Dreaded dandruff isn't just a people problem. Unfortunately cats' coats can be blemished by the flaky white stuff too. But there's something you can do about it to keep your cat healthy and looking wonderful. Read on for all the details.
Causes for Kitty Dandruff
Most of the time, if a cat shows a few flakes of dandruff on their coat, it's not a big deal. However, dandruff can be a sign of health problems or allergies, especially if it persists, gets worse over time, or appears with other symptoms. Cat dandruff can be caused by something as benign as dry weather, but it can also be a sign of diabetes, hyperthyroidism, parasites, skin or food allergies, poor diet, ringworm, or sunburn.
Does Bathing Work?
Bathing your cat is not a good idea for treating cat dandruff – not only will your furry friend hate you forever, it will dry out their skin even more and potentially make the the dandruff worse. Only bathe your cat on the recommendation of your vet.
How About Brushing?
Brushing your cat every day is the best way to tackle less serious dandruff cases, and it will do wonders for their coat quality. This will especially help older cats that might have trouble grooming themselves thoroughly. Giving your cat fish oil supplements (with your vet's blessing) and keeping them on a wet-food-only diet will also help with dry skin. Adding a humidifier to your home in the dryer months is another good strategy for improving the condition of your feline's coat.
Visit the Vet
If you try the above but the dandruff won't go away, or if your cat's dandruff seems extreme, it's time for a trip to the vet. Your vet can properly diagnose any underlying causes that could be causing dandruff, and whether it's a parasitic infection or something more serious like a thyroid condition. With the proper medication you should be able to get your cat's health – and their lovely coat – back on track.
By Niels Ingvar
About the Author
Niels Ingvar is a freelance writer specializing in animal care and behavior, as well as Nordic film and literature. Niels, a native of Aarhus, Denmark, has been living in Los Angeles, CA for 15 years where he writes and actively volunteers at various animal rescues throughout the area.