Dandruff isn’t exactly flattering, but it is natural. Plenty of people deal with dandruff every year, and so do our feline friends. For some, it can be a recurring issue, but most of the time it can be treated. For our cats, there are a handful of approaches available to deal with dandruff, but it all starts with a trip to the vet.
What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is a condition that causes the skin to flake and release. In humans, it usually appears on the scalp, while in cats it’s normally found around the lower back/near the base of the tail.
Cat dandruff is a common issue in cats of all sizes, but it seems to affect overweight kitties most frequently. There are a handful of things that can cause dandruff, and in a lot of cases, it’s from a cat being unable to reach that part of their body when grooming.
Greasy fur/hair is another symptom usually associated with dandruff in both humans and cats. In these cases, the root cause might be a simple lack of basic hygienic practices.
Things like skin parasites and fungal infections can cause a cat to experience dandruff. Ringworm and Demodex have both been known to produce symptoms. Even glandular disorders like hyperthyroidism can cause dandruff, and so too can allergies, or even something as severe as lymphoma.
How to Deal with Cat Dandruff
In most cases, dandruff is not an indicator of disease, even when it seems severe. In other cases, as mentioned earlier, dandruff can be caused by things more serious in nature and this is why you need to bring your cat in for a checkup.
A veterinarian can tell you if your cat is suffering from a serious illness with dandruff as a symptom, or if it’s as simple as your cat needing to lose some weight and bathe more. They can also tell you if there is perhaps an irritant in the house that might be causing it. This is where their expertise and training can not only save you time and money but may even save your cat’s life.
Some cat dandruffs are harder to treat than others. For some cats, it can be as simple as losing some weight so they can once again reach those areas with their tongues. For others, you might need a medicated shampoo from time to time – which is not a fun task. Bathing a cat is very stressful for them.
Some veterinarians might recommend topical treatments, which can have a positive result, but cats are also hyper-sensitive, and they will likely be able to feel and smell the cream. Since creams are not natural, they might not like the sensations of having it on and around them, which can result in an unhappy kitty.
Cat dandruff might not be flattering, but remember, they don’t have to be. Cats are always going to be themselves. They don’t feel insecure about dandruff, having a weird face, or even bathing themselves in the living room while company is over. At the end of the day, if your cat has dandruff, it’s not a big deal. It isn’t causing them discomfort and they aren’t put out by it. If you can stand it, and you feel like nothing else has worked, just let your cat have dandruff and offer them a good brushing on that spot from time to time.
The Hervey Foundation for Cats is a cat rescue located in Alberta, Canada.