Cat dandruff can affect cats of any age and health level, causing discomfort, dryness, itchiness, and shedding. If you’ve noticed these little white flakes appearing in your cat’s coat, it could be the result of poor diet, parasites, an allergic reaction, or environmental factors. Often the cause of cat dandruff will determine how it should be treated. Many times, it can be treated naturally at home. However, in the case of allergies, or more serious underlying problems, a veterinarian should be consulted.
Dry air in the home can be a contributing factor to cat dandruff (and skin problems for humans). Invest in a humidifier, and place it in the room that your cat frequents most often. Humidifying will not only reduce or remove cat dandruff; it also has the added benefit of reducing the chance of winter colds (for you and your cat).
Regular brushing can eliminate, or significantly reduce, cat dandruff. While a normal pet brush will work to reduce flakes, most vets recommend using a double-row undercoat brush. These special brushes attract flakes, skin, dirt, and parasites that may be causing cat dandruff – from the topcoat and undercoat. Use at least once per day to relieve cat dandruff. If after a week, the problem has not improved, consider other options or see a vet – while the brushing is good for your cat’s coat, excess skin, hair and dirt may not be causing the cat dandruff.
Cats obtain most of their water from the moisture in their food. If they are living on a diet of primarily dry cat food, this could be the problem. Slowly incorporate moist or wet cat food into your cat’s diet to eliminate cat dandruff. Begin by giving your cat ½ serving once per day. After one week, increase to one whole serving per day. If your cat dandruff is being caused by a moisture issue, this should clear it up quickly. Do not replace the dry food immediately right off the bat – slowly introduce it to prevent diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
Fish oil will help tremendously if your cat is suffering from cat dandruff due to dry skin. The omega-3 fatty acids contained within the oil are necessary for a healthy skin and coat. Purchase high quality supplements and combine them with wet food to treat cat dandruff. One capsule per day is all that’s needed, and this may be separated into two or more doses throughout the day. Continue until the dandruff is gone, and then keep it away by continuing this treatment once per week.
When to See a Vet
If the cat dandruff worsens, causes sores or infection, or seems to cause great distress to your cat, see a vet immediately. Many times, cat dandruff is not serious and can be treated naturally at home. However, if you suspect an underlying condition, such as parasites or skin disease, may be responsible for your cat’s dandruff seek help from a qualified veterinarian immediately.