Dry Cat Skin

How can I help my cat's dry skin?

My cat Peanut has a patch of dry skin on her back in front of her tail and around her neck. What can I do to help this not be so dry? Melissa Williams

Dry skin can happen to cats for plenty of reasons. That’s why making a vet appointment should be your first course of action. Two of the more likely culprits, however, are fleas and diet.

Fleas cause itching and annoyance, but they can also cause dryness and hair loss for cats with sensitive skin. Groom your cat with a fine-toothed flea comb to see if you can’t snag any of the pesky parasites and treat her monthly with a product that attacks adult fleas as well as their eggs and larvae.

Food matters. Coat health goes hand in hand (or paw in paw) with diet. Choose high-protein meals that contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Avoid foods with animal byproducts listed near the top of the ingredient list. A food allergy — to gluten, soy, dairy products or seafood, for example — can also contribute to skin dryness. See if Peanut’s condition improves on a new diet. Do this slowly and ask your vet for a food recommendation.

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