Cat Dandruff - Your Cat's Dry Flaky Skin

Cat Dandruff, it doesn't look nice.

At some point in its life your cat is likely to have dandruff somewhere on her or his coat.

Sometimes this is a symptom of something that needs the attention of your cat's veterinarian.

Often though, it is due to something less serious and the problem can be solved quite easily.

What Is Feline Dandruff?

It is exactly the same as dandruff on any other animal, including the human animal. It is dry, flaky skin.

One common cause of cat dandruff is parasite infestation, external or internal.

Cat fleas are the most usual external parasite to cause your pet an allergic skin reaction.

Make checking that your cat's fur and skin are free of fleas, and other parasites, a must during grooming sessions.

Cheyletiella mites produce a condition often called walking dandruff, a scabrous cat skin disorder that causes them much itching.

It is known as walking dandruff because when a cat that is infested by the mite is examined, scales appear to be moving.

The movement is caused by the Cheyletiella mites moving around underneath the scales.

Cat's Skin Problems and Diet

Sometimes it is the cat's diet that is causing the dandruff problem.

This does not necessarily mean that you are feeding your cat badly, probably you aren't, but what suits some cats does not suit others.

cat with dandruffOverexposure to the sun can be a cause of feline dandruff. White cats, and cats with white patches, are especially at risk from the effects of the sun.

Does your cat only eat dry cat food? If so, try replacing some meals with quality canned cat food. 

In their wild state cats live off live prey, which is a moist diet. Yes, you always ensure that your cat has water available, but she still may not be getting the moisture she needs.

Poor choices in cat food can lead to more problems than dandruff.  Learn more. . .

You can try giving your cat a fish oil, or omega-3 supplement, it may improve your cat's coat condition. Krill oil and coconut oil are good oils to use. These supplements have to be given to your cat over two weeks to a month to give it little time for it to work.

Some sources recommend adding a fork full of tuna to your cat's meal to increase the omega-3. That's fine as long as it is only a fork full. Cats should not be fed high amounts of tuna as it is lacking in vitamin E, and that can lead to yellow fat disease.

Also tuna lacks taurine which is important for your cat's health. So, a little now and then may help end feline dandruff, but too much tuna could cause your cat other problems.

Cat Dandruff and the Sun

The sun can be another culprit. Cats love to lounge out in the sunshine, and who can blame them. Too much sun though can be bad for them in many ways.

Cats have their thick fur which affords them some protection, but even so the sun can still dry out their skin causing it to flake.

This is particularly so around the nose, ears, above their eyes and their mouth because at these points their fur is less thick.

White cats, and cats with white patches, are especially at risk of sunburn.

If possible prevent your cat from staying outside when the sun is high. If your cat is left out for the day see that she has a place that gives shade and she has access to water.

Cat dandruff is one of the lesser problems a cat can have through Sunburn.

Older Cats, Overweight Cats and Dandruff

An older cat may have difficulty in cleaning all parts of her coat. As cats age they can become less supple and cannot reach to clean around the lower back and base of the tail.

A cat that is overweight can have the same problem, and a really obese cat may not be able to groom most of its body.

tabby and white cat

Difficulty with grooming themselves is only one of the many problems suffered by obese cats, please do not allow your cat to be overweight.

While you are helping your cat to return to her normal weight you can also help by regularly grooming her.

With an older cat that cannot groom herself like she once did, you are going to have to groom her quite frequently.

Dandruff can be a (minor) symptom of feline diabetes. It is common for diabetic cats to be overweight and also have poorly conditioned coats.

Some experts are of the opinion that the coat condition is a consequence of the excess weight, the enlarged cat cannot groom properly. Again though, it is one more reason to prevent your cat from being overweight.

Yet one more reason a cat may not be grooming herself properly, and so have dandruff on her coat, is because of a problem in the mouth.

If your cat is refusing her food and neglecting her coat, her teeth or gums may need attention.

Cat Dandruff in the Winter?

Is your feline's dandruff a winter time problem? When its cold cats love to snooze where the warmth is and who can blame them.

If you have an open fireplace then your cat will be right in front of it. If you have forced air heating your cat will want the lions share of that!

Trouble is, hogging the heat can rapidly dry out the top layer of your cat's skin causing those dandruff flakes.

If you can, keep your cat from lazing in front of the heat. No, that is not going to be an easy job!

Investing in a humidifier and using it in the part of your home that your cat hangs out in will help with the dry air problem.

Obviously you will want to discover if your cat's dandruff is due to any serious problem. The best person to help is your veterinarian. A regular check up for your cat is always a good idea anyway.

Hopefully the feline dandruff will be owing to one of the less serious causes. In addition to the above advice, you can try shampooing your cat (using shampoo especially for cats.)

Be sure to use an anti-dandruff shampoo formulated for cats, human shampoo will be too harsh and could cause more problems than it solves. Rinse well, rinse very well. It is always advisable to have a friend help when bathing a cat . . . and watch out for scratches.

In most cases the problem of cat dandruff can be overcome and the result will be a coat that both you and your kitty will be proud of.

Read about more cat skin problems.

Related Pages

Cat Acne : The cause and treatment of your cat's acne.
Outbreaks of cat acne are usually fairly mild, a few blackheads, bumps or blocked pores. Anything more than a mild outbreak and it would be best that your veterinarian is consulted.

> > Cat Dandruff.