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Common Skin and Coat Issues with Cats

The condition of your cat’s coat is an indicator of his or her health. Changes in coat texture, color, or sheen can alert you to physical and/or emotional problems your cat might be experiencing, giving you the opportunity to take action that could alleviate discomfort or even save your cat’s life.

1. Hair Loss
Hair loss must be differentiated from the cat hair shedding. Typically, cats shed twice per year, and this is a natural process of renewing the coat. However, if the hair falls out outside the shedding seasons, there may be a more serious underlying issue with your cat. Hair loss may be caused by:

– Allergies to food, medication or injections, flea bites, pollens, dust or chemicals or sun
– Parasites; these cause itchiness and the cat scratches and licks his coat excessively
– Stress
– Boredom and loneliness
– Hyperthyroidism
– Hereditary alopecia
– Autoimmune diseases
– Bacterial infections
– Chemotherapy
– Cushing’s disease (an excess of corticosteroids in the cat’s body)
– Cat skin rash
– Cat dermatitis
– Nodules or swellings on the surface of the skin

Typically, you will notice that the amount of dead hair is larger than usual and there might also be bald patches.

2. Unhealthy Looking Coat
When the cat’s diet is poor in nutrients, the coat may have a dull, unhealthy look. The skin and hair of the cat are perfect indicators of the cat’s health. If there are toxins in the body or the cat has an illness, the skin and coat will look unhealthy.

A dry coat may mean that your cat’s skin does not respond well to the shampoo that you are using. Opt for a gentle shampoo that contains oatmeal, as this ingredient can soothe the skin and give shine to the coat.

Add supplements to your pet’s food; opt for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that will benefit the coat and skin of your cat. For fast relief of itching, scratching and raw sore skin caused by flea and pollen allergy dermatitis and other skin problems, try 21st Century’s Hot Spot Spray. Available now in most PetSmart® locations.

If these conditions persist, you may need to visit the vet, because the appearance of the coat may be a symptom of a disease or a signal that you need to change your cat’s diet. A poor diet may also cause cat skin rashes and this may also lead to hair loss.

3. Greasy Coat
A greasy coat points to hormonal imbalance. If the thyroid gland is hyperactive, this will cause excessive secretion of sebum and the hair will look greasy. Thyroid imbalance also causes hair loss.

4. Matted Hair
If you’ve ever brushed a knot in your own hair or a child’s, you know that painful feeling when the brush gets stuck. Start at the end of the mat and work your way up for best results. If your cat has a thick undercoat, an undercoat comb has two sets of teeth at different lengths that may work better. Matted hair is more common in longhaired cats. To prevent matted fur, you need to use a brush on a regular basis. You may also opt for a professional grooming salon.

5. Change in Color
The cat’s fur may change color. Color change in coat may be caused by hormonal imbalance, food allergies or parasites, which all make the cat lick his coat more often than usual causing discoloration. The saliva of the cat causes the fur to change color in red or orange hues.

Check out this link for more helpful tips removing matting from your cat’s coat.

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