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Cat Nutrition for a Healthy Coat

Learn the factors that contribute to a healthy coat for your cat, including nutrition, age, weight, and bathing.
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Deal With Overweight and Obesity for a Healthier Cat and Coat

Does your feline friend have dandruff down the center of its back or around the base of its tail? That could be a sign that kitty can’t reach these spots because he or she is overweight or obese.

Being heavy doesn’t just lead to a less flexible feline. Extra weight also puts your cat at risk for many of the same chronic health problems as an overweight human, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer.

If obesity is behind your cat’s dull coat, the first thing you need to do is address the problem, Plotnick says. Start with a visit to the vet, who can create a healthy, lower-calorie diet for your cat.

It’s important that you don’t undertake this alone. Your vet can calculate the right amount of calories your cat should eat per day and recommend a proper weight loss diet.

Cats need to lose weight slowly and carefully. A too-rapid weight loss in an overweight cat can lead to a serious liver disease called hepatic lipidosis. It took kitty time to put that weight on; it’s going to take time to get it off.

Help an Older Cat to Clean Its Coat

Your cat may be as sleek as an otter and have a great diet. But if a cat is too old to clean properly, the result may be a dull coat or dry skin.

In that case, a shiny coat for your cat is literally in your hands. Brushing your senior cat more often can be kitty’s ticket back to a soft, luxurious coat. The American Animal Hospital Association suggests using a fine-toothed comb, one that can dig down a bit and catch the dull, dead hairs a brush may not reach.

You can also try boosting the omega-3s in your elder cat’s diet, if your vet approves. Be sure to add it to kitty’s food, not directly to her fur. “Treat your cat’s dry skin and coat from the inside, not the outside,” Plotnick says.

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