Dandruff is a very unsightly skin condition that causes exaggerated shedding of the dead skin. It appears as white, flaky little pieces of skin. This is not something that is dealt with easily. People usually use anti-dandruff shampoos in order to cope with this problem. However, humans are not the only ones that get struck by this problem.
Cats are also prone to getting dandruff. To help them get rid of this problem we need to consult our vet about the core factor that causes it. Dandruff in cats is usually a result of dry skin or poor nutrition, but it could be a sign of more complicated illnesses that hit kidneys, particular glands or may be caused by diabetes. There could be some other, external contributors such as dry air, windy and cold weather.
Major causes of dandruff in cats
Dandruff in cats and poor nutrition
A high-quality diet is as important for cats as it is for people, especially when it comes to skin and hair which we don’t usually perceive as important. When our pets aren’t fed on enough healthy fats and proteins, it will take a toll on both the inner and outer healthiness of their coat.
What food with poor nutritional value does to your cat’s skin is gradually dehydrating your skin which leads to its scaliness, flakiness and eventually dandruff. One of the things we can do to aid this is to switch the cat’s diet to raw food abundant in omega-3 and omega-6 which we can get from tuna and salmon.
As for the convenience store cat food, it usually loses everything of worth for your cat during the production process, so at least make sure to read the labels and look for the important elements and manufacturing description.
Cat dandruff and arthritis
Arthritis is also one of many reasons why dandruff can appear on cat’s fur. This is a degenerative disease that causes pain and inflammation in the cat’s joints which impairs their ability to move around and clean themselves.
Cat dandruff, dehydration, and environmental factors
Dry weather, changes in temperature and humidity cause skin dehydration. Cats with lighter-colored and thinner coat are prone to getting dandruff due to the greater exposure to sun burns. Also, if your pet is not getting enough water, it could dry their skin and eventually lead to dandruff.
Dandruff and other causes
Mite, fleas, and worms could lead to dandruff in cats. Their bites cause an allergic reaction that could lead to excessive skin shedding and itching. This could evolve into a much serious problem if it is left untreated. Essentially, different infections could come up as a result of scratching the skin. Cheyletiella is the most famous culprit for cat dandruff. This mite causes parasitic infestation called ‘’walking dandruff’’ because the Cheyletiella mites are white and resemble dandruff flakes.
Allergies may also lead to dandruff. They can be triggered by a simple change in cat’s routine or a change of its home. This all puts some stress on your cat’s immune system and dandruff is just a reaction to it. Obesity can also be one of the dandruff triggers. Fat inhibits cats’ ability to groom themselves which also instigates flakiness of the skin and eventual dandruff. Cats’ unwieldiness and inability to do self-grooming can specifically be seen in areas such as the lower-back and the base of the tail.
Seborrhoea is a condition which causes overproduction of oil (sebum) by sebaceous glands. This results in too much dandruff your cat can’t take care of on its own. Dandruff caused by this disorder commonly appears on cat’s face, back and flanks and instigates flakiness and redness of the skin as well as its dryness. There are different types of seborrhoea: dry seborrhoea, seborrhoea oleosa (or oily seborrhoea) or a combination of both types. Originally, the cause of this disorder is a lack of hydration and bad nutrition. However, in many instances, seborrhoea appears for no apparent reason.
Cat dandruff symptoms and knowing the difference between dandruff and dander
Except for the white flakes that are visible in cat’s fur, there could be some redness at some sites as a symptom of dandruff. The redness is usually the consequence of the cat’s persistent grooming of one site. We should make sure to know the difference between dandruff and dander: dander is a normal outcome of the natural, moderate skin shedding and doesn’t need any treatment.
Cat dandruff treatment
Since dehydration is usually the number one on the list of contributors to dandruff, try to make your cat drink more water and find some appealing ways to make it drink water more often (pet fountain). Also, try adding some ‘’wet food’’ to your cat’s diet.
What you can also change the cat’s diet is adding some omega-3 oil or its supplements so that it gets an adequate amount of good fats that also hydrate skin and prevent its exaggerated shedding. If your cat has changed its environment recently try soothing it and paying more attention to its relaxation and calmness. If the environment is too dry try using a humidifier.
Grooming your cat is unquestionably something you should take care of. Brushing its fur will distribute the oils equally to every part of its skin and will help you bond with your cat.
If your cat is suffering from a parasitic infestation, it is of utmost importance that you treat it with some anti-parasitic medications (prescribed by the vet) because no shampoo nor grooming can completely get rid of this pesky and persistent condition. Also, make sure you clean your cat’s beddings in great detail as parasites could be thriving in there and result in the reoccurrence of the infestation.