Cat Dandruff Treatment with Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements

Cat dandruff is dry or greasy flaky skin that commonly appears towards the base of the tail and on the back in pets. The cause of dandruff may be attributed to a variety of factors such as improper nutrition, obesity, seasonal changes and inadequate grooming. Pet owners may also notice that the dandruff reappears after a several weeks of treatment. Cats often suffer from a certain skin disease that causes symptoms of dandruff. This skin condition is cheyletiellosis, commonly known as walking dandruff. The symptoms of cheyletiellosis are similar to cat dandruff and some pets may experience severe itching and redness of the skin.


This is a contagious skin condition that's transmitted to healthy cats that live in close proximity with infected pets. This condition is caused by cheyletiella mites that shed their eggs in the environment and increase risk of infection. Cats suffering from severe dandruff are subjected to skin scraping tests to differentiate dandruff from cheyletiellosis as medication such as Ivermectin is prescribed to treat the parasites.

Diagnosis of Cat Dandruff

The vet will perform a thorough physical examination of the cat to detect any skin lesions or sores. In addition, the vet may use a flea comb to examine the scales collected for the presence of cheyletiella mites. The vet will then perform a skin scraping test to rule out other skin conditions such as dermatitis, scabies or mange. If the diagnosis reveals absence of other skin disorders or mites, the vet will commence treatment to determine initial response to medication. Since cats are susceptible to dandruff due to obesity, thyroid problems and diabetes, it's important to control these underlying health concerns to maintain healthy coat and skin.

Treatment of Cat Dandruff with Omega 3 Supplements

An important factor that influences the development of cat dandruff is diets low in omega 3 fatty acids. Often, home prepared cat food lacks the necessary components of a healthy and balanced cat diet. Certain commercial cat food products also lack adequate amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. The components of Omega 3 fatty acids include Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These components reduce inflammation, risk of heart disease and maintain healthy skin and coat. Pet owners should thus incorporate natural foods that contain Omega 3 fatty acids to the cat's diet. A common source of omega 3 fatty acids is fish oil or wild salmon oil. Pet owners may also choose to administer Omega 3 fatty acid supplements to the normal diet.

Commercially Available Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplements

  • Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet
  • Super Pure Omega 3
  • Brite Coat XS
  • Nordic Naturals Pet Cod Liver Oil
  • Lipiderm

Other Treatment Options for Cat Dandruff

Cats should be brushed or combed regularly to facilitate circulation of natural oils. In addition, cats should be bathed occasionally with shampoo that contains aloe vera or oatmeal to soothe the skin. Cats should be prevented from roaming outdoors to avoid overexposure to the sun. Walking dandruff may also be treated at home with lime sulfur dips and topical solutions.

The prognosis for cat dandruff is positive as most cats respond to the treatment within a few weeks. If the cat is diagnosed with cheyletiellosis it's best to treat all other pets living in the same household to prevent re-infection.