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Punky has always had dry skin, but this winter it's a lot worse. Her nose is very dry and peels a little more than usual - same with her foot pads. I've had the humidifier going these last few weeks because my skin is dry as well.

Any tips on something I may be able to do for her?
 

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She's almost two years old. I feed her Wellness Dry, Turkey/Salmon formula. She really doesn't eat anything else other than an occasional treat. (but I've cut those back because she needs to lose some weight.)

The vet believes she has fairly bad allergies to dusts, pollens, and ragweeds. So she occasionally loses the color around her nose for a little while. (You can see the loss of color in my sig - she's the siamese.)
 

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No matter what she's allergic to, the situation can be improved by feeding a "hypoallergenic" food. There are a number of veterinary diets that work, such as IVD, but there are also a few good over-the-counter types. Nature's Variety "Prairie" has some single-protein foods (lamb, venison, etc.) and California Natural's also are simple on ingredients. I think this works because it just reduces the number of things her immune system has to deal with every day, so it can work more effectively.

I like Wellness, but I would have to recommend getting her off the dry food and onto an all canned diet. (Obviously, this must be done gradually over time, especially if she's had food available 24/7 up till now). The higher fat and moisture in the canned will improve her skin and coat, the high protein will maintain muscle, and the low carbs will help her lose weight. You can also add a little extra flaxseed or fish oil to the food if she tolerates the flavor.

See my article on feline obesity in our free article library http://www.littlebigcat.com/?action=library. It isn't just about obesity but about feeding cats for health as well. We also have one on nutritional supplements that you might want to glance through.

One other thing comes to mind...black fur will lighten to brown or tan, without enough of a certain amino acid, tyrosine I think it was. So, there's another reason to change foods...see if it gets the color back!

Stick with the humidifier, too...in fact I'm glad you reminded me to fire mine up again! Boy it's a desert up here in the Rockies!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Thank you for the responses, Dr. Jean.

How does hypo-allergenic food compare in cost to a food like Wellness? Is it safe to put her on this food without actually diagnosing her with an allergy? My vet has never officially confirmed allergies, she at times has breathing problems and he thinks there's a possibility of asthma... or that she could have both allergies and asthma.

While I do not free feed my cats, how would my other cat, Elly, react to this hypo-allergenic food? (Elly is seven months old.) It's near impossible to keep them out of each others food when I feed them.

Punky has never really been excited to eat canned food, so it may be a challenge to try to switch her over. Say, if I did a 50/50 mix of dry and canned food throughout the day, how much of each would I need to feed? She's already used to 1/2 cup of dry food each day.

Sorry about all the questions, but I take my kitties health quite seriously. :)
 

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I discovered just the other day that my girls have developed dry skin this winter. I did a little research, and I'm adding more wet food to their diet and grooming them twice a day with a rubber brush. I read that both oatmeal and aloe can be great help in soothing dry, flaky skin, so purchased a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. After just a few days I'm noticing less flakes in their fur and they really seem to love the massaging action of the brush.
 

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Rayona: I'm glad the shampoo worked for you, sometimes that's all you need, or some times just the oil suppliments work wonders, and others with sever cases have to use both.
I think the rubber brushes are great, they work so quickly and efficantly when it comes to removing shedding hair from the cat, and well just about any other surface too!

Padunk: A lot of the hypo-allergenic foods actually cost a bit less then Wellness does. On average depending on where you buy it, Wellness is one of the most expensive non perscription foods on the market.
Foods such as what Dr. Jean listed, and others (including ones like Solid Gold) are safe to feed just like you would any other diet, of course pending any allergic reactions to anything in the new food. With the food, and the oil suppliments, it can help her skin and coat from the inside out.

Both cats could eat these foods, they are good quality, and for all life stages. With the wet food, you'll be starting off slow, to get her used to it and hope she'll accept it! Feed a little of it with her dry food for about two weeks or so, see if you notice any difference in her skin, then you can continue to increase the wet/dry food ratio as you begin to achieve the desired change.
 
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