If you see flakes shedding off your cat’s fur body when it itches aggressively, yes, it could be dandruff!
While it seems unlikely, cats and dogs can also have dandruff on their skin. Not only does it make your feline baby’s fur look unkempt, but it may also cause discomfort to the cat. Dandruff may be caused for one reason or the other and can be treated to save your cat from itching and dry skin.
However, before we tell you how to get rid of cat dandruff, it is essential to make sure that your cat is uncomfortable because of dandruff.
Dandruff VS Dander
Dandruff and dander look similar, yet it is most likely dander if you see bigger flakes. Dander is the shedding of dead cells from your cat’s body and is similar in appearance to dandruff. Dander is a part of the natural grooming of your fur friend and needs no treatment; thus, it is important to ensure that you are not mistaking dander for dandruff.
Dandruff presents itself as flakiness and can be seen all over your feline baby’s fur. Yet, it is always better to take them to a vet to confirm. The vet may also be able to tell the cause behind your cat having dandruff and suggest a suitable treatment. They help find any other underlying infections that may be contributing to dandruff and recommend medical treatment if needed.
Symptoms of Dandruff
Commonly, dandruff is visible to the eyes, and you might not have to visit a vet for identification. In some instances, cats experience other symptoms along with itching, like
- Redness of the skin
- Frequent grooming
- Feeling unwell
Why does my cat have Dandruff?
If your vet confirms that your cat suffers from dandruff, you must find out the reason behind it. This way, you can prevent your cat from going through the discomfort again and be healthy.
Here are some of the possible reasons your fur baby has dandruff:
The most common cause of itching and dandruff in cats is dehydration. Cats require a significant amount of water in their daily diet to stay hydrated. It has been estimated that cats should drink one ounce per pound of their body weight daily to fulfill their body needs. cats overheat if they are not hydrated enough or stay in an overheated environment, which may result in itchy, dry skin. There are symptoms of dehydration in cats. You can observe and easily overcome them by having an attractive fountain that attracts cats to drink.
Sometimes you may see flakes or hair clumps near the lower back or tail as the cat cannot reach the back to groom properly. It is a relatively common issue in obese cats due to less flexibility.
Lack of Fatty Acids
You may not have thought that a lack of fatty acids in your pet’s diet can cause flakiness. Fish oil can be one of the sources of healthy fatty acids for cats and help reduce dandruff.
Underlying Medical/ Parasitical Conditions
There could be other dandruff causes, including undiagnosed medical issues. Your cat may have gotten lice, ticks, or ringworms, leading to dandruff, or it may be a result of a fungal or bacterial infection. Medical conditions that could cause dandruff are undiagnosed hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or others.
How do you get rid of Cat Dandruff?
Once you know that your fur baby has dandruff, you must immediately take measures to get rid of it and offer comfort to your cat. There are numerous ways to get rid of cat dandruff; some depend on the cause of dandruff, while others are independent of the underlying reason.
Here are a few ways to remove dandruff from your cat’s body.
As most cats develop mild dandruff due to hydration, keeping your cat hydrated is one of the simplest solutions. Add water frequently to your cat’s water bowl so they can quench their thirst anytime they want and do not suffer from dandruff.
Use a humidifier
If your vet eliminates any medical condition as a cause of dandruff while your cat is hydrated correctly, investing in an air humidifier is the right deal. Get a good quality humidifier for your cat and try to keep the environment 50% humid to save your feline friend from dehydration and itching.
In obese cats especially, you can spot dandruff on the back and near the tail. It usually occurs due to the cat’s inability to reach the back for grooming. You can help your cat by brushing its fur coat daily. In the case of mild dandruff, brushing may also help eliminate dandruff.
If you are thinking, “I brush my cat’s hair regularly, but dandruff doesn’t go away,” it may be possible that you are not using the right brush. A very soft brush will not remove dandruff, while a hard one will aggravate it only. Choose the right brush for your pet. We listed best for Maine coons and Persian.
Use a dandruff shampoo
If you have not been using a pet shampoo for your fur baby, it is time to buy one. Pet shampoos are designed especially for pets according to their fur and body needs. It is best to buy an anti-dandruff pets shampoo if your pet suffers from dandruff.
Also, do not forget to bathe your fur baby regularly to get rid of dandruff from your cat’s fur. An anti-dandruff shampoo along with a conditioner can help hydrate the fur and prevent dandruff.
Use an Ointment
You can check Amazon, If you cannot find an anti-dandruff shampoo in your area, you will definitely find an ointment for cats with dry skin. It helps retain moisture and keep your baby’s skin hydrated to save it from having dandruff.
Change dietary habits
Cats need diets with an excess of arachidonic acid and linoleic acid as they cannot produce them in the body. Their diets should have sufficient fatty acids to prevent drying skin, itching, and dandruff.
Eliminate food allergies
Did you know that certain food allergies can also cause dandruff? Yes, your pet may be allergic to some food components that cause dandruff. Find out those food allergies and look for food options that offer substitute ingredients to prevent itching and dandruff in your cat.
The Bottom Line
Your fur baby can have dryness and dandruff on their skin for several reasons, including dehydration, improper diet, food allergies, etc. To get rid of dandruff from the cat’s hair, make sure to eliminate the root cause and provide alternate options. Removing dandruff from their fur coat makes them groomed and saves them from further health hazards.