Just like humans, cats can also get dandruff. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the common problems in cats. Cat dandruff is made up of dead skin which contains a protein that can be very annoying to pet owners especially those that have sensitive skin. So aside from removing dandruff on your sofa, it’s also one of the good reasons why you have to treat your cat’s dandruff. It’s for your own good too.
Dandruff in cats is a condition associated with itchiness, dryness and flaky skin. It appears to be in color white on the skin resulting in dryness and itchiness. Lack of omega 3 fatty acid in the diet is one of the leading causes of this problem for cats. Another source of dandruff is maybe due to loss of skin moisture and natural oils.
There is still a difference between a cat and human dandruff. The one that is scaling off in cats is the skin because of dryness. This could also mean that there is something wrong with your feline that you are not aware of. You should be concerned if the cat is scratching too much, this behavior can lead to a much bigger problem which is associated with damaging of the skin and can lead to infection. Dandruff is more at risk with outdoor cats since their environment is not that clean enough.
Why does my cat have dandruff? The changes in the season and the dry environment can affect your cat’s skin. Obesity and grooming also contribute to the factor since it limits the cat’s activity.
Another aspect is that it could be a skin disease especially if dandruff is accompanied by redness and hair loss, this condition is called a walking dandruff. In this case, the concern raises to mange which is caused by a mite known as Cheyletiella. Sadly, without the right medication, it cannot be treated. If you see any of the signs of this, talk to your vet as soon as possible.
How to Treat the Dandruff?
It’s necessary to make sure to treat this problem. If your feline friend is allergic from certain food or environment, the vet may suggest some changing plan on the diet and give medications like antihistamines and steroids.
Medicated shampoo can also be helpful to treat conditions like Malassezia and seborrhea. Topical steroids to be given orally may be necessary to treat the sunburn.
For cats that are diabetic, the diet may also need to change and possible to receive an insulin injection. Those cats that have hyperthyroidism may need to undergo certain treatment like radioactive iodine or may need to prescribe a special diet with iodine levels.
If the cat has mites, fleas and fungal infections, medication will be necessary. It can also be helpful if the cat may take some lime sulfur dips temporarily as of the moment. Do not also forget to wash the bedding with hot water. Also, if you have other pets at home, it’s best to treat them as well to avoid infestation.
How to Prevent the Dandruff Formation?
Does your feline friend love a good bath? If yes, you’re lucky! It’s necessary to bathe them regularly especially if they have dandruff. Always keep their coat clean and healthy. You don’t really need to bathe them weekly, it can be every couple of months will do. In this way, it will help loosen dandruff from the skin and keep the skin moisturized.
For preventive measures, you can also use an anti-dandruff shampoo that is designed for cats. If you can’t bath them due to busy schedules, you can take them to the groomer.
Do not Encourage Obesity
A fat cat can be fun and cute but remember that this is not healthy at all. If your cat is obese, he is unlikely to clean himself resulting to the problem. Obese cats are prone to develop diabetes and arthritis which can be a contributing factor to dandruff and other serious health condition.
Monitor Your Cat’s Diet
The food and water play a major role in your cat’s overall wellness and that includes their skin! Your furry friend needs to get a plenty amount of water every day and enough nutrition like the omega 3’s.
If your cat is not drinking that much, you can try giving him a wet food diet. Try to place multiple water stations across the house. They also love water fountains, so make sure to have one so they can drink as often as possible. Remember that they love moving water.
Another thing is that, if you can avoid giving them treats, do so because they are more likely to rely on treats and not in their food. Treats do not have the needed nutrients compare with the cat food.
Keep Them Indoor
Always keep your cat indoors especially during the hot season and especially if your friend is a light-colored cat. It’s the best way to avoid getting a sunburn that results in dandruff. Keep them away from the sun as much as possible.
Use a Humidifier
A humidifier is great for the dry environment. The benefit of using humidifier is that it rebuilds the water vapors into the air and helps your friend’s skin stay moisturized all the time.
Brush the Coat Regularly
Although your cat may not love the attention, it’s necessary to brush their coat to help remove dandruff and encourage the oil production in the skin. This is helpful in older cats since they are not able to groom itself properly.
Avoid Unexpected Changes
Cats do get stressed easily if there are new changes at home. When they are stress, they experience a physical reaction that includes itching and dandruff. Try to keep their environment as normal as possible for the benefit of their health.
Supplement the Skin
You may be able to assess easily if your friend is healthy or not, it’s on the skin! Ask the vet about supplements like Omega 3 to keep their coat healthy. The vet may also suggest to add water to their diet or use wet food. Make sure to hydrate them all the time.
Moisturize the Skin
You can purchase special oils and sprays for cats that helps alleviate the dry skin and provide moisture. Creams especially those that have colloidal oatmeal can be great. Just apply it to your cat’s coat. Rub it gently as it goes down to the skin. Watch out for your cat until you are sure that the cream is completely absorbed so he won’t lick it.
Generally, cat dandruff is something you should take seriously. The underlying cause of the problem may be associated with serious health concerns. With the right care and treatment, dandruff can be gone and make your furry friend stay healthy once again.