How to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff| An in-depth guide on healthy cat skin
Dandruff, the condition of dry, flaky skin, may be something you come across as a cat owner. Not only is cat dandruff unpleasing to the eye, but contain proteins that can be extremely irritating to those with allergies. Healthy cats should be dandruff free, with a smooth, full coat.
Why Do Cats Get Dandruff?
Dandruff in cats is usually caused by one of the following: diet, hydration, stress, external parasites, or health issues.
Diet- Most of the time, dandruff is usually the result of a poor diet. Make sure the formula you give to your cat has enough omega 3 fatty acid. Fats are essential for maintaining a shiny coat and healthy skin. You can find some of the best dry foods that contain omega 3 here.
Hydration- Dehydration can result in dry skin. Be sure your cat is drinking an adequate amount of water each day(4 ounces per 5 pounds of body weight). Sometimes cats don't feel inclined to drink water throughout the day as their bowl is unattractive. If you think this applies to your cat, try encouraging them to drink more with treats, toys, or a water fountain.
Stress- Stress due to a cats environment can also effect their skin health. Changes in routine, introduction of pets, or other factors can weaken your cats immune system.
External parasites- Another common cause of dandruff or skin irritation are parasites such as fleas, mites, and worms. Bites from fleas can lead to excessive itching of the skin, irritating it the more they scratch. Check your cats fur for fleas the same way you would for a human. The most common areas of fleas on cats are near the tail and neck.
Health issues- If you have cleared though everything above and your cat still has dandruff, it could be a health issue. Dandruff can be one of the symptoms of feline diabetes. If your cat has dandruff along with other symptoms of feline diabetes you should contact your veterinarian.
Although diet is usually the main factor when it comes to cat dandruff, there are some other methods that help prevent and rid your cat of the condition.
How to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff
Get the right brush and use it regularly. Not only does frequent brushing keep a cats coat smooth and shiny, but it is also a great bonding experience most cats love.
Research suggests brushing long haired cats 1-2 times each day, and brushing shorter haired cats 1-3 times per week. It is important to buy the right type of brush for your cat depending on their type of coat and tolerance of brushing.
Consider that overweight cats have a harder time grooming themselves. Their awkward size may keep them from reaching their lower back. Pay extra attention to this area for overweight cats; it might also help to look into a weight loss plan.
Bathing along with moisturizing cat shampoos and conditioners can help with dandruff issues. You shouldn't bathe your cat more than once every 2 weeks(we recommend once a month) as this will cause a change in the Ph of the skin and dry it out.
Specially formulated cat dandruff shampoos are available for this specific problem, human dandruff shampoo won't help. Add this shampoo to your cats baths if their dandruff stays persistent.
Another unique way to help eliminate dandruff is giving your cat fish oil supplements. These usually come in tablet, powder, or liquid form. They contain the essential fatty acids(omega 3) necessary in a cats diet for skin health. They also support immune system health, joint health, heart health, and brain development.
Carol is a head content developer for ultimatepethub.com and mother of 2 adorable chocolate labs(and one child). Growing up on a farm, she has handled all kinds of animals and pets. When Carol isn’t taking her two labs to the park, you can find her researching products and topics to keep you updated with the latest info for your pets!