Like humans, cats can suffer from some of the same skin and hair issues, including dandruff. There is a term for cat dandruff, and it is called, seborrheic dermatitis. It’s not surprising there is a fancy name for this dry skin condition that you probably won’t even remember, so like most people, dandruff is the name that’s easiest to say. But how common is this skin problem in cats? If you have ever seen little flakes of skin showing through on your cat’s hair and wondered if that is what you were seeing, or maybe you thought it was just some sand or other particles of debris he’d missed in a cleaning, chances are that it was dandruff you were looking at. But is cat dandruff something you need to worry about? Here is more about the topic of cat dandruff, how common it is, and what you can do to help your cat get rid of it.
Is dandruff common in felines? Why do they develop dandruff?
To answer the first question; yes, dandruff is a common cat problem and it most often happens on a feline’s back, close to the tail as opposed to the head. In some cases, the dry flakes might even be associated with greasy hair in that area. Dandruff is not the most becoming issue to have, but if your cat is prone to getting dandruff, one thing that is at least positive is that the condition is rarely associated with a type of disease.
That being said, there are a couple of types of skin parasites that can be the culprit of causing the dandruff. It could be Demodex, or a fungal infection, like ringworm. These are common to see in relation to dandruff. Other reasons a cat can develop dandruff might be due to glandular disorders, such as, hyperthyroidism, an allergy to a food or to fleas, or possibly a severe issue, lymphoma, although this is on the “rare” list. Other cats can be super-sensitive to chemicals and these irritants can cause a feline to start producing dandruff.
Things you should do if your cat has dandruff
If you aren’t sure what is causing your kitty’s dandruff, the best thing to do is take him to the vet and let the doctor examine and diagnose the issue. More than likely, a vet will test your cat to rule out any serious medical condition. If the results came back negative, then your vet will give you a diagnosis of just plain, regular dandruff. Unfortunately, plain ol’ dandruff can be a bit tricky to treat. Your vet may recommend starting your cat on a dietary supplement known as omega-3 fatty acids, which help lubricate the skin from the inside out and can make your cat’s fur shiny, and healthy looking. Special shampoos or spot-treatments for the specific area that is dry and flaking can also be helpful. Two of these types of treatments often used include, Douxo Spot On or Alloderm. Your vet may also suggest a different diet for your cat, which has also worked for some cat owners. No matter what, dandruff can be a very frustrating condition for you to deal with, and your cat. For some cats, it just seems like no matter what you do for them or try, their dandruff just keeps popping up and seems to be hard to treat.
While most people can easily obsess about things like dandruff, especially the human kind and they can’t stand the thought of people seeing them with flakes in their hair, cats are not so particular. Typically, dandruff does not affect a cat’s life, (of course I’m speaking of the regular dandruff, and not what comes from a serious illness related dandruff), so if you have tried treating it over and over and tried many different treatment plans with no avail, you might want to just accept the issue and not frustrate yourself over it. The bottom line is, if it isn’t affecting your cat, why let it bother you? Just learn to love your cat for everything about them, including their little quirky dandruff issue.