A shiny coat on a cat is a sign of a healthy cat. To keep your cat coat shiny you need to provide your cat with the right care. Here are 5 tips to keep your cat’s coat healthy and shiny.
Importance Of A Healthy Coat
A happy kitty is a kitty with a healthy shining coat. The coat of a cat has a lot of functionality you might not automatically think about:
- provides sensory data
- protects against cold, heat, wind and rain (to a certain extent)
- help manufacture vital nutrients such as vitamin D
Why Has My Cat A Rough Cat Coat?
There are a number of reasons why a cat’s coat feels rough or isn’t shining. The main reason however is nutrition. When illnesses strike, the cat cannot take up the important nutrients and hence gets a rough coat.
So nutrition is extremely important. The right food gives the right amount of vitamins, minerals and other necessary nutrients that help build and maintain the body.
Another reason would be that they cannot keep their coat clean well enough. Reasons for not keeping their coat clean is illness and obesity.
With age cats do become less flexible and cannot clean themselves well. Older cats also will have less absorption of nutrients through food which can also contribute to a less shiny and more rough coat.
Last but not least, when you bathe your cat too often, it can also lead to skin rashes through dryness and a rough coat.
5 Tips For A Healthier Cat Coat
A cat coat is not a requirement of a healthy cat, but more a sign of a healthy cat. You can use the health of the cat’s coat as a symbolization of how your cat is doing. This means that you automatically also know there is something up when it isn’t shining or feels very rough when you glide with your fingers through their fur.
Tip 1 – Good Cat Food
Cats need much more protein than us or dogs. Cats are obligate carnivores and need mostly meat and meat organs. In the wild cats eat a high-protein, high-moisture meat diet with a moderate level of fat and only 1-2% carbohydrates. Most cheap cat foods sold in grocery stores come with 40-50% carbohydrates and little to no meat.
Giving your cat a proper diet that is rich in protein and fats will give your cat a healthier body and a healthier coat. A happy cat is a healthy cat.
The type of food you should give your cat can depend on breed, overall health and age. I can make suggestions to what type of food you should give your cat, but I cannot tell you which type you should have. Consult your veterinarian if you are unsure.
Most premium brands offer a good and varied diet with all the necessary ingredients and nutrients for your cat. Cats that get dry food (kibble) should have access to clean water to stay hydrated, while cats that get fed wet food, will have less need for extra water intake (but should still be offered water).
In some cases it might be good to get supplements for your cat, such as fish oil which can help in the health of your cat and the shininess of your cats coat. But before going straight to the store to buy supplements, please consult your veterinary. Also don’t give your cat supplements meant for human intake, buy supplements meant for cats.
Tip 2 – Grooming
Your cat needs to groom their fur to keep a healthy coat. While they groom, they stimulate a special gland that secretes a protective fat layer and they spread this around their coat. The protective layer protects them from water and makes the coat shiny.
We can help our cats, doing the grooming job for them by brushing them with special brushes. Some brushes are there for grooming, while others are there to remove lose hairs. Loose hair can enter your cats digestive tract and cause a lot of problems.
At older age cats are less lean in their muscles and bones and have problems reaching far spots on their body. Overweight cats also have these problems reaching their entire body for grooming.
Tip 3 – Treating Illness
If your cat has good food, is not extremely old and may or may not be grooming, there is still a potential chance there is an underlying illness at play here. Having checked off the other boxes, it might be a good idea to go to your veterinary and check for possible illnesses. The veterinary can than advise you treatment for this underlying illness.
As such can parasites, skin infections, allergies, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cold winters and more serious illnesses cause a lot of trouble for your cat.
Tip 4 – Reduce Weigh In A Overweight Cat?
If you got an overweight cat, it is time for the cat to lose a few pounds. The best idea is to go to the veterinary with your cat and get some advice and a diet plan on how to reduce weight. The moment your cat starts to get more lean is the moment they might be able to groom themselves again and take care of their own health.
In the meanwhile, you will have to groom your cat yourself. Make it a habit, because grooming your cat will also make sure that your cat doesn’t get too many of their hairs in their stomach. Too many hairs in their stomach causes hairballs and can even cause obstruction.
Tip 5 – Reduce The Bathing
I rarely bath any of our cats, because they can take care very well of their own coat all by themselves. If you are bathing your cat often than the real question is what the reasoning is behind it all.
If it is about your allergy against their coat, dandruff or saliva, you are better off treating your own allergies with medicine, not being around the cat and cleaning the house often. The cat is just the cat, nothing changed there. You are the one with the allergy.
If it is about fleas, rather treat the cat for fleas with medicine and a flea brush, than bathing them too often. Don’t use dog flea medicine on cats either as they can be fatal. If your house is flea infested, you might have to treat your house additionally, so that the anti-flea treatment can have an effect.
With that I have given you 5 major tips on how to improve your cats coat and keep it healthy and shiny.
Have you experienced a non-shiny or rough coat on your cat? Please share your experiences below.
About three years ago, one of my cats, a beautiful calico named Emily, started to get a dull coat with greasy fur and flakes. She still appeared healthy and active otherwise and I was at a loss as to why her fur was not healthy looking.
Then, one day, I noticed that she had developed crusts on her ears and I took her to the vet. She was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called pemphigus foliaceus and was started on prednisone daily.
The crusting has cleared and she is a happy and active kitty today although she is chunky because she is on the prednisone therapy.
To keep her fur in relatively good shape, I need to groom her on a regular basis as she has some difficulty in grooming herself due to her weight gain.
Moral of the story: Always be on the lookout for an underlying medical condition when a cats fur starts to lose its lustre.