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Cat with flaky skin and greasy coat

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  • Cat with flaky skin and greasy coat

    So my cat has always had a knack for resembling a homeless person from time to time. She gets a little greasy along her back, particularly her lower back, to the point that you can smell it when you hold her. Her hair will also start to slightly clump and get funny. However, at the same time, she sometimes gets flaky skin in the same area. She'll have her greasy patch filled with dandruff.

    We've used a foaming, waterless cat shampoo for awhile to handle the greasy spots when they show up and it eliminates them right away. But, I'm wondering if there's something we can do to prevent the icky spots and the dandruff. I'm not sure if this is something her skin just does or if she is skipping grooming this part of her body. Our other cat is absolutely pristine so I don't have anything to compare her to.

    She eats holistic wet and dry food. She has high calcium levels and takes prenisolone and Metamucil for it. Would the meds dry out her skin or make her skin oily? We've thought of trying fish oil...

  • #2
    The shampoo may be leaving an irritating residue - some animals react to it, even though you wipe it off. You might consider dusting in corn starch and brushing it out, and regular brushing in general to stimulate the skin and hair follicles to calm down.

    It's also possible that there's a localized germ population causing her seborrhea glands to go a little nuts.

    Thyroid problems can cause the skin to get flaky and greasy, too.

    Overweight cats are known to have greasy skin and appear a bit unthrifty...

    If it were me, I'd have a skin scraping and a blood draw if daily brushing doesn't solve the problem, and if the kitty's weight is appropriate.
    Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom


    • Original Poster

      Her weight is good. She gets bloodwork done multiple times a year to monitor her calcium and had very thorough bloodwork done as a two/three year old when that whole mess started. Nothing else is wrong organ-wise.

      The shampoo is not wipe-off. Just rub it in and let it soak/dry. I haven't noticed any residue on her after using it and the grease/dander doesn't show up again for atleast a couple weeks after using it (which is why I've been thinking it's working). Could it still be caused by that?


      • #4
        Originally posted by alternate_universe View Post
        So my cat has always had a knack for resembling a homeless person from time to time. She gets a little greasy along her back, particularly her lower back, to the point that you can smell it when you hold her. Her hair will also start to slightly clump and get funny. However, at the same time, she sometimes gets flaky skin in the same area. She'll have her greasy patch filled with dandruff.
        Do some research on "Stud tail" in cats - a condition not limited to the tail or tomcats (just seen most frequently in)

        This discussion has some useful information; check your area for a Feline Practitioner.


        • #5
          My cat gets this on grain diets, yeah even the "wholesome" ones. Switched to non grain, high quality and it goes away. On the other hand it could be the soy not just the grain. She gets greasy coat, starting at the base near her tail and awful dandruff. Goes away on EVO or Origins.
          Absolutely diet in her case.


          • Original Poster

            There is no corn, wheat, or soy in her wet or dry food. It is high quality holistic. She doesn't eat any people food that would contain grains either. I'm going to research this stud tail...


            • Original Poster

              Well, after some looking around it does seem like she may fit a mild case of stud tail. She doesn't have any crustiness or clumps of grossness of her. I've also wondered, could the dryness be caused by the dry winter air? It's cold where we are and the heat is on every day. Could it be drying out her skin and the oilyness is the skin combating the dryness?

              I think I will try grooming her regularly for a week or two and see if that helps any. I just sat down with her now, and while she isn't oily again she is flaky. If that doesn't help I will give the vet a call and see what they think. Perhaps there is a store bought moisturizing product I can try before we go all out with a skin scraping.


              • #8
                Worms? Have a fecal done, or just go ahead and give a dose of a broad spectrum dewormer. Can't hurt.
                Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                • Original Poster

                  I doubt she has worms. I have no idea how she would get worms since she is never outside, has never caught a wild animal, and does not eat any raw meat. The only other animal she has contact with is our other cat who is also 100% indoors.


                  • #10
                    Hmm. No chance she could have gotten hold of a flea?

                    IME Drontal only about $15...might be worn a try!
                    Last edited by AliCat518; Feb. 17, 2013, 12:57 PM. Reason: Dang autocorrect
                    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                    • #11
                      I had 2 cats that had a consistent and mild version of this until I stopped all dry food. Now, all gone. Something like this is not an external condition, it is a consequence of what the cat eats.

                      It is also possible that the cat is for some reason not cleaning itself well? Arthritis possibly? Wonder if condition improves w/ a little cosequin?
                      I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                      I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                      • Original Poster

                        No arthritis. She's 5 and can still do sommersaults and run and jump. lol

                        She's been okay since. Slightly flaky. No oilyness back yet.