Best Cat Food for a Healthy Coat

Cats are elegant and sophisticated creatures. Maintaining their beauty is a very simple task but if done wrongly, may bear disheartening results. As much as these felines are similar to humans in terms of what they consume, selecting the wrong dietary plan can cause them to lose the shine in their coat.

In order to maintain the shine and lusciousness that is in a cat’s coat, their diet has to be planned meticulously. It has to contain the right amount of nutrients to preserve the beauty of its coat.

In this article, we answer several questions that cat owners may have when it comes to taking the right steps in looking after their furry friend’s gorgeous coat.

1. How to get healthy cat fur?

A cat generally takes care of its fur by self-grooming. A luscious, silky, smooth fur is the perfect indicator of the cat being healthy and well taken care of. However, the main contributing factor to a healthy coat is the diet of a cat. If you feel like your feline’s coat is losing its shine or becoming flaky and dry, it means that your feline friend is not getting the nutrition it needs.

Compared to dogs, cats need more protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats to ensure their coats remain shiny and luscious. Try to replace your kitty’s diet with higher quality cat food if you realize their fur is starting to dull.

When it comes to gaining healthy fur from diet, it is best to ensure that the food encompasses nutrients such as protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, calcium and iodine. These nutrients help,  not only to reduce the shedding of cat’s fur but also ensure the coat stays shiny and the body stays healthy.

For those with older cats, it would be advisable to help brush your cat’s fur. Sometimes, when a cat gets older, they may find it hard to reach certain spots, thus leaving behind dead hairs that may in turn, make the cat’s coat look dull. By brushing the cat’s hair regularly, you can not only brush the spots unreachable by the cat but also ensure that their coat stays healthy and shiny.

Boosting an older cat’s diet with omega-3 is also a good step to take to improve the cat’s coat to look healthier. Consult your vet before adding it to their meal and do not use it directly on your cat’s fur.

2. Why is my cat's coat so dull?

A dull coat on your furry friend is not something any cat owner wishes to have. The reason could primarily be the lack of fat in a cat’s diet. A cat that consumes the necessary amount of fat will be able to secrete enough oil that works as a conditioner and provide a nice, clean, luscious coat. However, when owners cut out fat from their kitten’s diet or go on a low-fat diet, the cat is unable to secrete the necessary amount of oil, thus leading to dry, flaky skin and poor coat condition.

An unbalanced diet could also be a contributing factor to the dull coat of your cat. Sometimes as owners, we forget that cats’ diets change according to their age and size. Adding the wrong supplements or having the wrong diet can lead to the cat losing its healthy coat.

Bathing your cat too often can also cause your cat’s coat to be dull. A healthy cat is well versed in self-grooming. Bathing them too often can lead to the fur being too dry and brittle. Frequent bathing would only be needed for cats that have underlying health problems such as arthritis or overweight and are unable to groom themselves.

Older cats are prone to duller, matted or separated coats due to underlying health issues. Old age and arthritis may prevent older cats from being able to groom them. Grooming can eventually be a painful activity for older cats. Apart from that, dental problems can also be a contributing factor. Since their main grooming tools are their tongue and mouth, when faced with dental problems, it can make the cats avoid grooming themselves to steer clear of any pain. 

3. What can I give my cat for a healthy coat?

A healthy coat is derived from a healthy diet. Just like humans who need a well balanced diet in order to look and feel great, our furry friends require the same thing. A proper diet that consists of high quality digestible proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins are what a cat needs to gain a healthy coat. 

Premium grade food that is made up of either fish, meat, milk, oily fish such as salmon, cheese milk, sardine, seafood, and dried kelp are suggested to be incorporated into your cat’s diet. Since cats are generally carnivorous animals, most of their diets contain raw food that consists of such nutrients.

Consistent grooming for your cat can also help with gaining a healthy coat. Although cats may be able to groom themselves adequately, those with longer fur may not be able to groom well enough. Long-haired cats would need frequent brushing compared to short-haired cats in order to keep the shine of the coat.

Probiotics can also be something that can be given to cats for a healthy coat. Probiotics assists cats in absorbing the nutrition from their food better. It is best to consult your vet before administering any kind of medication or supplements to your cat.

4. What makes a cat's coat shiny? 

Protein and fats! These two nutrients are essential in keeping a cat’s coat shiny. Raw food diet is able to provide cats with these nutrients since they retain these nutrients in its natural form. A cat’s skin is considered to be its largest organ and it is covered in fur. To maintain a healthy coat, cats require 25 to 30 percent of its daily protein intake. Thus foods with high protein levels are suggested to make a cat’s coat shiny.

Supplementing your cat’s diet with food containing fatty acids or other fish oils can also make your cat’s coat shine. Salmon is one of the suggested fish types that is great for cats. Other fishes such as sardines and tuna are also a great option for your cats.

You can also add organic coconut oil into your cat’s diet. Organic coconut oil helps to not only promote a healthy coat for your cat but also improve your cat’s skin. Apart from ingesting it orally, you can rub the oil onto their skin to help avoid irritation and dryness and to stay shiny. It works as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory agent that  also helps to heal inflamed skin and avoid infection from parasite bites.   

Homemade remedies can also be a great option for your cat’s coat. It may come as a surprise to many but ingredients such as beer, honey and keratin work on animal fur as efficiently as it does on human’s hair. 

When using beer to help promote a smooth and shiny coat, it is best to make sure the beer is alcohol-free. Apply lukewarm beer all over your cat’s body with a sponge, avoiding the face and genitals, and massage it with your fingers until it is spread equally on the skin. Wait three minutes before giving your cat a nice rinse to remove the beer completely.  Dry and brush cat’s fur nicely.

Honey is an ingredient that when used for cats, can help with making the fur healthier, shinier and more resilient. All that you must do is mix one tablespoon of honey with half a litre of lukewarm water with an electric whisk. Apply it the same way as you would with the beer and leave for 5 minutes. Rinse your cat properly because honey is sticky and when left on the coat can make it uncomfortable for the cat.

Keratin is the main component that makes up the human and animal hair along with the nails and claws. Unless you are an expert in the field of using the liquid form of keratin, it would be best to use shampoos that are infused with keratin in their formula. You can find these types of shampoos at your local pet stores.

5. What is the best cat food for cats with dry skin?

Dry skin in cats can be caused by quite a number of things. The primary reason would be when your cat starts to overproduce oils that would normally nourish and protect the skin. When you pay attention to your cat, you will see white flaky skin or dandruff being left behind by your cat on your couch or shirt or sticking at the edges of their fur. 

It can also be caused by parasites and ringworms. Since these kinds of parasites tend to irritate the cats, it will lead to your kitty nibbling or scratching the spot more than usual. There will be loss of hair or reddish patches on those specific spots on your cat.

In order to curb these issues, you would need to revise your cat’s diet. The renewal of cells in a cat takes up to 30% of their daily protein intake. Making sure that your cat’s diet consists of such a percentage is easy. Pet Cubes premium raw cat food is able to provide you with the right amount of protein needed for your cat to repair its coat. Their ingredients typically consist of 19.1% of protein in one serving which is perfect for two servings per day.   

For ringworms and parasites, it would be best to head to your nearest vet as this would require medical attention. You can also make sure the environment that your cat is in is clean and disinfected. Long haired cats are better kept in cooler temperature as temperature that is too warm can cause the skin of the feline to become dry and become dandruffs. 

In summary, maintaining a well balanced cat diet with the necessary nutrients and regular grooming can prove to be the best solution in getting a shiny coat for your cat. Keeping an eye out on the health condition of your cat is also essential as this would show on its fur. 

Sources:

Fries, W. C. (2009, July 7). Cat Nutrition for a Healthy Coat. WebMD. [online] Available at: https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cat-nutrition-for-a-healthy-coat#1 [Accessed 23 June 2020]

Coat and Skin Appearance in the Healthy Cat. (n.d.). Vca_corporate. [online] Available at:  https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/coat-and-skin-appearance-in-the-healthy-cat [Accessed 23 June 2020]