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Expert Tips For A Healthy, Shiny Coat

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Cats with healthy coats are so beautiful and feel so good. Sometimes your cat’s coat gets dull over time and you may not even realize it.  Here are some things that you can do to help keep your cat glossy and gorgeous.

Double-Check Her Diet

The phrase “you are what you eat” applies to cats too, only cats have a unique nutritional profile. They are obligate carnivores. Some call them “hyper-carnivores” because they truly cannot survive with meat. We know that cats have a high protein requirement, but that is not all. They need several special amino acids that are found only in meats.  Make sure you are feeding your cat a premium diet just for cats. Premium does not not necessarily the ones with the neatest advertising campaigns. One way that you can check the diet is to calculate the amount of protein on a dry matter basis. Here is how:

Look for the amount of moisture (in this case, 79% moisture) and subtract that from 100% to leave dry matter (in this case, 21% dry matter). Then look for the amount of protein (here, at least 9.5% protein). Now divide 9.5 by 21  (0.45 here) and multiply by 100. Our example diet is 45% protein. Adult cats need 40-45% protein on a dry matter basis. Take your calculator to the store and check labels. Also, this is no place for generic diets and store brands.  The quality of the protein source matters too.

cat food label

Make sure he is free of matted hair and tangles.

Matted hair affects your cat’s appearance and overall health. The tangled mats tug at the skin and are unsightly and uncomfortable. If they are left, the skin eventually becomes very inflamed and infected.  If your cat is not able to keep her own coat free of mats (maybe because she has a very long and soft coat) you must do it for her.  Teach her to tolerate it by coupling the brushing with treats and be gentle and sensitive. If she is already matted, however, you may need professional help. A grooming mitt can help make this job easier.

Be positive she is parasite free.

Pulling at the hair because of fleas, mites or ticks can make it more likely to tangle, look dry or even come out. Make sure your cat is free from these pests.  Know that the flea life cycle means that you are not likely to see fleas until the infestation is severe. Even indoor cats should be on a parasite protocol. Your vet can help. Glossy hair and healthy skin are free from bugs.

Make sure that her mouth and tongue are not hurting.

Your cat depends on her tongue to keep her coat nice. If her mouth hurts, she may not be able to do so effectively.  Cats sometimes resent people inspecting their mouths, especially if it hurts, so you might need your vet’s help to be sure that all is well with her oral health. But notice if any changes in your cat’s appearance and be certain that you do all the preventive oral care that your vet recommends.

These are some great ways to be sure that your cat’s coat is in tip top shape and keep him healthy too!

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