Domestic cat or Felis catus or Felis silvestris catus is usually furry, domesticated, small and carnivorous mammal. They are usually called the housecat and kept as an indoor pet, or just a simple cat in which there is no need to uniquely distinguish them from other felines and felids. Cats are also valued by humans as their companion and they also have the ability to hunt vermin and household pets.
Cats, despite being solitary hunters, are a social species and cat communication includes the use of a variety of vocalizations (meowing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling, and grunting), as well as cat pheromones and types of cat-specific body language.
The Cat has more than 70 breeds and has different associations proclaiming with different numbers according to their standards. Despite their being a solitary hunter, they are also social species and it can communicate which includes the use of various vocalizations like purring, meowing, trilling, hissing, grunting, and growling, as well as the cat pheromones and the type of cat-specific body language.
The cats are similar to felids or any animal that belongs to the cat family having strong, flexible bodies, sharp retractable claws, reflexes, and teeth adapted to killing small prey. The senses of the cat fit in a crepuscular and predatory ecological niche. Cats hearing senses are too faint or too high in the frequency for human ears, like with the mice and other small animals. They can almost see the darkness and list most of the mammals, they also are poor in color vision but has a better sense of smell than of the humans.
Cats have a high breeding rate. The hobby of having cats are known to be “cat fancy” and under controlled breeding, they can be bred and be shown as a registered pedigree pet. When the breeding pet are not controlled such as abandonment and neutering of the owner will result in a large number of feral cats worldwide which will require population control.
The average lifespan of a cat has risen in the recent years. During the 1980’s, they had an average life span of seven years rising to 9.4 years in the year 1995 and on the year 2014, it has risen to 12-15 years’ average life span. Spaying or neutering increases the life expectancy of the cat wherein one study was found in neutered male cats that live twice as long as the intact males, while on researched spayed female cats, they live 62% longer than the intact females. Having a cat being neutered it confers health benefits because the castrated males cannot develop its testicular cancer, spayed females cannot develop uterine or ovarian cancer and they both have reduced the risk of having mammary cancer.
Cats can also suffer from health problems, including infectious diseases, injuries, parasites and chronic diseases. However, there are now vaccines available to fight different diseases and the domestic cats are given regular treatments to eliminate parasites like worms and fleas.
Though wildcats are solitary, the social behavior of the domestic cat is more variable and will range from widely diverse individuals to the feral cat colonies that form around the food course (based on the groups of cooperating females). In different groups, there is one cat that usually dominates over the other cats. Each cat in the colony holds a distinct territory with the sexually active males who have the largest territory, which is about 10 times larger than the female cats and can overlap with several females’ territories. The territories of the cats are marked by spraying their urine, by rubbing the objects at head height with their secretions from the facial glands, and by defecation.
However, the cats are also having a sensitive skin that needs to be given attention. Perhaps, some factors may affect its skin such as food, pest, and allergies and these factors will infect their skin which will turn to wounds that will make the skin look ugly. There are some studies and research to help with the treatment of the skin infections of the cat.
The latest fad when it comes to healthcare today is the coconut oil and is believed to have an attribute of giving benefits to the humans such as weight loss and helping with the immune system. The coconut oil is considered to have components for the anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal on a specific treatment of diseases. Some applied the coconut as a topical cream on their skin that will help fight against bacteria and viruses in humans with atopic dermatitis. It also helps moisturizes one’s skin and also increases the lipids of the skin for topic use.
The question now is; Will the cat also be having good results if coconut oil is used just as how the humans are using it? There is anecdotal evidence that it can give good results to the cats. However, just as a supplement, it is also a case to case basis and it’s far from having the attribute of “Cure-all” for the cats.
The condition of the cat’s skin shows its overall health condition. Some problems on the skin may result to excessive itchiness and may result to scratching, licking, and/or chewing. There are various causes that may affect its skin such as external parasites, seasonal changes, stress and allergies or a combination of any.
The symptoms of the cats’ skin problem include:
- swellings, skin discoloration or lumps
- Drainage of pus or blood
- Round and scaly patches on the face and paws
- Redness or inflammation.
- Hair loss, Bald Patches
- Constant scratching, licking and chewing at the skin, specifically on neck and around the head
Possible causes of the Skin Problem of Cats:
The fleas do not only irritate the skin, but cats can have an allergic response when exposed to the fleas. Such symptoms like excessive scratching, thinning of hair above (base of the tail), crust and red, raised skin lesions. However, some cats might also be sensitive to the flea-treatment products.
It is considered to be a highly contagious fungal infect that will result to inflammation scaly patches and hair loss of the cat. Lesions seen are the most common on the head, ears, and paws, but sometimes there are no signs seen. You may want to see a veterinarian to immediately treat the condition and to prevent other pets and people in the household from being infected.
- Seasonal Allergy
Scratching of the cat may come from the sensitivity to common allergens like trees, mold, and grasses.
Some foods such as the beef, milk, corn, and poultry, fillers and colorings can be foreign to the cat’s immune system and may result in rashes and itching.
- Grooming products
Some groom products and shampoos can irritate the skin of the cat.
- Environment Factors
Contact with some chemicals or fabrics can cause skin irritation. Exposure to the sun or excessive cold can also be sensitive to the cats’ skin.
Stress or anxiety has a great effect on cats. Results are, they excessively lick and chew causing hair loss.
- Bacterial or Yeast Infections
These infections will commonly follow the onset of another skin disorder for the cat
A variety of benign and malignant skin that has grown. This is possible to develop in cats.
Using the coconut oil in pets as a supplement for atopic skin allergy is the common way to apply it to them. Some already claimed that their pets are no longer scratching due to itchiness after several weeks of use. Unfortunately, letting the pets consume it as part of their regular diet will also increase the overall fat in the diet, which is considered to be bad for some pets. Coconut oil will worsen pancreatitis and hyperlipidemia, so the oral use of the coconut oil for the pets are still very controversial
Coconut oil is believed to be beneficial for the pets as inflammatory bowel disease and cognitive dysfunction. In using coconut oil for the pet, it is still best to consult the veterinarian first.
The cat’s natural diet is usually high in protein and fat. In studies, there are only two essential fatty acids that they should obtain from their diet the linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA). In theories, cats can synthesize all other fatty acids from the two acids, the linoleic acid, and arachidonic acid, though kittens DHA is also important. Adult scan benefit from other fats and oil, mainly the animal fats as Eicosapentaenoic acid (EA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), however, they are not necessary.
Coconut oil is already part of human nutrition today, but it is not recommendable and good for cats. The coconut oil contains a little amount of 2% linoleic acid (LA), the other fatty acids from the coconut oil are not necessary for cats and can merely contribute to the calorie content of its diet. If extra fat is added, the protein as well is being decreased. The protein is known to be the key to a healthy cat diet. Coconut oil is made up of Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) that is to be important for human, but for cats, it has negative effects on them.
The coconut flour has many nutritional benefits for humans and pets. It is a perfect ingredient for the homemade dog treats and others.
Unlike other oils, the coconut oil is not damaged by the high heat. High heat will cause the coconut oil rancid that creates artificial trans fats that can be found in many processed foods which are harmful to the health. Therefore, the coconut oil improves conditions such as high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease, and hardening of arteries in humans
The coconut oil has been known to have numerous benefits such as healing the skin conditions and to even in recovering from diseases like diabetes and cancer. Increased immunity, bone strength, weight loss, hair health, improved vitality, improved digestion, and maintenance of blood pressure levels are also alleged benefits of the coconut oil.
Seek for the recommendation from the veterinarian if coconut is to be used. You should be able to visit your veterinarian for an exam as soon as you have noticed an abnormality in your pet’s coat such as the flaking and scaling, hair loss, redness and bald patches, or if the pet starts to scratch excessively, lick and/or bite areas on his fur.
After acquiring a history and thorough physical examination of the cat, the veterinarian will be doing some diagnostic tests to know the cause of your cat’s symptoms, such as:
- Skin biopsy
- Food and allergy testing
- Blood test for the cat’s overall health
- Tape test to assess parasites
- Skin scraping to be evaluated under the microscope
- Individual hair test
- Microscopic evaluation of cells
Due to the wide ranges of causes, cats of all ages and breeds are susceptible to any issues that involve the skin. Elderly, Young, immunocompromised and cats living in an overcrowded area, stressful environments may also be more susceptible to the skin problems than others.
The skin problem can also be prevented if the cat is being well-nourished pet such as:
- Brushing the teeth of the cat regularly preventing the matting of its hair
- Implementing flea treatment program recommended by the veterinarian
- Using of natural, hypoallergenic soaps and shampoos that are recommended for the cats
- Thoroughly cleaning and vacuum the home
- Feed healthy food, well-balanced food diet without fillers or artificial ingredients.
- Provide calm living conditions for the cat
The coconut oil claims to have a credible basis such as, on dry skin, wound healing, inflammatory bowel disease, atopic dermatitis, cognitive dysfunction, and lymphangiectasia or poor bowel absorption.
Generally, when you are a parent of the pet, things you can do to be able to give the ample care for your pet is, always check on your pet. You can examine the cat’s coat and skin thoroughly to check the presence of the fleas, ticks, mites, lice, or other parasites. Consider the allergies that your cat may have such as dust, pollen, or mold. The allergic dermatitis is the inflammation of the skin that will result on licking, scratching, dry, loss of fur, and flaky skin. And most of all, talking to your veterinarian can help you understand the things about the cat.