Cats have more in common with people than you may think. Not only do they share an unhealthy obsession with laser pointers, but they also get dandruff. If you prefer your snow falling from the sky rather than your pets, you're in the right place. Here, we'll tell you everything you need to know about cat dandruff, its causes and remedies.
What is cat dandruff?
Just like for people, dandruff is simply the flaking of dry skin that falls from the body. Same with your feline friend too. Don't be alarmed; cats can get dandruff quite often. It's also not life-threatening, but anyone who's ever had dandruff will tell you that the itchy scalp is not so fun. Your cat, however, probably won't suffer from the stigma that many people feel when they have visible dandruff. It can be just as uncomfortable for them as it is for you. It is worth bearing in mind that dandruff can point to more serious issues, so it deserves your attention.
Depending on their fur colour, it might be easy, or not so easy, to spot the tell-tale white flakes of skin snow. If they have darker fur, it's worth checking their bedding. And if they have dark fur and dark bedding, maybe don't force your cat into a goth phase? But seriously, you'll just have to look harder.
Don't get dandruff and dander confused, however. Dander is much smaller, naturally shed skin. In fact, it's so tiny that you might not even be able to see it. Dander is what causes most allergic reactions that humans have to cats. So if you have any friends or family members who are allergic, you can put them at ease. At least, from dandruff. Presumably, dander will still affect them—a shame.
What causes cat dandruff?
One of the biggest causes of cat dandruff is parasites. Flea, lice and mite bites can all cause an allergic reaction in your cat's skin that results in flakiness. Another cause can be your cat's diet. An unbalanced diet can lead to a multitude of issues like dandruff. Even a dry climate can cause dermatitis.
Other causes include:
You must isolate the cause of their dandruff so you can treat it effectively. Alternatively, if it's difficult to ascertain the reason, try some of our cat dandruff remedy suggestions below and see which one works!
Cat Dandruff Remedies
This one's relatively self-explanatory. Just like with people, a good shampoo can help to moisturise the affected skin and help reverse the signs of dandruff. Animigo's Skin & Coat Shampoo will do the job. Its all-natural formula is kind to the skin and helps clean and protect their fur. While cats don't need baths as much as we do, the occasional dip and application of shampoo can make the difference in the battle against dreaded dandruff.
If parasites are a problem, you'll need to invest in treatment. You can prevent parasites before they cause any issues with Flea & Tick Defence Powder. Designed from the ground-up to deter fleas and other little critters from settling on your pet's skin, it can prevent the problem entirely. If your pet already has parasites, invest in some Flea & Tick Shampoo to kill them off.
If you're worried that your cat's diet isn't getting them enough of the good stuff, try supplementing their meals with supplements. Flaxseed Oil has been shown to target multiple areas, including their skin and coats. Rich in Omega-3, and jammed full of vitamins and minerals vital to any cat, they could help keep their skin in shape, so they don't suffer from dandruff.
As hot and dry weather can lead to dandruff, you might want to try adding a little moisture to the air. A humidifier will help your cat's skin absorb more water, which can stop dryness and resulting dandruff from occurring.
Dehydration can also cause dry skin and dandruff to appear. So make sure they always have access to fresh, clean water. Fill their bowl up regularly and keep an eye on them. If they're not drinking, there may be a more serious underlying issue stopping them. In this case, go see a vet immediately.
As sunburn can be a cause of dandruff in cats, giving them more shade can be the perfect remedy! If their fur is thin, or lighter in colour, they have less natural protection from UV rays. Bring them inside when the sun is at its peak on hotter days, or keep them indoors over incredibly hot and sunny periods to avoid any damage.
Now that you know all about cat dandruff, what can cause it and some remedies you can try yourself, hopefully you can keep your cat flake-free! However, if dandruff persists, take them to the vet and see what they recommend.