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My Cat Has Dry Flaky Skin

How Is Seborrhea Diagnosed

How To Treat Dry Skin On A Cat’s Lower Back

Tests that can aid your veterinarian in diagnosing your cat’s seborrhea include:

  • Complete blood cell count , serum chemistries, and electrolytes to look for subclinical or hidden underlying conditions or imbalances
  • Skin cytology and biopsy to look for inflammatory cells, bacteria, yeast, fungus, or abnormal cells
  • Skin scrapings and hair pluckings to check for external parasites
  • Skin culture to assess for bacterial and fungal infections
  • Testing for underlying feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus
  • Hormone testing to check for hormonal imbalances

Why Does My Cat Have Dandruff On His Back

There could be a number of medical causes for dandruff along the back. The most common cause for dandruff just along the back is due to poor grooming habits. Overweight cats have a hard time reaching around to groom the back. Arthritis in the neck and back can make it painful to groom. Sick cats often don’t have the energy to groom properly.

Prognosis For Cats With Dry Skin

The success of treating cats with dry skin has much to do with the underlying cause. If, for example, your cat has chronic dry skin because of a systemic issue, the dryness may be harder to treat in the long term. The best thing you can do for your cat is to make sure they are experiencing as little pain as possible. Symptom management is achievable with environmental and grooming changes, supplements, and prescription medications.

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Nomnomnow Fresh Cat Food Delivery

Overall Best Cat Food for Dry Skin: If you want to give your cat the best chance of recovering from his skin problems, you need to start feeding him better. Many pet nutrition experts agree that fresh food is the best option, unless you can afford raw food. Fresh cat food is made from wholesome, natural ingredients and cooked at lower temperature than commercial dry food which preserves more of the nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients. NomNomNow is our favorite fresh food company and they deliver pre-portioned packages of fresh food customized to your cats calorie needs right to your door. Simply provide some basic information about your cats age, weight, and activity level then choose from two protein-rich recipes. Both recipes are all-natural and highly digestible with higher levels of protein, moisture, and healthy fat than the average kibble. Plus, its delivered right to your door so you can skip the pet store.

  • Pros: Fresh food delivered to your door, rich in animal protein and moisture, highly digestible natural ingredients, customized to your cats calorie needs, all-natural ingredients
  • Cons: Only two recipes to choose from, significantly more expensive than traditional kibble

What Exactly Is Dandruff In Cats

Scaly Bald Patch On Cat

Now lets discuss the details behind your cats flaky skin. What and why do cats get dandruff anyway?

Dandruff in cats is a skin condition that is characterized by dry and flaky skin. Dandruff will often appear as white flakes throughout your cats fur, often accompanied by frequent itching. While dandruff is considered a condition in itself, its often the result of something else that is affecting your cats skin.

Whether your cat is lacking fatty acids in their diet, experiencing dehydration, or suffering from fleas or other irritating conditions dandruff in cats is often a symptom of a bigger issue. In order to get to the bottom of your cats dry skin, lets discuss some of the causes behind cat dandruff.

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What To Look For In A Good Cat Food For Dry Skin

If you suspect that your cat has food allergies, try an elimination diet for 8 to 12 weeks. If his symptoms resolve during that time, youll have isolated the problem and you can simply keep feeding him that diet for a long-term resolution. An elimination diet should contain a novel source of animal protein with limited other ingredients. After your cats skin problems resolve, you can try introducing potential allergens one at a time to identify the culprit, or simply keep feeding your cat the cat food that doesnt trigger his allergies.

If youre simply looking for a healthy cat food to improve your cats skin and coat health to resolve dry, flaky skin, here are some general things to look for in the best cat food for dry flaky skin:

Now that you have a better understanding of skin problems in cats and the role diet may play in your cats treatment, youre ready to start shopping for new cat food. If you need additional guidance, check out our top picks below but read how we make our recommendations first.

Preventing Dry Skin On Cats

Now that you better understand the causes and symptoms of your cats dry skin, it makes the whole problem easier to get rid of. The most common causes of dry skin include allergies, poor diet, dry weather, and parasites. The obvious thing here would be preventing all those from happening.

Being a proactive cat owner is probably the best method to eliminate all these, while also ensuring your cat is healthy all around. Monitoring your cats behavior and taking action can reduce a lot of their discomfort and further health issues.

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Use A Natural Moisturizer

Another cat dry skin remedy is to make use of a natural moisturizer. Naturally moisturizing agents, like coconut oil or CBD oil, may have the potential to soothe your cats dry spots. Look for moisturizing shampoos or topical applications to use on your precious feline. Natural shampoos with oatmeal or aloe vera can help soothe dryness and irritation.

Recovery Of Scaly Skin In Cats

How to Treat Generalized Skin Infections on Cats

Recovery will depend on the cause of the scaly skin. If the scaly skin was caused by fleas or mites, you will need to administer medication to your cat on a monthly basis to prevent the issue from recurring.

Bacterial and fungal infections will usually clear up after you have given your cat the full course of medication. To prevent these infections from coming back, your vet may recommend you use special shampoos to keep your cats skin clear and healthy. Not every cat will tolerate being shampooed.

Scaly skin caused by allergies will usually clear up once the cat is no longer exposed to the allergen. However, if its impossible to completely eliminate the allergen from your home, talk to your vet about whether you can use medication to alleviate symptoms. Immunotherapy may be an option for some though can be expensive.

Regardless of the cause, be sure to speak with your vet about an grooming routine. Most cats needs to be brushed regularly. In general, bathing is not advised but may be needed to treat certain medical conditions.

Scaly skin can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your cat is at risk of developing scaly skin, start searching for pet insurance today. Wag!s pet insurance comparison tool lets you compare plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Embrace. Find the pawfect plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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How To Prevent Dry Skin

Preventing dry skin in cats isn’t entirely possible, as there will always be environmental and health factors out of your control. Early in your cat’s life, you can establish habits that promote healthy skin, such as frequent brushing and fatty acid supplements. Be proactive in your cat’s skin health, but remember that you can only do so much to prevent the affliction altogether.

  • Is dry skin in cats curable?

    The ability to cure dry skin in cats is heavily dependent on the root cause of the dryness. However, in most cases, dry skin can be treated successfully, and you can minimize the symptoms of discomfort your cat is experiencing. Your vet will provide an appropriate treatment plan.

  • Isn’t some dandruff normal?

    A couple of pieces of dandruff shouldn’t be cause for worry, but if you notice your cat producing an excess of dandruff or shedding larger flakes of skin, pay a visit to the vet and diagnose what is causing dry skin.

  • What’s the reason for my cat’s dry skin?

    There are many causes of dry skin in cats, so it’s difficult to know exactly what is afflicting your cat. These causes include diet, stress, parasites, and weather. Take your cat to your vet as soon as possible for a diagnosis.

What Is The Difference Between Cat Dander & Dandruff

Although they sound similar, its important to note that cat dandruff is different from dander. Cat dander is a normaland healthyshedding of skin cells.

Dander is often blamed for causing allergic reactions in humans, but thats another misconception. The primary allergen is found in cats saliva, which is then transferred to the fur and skin during grooming.

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Medical Treatment For Dry Skin On Cats

Unless your cat is in visible distress, scratching at dry skin, and opening wounds, you can usually persevere with home remedies. Sometimes, though, dry skin will need the intervention of a vet.

Creams and Ointments

If a cats skin is dry and inflamed, a vet will prescribe ointments to soothe it. These treatments are often used for easing the symptoms of allergies, so your vet will run further tests before providing a prescription.

If your cat has cheyletiellosis , itll need treatment, such as Selamectin , to remove the mites living on the skin. There are also oral medications, such as Selamectin .

Prescription Shampoos

A vet may prescribe a medicated shampoo for yeast infections, allergies, and bacterial skin infections.

Even if you have a medicated shampoo, its not free reign to constantly bathe your cat. You must adhere to the guidelines. Most conditions will show signs of improvement within the first few weeks.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 is the collective term for a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

These fatty acids should feature heavily in the feline diet, especially if your cat is prone to dry skin. Omega-3s many benefits include better skin.

Omega-3 is commonly found in most quality cat foods, especially fish-based meals. Equally, scaly fish will provide your cat with plenty of omega-3. Just ensure the fish has been completely deboned and cooked before serving.

Specialist Diet Plan

Protein is as vital to cats skin as omega-3 fatty acids.

Symptoms Of Dry Skin On Cats

Cat Dandruff

One of the more apparent signs your cat might have dry skin is continually itching and in the same area. If a cat scratches restlessly and targets the same area, it could indicate they have a dry patch of skin there. Sometimes the scratching can become so obsessive that it causes hair to become brittle or fall out.

Another symptom of cats with dry skin is dandruff or flakes on their fur. Some cats will over-groom themselves in efforts to alleviate their dry skin. Dandruff should not be mistaken for dander. Dander on cats is much smaller and happens as a natural skin shedding process. Dandruff is larger and is dry-looking, scaly skin.

White flakes of dandruff are usually noticeable on a cats coat. If you have a cat with longer fur, you might need to use a cat comb or brush to see any signs of dandruff. If you see any signs of irritation such as redness or inflammation of the skin, it may signify dryness as well.

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How To Get Rid Of Dry Skin On Cats

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 19 testimonials and 91% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 206,467 times.

Believe it or not, human beings aren’t the only animals that can suffer from dandruff. Cats can also get dried-out skin that flakes off when rubbed or petted just like people. While this is rarely a serious issue, it’s nice to know what to do when you notice that your cat has this problem .XResearch source Luckily, treatment usually just takes a few simple steps.

Best Cat Foods For Dry Flaky Skin And Dandruff In 2022


  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • We all get dry skin from time to time, especially when the weather turns cold. Dry skin is generally nothing to be concerned about and is easily resolved with a good moisturizer or hand lotion. When it comes to your cat, however, you probably dont think much about his skin, and you may not even realize that cats can develop skin problems. After all, their skin is protected by a thick layer of fur.

    • Rich in real animal protein
    • Blend of omega-3
    • Rich in real animal protein

    Your cats fur provides some degree of protection for the skin underneath, but cats are by no means exempt from skin issues. Cats can develop dry, flaky skin and dandruff as well as other skin problems. Though the same problems may be minor in humans, noticeable changes to your cats skin and coat could indicate an underlying health problem and should not be ignored.

    In this article, well cover the subject of common cat skin problems including dry, flaky skin and dandruff. Well explore the most common causes of skin and coat issues in cats and talk about the best ways to resolve them. Youll also learn more about the role diet plays in your cats skin and coat health then provide you with some recommendations for the best cat food for dry skin and dandruff.

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    Does Your Cat Have Dry Skin

    Before finding out if your cat has dry skin, its best to understand what it is first. Dry skin, or cat dandruff, is a condition that affects the dermal health. Cats with dry skin are characterized by flaky, dryness, and itchiness. For reasons not yet known, dandruff in cats is relatively common.

    Dandruff on cats will look a lot like human dandruff. Its mostly dead or damaged skin scaling off, usually due to dryness. Although its a nuisance for cats, this disorder isnt usually a serious issue.

    However, it should not go ignored by cat owners. If a cat is scratching excessively, it can harm their skin and lead to further damage like open sores and skin infections.

    Treatment Of Scaly Skin In Cats

    Dry Skin and Dandruff in Cats: 5 Quick and Easy Answers

    Once a diagnosis has been made, the vet will discuss treatment options with you. If the cause is related to fleas, ringworm or mites, medication will be prescribed to combat the pests. The vet may also prescribe steroids or antihistamines to help alleviate the cats itchiness and skin inflammation.

    Cats will be prescribed antifungals or antibiotics if the cause is a yeast or bacterial infection. These are usually given orally, however some topical treatments may be required, depending on the condition of your cats skin.

    Seborrhea is treated with special shampoos designed to control the production of sebum. Your vet may wash your cat in the office for you, and then ask you to continue using the shampoo at home.

    If the vet believes your cat has scaly skin because of an allergy, he may suggest allergy testing to determine what your cat is allergic to. Once you find out, you will need to reduce or eliminate your cats exposure to the allergen to help your cat heal and prevent further issues.

    To treat autoimmune disorders, your vet will prescribe medication that suppresses the immune system and allows your cats body to recover. If the cause of the scaly skin is cancer, which is rare, your cat may need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

    Ensure your cat is grooming adequately and brush their coat through every day. Consider starting skin supplements and a skin supportive diet containing omega 3 fatty acids and biotin.

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    How Do You Moisturize A Cats Skin

    Now that you have determined the reason for your cats dandruff, you need a solution. What helps a cats dry skin?

    Never apply a human moisturizer to the skin of a cat. No matter how natural or expensive the product, itll aggravate the issue. Cats skin has a different PH to our own and cannot withstand products intended for humans.

    Equally important is not bathing your cat constantly. You may think that getting feline skin wet will hydrate it, but bathing will actually result in additional dryness and cracking.

    If your cat is struggling to care for its grooming needs, lend a hand. Limit this to brushing and, if necessary, the application of unscented wet wipes.

    How Can You Treat Dry Skin On Cats

    Start by working to increase humidity in the air during the winter you can do this simply by introducing a humidifier, or even by placing a pan of water by the radiator to increase moisture in the cats indoor environment.

    Then, address any possible omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies in your cats food. Dr. Osborne suggests adding an eighth teaspoon of fish oil, flaxseed oil, or salmon oil mixed into meals once daily.

    Beyond that, focus on your cats bathing and grooming. Grooming helps prevent mats and tangles, and removes loose hair. Grooming on a regular basis is the single best way to maintain the overall health of the skin and hair coat, Dr. Osborne says.

    She suggests regular bathing using hypoallergenic shampoos that contain oatmeal or benzoyl peroxide to provide relief. You might also try a vinegar and water rinse, she says. To prepare it, add four tablespoons of white vinegar to one gallon of water. Massage this through the fur, then rinse again with plain water and air dry.

    If you still notice dry skin on your cat, try a leave-on moisturizer with aloe vera and alpha keri, Dr. Osborne suggests. And of course, if the problem persists, bring your cat to the vet so she can get examined in person.

    Treatments for Cats With Dry Skin
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