Being a cat owner sometimes feels a little like being a pet detective. Felines can be elusive and mysterious, and, while that personality feature is one of the reasons we love them, it can be challenging to figure out if something is actually bothering your cat.
If your pet is showing signs of having itchy skin, you should try to figure out what’s going on—a visit to the vet is never a bad idea! Itchy skin is a symptom of something, not a diagnosis, so uncovering the cause of your cat’s itchy skin and finding a solution will keep your cat happy and comfortable and reassure you that nothing serious is going on with your beloved feline friend.
Recognizing Dry Skin in Cats
Cats are not open books like most canine companions, so you’ll often have to work a little harder to spot and uncover issues with your cat’s health. You should investigate further if you’ve noticed dandruff in your cat’s fur or on spots where she naps or sleeps. When you look at a cat’s skin through parted fur, note any dullness or the buildup of dry skin cells. Pay attention too to your kitty repeatedly grooming, especially in one spot. If you’ve noticed patchiness or unusual hair loss in your cat, you know something is going on.
What Causes Itchy Skin in Cats?
There are many reasons why your cat could be experiencing itchy skin. Fortunately, many of them are not serious or symptomatic of a worrisome condition. But it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian if you’ve noticed changes in your cat’s health or behavior or before trying anything new.
If you’ve started to feel the familiar and annoying tingle of sniffles and sneezes due to seasonal allergies, know that your cat could be experiencing dry skin for that same reason. Changes to the environment can also cause allergic reactions in pets. If you’ve recently started using a new shampoo or tried some new food, either could be the cause of your cat’s newly itchy skin.
If it seems like nothing has changed in your household, dig a little deeper. New laundry detergent could be affecting your cat if he sleeps on your bed or if you often find him napping in the clean laundry basket in a very kitty way.
Dehydration can be another direct cause of itchy, flaky skin for your cat. Your cat might need a different mix of food to more closely mimic a feline’s natural diet, but be sure to consult your vet before making any changes.
Dry air in a desert climate may cause dry skin, and the desert-like indoor environment of the winter with the furnace running can also cause dry, dehydrated skin in your cat.
Another possible cause of dry skin in cats is fleas, mites, or a bacterial or fungal skin infection. Cats who visit the outdoors or who live with dogs can have fleas, so if you treat your dog, don’t forget about your cat. If your cat is showing any signs of infection, such as bald patches, constant licking or scratching of specific spots, or more overall changes in well-being, get in touch with your vet to rule out serious underlying conditions. Skin infections will likely require a prescription.
Home Remedies for Itchy Skin in Cats
A Quick Clean
If you’ve determined that your cat might be suffering from a seasonal allergy, make sure to wipe her off with a damp towel whenever she’s been outdoors. If the cat stays in, but you have a dog, wipe the dog down too, even if the dog doesn’t seem to be suffering from allergies.
Changes in Diet
Consider introducing a supplement specially formulated for your cat to promote health during allergy season. At Wapiti Labs, we use all-natural elk velvet antler in combination with other natural ingredients to create supplements that promote vitality and normal, healthy function in your feline companion. Our Chest herbal formula helps clear and expand the chest while promoting respiratory function.
There are several home remedies that can provide some relief for a cat with dry skin due to dehydration. Most cats will benefit from a diet higher in protein. Consider adding a high-quality wet cat food to your rotation. Some cats will benefit from a supplement of omega 3 fatty acid or oil, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil. Adding a humidifier to an arid indoor environment can make a big difference for humans and furry friends alike. If the indoor air is affecting your skin, it’s probably affecting your pet too.
Soothing Baths and Brushing
While you’re working on making the necessary adjustments to your cat’s diet or environment and waiting for the itchy skin to clear up, you can provide some relief for your cat at home. Your vet may recommend giving your cat a soothing oatmeal bath or a rinse of vinegar diluted to one tablespoon vinegar per quart of warm water. Regular brushing is also helpful in distributing the natural oils in your cat’s skin and removing dead skin.
Promoting Lifelong Health and Vitality
At Wapiti Labs, we’re dedicated to helping you keep your furry friend happy and in peak physical condition. That’s why we’ve carefully crafted a variety of natural supplements that support the ongoing health of your cat. Our Chest formula for cats promotes respiratory health and can be beneficial for cats experiencing allergies.
We know you want your cat to feel good every day, and we share that wish. If you’re interested in learning more about making our supplements part of your healthy cat’s routine, feel free to reach out. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.