Cats are lovable creatures. Their upbeat vibe is not only charming but also cheerful. However, sometimes, you may find that your cat is having trouble in its day-to-day activities.  She is feeling itchy and scratching her skin. One of the causes could be dandruff. If you want to know how to get rid of cat dandruff, this article is a must-read for you.

Cats can get dandruff due to a variety of internal and external factors. However, the two most common reasons are obesity and old age. Therefore, timely treatment and precaution are vital to protect cats from this skin condition.

We will discuss the effects and treatments of cat dandruff. But, first, look at what dandruff is.

Dandruff: A Common Skin Issue

Dandruff is a skin condition when it becomes scorched and starts to flake. Most of the time, dandruff does not cause any harm and heals with time. However, if it persists, then medical attention is recommended.

Cat Dandruff: How to Identify?

The typical sign includes flaky skin. If there are visible flakes in a cat’s skin, it could be a matter of concern. Dandruff can be visible through the cat fur. Another way to identify dandruff is excessive scratching—they may scratch their skin more often than they usually do.

But the Question Arises, Can Feline Dandruff be Life-Threatening?

The answer cannot be given in an affirmative tone! It depends upon the state of the skin and the cause of dandruff. If dandruff is present due to an underlying health condition, it might be treatable. Allergies can also be one of the causes. Skin infection, one of the causes, is a serious matter which requires timely treatment. Cancer could be another, albeit rare, cause of dandruff as well. Keep a special eye on cancer as it could be fatal.   

Dandruff, in cats’ skin, makes them uncomfortable. When cats regularly scratch their skin, it causes an elevated risk of skin infections. As we have discussed before, infections can be an issue caused by dandruff. Learning the root cause of dandruff is important for the treatment because a correct diagnosis would lead to proper medical care.

Feline Dandruff and Feline Dander: Is There Any Difference?

These two terms are usually used interchangeably. The difference between the two is that feline dander is too small to be visible through the naked eye, unlike dandruff. It is also known as the shedding of dead skin cells. However, it is natural for cats to have both dander and dandruff.

Read: Fleas on Kittens: How to Get Rid of Fleas on Kittens? 3 Home Remedies

Causes of Cat Dandruff

Cat dandruff can stem from two factors. Internal and external. Some of them are listed below.

Internal Factors

Internal factors may include:

Imbalance in Diet

The foremost reason for dandruff is an imbalance in cat’s diet. Cats’ skin, like humans, also requires all nutrients to be healthy. Fats are a vital nutrient for an optimal skin condition. If a cat’s diet lacks essential fatty acids, then dandruff can be a common issue.

Dehydrated Skin

Cats do require a lot of water for good skin. Therefore, if a cat is not drinking enough water, it will develop dry and scaly skin. Moreover, dehydration is a seasonal factor. During winters, like humans’ skin, cats’ skin also becomes dehydrated.

Read: Cat Not Drinking Water: How Long Can a Cat Go Without Water?

Underlying Health Conditions

Health conditions like diabetes, parasites, mites, and food allergies may also cause dandruff in the cats. 

Mental Conditions Like Stress and Anxiety

Yes! You heard it right; cats can also become stressed and anxious at times.  Cats can get dandruff after some unusual activity from a cat’s perspective, like adopting a new pet or on the arrival of unacquainted guests. So, it can be due to stress and anxiety.

Read: Cat Hissing: 7 Potential Causes and Ways to Calm a Hissing Cat

External Factors

External factors may be one of the following:

Inadequate Grooming

Usually, cats groom themselves on their own. However, if the cat’s coat is unkempt for a while or is not groomed adequately from the tail and neck area due to obesity, it may also cause dandruff.

Air Pollutants

Cat’s skin is susceptible to the environment they are living in. If there are lots of pollutants or chemical particles present in the surrounding, it will have an adverse During winters, cats’ skin becomes dry and patchy. In addition, we usually use heaters which could also cause dryness in cats’ fur.

Seasonal Changes

During winters, cats’ skin becomes dry and patchy. In addition, we usually use heaters which could also cause dryness in cats’ fur.

When to Consult a Vet?

The condition of the cat’s fur helps decide whether to pay a visit down to the vet’s clinic . Consult a vet immediately if cats are showing any of the following symptoms.  

Read: How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet?

Recommendations on How to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff

Some suggestions are as follows:

Balanced Cat Diet

Provide a balanced diet to the cat. The diet must contain all nutrients—especially fatty acids. The most vital fatty acids are omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. There are several cat foods available in the market that provide these nutrients. Make sure to add them to their diet chart.

Know the Allergens

Certain foods cause allergies in cats. The most common allergens are proteins and grains. Therefore, avoiding these allergens may help in getting rid of dandruff from the cat’s body. Moreover, it will help mitigate dandruff risk in the cats’ skin in the long run. 

Healthy Weight Management

Obese cats cannot adequately groom themselves. Maintaining a healthy weight in cats is crucial to avoid the growth of dandruff in their skin.


As we all know, water adds glow and moisture to our skin. Similarly, water adds moisture to the cat’s skin. So, encourage your cat to drink plenty of water.

Use of Feline Comb

Gently brushing the cat’s hair, few times in a week is recommended. It is helpful in the removal of dirt particles, mites, and dander. Try to brush in the same direction as the direction of the hair fold.  Regular grooming is essential to prevent any chance of getting dandruff. It will also help in the developing bond between the owner and the cat.

Use of Anti-Dandruff Shampoos and Conditioners

There are several pet shampoos available in the market that are a suitable cure for dryness. Such moisturizing shampoos nourish and soothe the skin. Also, these shampoos make the cats’ skin silky. Avoid using human shampoos for this purpose; it might escalate the situation.

Avoid Frequent Bathing

Unlike humans, cats do not need frequent bathing. Bathing too often may cause the removal of fats from the cat’s skin. Moreover, it may alter the PH of the cat’s fur. Bathing, once in two weeks, is recommended by the vets.

Read: Learn How to Bathe Your Kitten in 7 Simple Steps

Moisturizing Creams and Ointments

There are a variety of moisturizing creams and ointments available in pet stores. Buy any cream or lotion after consulting your vet. 

Protection from Dry Weather

Dandruff rears its head mostly during winters. Try to limit the exposure of your cats to heaters. The heaters may escalate the dryness in the cat’s skin. On the contrary, the use of humidifiers may help in maintaining the indoor temperature. Drastic weather changes may cause skin issues in cats.

How to Treat Cat Dandruff – Final Words

Dandruff is a skin condition that can affect the overall health of cats. Its intensity may vary, but it can be dangerous at times. Understanding the real cause of dandruff can help in the treatment. As we have already discussed, dandruff could stem from both internal and external factors. The factors may range from underlying health conditions to environmental issues.

Cat owners can relate that cats are not just pets; they are part of the family. Seeing your pet in poor health could be disturbing. Consult a vet if they are behaving differently. Remember, prevention is better than cure!

Explore: How to Care Better for Your Cat

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