Q: What can I do to help my cat’s dry skin?
A: This is a question I get asked a lot as the weather gets cooler and we start to turn up the heat in our homes. Two terrific tabby cats that I sit for, Mikey and Freddy, used to have very dry skin and dandruff this time of year. Their owner was upset so I told her that in my experience, dry heat, dry skin and dandruff usually go together.
Determined to get some moisture into her New York City apartment, she tried putting a large bowl of water on top of her radiators before leaving for work in the morning. This only created another worry. When she returned at night the water was gone. She became concerned that the apartment could be like an oven during the day for water to evaporate so quickly. Fortunately she discovered Mikey and Freddy were the culprits. Even though they had their own water dishes, they jumped up on the radiators and happily lapped up the “new” water as soon as the coast was clear. A humidifier was brought in to the apartment next, and Mikey and Freddie’s coats soon improved.
Grooming is important for your kitties any time of year, and should help with dry skin and dandruff problems. I suggest a good brushing once a day. Also, go to your local pet store and see what they suggest. Although I believe that dandruff is not usually a sign of illness, as with any changes in your cat’s physical and mental state, if they persist or your cat seems uncomfortable, take it to your vet for a checkup.
With the cold outside and radiators on inside, it is also the time of year when you will find your kitties enjoying a warm spot – and then some. I knew one cute calico named Katie who would press herself up against the radiator for a daylong snooze. Another, named China, would position herself on the same spot on top of the stove each day – she knew exactly where the pilot light was underneath. Talk about roasty-toasty!