Chances are, you didn’t name your cat “Fluffy” because of all the snow-like flakes of dandruff that are dusted all over your cat’s coat. Dandruff is different than cat dander, which is compromised of a cat’s saliva and dead skin cells. Dandruff can be a symptom of many different issues that your cat may potentially have. Some are rather benign, but other times, dandruff can be a sign of something more serious. Here are some common causes for flaky, dandruff skin in cats and some popular remedies as well.
1. The Overproduction of Sebum
If your cat is sporting a fancy new flaky coat, one cause could be overly active sebaceous glands. When the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, the skin cannot naturally shed quick enough, resulting in dry, flaky skin. Dandruff is usually most visible on the back of a cat near it’s rear and the face in this situation. Sometimes, there will be no scientific rhyme or reason as to why your cat is experiencing this type of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis. Just like people who can be prone to acne or dandruff, some cats are prone to flaky skin as well.
2. Environmental Factors
Changes in temperature and humidity can throw your cat’s skin out of whack. If you notice a rise in dandruff flakes between seasons, this could be the culprit. If you find that your cat’s skin is dryer in the colder months, products like EarthBath Shea Butter Skin Repair for Cats can help with natural, soothing butters. Personally, my calico cat Pookie has been experiencing some dryer winter skin complete with snowy fur, and this has been helping immensely. If your cat’s skin is incredibly dry, try incorporating food with omega-3 fatty acids into their diet to restore some moisture.
If your cat not only has flaky skin but seems to be itchy and irritated as well, chances are mites, fleas, or ticks have made your cat’s skin their home and are wrecking havoc. To prevent this from ever being the case, be sure to keep your cat updated with monthly flea and tick prevention. Bathing will also help keep little bugs from setting up shop. If your cat is not a fan of water, use a cleansing wipe, such as these Earthbath All Natural Hypo-Allergenic Cat Wipes . Not only will they help combat pesky bugs, but they will also help remove dander that may be causing human allergies to cats.
Just like Fluffy may make you sneezy, certain things in your house can cause an allergic reaction in your cat as well. If you find that your cat has recently developed dandruff, try to think if you have incorporated any new detergents or cleaning supplies into your house routine. Also keep in mind that cats can have allergies to certain types of cat foods and cat litter.
5. Excess Weight
As adorable as a big fat cat is, a heavier cat can have a host of health problems, including dandruff. If your cat is a little more rotund, they may actually have problems reaching certain areas to clean, causing a sebum build up and ultimately, dandruff. Be sure that your cat is on a proper diet for its age and keep them active if they are tipping the scale.
As always, if your cat has suddenly developed any dermatological symptoms, it is best to take Fluffy to the vet to make sure everything is in working order for your cat. Dandruff for the most part can be an annoying but benign symptom for your cat, but it could be a symptom of something larger, such as a hormone imbalance or a more sinister parasite, like ringworm.
Has your cat experienced dandruff? What have you done to remedy it? Let us know in the comments!