It might not be surprising for you, but people and cats have more health problems in common than you think. Did you know that cat dandruff is a widespread issue? Like ours, dandruff in cats consists of dead cells. However, feline skin has specific proteins that cause allergic reactions and sensitivity. Find out how to get rid of dandruff on cats and prevent it safely.
The difference between cat dander and dandruff
Note that feline dandruff and dander are not the same things. Dander is typically too small – it cannot be seen with an unarmed eye. Dandruff, on the opposite, looks like white flakes that are visible on the cat’s skin and fur. Your pet may have both of them because dander is a natural part of the grooming routine.
Why does my cat have dandruff?
If you see white flakes on cat, it means it might be facing one of the following issues:
Reason 1: Problems with diet
A poorly balanced diet and a deficit of nutrients lead to skin problems. If the cat’s meals lack Omega-3 oils, your pet may suffer from skin dryness.
Reason 2: Lack of hydration
If your pet doesn’t drink enough water, it is also likely to have a dry skin. Besides, dehydration might be caused by dry air and weather. If you live in a sunny place, make sure your pet isn’t exposed to the sun too often.
Reason 3: Parasites
Fleas, worms and mites as well as some cat skin diseases trigger allergic reactions on the cat’s skin which lead to itching and dandruff. Treat your pet immediately!
Reason 4: Health issues
Sometimes, dandruff in cats is caused by hormonal changes or diseases, such as feline diabetes or allergic reactions.
7 ways to get rid of cat dandruff
1. Consult with your vet
Before you start treating cat dandruff, you should know its exact cause. Only a veterinarian can help you reveal the true reason for this issue! Don’t hesitate to visit the pet doctor when you notice white flakes on your cat, even if it isn’t accompanied by any symptoms. Sometimes, it’s caused by hormonal changes and underlying health issues. A veterinarian may recommend taking skin sample analyses and bloodwork.
2. Brush your cat regularly
How to help cat dandruff that’s not caused by health problems? It’s simple: brush your furry friend. Daily combing and massage improve blood circulation. This, in turn, eliminates dryness and improves skin health. In a week of regular brushing, you will notice a significant difference in your cat’s coat. Felines can’t groom themselves, so it becomes your proud responsibility.
If you’re on the lookout for superb cat dandruff solutions, this brush is a must-have. The device from Hertzko is suitable for dogs and cats. It penetrates deep into the pet’s fur and eliminates dirt, tangles, knots, and extra fur. Bristles are protected, so their ends won’t scratch the skin and cause discomfort. Once brushing is over, you can retract bristles and remove fur in a second. This thing will give your long-tailed friend the treat it deserves.
3. Use the cat skin sprays, conditioners, and shampoos
Even if you don’t wash your pet often, it’s imperative to use special shampoos, sprays and conditioners for cats. Special products moisturize the skin and help your pet get rid of dandruff. Besides, particular care products kill parasites and reduce skin inflammation, which is very important for cats with diseases.
“Special care products may be effective but they do not always resolve the problem. You should consult the vet. Let the doctor inspect your cat and find possible causes of dandruff”— Claudine Sievert, DVM
This cat spray is formulated to moisturize the skin and reduce dander. It’s highly recommended for preventing acne, feline dermatitis, mange and rash. Thanks to calming components, it reduces itching and inflammation. Oatmeal and baking soda remove odors and and detangle fur. Thus, you enjoy easy brushing while your cat enjoys fresh skin and comfort. A perfect product for daily use.
This organic cat dandruff shampoo gently removes dirt while cleansing and moisturizing. The formula is suitable for sensitive skin, so feel free to use it with kittens. It relieves dry, itchy, flaky skin irritations and eliminates inflammation and itching. The product is pH balanced, so it can be used regularly. Sweet almond odor adds up to the line of its advantages. Oatmeal, aloe, and chamomile calm the irritated skin and improve its health.
4. Change the diet
How to treat cat dandruff when your cat is healthy? Check its diet – this is a common reason for skin and fur. If your pet eats kibbles only, add more wet cat food into the diet. In case there’s a mixed diet for cats, consider increasing the ratio of wet food and stimulate your pet to drink more.
- Introduce supplements for healthy skin. For example, fish oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids.
- A diet rich in protein can also bring about significant improvements.
- Avoid allergic foods and ingredients. Some grains and proteins cause sensitivity and intolerance in cats without owners even noticing it. Hypoallergenic food might be a solution because dandruff might be the first sign of an allergic reaction
5. Pay attention to adequate hydration
Pretty often, problems with skin are caused by a lack of hydration. You can fix it up by serving more wet food and making your cat drink water. Consider organizing more sources of water in the house and buying a drinking fountain.
Mind the golden rule: 50 ml of water per kilogram of body weight daily. It will help you get rid of cat dandruff.
“Proper hydration will improve the digestion of vitamins and minerals which, in its turn, helps to prevent drying of the cat’s skin. Also, this will directly moisturize the cat’s skin because of sufficient water balance”— Claudine Sievert, DVM
6. Humidify your home
Dry air can become the major reason for dandruff in a cat because it has an impact on the skin. Keeping air humidity within the 40-60% range is essential because it saves your cat from skin dryness and allergic reactions.
All you need to do for improving humidity is to buy a cat air purifier – it will cleanse air from dander, dust and toxic particles while saturating it with moisture.
7. Reduce stress
Did you notice cat dandruff after some particular event, for instance, moving? Then the issue might have been caused by stress and anxiety. In this case, you should find a way to calm down your cat and help it through the stressful situations:
- Let your pet hide in discreet places if it wants to
- Play with it when it’s up to such activities. Try new games for cats or buy it a chew toy
- Organize a place for your cat to climb, for example, cat trees
- Groom and wash your pet in a cat grooming tub instead of a regular bathtub
If anxiousness doesn’t seem to disappear, visit a vet – your furry friend should be examined.
Important: Please, remember that shaving is not an adequate response to cat dandruff or dander. I highly recommend reading this piece by Jimmie O’Chutt about shaving a cat.
At the end of the day
Just like with haircuts, when it comes to dandruff in pets, it’s not aesthetics you should be worried about – there’s something wrong with the cat’s diet or health, or the care it gets. Thanks to this ultimate guide, you know how to get rid of cat dandruff, but it’s important to know which method will work in your case.
Visit a veterinarian to have your cat inspected and diagnosed. Dandruff might be caused by parasites, diseases and hormonal changes. Find out the exact cause and do everything possible for your furry friend to be healthy and well-cared for.