How to Recognize and Treat Cat Dandruff

The problem of dandruff isn't just one suffered by humans. Cat dandruff is fairly common and like human dandruff manifests as itchy skin with white flakes. When cats have this condition there is usually an underlying cause to blame. For example, the cat may not be eating the proper diet. Or, the cat may reside in a harsh environment that is drying to the skin. There are some medical conditions that may cause cat dandruff. It is important not to confuse dander, which is normal and cannot be seen by the human eye. Dandruff is visible and indicative of a problem of some sort that needs treatment.

Cats who live outdoors may not be getting the care they need, especially if they are stray or feral. They are likely to have cat dandruff from the constant exposure to the elements and even from untreated diseases like feline allergies, parasites and even diabetes. For pet owners who want to keep their cat healthy, vaccinations and tests recommended by the veterinarian is the best way to prevent the causes of cat dandruff and other, more severe health problems.

The first thing you should do if you notice dry or flaky skin patches on your cat is take them to the vet. While there may be some home treatments you can try it is important to make sure your cat does not have a serious underlying health problem causing the dandruff. Once your vet determines why your feline has cat dandruff, he or she will recommend the best course of treatment based on the diagnosis. In some cases it may be as easy as adding an Omega 3 supplement to the cat food or using a dandruff shampoo made for cats. If you feel uneasy bathing your cat, many veterinarian offices can do it for you or recommend an experienced grooming shop. Also, consider running a humidifier indoors if your house cat has dry skin.

There is a certain type of mite which leads to a condition called Cheyletiellosis, an infestation that can be quite serious and is contagious to other pets and even people. It looks just like cat dandruff but is far more harmful. While you may not know the difference between Cheyletiellosis and cat dandruff, your vet will. This is why it is imperative to get your feline checked out when you first notice dandruff symptoms. Most of the time the problem is likely to be something benign and easily treatable, but in other cases early detection gives your cat a better chance at recovering from any more serious condition.

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