A cat’s shiny coat is
beautiful, a delight to touch, and supremely functional. There can be as many
as 130,000 hairs per square inch in a cat’s coat. And these hairs do many
They give a cat sensory data.
They protect it from heat and cold, wind and rain
They even help a cat manufacture vital nutrients like vitamin D.
But, as meticulous as cats are in caring for this treasure, once in a while
a kitty’s coat can lose its shine. To find out what’s behind a cat’s blah coat
-- and what you can do about it -- WebMD talked to cat nutritionists and
veterinarians about how to care for your cat’s coat.
Lots of things can cause kitty’s coat to be dull, or its skin to be dry and
flaky. A few of the most common causes include:
Poor nutrition. For healthy hair, skin, and body, your cat needs a
diet with a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, just like you
do. And also just like you, if your cat eats nothing but poor quality food
that is more difficult to digest, kitty may end up short on vital minerals and
Weight problems. As many as 57% of U.S. cats are estimated to be
overweight or obese. When some cats get fat, they stop being able to reach
their whole bodies for cleaning. This can lead to a dull, unkempt coat.
Age. When cats get old they can become less flexible or arthritic.
Then they just can’t twist and turn the way they used to, says Arnold Plotnick,
MS, DVM, a veterinary internist and feline specialist in New York. So, age or
pain could leave your normally fussy feline with a dull, bedraggled coat.
Bathing too often. In an effort to control dander or foil fleas, some
people bathe their cat. Bathe kitty too much and you could be the cause
of kitty’s bedraggled coat.
These are just a few of the reasons your feline may have dry skin or a dull
Diabetes, parasites, skin infections, allergies,
autoimmune diseases, dry winter air, or more serious issues can also be
responsible. To get behind the reason for your cat’s skin or fur problems, it’s
important to have kitty checked out by a veterinarian.