Causes of Cat Dandruff

Cat dandruff is probably more common than you think. While it's estimated that at least 50% of all cats suffer from dandruff, it's also estimated that only one quarter of all owners are aware of their cat’s condition. When the skin becomes dry and flaky and you begin to the notice the presence of snowflake like particles in the fur, it's known as feline dandruff. Although the condition is a relatively simple fix, identifying the cause can sometimes be a little more challenging.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is the most common cause of feline dandruff. The skin of cats is very sensitive and it can easily become dry. Although the drying out of the skin is most common during the winter months due reduced amounts of water in the air, it can occur during spring and summer as well.

Excessive grooming on the part of your cat can be equally dangerous to his skin. Your cat may not realize it, but as he continues to groom and lick himself, he is taking away the vital moisture which resides in his skin to keep it moist and soft. The act of excessive licking is harmful in itself, but the onset of feline dandruff is just one of the symptoms caused by excessive grooming.

Skin Allergies

Skin allergies can arise from just about anything, including food, fabric softener, laundry detergent, aerosols and perfumes. There is no limit to what can cause skin allergies in your cat, and no way to determine what your cat will be allergic to.

However, when your cat does have an allergic reaction to something, the symptoms will most commonly show up on his skin first. The skin is used as a protective barrier for the vital internal structures of your cat. Your cat's skin will absorb the affects of the allergy in order to protect more critical aspects of the body.

Skin allergies can result in dandruff when the skin is attempting to stop the invasion of the allergy into the body. When this happens, it can result in a serious case of feline dandruff. Although skin allergies can also cause lesions and welts, dandruff is a very common sign of skin allergies.


The harm that parasites can do to your cat is nearly unlimited. Not only can they harbor serious conditions like Lyme disease, but they can also cause intestinal worms and afflictions of the skin.

Parasites such as fleas, ticks and dust mites all cause the skin to itch excessively. When your cat notices that his skin is extremely itchy, his natural reaction is going to be to scratch it. However, the problem is that excessive scratching can cause the skin to tear and dry out.

Just the presence of parasites on your cat can cause dandruff. Fleas and ticks actually adhere to your cat and begin sucking out blood. When they do this, they're actually depriving your cat of the vital nutrients, such as oxygen, which keep the skin supple and moist.