How to Treat Dry Skin on a Cat

By Jane Meggitt

If your skin feels dry, there are plenty of creams and lotions on the market designed to restore moisture. However, you aren't covered in fur, so what works for people isn't an option for felines. If your cat suffers from dry skin, there are treatments available. Most of these work from the inside out. Consult your veterinarian if Kitty has dry skin issues to rule out any underlying disease.

Feeding Your Cat

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

Kitty's skin can reflect her basic health. Feed your cat a high-quality wet or dry food rather than a less expensive and lesser quality generic feline food. Since cats are obligate carnivores, look for grain-free meals containing meat as the primary ingredient. Avoid foods chocked with fillers or artificial ingredients. Your vet can recommend foods suitable for your cat's age and lifestyle. Although quality food is more expensive, it's an investment in your cat's overall health.

Skin Supplements

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

Sometimes, even a good diet isn't sufficient to combat dry skin. Ask your veterinarian about giving your cat supplements designed for skin and coat health. These supplements contain omega fatty acids, which also have anti-inflammatory effects. Even finicky cats usually devour fish oil-based supplements designed with felines in mind. In addition to improving his skin, fatty acid supplementation can benefit cats with arthritis, heart disease and constipation. These supplements are generally safe, but your vet can advise you on the right dosage for your cat.

Brushing and Bathing

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

Stimulate your cat's skin with regular brushing. This also helps rid your cat of loose, dry skin flakes. If your cat's fur is truly dirty and adding to the dry skin issue, consider giving him a bath. If the thought of bathing Kitty strikes fear into your heart, have a groomer do the deed. After the bath, you or the groomer can use a skin/coat conditioner designed for felines.

Dry Skin in Winter

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

Dry, flaky skin might appear on indoor cats during the wintertime, when your heating system takes a lot of moisture out of the environment. You might experience dry skin during the winter. Do both yourself and your cat a favor by using a humidifier to restore moisture to the air. In addition to helping revitalize skin, a humidifier might make it easier for you and Kitty to breathe if you suffer from stuffy noses during the winter.