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Advice for Cat with Dry Skin?

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  • Advice for Cat with Dry Skin?

    I've got a 6-year old DSH with a bad dry skin problem, espeically up on his rump where he can't quite reach because he's -- well -- fat. He also has a TON of dead hair, which I keep combed out regularly, but there's always more and more and more.

    The vet recommended putting him on fish oil, but 1.) He hates it; 2.) I hate it, and 3.) He has bad urinary tract issues, especially with bladder stones, and I keep reading that those cats should avoid fish like the plague.

    His current diet is ScienceDiet C/D dry and canned, plus the occasional Friskie's canned (for when he gets bored). He's also on Piroxicam and Flomax for his bladder stone issues, but he had the dry skin problem before that. They have fresh water out all the time. As he gets older, it seems to get worse. I'd love to try to give him a bath, but the last time I tried it I almost lost my face, so . . . Any other thoughts or suggestions as to what I can try?

  • #2
    Oil to the diet. Ideally fish. He doesnt like fish out what about sardines in a can?
    Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
    I am pro-Slaughter

    Comment


    • #3
      Here I am pimping Wellness again. All our dogs and cats both had remarkable improvement in skin health and coats after switching - one old cat with food allergies, literally greasy and balding on her back, is plush and gorgeous now. The dry, itchy shelter Cocker, formerly on SD, is all better.

      We will never solve the Science Diet argument - my vet, who I otherwise adore, follows the party line and sells/recommends it - I still think it's junk (read the label), but when you have one with bladder issues you're afraid to mess with what is keeping that at bay.

      Our biggest cat, Big Kitty (creative, yes?), also had the issue with matted hair on his back end because he was too fat. This is much reduced, though I still have to brush him to keep it all under control.

      Good luck to you - sounds like you are taking very good care of your guy.

      Comment


      • #4
        I use Wellness too (wet and grain free) for my kitties, and they have very nice coats and my male has been free of urinary tract issues on it. I used to feed Science Diet, and after doing some research (when my male developed some urinary tract issues), I just wasn't comfortable feeding it anymore.

        I also have a fat cat (the male), and he didn't lose a lot of weight when we switched to Wellness (though he's always been on a strict diet), but he did lose some and seemed to be in better condition.

        I know there is a lot of debate, but I firmly believe wet food is better for cats and raw is likely the best for the vast majority of them. Also, a fountain can help stimulate their urge to drink (I'd go with stainless or ceramic though), which is helpful for urinary tract issues.

        My cats seem to eat fish oil just fine. I just squirt a bit on their food and mix it in. They don't really need much, so I don't think they even notice it. But I know some cats can be insanely picky.

        Not sure if you're willing or if it's an option for your kitty, but I've heard some glorious stories after people switched to raw. For many it has cured everything from dry skin to intense allergies. Cats also tend to be in better weight on it (whether they've been too thin or too fat before).

        This is a good site about cat diets written by a small animal vet: http://catinfo.org/

        Comment


        • #5
          I ditto the others about changing diet to a high quality grain free. SD is crap, and you probably won't be paying much more than the SD for the good quality stuff.

          For the dead hair, have you tried a Furminator? Love mine and it gets out the undercoat like nothing else.
          Caitlin
          *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
          http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't like the standard Science Diet formulas any more than the next guy, but the prescription diets are a different beast. If the cat has really bad kidney issues, I don't know that I would lightly switch my cat off of the C/D and to a grain-free.

            With the dog foods at least, some people complain that the Wellness foods cause or exacerbate kidney issues like UTIs. I don't know that I would go that route first, either. I don't know of any data to back up the rumors, either, but just in case I'd probably look at a different food before the Wellness. Maybe the Natural Balance fish formulas?

            I would try canned salmon first with his dry food (try to get something without added salt - you might need to look in a pet store for a "kibble topper" or similar), then the sardines.

            In my experience, the closer you get to the real thing - like the canned fish instead of the oil - the better it works.

            Comment


            • #7
              Getting a bladder issue cat completely off dry food and on to a wet-only diet is probably the best thing you can do for them.

              I would move to either all wet c/d or an all wet ultra-premium grain-free brand. I would be inclined for the later, but if you're just not comfortable moving off the prescription diet, the wet c/d would probably be helpful, too. I saw the coats in ALL of my cats improve when I switched from wet/dry ultra-premium to wet only ultra-premium. Additionally, the "so fat she can't groom herself" cat slimmed down to a healthy weight.

              Comment


              • #8
                We have a 'fatty catty' too, only she is a shelter 'bargain bin' kitty we got because they could not get her weight down. I have her on WET food only, Wellness mixed in with Raw. This has alleviated most of her other issues...but unfortunately, after two years of careful feeding, hours of play, and grooming, she has not lost much weight. Nonetheless...she has a lovely coat, is playful, graceful and busy keeping all seven of the other cats in line.

                However, she, too cannot groom past her...ah-HEM...elbow, nor can she clean the clinkers off the fur around her poopy parts. Things became dreadful nearly immediately upon bringing her home, and grooming the lumps from her fur was obviously painful. Soo....I now shave her backend...a swipe down each 'cheek' and two in the ditch, so to speak. She hates me, as I am the recognizeable attacker with the clippers...but holds DH no malice for his part in holding her down.

                DH keeps her back and hips well groomed with a fine toothed comb, doing so every morning while checking the stocks on AOL, as she is planted firmly...and heavily...across his tummy.

                I triple-aye to all who have said Science Diet is junk food. Friskies is poison, too, along wtih all the other Walmart-available petfoods. You need a GOOD diet for a cat who suffers from obesity and UTD. Save yourself from massive vet bills and heartbreak, and pay a few pence more for a GOOD food like Wellness, Blue Buffalo or Marrick, or even Taste of the Wild. And skip the dry food altogether for him...too many carbohydrates.

                I feed my eight cats, two dogs RAW meat, few additives, NO grain. I have eight very healthy, shiny cats. I have one glossy Cocker-shitz and an 8-pound Chihuahua who LOVES her raw stuff.

                Its the ultimate low carbohydrate diet...which I am also on, and have lost 30 pounds, thereby narrowly avoiding Diabetes and high blood pressure. I figure it worked for the cats and dogs, right?

                However, I COOK my meals.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Kansas Kat - thanks for the laugh. Clinkers. I LOVE that!

                  You have a creative writing gift, methinks...

                  Also took a page from the pets on diet - good nutrition and adequate hydration = 24 pounds gone and no more prediabetes or rebellious gallbladder. Yeah baby.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Guys, thanks so much for the replies!

                    I am a bit nervous about taking him off the C/D, which is a prescription -- I know a lot of people don't like the Science Diet, but this guy can't go two days without being on it, otherwise we're right back to not being able to pee. For him, it does seem to work.

                    That said . . . MizzouMom, et.al., where does one buy Wellness? I live in the boondocks; can you get it at PetSmart or someplace like that? I should mention that I have six cats, and Rascal's the only one with either UTD or skin/coat issues. The rest are skinny, shiny, and active.

                    I would give the fish oil another try, but again -- boondocks -- is there a place to get fish oil in a squirt bottle? I might also try the sardines, provided I can find any . . . I know we have a lot of bait shops . . .

                    Kat -- I'm so glad I'm not the only one with a cat who refuses to lose the weight! At the vet's this morning he weighed 18 lbs.

                    RedMare -- I actually use a flea comb to get out the dead hair and undercoat! Last week I combed him nearly bald, and this morning we were all choking on furballs at the vet. I'll try a Furminator. I wish I could vacuum him.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alex and Bodie's Mom View Post
                      .

                      I would give the fish oil another try, but again -- boondocks -- is there a place to get fish oil in a squirt bottle? I might also try the sardines, provided I can find any . . . I know we have a lot of bait shops . . . )
                      Well, there you have it! Feed him live minnows from the bait shop, so he is getting a RAW diet AND some fish oil!!

                      Ha Ha, couldn't resist. Haven't needed it for years, but we used to feed Cod Liver Oil from the Pharmacy to our dog with dry skin. Cleared it up with just a teaspoon (small Pom) daily. Had been a cure-all around the house from my Grandmother. Does smell a bit!

                      Perhaps the Cod Liver Oil for the cat would work. I am not familiar with the new fish oil additives, maybe they are not the same as the Cod Oil. Could cat do Olive Oil? That is extremely digestible, pretty available.

                      Perhaps if you had cat groomed at the Vet Office, you could keep him cleaner afterwards. I start bathing and brushing ours as kittens, so have not had problems with them as they age.

                      I DID once try to bathe my brother's large male cat as a kid, he had a STENCH and brother insisted cat sleep upstairs in his room. We put a cloth bag over his head, tied it on because he had BIG TEETH. But he still exploded out of the laundry tub with ALL CLAWS extended as we GENTLY tried to wet him down. He couldn't bite us with the bag on, but he did shred the bathroom curtains as he leaped about. We tried to wet him again after he settled, but had the same explosive reaction and we gave up on washing him. I wore big heavy gloves, covered him in heavy towels to get the bag off his head with no wounds to me. I also "got" to make new curtains because it was my idea about washing him. So I can really appreciate a cat who REFUSES to cooperate on grooming.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wellness is carried at both Petsmart and Petco, and you can order online though they stick it to you for shipping.

                        I went to giving sub-q fluids a while ago for my older cats (like 20 older), one of which has had sterile cystitis and crystals sometimes - the fluids help keep her flushed out. It's not that hard to do unless you're completely queasy about needles and he's too wired to take it.

                        As has been mentioned, canned food will give them extra fluids too, and the little Drinkwell water fountain will encourage more drinking.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alex and Bodie's Mom View Post
                          Guys, thanks so much for the replies!

                          I am a bit nervous about taking him off the C/D, which is a prescription -- I know a lot of people don't like the Science Diet, but this guy can't go two days without being on it, otherwise we're right back to not being able to pee. For him, it does seem to work.

                          That said . . . MizzouMom, et.al., where does one buy Wellness? I live in the boondocks; can you get it at PetSmart or someplace like that? I should mention that I have six cats, and Rascal's the only one with either UTD or skin/coat issues. The rest are skinny, shiny, and active.

                          I would give the fish oil another try, but again -- boondocks -- is there a place to get fish oil in a squirt bottle? I might also try the sardines, provided I can find any . . . I know we have a lot of bait shops . . .

                          Kat -- I'm so glad I'm not the only one with a cat who refuses to lose the weight! At the vet's this morning he weighed 18 lbs.

                          RedMare -- I actually use a flea comb to get out the dead hair and undercoat! Last week I combed him nearly bald, and this morning we were all choking on furballs at the vet. I'll try a Furminator. I wish I could vacuum him.
                          If you uncomfortable taking him off the Science Diet (totally fair considering his issues), I would switch him to all wet. Then you might be able to start working in a food like Wellness.

                          One thing to look out for when looking at foods and having an aging kitty with kidney issues is phosphorus. Too much of that is very hard on the kidneys, and some of the grain free foods (especially the dry ones) have a lot of it. Fish also tends to have a lot of it, so you have to watch that (sticking to poultry-based proteins is often best for cats).

                          Again, peruse this site: http://catinfo.org/

                          There is some great info on different types of wet food as well as advice for the kitty with urinary tract issues. The author is a small animal vet (and she has horses too). She does diet consultations as well, though I have no idea what she charges. This is the urinary tract issue page: http://catinfo.org/?link=urinarytracthealth

                          On Wellness: I find the best prices at Petco. Sometimes there are sales online that make it cheaper to order that way (Petco still seems to have some of the best prices online too). Get it by the large/tall can, and you will spend much less. Petco is one of the few brick and mortar stores that carries the big cans. PetSmart usually only carries the smaller ones.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ditto what everyone else has said on here. If you must stick to the SD, go all wet and add water to the wet (as much as your kitty will still eat). Or, add water to the dry food.

                            One of mine had serious bladder issues the first year or so I owned him. He was on an all dry diet. Did some research as I was getting tired of putting him on antibotics every three months plus endless loads of laundry. Switched him to 100% wet food, have since added dry once a day BUT it is soaked first, with extra water added so its basically the same consistency as wet (he just likes the taste better, for some reason) This cat is one who does not drink water. I've never seen him drink from the bowl, fountain, toilet, anything! So all his fluids are coming from his food thus its very important he is NOT getting dry food. Its been about three years since I started him on his feeding regime, and he's been fine. Great weight, super nice coat, no more pee issues!

                            Same goes for the rest of my cats, who are pretty much on the same diet. All look great, no health issues besides the occasional mishap.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And there is also a woman in Britain who has an extensive site all about renal failure that contains a chart to rank foods by phosphorus content -

                              www.felinecrf.org/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Repeating what others have said… if you are hesitant to get off the SD, at least switch 100% to the wet version. The lowest quality canned is typically healthier than the best dry because of moisture content. Cats just don’t have much of a thirst drive and need to get it from their food. It’s an oxymoron to market prescription dry foods for urinary issues.

                                Sardines can be found at the grocery store in the tuna/canned shrimp or crab aisle. Look for ones packed in water or olive oil with nothing else. Wellness is at Petsmart (or Petco?) but both are starting to carry other good brands and you can find things cheaper online, too. I would recommend comparing ingredients to the SD so you aren’t opening up another can of worms AND starting with a single protein source.

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