Dandruff in cats

Dandruff in cats

There are many aspects that can worry us when taking care of our pets. An example of this would be cat dandruff. Generally, cats do not shed excessively, so there are few reasons for the appearance of dandruff that must be treated. It is a symptom that indicates that something is not going well at the skin level, so we must go to the vet to diagnose the cause.

Although at first glance cat dandruff may not seem serious or worrisome, it can be of significant origin to the animal’s health. It could be infectious fungus, parasite or some deficiency in the diet, which can be fatal for the cat in the long run. In this article we are going to talk about the different causes that can cause dandruff in cats and how to eliminate it. If you are interested in the topic, keep reading.

What is cat dander?

Dandruff in cats
Dandruff in cats

Since animals have fur like humans, it is common for cats and other pets to have dander. Generally, it occurs when the glands of the skin responsible for oil production, called sebaceous glands, start producing excess oil. Although these oils protect and nourish the skin, too much of them can cause skin irritation to a cat. In this way, more detachment and flaking is created than normal.

When it comes to determining whether our cat has dandruff or not, it is as easy as looking for white spots on the fur. These can easily fall on the bed or clothes when he itches or when we pet him. In addition, the skin is usually quite dry and even inflamed. Another feature that indicates a cat may have dandruff is its behavior. Cats generally groom and scratch more often when they have dandruff. It is also possible to see irregular bald patches on the animal’s coat or hair loss. Be that as it may, if we notice that our pet has dandruff or behaves strangely, we must go to the vet as soon as possible.

When a Cat Has Dandruff, What Causes It?

There are many reasons that can cause dandruff in cats. One of them is animal feed. In the event that our pet lacks some essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the skin, dandruff may appear. Up to 30% of cats’ daily protein intake goes into the process of renewing their skin cells. Therefore, our animals must consume food that contains high-quality, highly digestible protein so that it is easily absorbed into their systems.

In addition, there are essential fatty acids that contribute to maintaining healthy skin and hair, but are not synthesized by the cat’s body. We are talking about Omega 3 and Omega 6, which should be part of a cats regular diet. Plus some vitamins, such as vitamin A, help with skin health by regulating oil production and cell growth.

Dandruff in cats is also a symptom of ringworm. This is an infection caused by a fungus in which the spores enter the animal’s skin through a scratch or bite. They attack the outermost layer of the skin, which explains the appearance of dandruff with circular or irregular patches without hair, as well as weak, brittle hair, or red patches of skin. Shingles is a highly contagious disease, but it also has a cure. However, it is essential to see a vet as soon as possible. In addition to fungi, there are various skin parasites that can cause or resemble dandruff in cats.

Why is my cat’s skin dry?

There is a possibility that the cat’s skin is dry, thus giving the appearance of dandruff. This is due to the lifestyle of the animal. Generally, very hot climates tend to dry out cats’ skin, causing an overproduction of oil, which becomes dandruff in cats. If we add to this factor also the excessive grooming carried out by the animal, various skin disorders may appear. This is a very common problem with indoor cats.

If we bathe our cat, we must always use a special shampoo for cats. Otherwise, we will cause skin irritation. Animal skin has a different pH than ours, in the case of cats it is more acidic, so we should never clean them with products intended for human use.

How to eliminate dandruff in cats?

Once we have identified the hair loss of the cat, it is best to go to the veterinarian to determine the cause and facilitate treatment. Let’s see some examples:

  • Tub: The treatment consists of three phases. First, infected hair must be treated, usually with a specific shampoo. Then all spores must be removed. In conclusion, it remains to disinfect the environment in which the animal lives.
  • Parasites: depending on the parasite of the cat, the treatment can be done through a special shampoo, pipette, antiparasitic tablets or through bathing with some medicines.
  • Diet: If the vet concludes that the cat’s current diet is lacking in nutrients, we must adapt its food. Today, special feeds are available for cats prone to skin diseases. They are usually rich in nutrients like omega 6, which help improve skin and hair health.

Generally, treating cat dandruff is easy. However, remember that whenever we notice something unusual in our pet, the best thing we can do is go to the vet. It may not be anything serious, but as with many diseases, a quick diagnosis is what will save our beloved pets.