Dry skin is common, especially when the weather gets cold and we have to turn the heat up indoors. Dry skin is flaky and often has white scales that resemble dandruff. Diets deficient in essential omega-3 fatty acids and zinc can lead to dry skin, as can bathing your cat with the wrong shampoo or using water that is too hot. Allergies, parasitic skin problems, including fleas, mites and lice can lead to dry skin, as can certain hormonal disorders like Thyroid Disease.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
* Regular bathing using hypoallergenic shampoos that contain oatmeal or benzoyl peroxide provide relief. A vinegar and water rinse or rosemary rinse used after bathing is soothing and helps resolve dry skin. To prepare a vinegar rinse: add 4 Tablespoons of white vinegar to one gallon of water. Massage this through the fur, then rinse again with plain water and air dry. Cooler, rather than warmer water for your rinses is less irritating to the skin.
* Leave-on moisturizers (one Teaspoon per Quart of water) with aloe vera and alpha keri are helpful in many cases.
* Add essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, zinc and Vitamins A, C and E to the diet. Fish oil and flaxseed oil are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
* Use a humidifier or place a pan of water by your radiator to increase moisture in your home during the winter.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
* Grooming helps prevent mats and tangles. It also removes loose hair. Grooming on a regular basis is the single best way to maintain the overall health of the skin and haircoat.
* Blot areas with a fresh, organic lemon juice solution.
* Sulphur 6x is helpful for dry, itchy skin. Give one pellet every other day for 30 days. Withhold food 10 minutes before and after treatment.
* Zinc- 5 milligrams per cat per day mixed into meals use Zinc Methionine or Zinc Sulfate
* Vitamin E- 400 Iu (International units) per week. Break capsule open and mix with meal.
* Vitamin C Powder with bioflavinoids – 250 milligrams 3 times daily reduces itching.
* Essential Omega -3 Fatty Acids – Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil or Salmon Oil are good sources- 1/8 Tsp mixed into meals once daily.