Cat Dandruff Cat Dander

Cat Dandruff Cat Dander

While we may be familiar with dandruff from time-to-time, our feline friends can suffer from this itchy issue too. But what are the facts about cat dandruff and what can we do to help our cat with this condition?

Dandruff is the condition where dry or dead skin cells develop and fleck off from the skin. Usually, dandruff comes with skin irritation or constant itching. But dandruff should not be confused with cat dander. The dander comes from the healthy dead skin that your cat will shed and isn't something you should be concerned about. While dandruff is the abnormal shedding of dead skin cells which will come with irritated or itchy skin, dander does not cause the cat to be uncomfortable.

The Symptoms of Cat Dandruff

The symptoms are remarkably like dandruff in humans. The cat will have dry and flaky skin which you will see if your cat has dark hair. If your cat has thick fur, it is important to check them on a regular basis to see if they have any flaking skin by parting the fur. If the cat has more severe dandruff, they will have red inflamed patches because of the constant licking and itching. If this goes on for a while, it can cause the skin to break open, which may lead to infection. You may also see scaly and thick patches of dry skin and potentially hair loss or bald patches.

The Causes of Cat Dandruff

Cat dandruff is usually because of a handful of common issues:

  1. A poor diet is one of the biggest culprits. If they do not have the necessary nutrients in their foods, dandruff isn't far behind. Usually, dandruff is a sign they do not have enough omega 3. Conversely, they may have a food allergy. If you changed your cat’s food sources recently and you can trace it back to this diet change, you may want to go back to the original food of choice.
  2. In addition, a lack of water can show up as dry skin. If you live in a warm home or have the heating on all the time which can dry the cat out, dehydration may be the root cause.
  3. They may also have allergies such as to plants or laundry detergent.
  4. It may also be a sign of fungal or yeast infections such as ringworm.

How Can I Get Rid of Cat Dandruff?

Getting to the root cause is crucial. If you purchase anti-dandruff shampoo but the problem is caused by an allergy, it will not fix the issue. It is important to go to the vet if you have tried everything and are at a loss. The vet will likely recommend a cat shampoo if it is a fungal infection. The vet may also recommend antihistamines or steroids for reducing inflammation if your cat needs to adjust to a new diet.

Once you have dandruff under control, you need to prevent it properly. It is important to get into the habit of regular brushing and grooming as well as bathing your cat, not to mention incorporating more omega-3 and water into their diet.

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