Help, My Cat Has Dry Skin! 

Beverly Hills MI cat with dry skin

Of all their prominent features, it is perhaps their fluffy, yet silky and soft fur coat that has us fawning over our cats the most. A cat’s fur coat is more than beautiful, however, it’s also a powerful indicator of general health and wellness.

If your cat has dry skin, however, it can make their coat appear dull, unkempt, or flaky, and can cause them serious distress.

Oh, No! The Itchies!

Nobody likes the feeling of itchy, dry skin and your cat is no exception. Of course, you’ll want to treat the symptoms, but what about getting to the root of the problem?

There are various possible explanations that might cause your cat to develop dry skin, and it may take some time to figure it all out. The good news is that when you connect all the dots, your cat can experience sweet relief.

What is Dandruff?

In and of itself, dandruff isn’t necessarily a dangerous condition. Characterized by dry dead skin cells that flake off the skin and onto the coat, dandruff can come with itching and irritation. When this gets out of control, damage to the skin is possible. At this point, intervention is critical to protect your cat’s health.

A Possible Cause

Let’s start with the least complicated reason: the weather. Winter, with its warm, dry indoor heating can easily explain why your cat has dry skin. Like us, the effects of this can be the appearance of flaky dandruff. Perhaps an investment in a small humidifier, and a new water fountain (to increase water consumption) can boost their natural defense against the cold, dry air. 

Environmental Control

Many skin irritations can be explained by the soaps, detergents, and household cleaners that are commonly used in households. If your cat has dry skin all of a sudden, it may be the result of a new product in the home. Did you recently wash their bedding in a new detergent? Have you used a new air freshener or cleaning product? 

Environmental allergens can also include mold, pollen, and dust. Keep an eye out for symptoms other than dry, itchy skin, and call us with any questions.

What’s in the Bowl?

Food allergies can trigger dry skin in cats. A balanced diet is key to skin and coat health. Supplementation of fatty acids can be beneficial toward preventing skin issues. 

If the onset of dry, flaky, itchy skin is associated with a recent change in their diet, it may be worth it to investigate. You may find that their symptoms clear up after they’re switched back to their previous food.

A Look at Grooming

Regular grooming is an excellent defense against dry skin. By stimulating the production of the skin’s natural oils, brushing the coat can help the skin from drying out.

Many older, arthritic cats, or overweight cats may not always be able to stretch when self-grooming. Observe them and help them clean parts of their back that they cannot reach.

Bathing your cat may be the last thing on your agenda, but it can be incredibly soothing to their dry, irritated skin. Please let us know if you have questions about hypoallergenic products to use on their skin. 

So, Your Cat Has Dry Skin

Hopefully, you’ll be able to easily figure out why your cat has dry skin. Still stumped? Let us know! Our veterinarians and staff members are always here to help you at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates.