Dry Skin Cat


Dry skin cat is a problem that either can simply be treated at home or is a symptom of some other problem. For this reason it is helpful to understand the cause of the problem before treatment.

Your cat's skin problem could be the result of either some problem with your cat's diet, or dry skin due to either bathing too much or with the wrong shampoo.

Dry Skin Cat Symptoms

Dry skin cat symptoms include skin that appears dull, dry, and flaky. Your cat may appear to have dandruff. Your cat may scratch, lick, or bite at her skin, causing redness and/or bald patches. Her coat may also appear dull and dry.

It is important to diagnose cat dry skin because it is often a symptom of other problems. To cure cat dry skin, the core problem must be treated. Your vet will ask you about other symptoms your cat may be experiencing.

If your cat’s skin appears dry and crusty, this may be a sign of an infection, and you should take your cat to the vet. If your cat scratches excessively, this may also cause an infection.

Causes of Dry Skin Cat

There are several conditions that appear as a condition that can be described as dry skin cat. These include:

• Scale – this condition looks like dandruff. It is usually due to abnormality in how the body is producing keratin, the substance that is present in skin, hair and nails.

picture of cat skin problem
Picture of Cat Skin Problem - Scale

• Seborrhea – in this condition the skin will appear to be very greasy or have scaling. Seborrhea sicca is dry skin and seborrhea oleosa is greasy skin. Treatment of seborrhea sicca is with a cat shampoo made with sulfur or salicylic acid or as an all natural shampoo alternative.

• Epidermal collarette – this is when a dry patch exists on the skin that is in the shape of a circle. This usually occurs when an infection starts in the middle and then grows in an outward direction. It is usually associated with an infection called staphylococcal pyoderma.

• Exfoliation – in this condition your cat is shedding more skin than normal.

• Hyperkeratosis – this means a thickening of the skin.

• Comedone – is the name of a condition when their is a problem at the base of your cat's hair or follicle. It is a sign that your cat has a problem with the endocrine system which is the gland that produces hormones in the body.

• Follicular cast – a cast is when their is a dry area around the base of each hair. It is a sign that their is a problem with the keratin in the hair. Keritin is the protein that makes up most hair and nails.

Consult your veterinarian is you see any of the skin conditions listed above. If simple dietary supplementation or shampoo doesn't correct the condition then oral medications may be available.

Diagnosing and Treating Dry Skin Cat

There are many reasons cats may develop dry skin.

Poor nutrition is a common cause of dry cat skin. Cats need fatty acids and vitamin E in order to have healthy skin. These are found in quality commercial cat foods. Ask your vet about the best food to feed your cat. Don’t feed your cat people food; use a quality cat food instead. You might want to consider a supplement that contains Omega-3 Fatty Acid.

Bathing can dry out your cat’s skin. It is important to keep your cat clean, but as long as her coat appears clean and she does not have a bad odor, baths are unnecessary. Regular brushing will help her stay clean and will also stimulate the production of oils that help prevent dry skin.

Shampoo Therapy for Cat Dry Skin

If you do need to bathe your cat, there is a shampoo therapy that will help with dry skin cat. Purchase a colloidal oatmeal shampoo that is specifically made for cats such as Vet Solutions Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo.. This type of shampoo hydrates the outer layer of the skin called the stratum corneum. Follow the directions on the label since the shampoos often need to be in contact with the skin for a specific length of time. Other types of cat shampoo or human shampoos can dry out cats’ skin.

Most of the time, these simple cat home remedy dry skin treatments will help your cat’s condition and solve the problems. If not, your cat probably has a skin infection of some kind. Your vet will prescribe antibiotics and possible a medicated shampoo. These cat dry skin treatments should clear up the problem quickly.

Natural Treatment for Cat Dry Skin

There are several herbal remedies that can a positive impact on your cat's skin. These ingredients include:

One product that combines all of these ingredients into one produce made to support cat skin is Get More Info. on PetAlive Skin and Coat. Discuss this option with your veterinarian so that he or she can track progress.



Mueller, Dr. Habil Ralf S.
Skin and Coat Health Care in Puppies and Kittens

Shampoo Therapy of Various Skin Conditions
R.S. Mueller
Department of Clinical Sciences Coll. of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.

Understanding the Language of the Skin
Peter Hill, BVSc, PhD, DVD, DipACVD, MRCVS
The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
The University of Edinburgh, Scotland


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