· By Veronika Broukal
The skin of the cat
The skin is the body's largest organ, accounting for up to a quarter of a cat's weight. In this article you will find out how it is composed and how you can strengthen your cat's skin and coat.
The epidermis forms the top layer of the cat's skin and is itself made up of 5 layers. Together with the fur, it protects them from harmful influences such as UV radiation, dirt and germs. It contains the so-called melanocytes, which produce the color pigment melanin. It is responsible for the genetically determined coloring and patterning of the skin and coat. The more melanin is produced in these regions, the higher the UV protection. Keratin is also produced in the skin. After its formation, it migrates to the surface of the skin and forms cornifications. These protect your cat from germs such as bacteria and are found in particularly high numbers on the paw pads. Keratin also prevents the body from losing too much water.
It consists of 2 layers and is very elastic, which is why it is responsible for the mobility of the skin and for maintaining the integrity of it in the event of injuries. In addition to nerves, it is peppered with many vessels, which also provide cooling. If the cat gets too warm, the blood vessels in its skin expand. The opposite is true at low temperatures. The dermis also contains many receptors that respond to pressure, pain or heat, for example. In addition, it contains hair follicle muscles, which reacts primarily to stress and cold. Incidentally, the cat cannot consciously control them. This happens, for example, through hormones.
The subcutis/subcutaneous tissue
This forms the innermost layer of the skin. It mainly consists of fat cells and connective tissue. Above all, it protects the skeleton and also the organs from external influences. Blood vessels are also contained in the subcutis.
The cat's fur
Hair is formed in the hair follicles at regular intervals. The outer coat of fur consists of the outer hair, it offers protection against moisture, cold and dirt. Below is the fine undercoat, which primarily contributes to the insulation of the body. Incidentally, a cat has an average of between 25,000 and 30,000 hairs per square centimeter. How much a cat sheds, depends on many factors. These include age, breed, housing conditions and the time of year.
This is how you support your cat's skin and coat
Many different substances are important for a healthy skin barrier and a shiny coat. This includes, for example, vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that supports your cat's immune system. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, strengthens the skin as a whole. But minerals such as zinc and copper also play a major role in this context. The latter supports pigment formation. Omega fatty acids, which help protect the skin and grow the coat, should also be present in your cat's diet. That's why you should pay attention to only feed high quality products that contain all of the above.
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