Is Cat Dandruff A Serious Problem?

Cat dandruff is a skin condition characterized by dry, itchy, flaky skin. This is unknowingly common to most cats. Dandruff appears like white specks on the skin causing it to be dry and itchy. A lack of omega 3 fatty acid in a feline's diet can lead to this poor state of the skin. Another cause of dandruff in cats may be caused by extreme loss of skin moisture and natural oils.

Cat dandruff is a lot like human dandruff; it is the skin scaling off because it is dry. It is a bothersome disorder, but not often a serious one. It could also indicate that there is something else wrong with the cat. The thing that owners of cats with dandruff should be wary most of is that if the cat is scratching too much, that behavior could further damage the skin and cause open sores which could become infected. This is especially true with outdoor cats, where the environment is far less clean.

Three Major Factors of Cat Dandruff:

  1. Cats may be infected with parasites leading to the flakiness of the skin. During a hot summer, overexposure to the heat may result in the cat’s skin becoming extremely dry.
  2. Obesity is also another factor causing dandruff in cats. The dry, flaky skin is evident in the base of the tail or in the lower back because overweight cats find it hard to reach these areas when they clean their furs.
  3. The third contributing factor to this health condition is the use of cat dandruff shampoo. Cats produce natural oils in their skin which, when bathed too often, is removed, causing the dryness of their skin. If the cat’s fur and skin is not rinsed well, the small amount of shampoo that is left on their skin forms into white specks of dandruff.

While most treatments and medications will address the cause of the dandruff, the itching and discomfort caused by it will not go away until the cause of the dandruff is completely eliminated, and that could take some time. There are also several things that you should take note of because these will make the dandruff worse:

  1. Raise the humidity in the house. Dry air will aggravate the cat’s dandruff, and it is also a cause for brittle and dry hair on your cat. During this period when your cat has dandruff, and he needs grooming, do not use a blow dryer because the added heat will irritate the skin more.
  2. Do not let the cat out in the heat, for the same reasons stated above. Wait until the late afternoon to let him out, when the sun’s heat has already dissipated.
  3. If the cat has not yet been de-clawed, have it done as soon as it is advisable. It will prevent him from gouging wounds on his skin when he scratches. It is better to have dandruff than have dandruff plus skin wounds.
  4. Keep the cat comfortable with topical applications that will get rid of the itchiness. It will relieve his discomfort and lessen the chance that he will scratch.

These are just a few things to keep in mind while taking care of your cat when he has dandruff. If the veterinarian has prescribed medication to get rid of the cause of dandruff, make sure that you follow his instructions exactly, in order to give your cat the best chance for a speedy recovery. You may also want to ask your veterinarian for something that will help make the cat more comfortable.

Cat dandruff may not be a serious disorder, but that doesn’t mean that it should not be addressed. Every responsible pet owner knows that anything that could cause your pet harm and discomfort has a way of getting worse if you do not address it properly.

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