Sometimes our cats can have a hard time keeping their coat healthy and clean. Some cats just don’t like to groom themselves, while others may not be able to for one reason or another. This is where we come in to give them a helping hand. No matter why your cat may need help, these tips should help you to keep your cat’s coat healthy and beautiful.
Keeping your cat’s coat healthy also benefits you as they will shed less, produce fewer allergens, and stay fresh and clean. So it is a win-win for everyone involved!
How to Keep Your Cat’s Coat Healthy
1. Brush Them Often
If you want to keep your cat’s coat healthy, brushing is a must, especially if you have a long-haired cat. This can help remove any excess or built-up hair in your cat’s coat. It is also an excellent way to distribute their natural oils, which condition the hair strands and moisturize their skin. Brushing is also a good way to remove dandruff flakes.
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2. Have Fat in Their Diet
Cats need to have some fat in their diet for many reasons, one of which is that their skin needs it. Without fat, their skin can get dry, resulting in dry hair. This will often show itself as a dull and dry coat with a lot of dandruff flakes. To keep your cat’s coat healthy and shiny, they need to have some natural fat in their diet, ssuch as flax oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.
3. Check for Health Issues
Sometimes a dull and unhealthy coat can be a sign that a more serious health issue is lurking under the surface. If you have done everything that you can to take care of your cat’s coat, you may need to dig a bit deeper. Take your cat for a quick checkup at the vet to rule out any more serious causes.
4. Keep Them Lean
Cats that are overweight can often have an unhealthy coat. This could sometimes be because they are too large to groom themselves properly. It can also be a sign of how unhealthy they are or that their food is not agreeing with them. Try to keep your cat on a strict diet and don’t overfeed them. Keep them active and increase their exercise if they do look a bit overweight. You could also switch to a diet cat food to help maintain a lean weight.
5. Manage Allergies
Allergies in cats are very common, and most will deal with them at some point in their lives. Allergies not only make them sneeze, but they can also affect their hair. Certain allergies can cause dandruff, shedding, itchiness, and excessive grooming, all of which affect your cat’s coat. Try to limit their exposure to allergens like fragrances, pesticides, dust, and dirt. If their allergies are very severe, you may even need to get them on some kind of medication.
Tips for Elderly Cats
Elderly cats are prone to having issues with their coat as a natural age progression. There are a few things that you can do to help keep your elderly cat’s coat healthy and clean as they age.
1. Give Them a Sponge Bath
Elderly cats will often stop grooming themselves for several reasons. One might be because they are stiff or in pain and cannot be as flexible as they used to be. They might also just not feel up to it. It is a good idea to get your cat used to take sponge baths for these reasons.
Just a slightly moistened washcloth is enough to do the trick. Combine a gentle sponge bath with regular brushing to keep their coat clean and tangle-free. Avoid putting them in an actual tub of water, as this can be stressful and scary.
2. Give Them a Rich Diet
Elderly cats often eat less and have dryer skin and hair. Because of this, it is a good idea to switch to a diet rich in natural fats. This will help to keep their skin and hair nice and moisturized. It might also help them keep their weight on, so it’s a win-win!
3. Have Regular Vet Appointments
Any cat should have several vet checkups every year, but elderly cats especially. What might seem like a naturally dull coat in an elderly cat could be a sign of something more serious.
Having regular checkups can help you stay on top of your cats’ health and prevent them from becoming sick without you knowing.
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