causes of dandruff in cats you have to know no matter what


Causes of Dandruff in Cats You Have to Know No Matter What

July 18, 2016

Just like us humans, cats can also get dandruff and if you have a cat, you have to know about causes of dandruff in cats and what to do if your cat gets dandruff. Dandruff itself is actually a quite common condition and it’s usually characterized by the presence of white skin flakes, which are small in size, in the fur.

Note that the skin is continuously renewing itself. Its top layer will slough off and it’s a completely normal thing. Oftentimes, it’s not enough to catch the attention of a pet owner.

It’s only when it turns excessive that it’s finally picked up. It’s not that easy to see dandruffs in a cat. Dandruffs are usually easier to spot in cats that are dark colored.

Dandruff is actually a symptom and not a disease. There are various things causing it including external factors like, for example, seborrhea. It can also be caused by internal factors like, for example, diabetes.

Oftentimes, dandruffs in cat are harmless but if you manage to notice dandruffs in excessive amounts in your cat, you should consider having your cat checked out by the veterinarian you trust.

Possible Dandruff Causes in Cats

possible dandruff causes in cats


There are a number of possible dandruff causes in cats and those possible causes include diabetes. Diabetes, which is a metabolic disease which involves a cat’s body not responding to insulin adequately.

When a cat’s body does not respond to insulin adequately, it prevents glucose from entering the cat’s cells.

The next possible cause is hyperthyroidism, which is a metabolic disease that can be caused by a tumor of the thyroid gland, which is a benign tumor, which creates excess hormones.

Another possible cause is seborrhea. Seborrhea is a skin condition and it is caused by an over production of sebum. Sebum is an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands, which are located in the skin.

Another possible cause is demodicosis. Demodicosis is skin disease which is caused by demodex mite. It’s not the last cause of dandruffs in cats.

Cheyletiellosis or walking dandruff can also cause dandruffs in cats. Cheyletiellosis is actually not dandruff. It’s caused by Cheyletiellosis mite and it gives an appearance of dandruffs in the coat.

The next thing that can possibly cause dandruffs in cats is poor grooming. Poor grooming is often caused by very old cats or elderly cats that are often arthritic and consider grooming painful.

causes of dandruff in cats


Poor grooming can also be caused by obese cats that cannot groom properly anymore. Poor diet can also cause dandruffs in cats. Poor diet, especially one that is low in fat, can cause dandruffs in cats.

Contact dermatitis is also another cause of dandruffs in cats. Contact dermatitis is an allergic skin reaction which is caused by coming into contact with an irritant or allergen like solvents, plants, soaps, chemicals, etc.

Another thing causing dandruffs in cats is old age. As a cat ages, her or his skin tends to be more prone to flaking. As a cat ages, her or skin also tends to be dryer.

Dry conditions can also cause dandruffs in cats. Dry conditions, which usually happen during winter if the air has less humidity, can cause dandruffs in cats. Some grooming products can also cause dandruffs in felines. Those products include, for example, shampoos, which overly dry the skin or cause dermatitis.

Ringworm an actually cause dandruffs as well. Ringworm can cause yeast which is characterized by circular flaky skin patches and hair loss. It’s not the last cause of dandruffs in cats since sunburn can actually cause dandruffs as well.

Fungal infection called malassezia is also among the causes of dandruffs in cats. Malassezia can result in crusty, flaky skin areas. Be careful when you have a cat because there are various things that can cause dandruffs in a cat.

The Symptoms of Dandruffs in Cats

the symptoms of dandruffs in cats


There are various things that are considered cat dandruff symptoms and itching is among them. Dry, itchy, and flaky skin are common dandruff symptoms. This kind of skin is usually found along a cat’s back and the tail’s base. However, any parts of the body can actually be affected as well.

Aside from the symptoms mentioned earlier, there are other symptoms of dandruffs in cats and those other symptoms can vary depending on causes. The causes can include poor coat condition, red or inflamed skin, thickening and scaly skin patches, and greasy skin.

How to Diagnose Cat Dandruffs

how to diagnose cat dandruffs


To diagnose cat dandruffs, you need to meet a veterinarian. A veterinarian will do a complete physical examination to your beloved cat and get a medical history from his or her owner; you.

The veterinarian might make an effort to know for how long you have notice your cat’s dandruffs. The veterinarian might also ask you about whether your cat has other symptoms or not and what your cat’s diet is.

Accompanying symptoms and the age of your cat might provide your veterinarian with a clue about the cause of his or her dandruffs. In certain cases, the veterinarian might need to perform diagnostic tests in order to obtain a definite diagnosis.

The tests the veterinarian might need to do can involve complete blood count, biochemical, and urinalysis profile. He or she might need those things to evaluate your cat’s overall health. Aside from involving the aforementioned things, the tests the veterinarian might need to do may also involve a skin scraping test.

A skin scraping test needs to be done to evaluate for ringworm infection or mites. A small skin patch will, gently, be scraped from your beloved cat. After that, the small skin patch will be placed on a certain slide and then observed under a microscope.

Another thing the tests involve is a tape test. A tape test is done to do evaluation for skin parasites. In this test, tape in a small amount is placed onto your cat’s skin. It will then be evaluated under a microscope.

The next things the tests involve are T3 and T4 tests. These are tests which are done to check the levels of thyroid hormones in your cat’s blood. Blood tests may need to be done as well. Blood tests need to be done to check the glucose levels in your cat’s blood.

A skin prick test may also need to be done. This test needs to be done if allergy is suspected. The test involves pricking the cat’s skin using multiple needles that contain common allergens, like dust and pollen, in a small amount. This test is done to try, as well as determine, the specific allergen involved.

How to Treat Cat Dandruffs

how to treat cat dandruffs


If you see dandruffs in your beloved cat’s coat, the first thing you need to do is finding your veterinarian to get veterinary attention. You need veterinary attention because there may be a medical cause that requires medical treatment. The medical treatment can include using medicated shampoos to successfully treat seborrhea.

If diabetes is what causes your cat’s dandruffs, the diabetes can be treated using a combination of daily insulin injections and/or dietary changes. If sunburn is what causes your cat’s dandruffs, you can use topical medication or oral steroid cream because they might be prescribed when the cases are severe.

Anti parasitic medications may also be used to kill mites. All pets in your household need to be treated and their bedding needs to be washed thoroughly if your cat is attacked by mites. If ringworm problems are things that make your cat suffer, the medications that can be used are lime sulfur dips.

If there are problems involving both ringworm and mites, all of the cats in your household have to be treated and then the environment has to be cleaned thoroughly to avoid risks of fungal spores spreading to furnishings, surfaces, or other things.

Using medicated shampoos to successfully treat malassezia is also another thing you can do if your cat has malassezia. Another thing you can do if your cat suffers from dandruffs is avoiding allergy sources. If avoiding allergy sources is not possible to do, you can do hyposensitisation to reduce allergic responses.

If your cat suffers from itching, you can use antihistamines and/or corticosteroids to treat him or her. If your cat’s problems are caused by food allergy, you can switch your beloved little friend to a low allergenic diet.

If arthritis is the problem your cat faces, the arthritis your cat suffers from can be treated with NSAIDS, chondroitin, glucosamine and providing warmth. However, if the case is severe, surgery might need to be done.

Hyperthyroidism is also a problem that can attack your cat if it’s facing dandruff problems. Hyperthyroidism is a condition which can be treated either through surgical removal or with radioactive iodine. Radioactive iodine is done to target and kill tumor cells. Surgical removal is done to remove the tumor.

Home Treatments for Dandruffs in Cats

home treatments for dandruffs in cats


There are home treatments you can use for dandruffs in cats. One of the treatments that can be used for cat dandruffs is getting moisture to the skin both outside and inside. Doing this is the cornerstone of treating dandruffs.

Adding humidifiers in areas around the house during winter months can help you moisten the air. Thus, you definitely have to consider adding some humidifiers in various areas in your house.

The next trick you can use is adding omega 3 fatty acids to the foods your cat consume. Make sure you don’t give your cat supplements without your veterinarian’s supervision.

Another trick you can use is feeding your cat food diet with premium quality. Never even try giving low quality food to your cat. Low quality food can trigger dandruffs and thus, it’s a vital thing to do to give your cat only high quality food. Just purchase premium quality food for your cat to make sure your cat is in his or her best condition.

It’s also something you have to do to use moisturizing shampoo to treat your cat’s dandruffs. Your veterinarian might recommend to you a moisturizing shampoo product. Just follow your veterinarian’s instructions when it comes to treating your cat’s dandruffs because your veterinarian knows best what the best for your cat is.

Note that in severe cases, a shampoo that falls into the category of anti-dandruff shampoo products for cats is needed. Use shampoo products for cats. Never use anti-dandruff shampoo products for humans on your cat.

Anti-dandruff shampoo for humans are too harsh for cats and they can damage cat’s skin. Thus, make sure you’re very careful when picking shampoo products for your cat.

Consider speaking to your veterinarian about your cat’s skin and coat moisturizer. Ask your veterinarian about which moisturizers are best for your cat.

The moisturizers you use should be safe for cats. After all, the moisturizer you pick will be used on your cat so you shouldn’t pick a moisturizer for humans to avoid risks of jeopardizing your cat’s skin.

Cats that face difficulties grooming because of old age or weight need to be regularly groomed by their owners. They might find it very difficult to groom and they need their owners’ help.

Make sure you make efforts to help your cat if he or she is old or have weight-related problem. It only takes five minutes to groom your cat everyday and you won’t sacrifice too much of your time doing so.

Soreness can also cause difficulties grooming so your cat might find it hard to groom if he or she suffers from soreness. You must pay attentions to your cat to find out whether he or she experience soreness or not. If you find out that your beloved little friend, you should immediately give your hand and help him or her in grooming.

There are various causes of dandruffs in cats but there are also various home treatments cat owners can use to treat their cats when dandruff-related problems attack them. Add the various home treatments mentioned earlier to your notes if you find out that your cat has dandruffs and you have identify what causes dandruffs in your beloved cat.

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