Alleviating Your Cat’s Dry Skin: Causes, Treatment, and Home


What causes dry skin on cats?

A common cause of dry skin could be related to the food your cat eats. In order to maintain a healthy skin and coat, cats need to eat a diet of balanced nutrition, including omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, according to the Cornell Feline Health Center — so dry skin could indicate a diet deficiency.

Dry skin can also be a symptom of an overweight cat, or one otherwise challenged by mobility problems. “An additional cause for flaking in cats is decreased grooming, which can occur in overweight cats or cats with arthritis,” notes Dr. Juliette Bouillon, assistant professor at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. “Due to their shape or pain, they are unable to reach their back for appropriate grooming. This can result in hair matting, skin inflammation and flaking.”

Other causes can include the rituals you may have for bathing your cat. Using the wrong shampoo or using water that is too hot can cause dry skin, says integrative veterinarian Carol Osborne. So can allergies, parasitic skin problems, including fleas, mites, and lice, and certain hormonal disorders like thyroid disease.

What are the symptoms of dry skin on cats?

The symptoms of dry skin on cats include white dandruff-like flakes appearing in their fur, and noticing your pet scratching at itchy areas. Dry skin can also result in a diminished shine to your cat’s fur.

“They will have what looks like dandruff in their fur,” notes Dr. Osborne. “Your dog or cat may also be scratching themselves or have a dull-looking coat.”

Cat Breeds That Are Prone to Having Dry Skin

In general, purebred cat breeds are more susceptible to skin conditions.

Examples of such breeds include

  • Burmese
  • Bengal
  • Munchkin
  • Ragdoll
  • Somali and more.
  • For more information, check out The International Cat Association’s official list of purebred cat breeds.

    How to Prevent Dry Skin in Cats?

    how to treat dry skin on cats

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