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Home > Cats > 11 Best Cat Foods for Healthy Coats & Skin in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

11 Best Cat Foods for Healthy Coats & Skin in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

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As a cat owner, you know the frustrations that come with finding the right cat food if your feline fur baby suffers from skin allergies. Skin and coat problems usually occur due to something your cat has been exposed to, or maybe something in their food is causing the issue. Sometimes it’s easy to pinpoint, and sometimes not. Fortunately, certain manufacturers formulate their products specifically for these types of issues so that your kitties can live their best lives.

With many options to choose from, how do you go about finding the best food for a cat suffering from these irritations?

Below, you will find reviews of the best cat foods for healthy coats and skin we’ve found that will help you make the right decision when buying cat food.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription
  • Multiple flavors and recipes available
  • Rich in omega fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • Good option for cats with food sensitivities
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Iams Proactive Health Cat Food Iams Proactive Health Cat Food
  • Turkey is first ingredient
  • Affordable
  • Comes in 3 bag sizes
  • Third place
    Hill’s Science Diet Stomach Cat Food Hill’s Science Diet Stomach Cat Food
  • Chicken is first ingredient
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Veterinary-recommended
  • ACANA First Feast Protein Kitten Food ACANA First Feast Protein Kitten Food
  • High protein content from quality ingredients
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 for healthy skin and coat
  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials Cat Food Nutro Wholesome Essentials Cat Food
  • No chicken by-products
  • No corn, soy, or wheat protein
  • Packed with omega-6 for healthy coat and skin
  • The 11 Best Cat Food for Healthy Coats & Skin

    1. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription – Best Overall

    Calories: 1,220 kcal/kg
    Fat: 47.5%
    Protein: 49.6%
    Main Ingredients: Chicken thigh, chicken breast, chicken liver, green beans

    When it comes to the overall best cat food for healthy coats and skin, Smalls cat food is our pick. This subscription-based company offers a variety of wet food options in two different textures.

    These foods are packed full of nutritious ingredients, like real muscle meats, organ meats, and healthy vegetables. They are rich in omega fatty acids, which support the health of your cat’s skin and coat, as well as their heart and joints. They are also a good source of protein to support healthy coat growth.

    Since each recipe is made with a single protein source, this is a good option for cats with food sensitivities. You can select how frequently you’d like to receive food shipments, ensuring you never run out of food for your kitty, and you can make changes to your subscription preferences at any time. This is a premium-priced cat food option.

    Pros
    • High-quality ingredients
    • Single protein source
    • Rich in omega fatty acids
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. Iams Proactive Health Digestion & Skin Cat Food – Budget Buy

    Iams Proactive Health Adult Sensitive Digestion & Skin

    Calories: 52 kcal/cup
    Fat: 14%
    Protein: 33%
    Main Ingredients: Turkey

    Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Turkey Dry Cat Food is a balanced and nutritional cat food geared toward kitties with skin and digestion issues. Iams have been around since the 1940s and have tailored formulas that target your specific needs for your feline companion. Turkey is the first ingredient that offers 33% protein. It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat and is pea-free. The added beet pulp and prebiotics aid in digestion, and it’s soy and wheat-free.

    It does contain chicken by-products, so it may not be suitable for all cats. The amount of calories is on the lighter side than other cat foods, but with the three different bag sizes, affordability, and added nutrients, this food comes in as the best cat food for healthy coats and skin for the money.

    Pros
    • Turkey is the first ingredient
    • Affordable
    • Comes in 3 bag sizes
    • Contains beet pulp for easy digestion
    Cons
    • Contains chicken by-products

    3. Hill’s Science Diet Stomach & Skin Cat Food

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    Calories: 524 kcal/cup
    Fat: 17%
    Protein: 29%
    Main Ingredients: Chicken and rice

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food is perfect for kitties who love chicken. It’s specially formulated with omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E to support healthy skin and coats. Made in the U.S.A., this veterinary-recommended food helps cats that need easily digestible food for sensitive tummies, and it has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Chicken is the first ingredient, and it contains 29% protein.

    The formula includes corn gluten meal, so it won’t work for cats with gluten allergies.

    It’s also a little pricey, but the nutritional value makes up for the price. It comes in three bag sizes: 3.5-pound, 7-pound, or 15.5-pound bags.

    Pros
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Veterinary-recommended
    Cons
    • Contains corn gluten meal
    • Expensive

    4. ACANA First Feast Protein Dry Cat Food

    ACANA First Feast High-Protein

    Calories: 439 kcal/cup
    Fat: 18%
    Protein: 36%
    Main Ingredients: Deboned chicken

    This brand of cat food has been around for 25 years and has never had a recall. With that said, this high-protein food is a newer formula, named First Feast, and is made especially for kittens. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote healthy coats and skin, and the protein content comes from five different quality ingredients: deboned chicken, whole herring, turkey, eggs, and quail.

    Peas are in the formula, so it won’t be suitable for those kittens with pea allergies. It also only comes in a 4-pound bag but at an affordable price.

    This food will start your kitten off right for a healthy life, and most kittens love the taste.

    Pros
    • High protein content from quality ingredients
    • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 for healthy skin and coat
    Cons
    • Offered in one bag size
    • Contains peas

    5. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Cat Food

    Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Salmon

    Calories: 414 kcal/cup
    Fat: 16%
    Protein: 33%
    Main Ingredients: Salmon

    Salmon is the number one ingredient in Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food. There are no chicken by-products, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and no corn, wheat, or soy protein in this formula. This food is rich in nutrients and packed with omega-6 from natural fats to promote a healthy and shiny coat. Nutro brands get their ingredients only from trusted farmers and suppliers for wholesome nutrition.

    If your cat has pea allergies, you’ll want to avoid this food due to the added pea protein, and some cats don’t like the salmon flavor.

    Overall, this food is affordable and comes in three bag sizes: 3 pounds, 5 pounds, or 14 pounds.

    Pros
    • No chicken by-products
    • No corn, soy, or wheat protein
    • Packed with omega-6 for a healthy coat and skin
    Cons
    • Contains pea protein
    • Some cats don’t like the salmon flavor

    6. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Cat Food 

    Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin

    Calories: 530 kcal/cup
    Fat: 18%
    Protein: 40%
    Main Ingredients: Lamb and rice

    Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food is a great choice for cats with skin allergies. Lamb and rice are the first ingredients in this food, and it’s full of omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin A for healthy skin and coats. Not only does it help your kitty maintain a healthy coat, but it also aids in digestion by incorporating oatmeal and rice. It’s also pea-free for those kitties with pea allergies.

    It contains corn gluten meal, so avoid this food if your cat has allergies to gluten.

    It comes in bags of 3.5 pounds, 7 pounds, 16 pounds, or 22 pounds, all at an affordable price. Despite the few fillers, this food is a good choice for healthy coats and skin due to its nutritional value and several bag sizes.

    Pros
    • Lamb and rice are the first ingredients
    • Full of omega-6 fatty acids
    • Comes in four bag sizes
    Cons
    • Contain corn gluten

    7. ORIJEN Original Cat Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    ORIJEN Original

    Calories: 515 kcal/cup
    Fat: 20%
    Protein: 40%
    Main Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, and mackerel

    ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is made from fresh ingredients. Cats are carnivores, and ORIJEN doesn’t shy away from providing up to 90% of protein, vitamins, and minerals from fresh or raw poultry and fish ingredients. The kibble is freeze-dried for a burst of raw flavor, and wild-caught pollock oil provides what cats need for a healthy and shiny coat. The whole-prey ingredients include organs and bones for biologically appropriate nutrition.

    A downside is it only comes in either a 4-pound or 12-pound bag and is expensive. However, what you’re paying for is top-quality food that will benefit your cat’s coat and skin, which makes for a happy kitty. Most consumers state their cats love this food.

    Pros
    • Fresh ingredients
    • Contains a whole-prey formula for maximum nutrition
    • Contains wild-caught pollock oil for coat and skin
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Comes in only 2 bag sizes

    8. Blue Buffalo True Solutions Skin & Coat Care Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect

    Calories: 415 kcal/cup
    Fat: 15%
    Protein: 32%
    Main Ingredients: Deboned salmon and brown rice

    Blue Buffalo True Solutions Perfect Coat Skin & Coat Care Formula Dry Cat Food is specially formulated with your cat’s coat and skin in mind. Real salmon is the first ingredient, followed by omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Veterinarians created this special formula, and it’s rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s free from by-products, soy, corn, and wheat, as well as artificial flavors and preservatives.

    It’s a little on the expensive side and comes in two bag sizes: 3.5-pound or an 11-pound bag. The bags also do not have closure seals.

    This formula has helped cats with dandruff, leaving them with soft, healthy fur, and most cats love the taste!

    Pros
    • Deboned salmon and brown rice are first ingredients
    • Created by veterinarians
    • Free from by-products
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • No closure seals on the bags

    9. Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Taste of the Wild Canyon River

    Calories: 350 kcal/cup
    Fat: 16%
    Protein: 32%
    Main Ingredients: Trout

    Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is balanced cat food with spring-fed trout as the first ingredient. Taste of the Wild incorporates the right amount of fruits and vegetables and omega fatty acids for healthy coats and skin. This food is geared toward cats with digestion issues, all while promoting healthy coats and skin at the same time. It offers prebiotics and fiber and includes good bacteria for gut health. It also provides taurine for a healthy heart and eyes. It’s free from corn and wheat, as well as artificial flavors or colors.

    This food lacks any chicken, so if your kitty fancies a chicken taste, this food will not fare well, but you could still give it a try given all the benefits this food offers.

    Pros
    • Spring-fed trout is first ingredient
    • Helps with digestion issues
    • Free from corn, wheat, and grain
    Cons
    • Some cats may not like the fish taste

    10. American Journey Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    American Journey Salmon

    Calories: 410 kcal/cup
    Fat: 15%
    Protein: 40%
    Main Ingredients: Deboned salmon

    American Journey Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is another option for grain-free food with a fish flavor. Deboned salmon is the first ingredient that will aid in strong and lean muscle development. There are plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy coats and skin, and it contains no by-products. Made in the U.S.A., this food has a plethora of fruits and vegetables and protein for an overall, balanced diet for your feline pal. It comes in three bag sizes: a 5-pound, a 12-pound, or a 5-pound bundle of two.

    Picky eaters may not like this food, and the inside of the bag seems to have a strong fish smell.

    Pros
    • Deboned salmon is first ingredient
    • No by-products
    • 3 bag sizes
    Cons
    • Not for picky cats
    • Fish smell is a bit strong for some

    11. Go! Solutions Skin + Coat Care Salmon Dry Cat Food

    Go! Solutions Skin

    Calories: 453 kcal/cup
    Fat: 14%
    Protein: 30%
    Main Ingredients: Deboned salmon

    Go! Solutions Skin + Coat Care Grain-Free Salmon Recipe Dry Cat Food is specially formulated for cats with skin and coat issues. It has whole ground flaxseed and chicken to promote a shiny and healthy coat and is free from soy, corn, or grains. Go! has been around for 20 years and knows the challenges of finding food that meets your cat’s criteria. If your kitty has a sensitive stomach, coat and skin issues, or is a picky eater, this manufacturer has your kitty covered.

    This food is for indoor cats only, and you can expect to pay a little more compared to other cat food products.

    Pros
    • Grain-free
    • No soy or corn
    • Specially formulated for coat and skin issues
    Cons
    • For indoor cats only
    • Expensive

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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Cat Food for Healthy Coat & Skin

    Still a little confused on which food is the best for your feline? Fret not, because we’re not done quite yet. Now that we’ve looked at the top 10 best cat food for healthy coats and skin, you may still have some questions. To further help you make the best decision that’s right for your cat kiddos, let’s examine key factors you should be looking for while shopping.

    Cat Food Ingredients

    So, you’ve spotted a bag that strikes your eye. Maybe it says something like “specialized formula” or “complete daily nutrition.” That’s great! But when you flip the bag over to read the ingredients, the list is a mile long—it’s okay—take a breath.

    The main question to answer is, what are the first few ingredients listed? That’s going to give you key information on what your cat is eating. You’ll want to make sure that the first ingredient is a quality protein and not a by-product. If real chicken or real salmon is listed first, the food contains the most of that ingredient. Cats are obligate carnivores and require good quality meat in their diet for optimal nutrition.

    Next, make sure the ingredients that immediately follow are of good quality, such as fruits and vegetables. The food should be balanced; it shouldn’t have an over-abundance of fruits and vegetables or unnecessary fillers, such as corn or soy. Quality cat food will also be free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

    Nutrition for Sensitive Skin

    Some manufacturers, like the ones listed above, target specific health conditions. If your cat has sensitive skin, be sure to look for a food rich in omega fatty acids. Fatty acids promote healthy coats and skin, so if the cat food you pick has plenty of these nutrients, the better off your cat will be with their skin.

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    Conclusion

    For the best overall cat food for healthy coats and skin, Smalls Human-Grade Cat Food combines quality meat, vegetables, and essential vitamins and minerals. Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Turkey Dry Cat Food targets cats with skin and digestive issues. It’s affordable and includes plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy coats and skin for the money.

    We hope you’ve enjoyed our reviews of the top 10 best cat food for healthy coats and skin. Hopefully, this guide helps you in making the best decision for your kitty.


    Featured Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

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