A cat’s coat identifies its breed, and the efforts of its owner put into the cat’s grooming. It helps keep microorganisms from entering the cat’s body and causing diseases. A cat’s fur coat is also a great source of insulation as it prevents the body heat from leaving.
Generally, a shaggy coat could indicate neglect, whereas a glossy and healthy coat is seen as a sign of excellent care. However, sometimes despite all your efforts and the amount you spend on shampoo or conditioner, your cat’s coat does not look healthy enough.
Chances could be that your cat’s nutrition requirements for a healthy coat are not being met. A healthy diet can affect your cat’s coat in more aspects than you assume. Nutrients like proteins, fats and, vitamins play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy coat.
This article will help you look for highly rated cat food to ensure your cat receives the correct amount of nutrients. Continue reading to learn what to look for in cat foods for a healthy coat.
Your Feline Friend’s Protein Requirements
The fur coat mainly comprises proteins. If the cat food lacks adequate high-quality protein, his or her hair may fall out and become fragile, brittle, and dry.
However, all proteins are not alike. They come from both plant and animal resources.
Plant-based proteins contain only a part of the essential amino acids cats need. On the contrary, animal-based proteins comprise all necessary amino acids. This is why for optimal health, animal-based protein sources should be a priority.
Fat Requirements of a Cat
Like proteins, fats can also be found in animal and plant resources. They are deposited in the skin cells as fatty acids. Three primary fatty acids make up a cat’s skin and a fur coat:
- Linoleic Acid: an omega-6 fatty acid found in animal tissues like poultry fat and vegetable oils like soybean and corn oil.
- Arachidonic Acid: a fatty acid in chicken fat.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: fish oils comprise omega-3 fatty acids
A diet that lacks these fatty acids may cause a cat to have a dull and dry fur coat. Your cat may also start losing hair and have greasy skin.
What Amount of Linoleic Does My Cat Need?
Most cat foods available on the market have more than the required amount of linoleic acid. However, according to a study, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is the most helpful to cats, not the quantity.
In cats, the ideal omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio for healthy skin and hair lies between 5:1 and 10:1. In simple words, for every omega-3 fatty acid in the body, five to ten omega-6 fatty acids must be available.
What Vitamins Do Cats Need?
As mentioned earlier, a cat needs an adequate amount of specific vitamins necessary for its health. Vitamins like A, E and, C are crucial for a healthy fur coat.
- Vitamin A promotes skin repair and growth
- Vitamin E and C are antioxidants that aid in maintaining skin cell health
The Mineral Needs of a Cat
While other factors like age and climate also influence a cat’s skin and fur coat, proper minerals can aid in maintaining a lustrous and silky coat. Listed below are some minerals essential to a cat’s healthy diet:
- Biotin aids in protein utilization
- Riboflavin (B2) and Zinc are crucial to protein and fat metabolism
- Copper is involved in pigmentation, tissue, and protein synthesis
Although nutrition plays an important role, don’t forget the importance of proper hydration.
Ensure your cat consumes clean and fresh water to encourage cell regeneration and skin elasticity.
If you worry that your feline friend is not receiving sufficient water, consider swapping to moist cat food, which has more water than dry food and can help your cat obtain the extra hydration they require.