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Everyone suffers from dryness from time to time, including animals.

For us, whenever the weather turns cold, flaky skin can be remedied by buying a nourishing moisturizer and regularly exfoliating. 

Although, when it comes to our pets, it’s not always as easy as that.

After all, a cat’s skin is protected by a thick layer of fur, so sometimes it can be difficult to even notice that your cat has skin problems in the first place!

Though your cat’s fur is intended to keep the skin underneath protected from environmental elements, that doesn’t mean that cats are immune to developing dandruff or other dry, itchy skin conditions. 

Fortunately, there are many ways that you can maintain a healthy coat, and it all starts with the correct food. The best cat food will include nutrients that are essential to your cat’s skin and will be able to prevent dandruff from occurring. 

Below, we’re going to be taking a look at the top five cat foods that will be able to prevent dandruff, as well as additional information in our buying guide to help you make the right choice. Read on to learn more!

1. Taste Of The Wild High Protein Real Meat Grain-Free Recipe

Taste of the Wild 418652 Grain Free Real Meat Recipe Premium Wet Canned Stew Cat Food (Case of 24), 3oz
There are many different types of cat food options out there, but for helping to treat dandruff, the Taste Of The Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe is by far one of the best. 

The first ingredient used, trout, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are well-known for being able to add hydration to animal skin and coats and will stimulate the production of natural oils which will help to maintain healthy moisture levels. 

Besides fatty acids, this wet form food by Taste Of The Wild is also rich in animal protein which will not only help to reveal a shiny, glossy coat free of flakes but will also strengthen your cat’s muscles. 

A hardworking blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants will work together to nourish your cat’s skin and coat, all the while helping to strengthen the skin’s barrier, which will ensure that all moisture is locked in. 

Plus, thanks to the nutrient-rich prebiotic fiber taken from a mix of sweet potatoes, raspberries, and blueberries, this delicious meal will also work to encourage proper cell turnover, which will reduce dandruff as less buildup will occur, all the while maintaining your cat’s overall health. 

Pros

  • Trout is the first ingredient
  • Rich in antioxidants, animal protein, and vitamins/minerals
  • Wet food 

Cons

  • It could be higher in fat content

2. AvoDerm Natural Tuna Recipe Wet Cat Food

AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Tuna & Crab Entree in Gravy Canned Wet Cat Food, 3-Ounce Cans, (Case of 24)
If you want to temporarily switch up your cat’s diet with a diet plan strictly focused on improving dryness, what could be better than choosing a food specifically created to target skin and coat health?

The AvoDerm Natural Tuna Recipe Wet Cat Food has been specially formulated to cater to dry skin and coat, all the while improving overall health. It contains only high-quality ingredients (so rest assured, this will appeal to even the pickiest of the cat) and is 100% natural.

Besides the first ingredient, tuna, it’s also complemented with omega-rich avocados. The nourishing blend of real avocado and avocado oil will help to support your cat’s coat and skin, starting from the inside out. 

Thanks for the help of nourishing vitamins, minerals, and protective antioxidants, this wet canned cat food will provide support for a healthy immune system, all the while promoting healthy cell turnover to prevent the buildup of dead skin cells (otherwise known as dandruff!)

Besides being high in nourishing vitamins and minerals, this recipe is also grain-free, corn-free, and soy-free. It’s also free from any artificial flavoring, artificial colors, or meat-by-products. 

Not just that, but this recipe is also suitable for all life stages, including mature cats and kittens. Plus, the simple recipe makes it highly digestible for cats, making it an excellent choice for cats suffering from dandruff that have sensitive stomachs. 

Pros

  • Suitable for cats of all ages
  • Rich in fatty acids
  • Natural recipe

Cons

  • High-fat content

3. Purina Pro Plan Kitten Canned Wet Cat Food 

Purina Pro Plan Wet Kitten Food Variety Pack, FOCUS Kitten Favorites - (2 Packs of 12) 3 oz. Cans
If you have a kitten currently suffering from dandruff or dry skin, you’ll have to give them food that has been specifically designed for kittens, and the Purina Pro Plan Kitten Canned Wet Cat Food is a great choice. 

Designed for kittens currently in their first year of life, the Purina Pro Plan Kitten Canned Wet Food is made with either real poultry or fish, and is enriched with fatty acids that will support your kitten’s development.

These fatty acids will also help to target any dryness by replenishing the skin with their nourishing properties.

A hardworking blend of minerals and vitamins will also help to replenish skin lacking hydration and strengthen your kitten’s natural barrier, all the while maintaining a healthy immune system. 

Not just that, but alongside nourishing the skin and coat, this formula also contains DHA, a compound that will be able to help support your feline’s brain and vision development.

Plus, thanks to a blend of essential nutrients, this recipe will also help to improve your kitten’s overall health. 

What’s more, this yummy dinner even consists of a super smooth texture, so even the fussiest of kittens will be able to enjoy this recipe, all the while giving you the peace of mind that they’ll be getting all the nourishment they need for healthy skin and coat while they grow. 

Pros

  • Suitable for kittens suffering from dryness
  • Contains DHA, which will help the development of the brain and vision
  • Nourishing minerals/vitamins will help to replenish dry skin

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Dry Cat Food

NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Adult Natural Dry Cat Food Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe, 3 lb. Bag
If you have a cat suffering from dandruff that doesn’t like wet food, a good alternative is the NutroWholesome Essentials Adult Dry Cat Food.

If you have a particularly picky cat that doesn’t like wet form food, this recipe from Nutro Wholesome is a dry food alternative that will still deliver nourishing goodness to your cat’s skin and coat.

100% real salmon is the first ingredient in this delicious recipe, which is not only extremely tasty but enriched with omega-6 fatty acids. These acids will work the same way they would when combined with a wet food recipe and will help to encourage a shinier coat and moisturized skin. 

Nutro Wholesome’s very own cat kibble has also been mixed with essential antioxidants and natural fiber that will encourage easier digestion, as well as ensuring that your cat’s skin is soft and moisturized, gradually over time.

Another plus point about this recipe is that it contains no corn, wheat, meat by-products, or artificial fillers. It’s completely natural, nutritious and will support your cat’s overall health, as well as helping to fight off dandruff. 

Pros

  • Ideal for cats that do not like wet food
  • Enriched with fatty acids to help replenish dry skin
  • Contains no artificial flavors, colors, or additives

Cons

  • May not be as effective as wet food

5. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Wet Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Cat Food - Indoor Turkey & Potato - 5.5 oz - 24 ct
If your cat suffers from dandruff and a sensitive stomach, a good option to consider is the Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Wet Cat Food.

In order to prevent triggering sensitivities or allergies, the Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Wet Cat Food contains only one source of animal protein, which is taken from real turkey.

Not only will this provide nourishment for your cat’s skin, but it will also help to energize them. 

It contains no chicken, poultry, or by-product meals. It is also free from any corn, soy, dairy, or eggs, as well as artificial preservatives and flavors. Plus, Blue Buffalo has blended this tasty meal into a ‘pate style’ texture that will appeal to even the pickiest of cats.

To help rid your cat of dandruff, this recipe consists of a 100% natural ingredient lineup that has been enriched with a blend of skin-loving vitamins and nutrients.

 These will be able to help promote healthy cell turnover, all the while strengthening the skin’s barrier to reduce the chances of dead skin cell buildup, as well as preventing dryness from occurring again. 

Not only that, but the included fish and flaxseed oil will help to add moisture to the skin and hair follicles, and have been selected due to their suitability for cats with sensitivities. 

Pros

  • Enriched with fish and flaxseed oil 
  • Suitable for cats that are prone to sensitivities
  • Contains one main ingredient 

Cons

  • Created specifically for cats with sensitivities

 

What Should You Look Out For When Buying Cat Food For Dandruff?

If you’ve noticed that your cat has dry, flaky skin and you want to resolve it, here are some basic ingredients to keep an eye out for when purchasing cat food:

Animal Protein:

Just like with our diets, protein should be the basis of your cat or kitten’s diet.

If your cat is running low on animal protein, this could directly affect the health of his coat and skin.

Keep an eye out for a recipe that contains real sources of poultry, fish, or meat as its first ingredient.

If your cat has any allergies or food sensitivities, a single source protein recipe is an ideal alternative. This will help to ensure that your cat gets enough animal protein without triggering any allergic reactions or sensitivities.

Enriched With Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Generally, your cat will need a moderate-fat diet (mainly coming from animal sources).

Omega-3 fatty acids (which are taken from fish high in fat such as herring or mackerel) are known for being very beneficial for your cat’s skin and coat.

With regular consumption of fatty acids, you’ll no doubt notice an improvement in the overall condition of your cat’s skin, as well as a much shinier coat! 

No Artificial Additives:

Any kind of artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors will serve no benefit or purpose to stopping dandruff.

In contrast, these types of ‘fillers’ offer absolutely no nutritional benefit and are highly likely to cause the condition to get worse, as well as potentially triggering any sensitivities that your cat might have. 

Moisture Content:

When selecting food that is going to be able to directly focus on improving your cat’s skin and preventing dryness, one of the most important factors to consider is how high the moisture content is.

The more moisture there is, the more hydrated your cat’s skin will be, and it will also increase the overall shine of your cat’s coat.

Usually, canned foods are the highest in moisture levels, although if your cat does prefer dry food, you can always mix a little bit of wet food into the meal. 

Nutritious Value:

Another important factor to consider when selecting cat food that will be able to help nourish your cat’s skin and coat is how high in nutrients it is.

At all costs, we highly recommend avoiding any cat food that contains artificial flavors, color, or preservatives, as these offer no nutritional value and instead can trigger allergic reactions. 

If a recipe has a high nutritional value, then this is a strong indication that it has been made of high quality, natural ingredients.

We also recommend choosing food that is high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, as these will help to strengthen the skin’s barrier and encourage healthy cell turnover, a process that will prevent the buildup of skin cells. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Home Remedies For Dry Skin On Cats?

Caring for your cat’s health goes far beyond his or her diet.

After your cat’s dandruff begins to improve, besides making sure that you’re providing a nutritious diet, there are also some other steps you can take to prevent dandruff from occurring again:

  • Make sure that you groom your cat regularly in order to help distribute the natural oils produced by your cat’s skin in order to keep the skin healthy, as well as moisturizing the hair follicles.  
  • Where possible, use a humidifier in your home, or in places where your cat likes to play/sleep, as this can help to keep your cat’s skin from drying out.
  • Every now and then (once a month or so) you could give your cat a bath with a moisturizing shampoo, as this will help to lift away any flaky skin that could be building up. 

What Causes Dandruff In Cats?

The condition of your cat’s skin is usually an indication of overall health. If your cat has a shiny, glossy coat and softer than soft skin, it’s likely that their diet is rich in vitamins, fat, and protein.

On the other hand, if you’ve noticed that your cat has a lackluster coat, or that they’ve begun to get flaky scales under their fur, it’s likely that environmental factors are to blame (like cold weather) or that they’re not getting a highly nutritious, balanced diet.

Some other reasons could be:

  • Parasites – Worms, ringworm, and fleas can often cause flaky, dry skin. 
  • Lack of grooming – Some cats have particularly thick fur and, if it’s not regularly brushed, dead skin underneath the fur can build-up, causing dandruff.
  • Hyperthyroidism – This is a medical disorder that can cause a hormone imbalance. When this occurs, it can cause your cat’s skin to become texturized, which can lead to dandruff or dry flakes occurring.

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