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6 Tips For Your Cat’s Dry Winter Skin

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Cats can get dry skin in the winter, just like you! This may be what’s happening if you’ve noticed dandruff or flakes while you’ve been snuggling your cat this winter. Unless her skin is itchy and causing her to scratch excessively (which can lead to wounds and infections) dandruff is mostly cosmetic and nothing to panic about. There are some simple things you can do add more moisture to her skin.

See your veterinarian if the dry skin is accompanied by itchiness, since that could be a sign of a bigger problem such as an allergy, skin infection, or parasites.

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Image Source: Sandy Schultz via Flickr.com

#1 – Proper diet
Good nutrition is essential for your cat’s healthy skin and coat. Make sure you’re feeding her a high quality, nutritionally balanced name brand food. If your cat is prone to frequent dry skin you may want to consider a food specifically formulated for sensitive skin. These foods will often include extra Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E which can help sooth flakes.

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Image Source: Zh.B via Flickr.com

#2 – Humidifier
Our homes can become very dry in the winter when the windows are closed and the heat is on. When the air is dry, your cat’s skin may become dry too. If you think the problem is environmental, try adding a humidifier to your home to add some moisture back into the air.

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Image Source: LWYang via Flickr.com

#3 – Omega-3 supplement
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of your cat’s diet, and she may require a supplement if she’s not getting enough through her meals. Omega-3s aren’t just great for her skin, they’re also necessary for eye and heart health, and they can help calm inflammation. Talk with your veterinarian to see if extra Omega-3s would benefit your cat and what dose would be helpful.

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Image Source: Zh.B via Flickr.com

#4 – Dandruff shampoo
Many dandruff shampoos are made with aloe and oatmeal that’ll help soothe and heal dry skin. This may be a good option if you have a calm cat who doesn’t mind an occasional bath. Make sure you get a shampoo that’s specifically made for cats since she’ll be ingesting traces of it when she grooms herself later and many human shampoos contain ingredients that can be toxic to kitties.

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Image Source: max ogden via Flickr.com

#5 – Hydration
Good hydration is essential for the function of every organ of her body– including her skin! If her skin is dry she may not be drinking enough water. For some helpful tips, read our article 7 Ways to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water.

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Image Source: Thomas Nilsson via Flickr.com

#6 – Bathe less, brush more
Occasional baths for dandruff, messes, fleas, etc. are fine, but bathing your cat too frequently can actually cause dry skin rather than prevent it. Remember, healthy cats will do a pretty good job at grooming themselves if given the chance. If your cat needs a little help in the grooming department, consider frequent brushing instead of bathing. Brushing her more often will help remove loose hair and knots, and help distribute her natural oils throughout her coat which can help soothe dry skin.

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Written by Andee Bingham
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