Five Tips for Better Feline Skin Care

Feline skin is a major organ; problems with the skin can affect and reflect the overall health of your cat. Feline skin problems correlate with parasites, your cat's nutrition, grooming issues and supplements. If a cat is excessively scratching, it might also indicate the presence of a cat skin allergy. Here are 5 ways to keep your cat's skin healthy.

1. Feed the Proper Diet

Your cat's skin health is directly correlated to their digestive health. If the colon is clogged or if your cat is not properly hydrated, their skin and fur will suffer. A cat's diet should consist mainly of lean animal protein including chicken and fish. The food should consist mostly of whole ingredients and should not include fillers, chemicals, colorings, or too much grain. The best diet for skin health also contains naturally occurring fish oils and enough moisture to keep your cat hydrated. Offering fresh water is important but cats also need moisture that is mixed in with their food since they process moisture in their intestines.

2. Enhance the Diet with Supplements

For cats with extremely sensitive skin, feline supplements can be an important addition to a healthy diet. There are high quality supplements specifically formulated for cats with skin conditions. You should only buy supplements from your vet or from a reputable pet food store. For cats with skin problems, look for formulas with the fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6.

3. Regular Grooming

Regular home grooming can help in preventing skin problems for your cat. Brush your cat daily and also use a comb to lift out the shedding and dead fur. This helps stimulate the natural oils and nutrients in the skin to keep the coat healthy, shiny, and smooth. Daily brushing also stimulates the cat's lymph glands which help the body to remove toxins. It is important to keep long hair from getting matted Taking your cat to a professional groomer every 6 weeks is especially helpful for cats with skin problems.

4. Keep Parasites Under Control

Many common external and internal feline parasites can contribute to skin problems. Putting your cat on a consistent monthly regime with a medicine that kills fleas and ticks will help prevent skin lesions and sores from the bites. It's best to find a flea medicine that also addresses chewing lice. Ear mites, which appear as dark clumps in your cats ears, can be treated with over the counter cleaning solution. Cats can also develop worms which are parasites that live in the intestines. If you notice diarrhea, vomiting, or a pot bellied appearance, you may need to have your vet test and de-worm your pet.

5. Assess and Treat the Cat Skin Allergy

Cats can develop several allergies that negatively impact the skin. Some cats are more allergic to fleas than others. These cats will develop dermatitis, or skin inflammation, in response to a flea infestation. A regular flea control regime and regular grooming is especially important for these felines. Cats can develop food allergies. If your cat is still having skin problems even after parasites are under control, you can try systematically remove foods from your cat's diet to see if the skin improves. A vet can also perform allergy tests in the office.