You are sitting down relaxing and as usual your cat decides to join you. You reach down to give your fur baby some much wanted scratches and suddenly notice that you feel something in their fur. You look down and see those familiar white flaky specs and you realize, ugh…my cat has dandruff.
Thankfully, dandruff in cats alone isn’t a major health concern but rather just an annoyance and is extremely common within our feline friends. So common in fact, there are hundreds of products on the market to help rid the crusty flakes from our pets and while most products work well at times, owners soon realize that it’s a temporary solution and the dandruff returns. That’s because dandruff in cats can be a symptom of another problem that needs attention so finding the base issue will be the key to helping your best buds skin.
Dandruff in cats appear as white flaky dead skin that attaches to their fur. It can be itchy to the cat and cause them to scratch more often. If allowed to worsen it can cause excessive itching and scratching and can lead to red inflamed areas on the skin, scaly patches and loss of hair. If the skin becomes irritated enough, your cat can even develop sores which could lead to the possibility of infections.
Some causes of cat dandruff and how to fix it are:
- Diet/Food Allergies- Most owners feed their cats general, easy to find cat food and being that their pets usually gobble it up they think it’s fine. Sometimes the cat is allergic to at least one ingredient in the food which then can cause skin issues like dandruff. A proper diet with good nutrients is important for the cats’ overall health and its skin. Changing your cats food and finding one that provides complete nutrition and in particular good omega 3 oils is important. Making sure you know what’s in the food is a great step towards better skin and health. Even better is looking into feeding your cat a raw natural diet.
- General Environmental Allergies- Indoor and outdoor allergies don’t just effect humans they can also cause issues for your cat. Laundry soaps, certain plants/pollen and cleaning supplies can all cause skin problems. If your cat is an outdoor cat try to keep indoors more to prevent exposure and if they are already inside, you can change soaps to more allergy friendly choices.
- External/Internal Parasites- Yes, the dreaded fleas, lice and mites will definitely wreak havoc for your cats skin but even certain internal parasites can cause the same problems. Making sure your cat is on some type of flea prevention is crucial for their skin health. For internal parasites, they will need to be checked by their veterinarian to ensure proper treatment.
Some more serious causes of dandruff in your cat are:
- Metabolic problems like hyperthyroidism and diabetes. These issues will certainly need the guidance of your veterinarian for proper care and treatment.
- Certain Cancers- Yes, dandruff can be a symptom/sign that your cat could have cancer. Although it is rarely the cause, taking your cat to the veterinarian for proper exams and blood work is crucial for overall health.
Lastly, some other cat dandruff causes could be anxiety, obesity or old age. Making sure to know the causes of your cat’s dandruff is key in helping to get rid of it. Taking your cat to regular check-ups and being informed will help you and your best friend be happy and healthy together.