Perhaps you’ve noticed some white flaky bits on your cat’s skin or in their coat and you were wondering about it. Cats have the propensity to experience dandruff in much the same way that we do.
A little bit of dandruff is usually not bothersome to your kitty. In most cases, dandruff isn’t life-threatening, however it always warrants a trip to the veterinarian to ascertain its cause. If your kitty’s dandruff appears to be worsening, or if it’s accompanied by other signs, then you should get your cat to your vet promptly.
In this article, we’ll have a look at many of the possible reasons that your cat has dandruff.
The 11 Possible Reasons My Cat Has Dandruff
As you can imagine, there are many reasons your cat may have dandruff. As we mentioned, some are of little cause for concern, while others may be indicative of a serious problem.
We’ll take a look at the various possible causes of your kitty’s dandruff in this order.
Mildly Concerning Causes
These next few possible causes of your kitty’s dandruff are the most likely. They are mildly concerning and probably won’t cause your cat too much discomfort, if at all. There are simple solutions in most cases.
1. Dry or Greasy Skin
Either dry or greasy skin could result in dandruff. There are a couple of reasons for this condition.
First, the kitty could just naturally have either drier or oilier skin, just like people do. Cats with oily skin experience a build-up of skin cells, which consequently flake off. Cats with dry skin exhibit flakiness, which results from a lack of moisture in the skin.
Second, the cause could be situational based on the environment. Dry skin could be exacerbated by a dry climate. Conversely, greasy skin might be aggravated by high heat and humidity.
How to Treat It:
For a cat with dry and flaky skin, you could consider investing in a humidifier. This is sure to make your cat more comfortable and may even improve their dandruff. If your cat has greasy skin, or if you live in a hot and humid area, the best solution would be to keep your kitty indoors. Here, they can benefit from the cooling and drying properties of an air conditioner, provided there is one installed. Supplements provided by your veterinarian can help your kitty with their skin conditions.
2. Build Up of Undercoat
Dandruff can also result from the build-up of a cat’s undercoat. Depending on their breed, cats have either a single, double, or triple-layer coat. Cats with a single-layer coat have an overcoat of coarse “guard” hairs. Such breeds are normally found in naturally warm environments. Breeds with no hair or sparse hair, such as the Sphynx, are also classified as possessing a single-layer coat.
Many breeds of cats have a double coat, which comprises of an undercoat of soft, dense fur and an overcoat of guard hairs. Breeds that have evolved in very cold climates, such as the Siberian, have a triple-layered coat. As the name suggests, this coat has additional fur beneath their undercoat which provides them with even more insulation and even renders their coat water resistant.
Kitties are usually very thorough when it comes to the business of grooming themselves. If, for whatever reason, your kitty is not up to the job, the undercoat may become dense and trap dirt, loose hairs, and dead skin cells. These can all aggravate the skin, which may cause dandruff.
How to Treat It:
It’s important to ascertain the reasons behind the kitty’s bad grooming job. There are many, and they will be discussed a bit later on, as well as tips on how to remedy the behavior, if possible.
In the interim, you will need to help your cat out by grooming them. Brush them with an appropriate brush or comb until you begin to see an improvement. Chat with your local veterinarian or grooming specialist for advice on the best brush for the job.