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Should I Worry About Cat Dandruff?

Some health problems are really nothing to be worried about, unless they are actually the symptoms of a disease. Cat dandruff can simply be dry skin, minor allergies to food or to changes or particles in the environment, or they can be from sunburn, or fur mites. However, cat dandruff can also be a symptom of hair loss in cats (alopecia), or feline diabetes. Below are some points that can help you pinpoint what might be causing your cats dandruff.

My Cat Is Losing Hair

Cat dandruff is mostly the skin cells that are dead and have become loose. These are often more apparent, of course, with cats that have dark hair, as the white flakes are sure to stand out against the dark hair. When a cat suffers from cat dandruff, this cat is likely to keep scratching his/her head, because dandruff is itchy. This can result in inflammation or blood on the head area. This can also mean hair loss, and so if you begin to noti
ce that your cat is losing hair, it is very likely that the patches of lost hair are just from itchy cat dandruff. However, with cat alopecia, patches of hair can disappear not only from the head area, but from different parts of a cats body, including the back, rear, legs, etc. The best way to rule out any other possible health problems is to bring your cat to the vet, so he or she can be checked and diagnosed correctly. A vet can find out if your cat is suffering from an allergy that might be airborne, or if it is your cats diet that is giving your cat dandruff, or if it is skin fungus, or cat diabetes.

My Cat Has Dandruff. What Do I Do?

If your cat suffers from mere dandruff, there are things that you can do to deal with the problem. First, find out what the real cause of the dandruff is. Have you recently moved to a new environment? Has the weather changed recently? Has your cat undergone recent dietary changes, or is your cat on a complete diet? 

If what is causing your cats dandruff is sunburn or cold or warm dry weather, what you can do is get a humidifier, for additional moisture in the air. Bear in mind that cats with light-colored fur are more likely to experience sunburns, too, so additional shades for this cat are best.

If the cause of your cats dandruff happens to be parasites (ones that "walk" or move, or the Cheyletiella mite), clean out your cats living area using a powerful detergent mixed with some vinegar. You can also get rid of mites and fleas in cats by using a product such as Advantage, Revolution or Frontline.

If your cat has been living on a diet of mostly dry pet food, consider switching your cats diet to one that contains enough protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Choose cat food in cans, ones that contain meat protein, and not vegetable (from grains of soy or corn) protein.