthy nutrition, effective flea prevention, and good care are all essential for improved skin and fur in cats.
Skin problems in cats are often a sign that something important is happening. If your cat rips its hair or scratches its face and shoulders intensively, for example, it could be due to parasites or allergies.
The diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions should always be left to the veterinarian. But there are a few simple and natural things you can do to improve your cat’s skin and fur.
Feeding your cat a balanced and complete diet is essential for her health and well-being. But there are many nutrients that play an important role in the vitality of the skin and hair. For healthy skin, both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are essential.
Cats need two types of omega-6 fatty acids: Linoleic acid, which is found in vegetable oils, and arachidonic acid, often obtained from animal fats. Omega-6 fatty acids help maintain the health and integrity of epithelial tissues, such as the skin.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are two omega-3 fatty acids that also help preserve skin and coat health. Alpha-linoleic acids, derived from foods such as flaxseed, help maintain the skin’s water permeability barrier. Most commonly found in certain fish oils, eicosapentaenoic acids are important for their anti-inflammatory properties and role in normal cell membrane fluidity.
Because nutrition is so essential for your cat’s skin and health, it’s essential not to bargain on its quality.
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If you feed your cat a balanced diet, it should already contain the right proportion of nutrients. But in some cases, a supplement can be beneficial too.
If your cat has scaly and dry skin, supplementing with essential fatty acids can sometimes help. Usually, saffron or sunflower oil can be good sources, but they’re also high in calories, so it’s important not to over-supplement. Fish oil supplements can also be beneficial for itchy skin due to their anti-inflammatory component.
If you want to try supplements, talk to your veterinarian to avoid problems associated with overdose. Be safe when it comes to how many supplements you use. Supplementing with too much fat, vitamins, or minerals can cause a nutritional imbalance. For example, some fish oil supplements also contain vitamin D. Although it is an essential nutrient, too much vitamin D can cause serious problems associated with toxicity.
In the case of a cat’s flea infestation, it is important to know that most cats who reach the veterinarian suffer from itching skin. In an attempt to find relief, a cat may scratch or lick herself excessively, which can lead to wounds and partial baldness.
A common cause of skin itching is due fleas and flea allergies. It is recommended that all cats receive regular treatment to prevent flea infestation. This is because fleas and flea allergies are frequent sources of skin problems in cats. Preventive medications prescribed by the veterinarian can be a good solution.
Do not use medicines for dog use. The use of flea products for dogs in cats is dangerous because cats are very sensitive to some of the medicines used to prevent fleas in dogs. Do not use home remedies as they can be ineffective and dangerous for cats.
Making the cat purr and strengthening the bond between you are not the only reasons why you should brush and comb your cat regularly. Brushing and combing can help prevent hair loss. Tangled hair can cause discomfort to cats, as well as skin infections and hair loss. Brushing can also help stimulate the shine in a cat’s hair, by redistributing the natural oils of the coat.
Consider investing in a high-quality care tool designed specifically for excess hair removal in cats. Establish a hair and coat routine from the beginning of your cat’s life. Thus, the fur care ritual will be a pleasant one for the pet, not just a tolerated activity.
It is rarely necessary to shampoo a cat’s hair, especially since most cats take care of themselves. Cats are generally not very cooperative when it comes to bathing and can be extremely stressful for both the cat and the owner. Try a bath as the last alternative.
But if your cat has itchy skin or is simply very dirty, you can try taking her a bath. The most important thing is to use a special shampoo for cats and make sure you rinse it well. Also, avoid any shampoos that contain tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is known to be toxic in cats when used in high concentrations.
For cats with allergic diseases, baths are recommended. But if you find bathing too difficult or stressful, you can just wipe your cat with a damp cloth. This helps eliminate allergens from the air, mold spores, dust mites, and pollen from herbs and plants.
Your veterinarian may recommend a medical shampoo to help treat other types of feline skin problems. In these cases, always follow your veterinarian’s instructions on when and how to wash your cat.
If your cat licks its fur excessively, this can lead to hair loss, also known as alopecia. If the veterinarian has determined that excessive licking of the cat has a psychological rather than physical origin, the condition is diagnosed as psychogenic alopecia.
Cats may adopt this type of compulsive licking behavior to relieve stress. While cats with psychogenic alopecia rarely take too much care of themselves to damage the skin, the condition is a sign that they are experiencing significant levels of anxiety or tension. Owners should be concerned, not only because of hair loss but also because stress increases the risk of other more serious conditions in cats, including idiopathic feline disease of the lower urinary tract or feline idiopathic cystitis (FID).
For this reason, minimizing stress, such as providing a suitable vertical space where a cat can retreat and feel safe, can be helpful. Interact with your cat as much as possible, groom it, and play with her. Give her a feeding ball-like puzzle, when she is alone to combat her boredom. Cats with severe psychogenic alopecia may also benefit from medication to relieve anxiety.
Grooming is a great way to establish a connection with your pet, also ensuring its health and well-being. This will also help you become familiar with your cat’s skin, eyes, ears, teeth, and fur, which will allow you to identify the appearance of anything unusual. If you notice sudden changes or something abnormal, consult a veterinarian for professional advice and treatment.