Cat Dandruff Treatment

Cat dandruff is usually the result of an allergic reaction, or it can occur when your cat's skin becomes unusually dry. Cat dandruff appears as flakes of dead, dry skin. Cat dandruff has several causes and therefore should be treated in one of several different ways.

Causes of Cat Dandruff

Cat dandruff can occur for a number of different reasons. Your cat might be allergic to something, whether it be his food, parasites like fleas or something else in the environment. Your cat may have developed a sunburn, or he may simply have dry skin due to a lack of humidity.

Identifying the Cause of Your Cat's Dandruff

Make sure your cat's dandruff isn't caused by parasites by checking his coat for fleas, ticks and mites that can cause allergic dermatitis. A type of mite known as the Chyletiella mite causes a condition known as "walking dandruff" by burrowing under your cat's skin and moving around. If your cat is infested with fleas or ticks, his dandruff may be the result of an allergy to these parasites.

If your home lacks humidity, and your own skin feels dry, your cat may be suffering from dandruff due to a lack of adequate moisture in the air. You can use a humidifier to add moisture to your home, or if you have radiators, place small containers of water on top of them to add moisture to the air inside your home.

If your cat spends time outside, he may have a sunburn. Cats with light colored coats are especially prone to sunburn. Cats are especially vulnerable to sunburn around the face and ears, where fur is thinnest. Healing sunburns tend to flake and can cause dandruff.

Treating Cat Dandruff

Cat dandruff usually isn't a symptom of anything serious, and most causes of cat dandruff can be treated at home. If your cat is suffering from walking dandruff caused by Chyletiella mites, however, you should see your vet. Walking dandruff isn't the same as regular dandruff and your cat will need to be treated for parasitic infestation.

If your cat's dandruff is the result of an allergy to fleas or ticks, you can relieve the dandruff symptoms by treating the flea or tick infestation. Sometimes, cats get allergic dermatitis as a result of an allergy to something else in the home. Cats can develop allergies to a range of things, including wool, plastic, cedar chips and household cleaning and air freshening products. You may need to seek help from your vet to determine what's causing your cat's allergies so they can be treated.

If your cat's dandruff is the result of low humidity inside your home, then most likely your own skin will be dry and you may even be suffering from dandruff yourself. Humidify your home, especially during the winter months, when air is driest, to relieve your cat's dry skin and dandruff.

Keep your cat indoors during the hottest part of the day, from about ten in the morning to four in the afternoon, to minimize his chances of sunburn.