Your cat’s skin probably isn’t something that you give much thought to. That’s somewhat inevitable, given that the vast majority of it is out of view for much of the time. Thanks to their fur, your cat’s skin is something you know exists… but you don’t have much direct experience of.
In some ways, this is a good thing – it’s one less thing to worry about on a daily basis, anyway. For the most part though, being dismissive about how your cat’s skin is doing might be understandable, but it’s far from being ideal. Just like humans, cats can suffer from all manner of different skin complaints and diseases – some of which can cause real distress.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
We’ll continue with what to do when you think something is amiss with your cat’s skin in good time, but for the moment, let’s address the prevention issue. You’re no doubt familiar with the idea that prevention is, indeed, better than cure, which is definitely a saying that applies to the skin of your furry friend.
The biggest protection you can offer to your cat is to use the best cat flea medicine that you can find. Not only are fleas incredibly irritating to the skin by themselves, but some cats have an allergy to their bite – just doubling up on the problem and potential cause for discomfort. Even if your cat is indoor-only, they still very much need to be treated for fleas to keep their skin in optimal condition.
Bath Time – Or Not?
One of the biggest questions that often appears for cat owners is whether or not you should be bathing your cat. This question deserves its place in discussion of skin issues, too – as bathing can strip the skin and make it drier than it needs to be.
This is why the answer, in general, is no – you don’t need to bathe your cat as a matter of regular course. Cats fur and skin is incredibly good at regulating itself. As a rule, unless your cat is specifically dirty – from mud, for example – there is no need to bathe them. Avoiding unnecessary washes will do their skin the world of good.
Signs Of Discomfort
There are a few signs to look out for that suggest, despite the actions followed as above, your cat isn’t feeling comfortable in their own skin.
- Excessive scratching. All cats scratch themselves, but if you see it happening more often than is usual – or with intense focus on one particular area – then it might be worthy of investigation.
- Excessive grooming. Again, this might be entirely normal, but it could also be a sign your cat is uncomfortable and trying to soothe themselves. Cats also excessively groom during times of stress, so this is definitely a sign you should keep an eye out for.
- Dislike of being touched. No cat is going to want a fuss when their skin is uncomfortable, so if your previously fuss-friendly cat is suddenly dodging your affection, their skin is the first place you should check for any signs of issues.
So while you may not think too much about your cat’s skin, you should now at least have an idea of how to keep it in good condition, and how to recognize if there’s a potential problem. Purrfect.