All cat owners want their pets to have a soft, shiny coat and healthy skin, and good nutrition is one way they can help achieve this. Indeed, poor coat condition or itchy, dry skin can be the result of a substandard diet that fails to give a feline the nutrients it needs to be happy and healthy inside and out.

A cat's hair is composed almost entirely of protein, so if their diet doesn't contain sufficient levels of high-quality protein, their fur may become dry, weak and brittle or even fall out.

What's more, a feline's skin is made up of cells that are tightly packed together and have tough membranes composed of proteins and fats, which need to be gained through their cat food.

But it's not just protein that cats need for a healthy coat and skin. Another key component of a balanced feline diet are fatty acids, without which the coat can become dry and dull, and the skin can get greasy and itchy.

There are two essential fatty acids needed to maintain skin and coat health: linoleic acid and arachidonic acid. These can be found in animal tissues such as chicken fat, and linoleic acid can also be found in vegetable oils including corn and soybean.

Finally, a balanced diet should also include vitamins and minerals, which are vital for a healthy coat and skin. Some owners try to provide these through supplements but it is better if a cat gets these through their normal food, otherwise you run the risk of accidentally giving them too many vitamins and minerals.

Therefore, the best thing you can do for your feline friend is to feed them on a diet provided by a high quality brand such as Iams cat food, as this is the easiest and often the best way to ensure they receive all the nutrients they need for a healthy coat and skin.

Written by: Hannah