Looking for ways to keep your cat’s coat shiny? Here’s a look at what might be dulling your cat’s coat, and what you can do to make it shiny again!
Cat Coat Care: How to Keep it Shiny
If you have cats, you know how it is. They believe they’re beautiful, no matter the condition of their coat.
To them, it’s the most beautiful coat that’s ever existed!
Like dogs, however, cats may have dull or sparse coats that just don’t reflect a healthy condition.
If that’s the case with your cat—maybe you just picked up a stray, or adopted a cat from the shelter that’s not looking too good—what can you do to encourage a shiny, vibrant coat?
What Causes a Dull Coat?
There are many factors that can contribute to a dull, lifeless coat.
The cat may also have dry, flaky skin to go along with it. One of the most common causes is poor nutrition, which is often the case with stray cats, shelter animals, or even aging cats.
Cats need a healthy diet with a lot of protein (even more protein than dogs), vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.
Many of today’s “low-fat” cat foods will cause a cat to have a dull coat. If your cat is overweight, try cutting back on carbohydrates rather than healthy fats.
Switch to a premium cat food or homemade diet with plenty of protein and extra fatty acids.
Make sure the food you’re feeding your cat has a real protein source named first in the ingredient list, and is full of real, nutritious food items without harmful by-products, grains, and chemical fillers.
Other causes of a dry coat may include:
- Over-bathing—bathing too often can strip the skin of important oils that condition the hair.
- Overweight—when cats get fat, they may no longer be able to reach their entire bodies for cleaning. This can lead to an unkempt coat.
- Age—as cats get older, they may become less flexible or struggle with arthritis, which can limit movement and the ability to groom themselves.
- Medical conditions—kidney problems, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and other illnesses can affect the appearance of the coat.
- Parasites—fleas, ticks, and worms affect the skin and coat.
Knowing how to properly care for your cat’s coat is important. Learn the different types of fur that cats have, and how you can keep your cat healthy and well-groomed.
How To Properly Care For Your Cat’s Coat
The cat’s coat is often one of the most striking features of its appearance.
The basis for a good-looking coat is quality nutrition and a loving low-stress environment.
Basically, cats grow two different kinds of hairs in their coat:
- Guard hair – the longer type of hair, which constitutes the topcoat.
- Secondary hair – the dense layer of hairs that make up the undercoat. Secondary hair can be woolly or awn type, and often is a combination of both.
The variety of coat texture, found in cat breeds, comes from different combinations of hair types or from mutations in a specific hair type.
With today’s multitude of breeds, new and different types of coats are becoming less rare. Some need a different method of grooming than others.
It is important to understand the build of the coat, and to groom it properly.
Most domestic shorthairs need relatively little grooming.
Regular brushing, at least once a week helps to keep the coat looking good, by removing dead hair. Getting rid of dead hair also prevents it from scattering around your home.
It is advised to often brush cats that shed a lot.
Usually it is not necessary to bathe a shorthair cat, unless it gets its coat very dirty. You should also bathe the cat if it is covered with a substance that you don’t want him to lick off.
Many domestic Longhairs need to be brushed daily, or at least three times a week, depending on fur length and density.
This is necessary to prevent tangles and matting of the fur. Bathing regularly is also recommended, because the cat may have difficulties keeping its long coat clean.
You should also comb your cat for ticks, fleas and flea eggs if you live in an area where infestations of these pests are particularly hard to control.
This is especially necessary for cats living in rural areas, where they are allowed to be outside a great deal.
Having a long-haired cat usually means you need to spend a little more time grooming your furry companion. Read on to find out the best ways to groom your long-haired, furry friend.
How to Properly Care for Long-Haired Cats
Many cat lovers are especially drawn to long-haired kitties, because let’s face it, they’re magnificent to look at!
And there are few things softer and more luxurious to the touch than a well-maintained feline fur coat.
What many novice long-haired cat guardians aren’t prepared for, however, is the upkeep their pet’s coat may require. Even though healthy cats habitually groom themselves and are fastidious by nature, many long-haired kitties need a little or even a lot of extra help keeping their coats beautiful.
How Much Grooming Help Your Cat Will Need Depends on Several Factors
How much grooming of your cat’s coat you’ll need to do depends a great deal on the type and texture of the fur, as well as your pet’s age, lifestyle and health status. For example:
Some long coats never develop so much as a tangle, while others become matted overnight.
Generally speaking, the softer and silkier the coat, the more upkeep it requires.
Older cats may lose interest in grooming themselves, especially if they are experiencing age-related cognitive decline (kitty dementia).
Overweight kitties often have a difficult time grooming the back half of their bodies, including the area right under the tail where bits of poop and litter can stick to long hair.
Continue reading here: How to Properly Care for Long-Haired Cats