How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lori Your Own Question
Lori, Feline Healthcare
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4131
Experience:  16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Lori is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My cat is suddenly greasy! It started yesterday as a ...

Customer Question

My cat is suddenly greasy! It started yesterday as a barely noticable sheen to his coat. Today it has progressed to a very wet look. He is a very large maine coon which I bathe regularly and brush daily. My sister said it is related to something he has eaten, but his diet has remained the same no changes. He has not gotten into anything either, not that I can find anyway. What could be causing this?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Lori replied 10 years ago.
How old is your kitty? Is he neutered?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Lori's Post: He is 5 years old and yes he is neutered. I bathed him today and it did not get rid of the greasy look and feel of his hair.
Expert:  Lori replied 10 years ago.
Some cats, like humans, naturally have oily skin. The Maine Coon is a breed that is known for a somewhat oily skin and coat. Bathing regularly can help this problem. Also, cats with a condition called seborrhea can produce tremendous amounts of skin oil, which can result in sores and patches of missing fur as well as a greasy coat.

Cats will sometimes get greasy coats when they have fleas, mites, or even allergies, all of which can cause the skin's sebaceous glands to work overtime and secrete more oil than usual. Less often, a greasy coat can be a sign of internal problems such as diabetes or a hormonal imbalance. Many times, a cat's coat will even get almost a rancid type of an odor to them. A greasy coat can be more than a cosmetic problem. It is a breeding ground for bacteria and other organisms. As a result, cats with greasy coats are prone to skin infections, which can make their skin itchy and sore.

If your cat is scratching a lot; if his fur has a rancid odor; if he is drinking much more water than usual; if he is shedding or scratching more than usual; if he has scales, bald patches, or a rash; if he has severe dandruff or dry skin; or if his fur is greasy or smelly even after baths, he needs to see the vet.

I know you said you bathed him, but the shampoo you use is very important also. Look for a medicated shampoo that is made specifically for oily-skinned pets. These shampoos usually contain ingredients such as coal tar, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur, which are very effective at cutting through the oil and for removing built-up scales from the surface of the skin. Pet supply stores carry a variety of shampoos, among them, the medicated type. Don't use shampoos containing coal tar, phenol, or selenium sulfide on cats because they can be toxic.

Depending how greasy your cat's coat is, he may need baths as often as every other day until the problem clears up. More often, once or twice a month will be enough.

Medicated shampoos are much stronger than regular cleansing shampoos, so you don't want to use them too often. Plus, the medications require at least 10 minutes of contact time to do their job. It is a good idea to rinse the skin and hair well to avoid irritation. The switch to a medicated shampoo may have to be permanent, unless you want the condition to come back.

Applying a coat conditioner after shampooing will help restore moisture to the skin that the shampoo took out, but check with your vet before using these products.

You may want to try giving your cat supplements containing fatty acids, such as those containing fish oil. Sometimes the supplements can help calm down the hypersecreting oil glands in the skin. You can call your vet to get supplement recommendations. Since this oilyness is a relatively new development with your cat, discussing the problem with your vet before doing anything may be the smartest move. Maine coons aren't considered "mature" until 4-5 years of age, and this new development may be part of his maturation - but again, I would discuss the possibility with your vet.

I attend cat shows with maine coon breeders a LOT and they all say their cats' coats are VERY hard to keep clean, as coons tend to repel water. A good friend of mine takes plain Dawn dish soap and works it through her boy's dry coat and allows it to sit for several minutes to absorb the excess oil. She then wets him down and lathers him and rinses the Dawn out. After that, she bathes him normally. Maine Coones have beautiful coats, but they can be a but tough to care for. Hopefully, I've given you a few suggestions that will work well for you.

Lori, Feline Healthcare
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4131
Experience: 16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
Lori and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Lori's Post: When I read your answer and saw the part about fleas I knew that must be it. About a week ago my daughter brought a stray puppy home and he was covered in fleas! I found a home for the dog because I am not a dog person, but not before our home was infested. I had Colby my cat treated at the vets with capstar and thought that ended the problem. while he was there i had the house fumigated. I just now looked through Colby's hair and did find a few fleas. I'll be taking care of that tomorrow and hopefully the greasy look will be a thing of the past. I would try the Dawn but Colby has alot of hair and I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to get it all out even though he loves a bath. He weighs close to 20 lbs and is quite a handful in the tub. I'll ask my vet about the supplements too. Thanks for the help.
Expert:  Lori replied 10 years ago.
No problem! Glad I could help -- one last thing -- if he had/has fleas, call the vet and ask for tapeworm meds -- believe me - he has them - or at least the makings of them - fleas transmit tapeworms, so you may as well treat him with some Droncit twice so you won't have to mess with that also down the road - he could start with diarrhea next from the tapeworm....
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Lori's Post: He was treated for worms recently at a routine check up. Should I still treat him or is this a different type of worm? I have never heard of Droncit.
Expert:  Lori replied 10 years ago.
It can be called drontyl also - it's specifically for tape worms - most vets deworm for hook and round worms, but don't routinely deworm for tape worms unless the pet has or had fleas or you see the worms - they look like grains of rice sortof.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Previous | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • Terri


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • Terri's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Cher's Avatar


    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • Lori's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • Micki's Avatar


    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician