From fluff to fabulous – taking care of your cat’s coat

A cat’s coat is her body armor. It is shiny to look and soft to the touch but serves multiple purposes. Here’s how you can take care of your feline friend’s coat to keep it lustrous and shiny!

Nitya Ramchandran
Nitya Ramchandran

Cats are fastidious groomers and meticulously care for their coats. The hair on your cat’s coat provides her sensory data, protects her from harsh weather, and helps her manufacture vital nutrients such as Vitamin D. However, ever so often, a cat’s coat can lose its luster and become dull. Common causes include poor nutrition, weight problems, aging, and excessive bathing.

Here are a few steps you can take to help your cat’s coat become her shining glory once again.

Tweak Diet to boost shine

The condition of your pet’s skin and coat depends on how her body is on the inside. If her fur becomes dull and her skin looks dry, it is a sign that you need to take a close look at her diet. A diet that’s low in fat and formulated with poor-quality, hard-to-digest ingredients can cause dry skin and a lusterless coat. In comparison to dogs, cats need way more protein in their food. Adding complex carbohydrates and healthy fats to her diet will help her stay healthy on the inside, which will ultimately reflect in the glossy shine of her coat. Adding omega-3 fatty acid supplements to your pet’s food, such as those found in fish oil, will help add shine to her dull-looking coat hair. Switch to a premium brand of cat food to ensure optimum nutrition. Consult your vet for best recommendations.

Tackle obesity for a healthier coat

An overweight cat cannot twist her body or turn around to clean hard-to-reach spots on her body. It can lead to an unkempt and dull coat.

Excessive weight adversely affects your pet’s flexibility and puts her at risk of health problems such as osteoarthritis. If your pet’s obesity is the reason for the dullness of her coat, seek veterinary help to tackle the issue. Based on your pet’s age and overall health, your vet will chalk out a low-calorie weight loss diet plan to help your kitty shed those extra kilos gradually over time.

A little extra help for the oldies

Your pet may look healthy on the outside and consume a nutrient-rich diet. However, if she is old, she might be unable to clean herself properly, resulting in dry skin and a dull coat. Aging can affect your pet’s flexibility and her ability to clean herself. In such a case, lend a helping hand. Brush your geriatric pet more often using a fine-toothed comb to help her regain the lost luster of her once-shiny coat. Run the comb through your pet’s fur towards the direction of hair growth. It will stimulate the hair follicles and distribute oil across all hair strands equally, giving them a shiny appearance. Combing through your pet’s fur will also help remove the dead hair.

Frequent bath sessions are a big ‘NO’

Cats are experts at keeping themselves clean. Bathing your pet too often could be another reason for her dry skin. Many vets recommend baths for cats only when her coat gets extremely dirty or has grime that might be hard to groom away for her. Use cat-specific shampoo and finish off the bathing session with a conditioning rinse formulated for specifically for cats.

Your vet knows the best

External factors such as allergies, skin infections, or even cold weather can cause dryness of your pet’s skin and dullness of her coat. However, it could also indicate a more serious internal ailment, such as an autoimmune disorder, liver disease, or a malfunctioning thyroid. Get your pet checked by a veterinarian to unearth the root cause of her skin and fur problems. Administering home remedies should be avoided as it can complicate the issue or delay the start of much-needed treatment.