Have you noticed flakes on your cat? Like someone has sprinkled salt on your kitty?

Dandruff can affect any cat. Dandruff is the build up of dead skin, known as seborrhoea sicca. It happens when the skin produces more skin flakes then usual, or they are not being moved by grooming.

Before trying to address the issue, it is recommended to check with a vet that there is no underlying skin condition or health issue. An ill cat will also reduce self grooming. Dandruff is most common on overweight and elderly cats and more obvious on dark haired cat. Sometimes a groomer will find excess dandruff in your cat that you cannot see due to your cats coat or length, it may be there, so regular grooming and checking of skin is best for cat's optimal coat and skin health.

There are many things you can do that may decrease dandruff in your cat.

  • Make sure your cat is on a high quality diet with omega 3 fatty acids
  • Put your cat on a weight loss diet (this will also benefit in other ways)
  • Regularly brush/comb your cat to move dead skin.
  • Bath your cat if excess oils and dandruff are seen. This will be especially helpful for overweight or elderly cat.
  • Keep up with parasite prevention, as fleas, mites and lice can contribute to dandruff.
  • Have your cat checked by a dermatology vet if symptoms persist, hair loss, or itching is present.

Why Cats Groom

Studies show that cats spend 8% of their waking life engaged in grooming behaviour. There are at least four good reasons why:

  • Parasite control
  • Removal of dead hair: when cats don’t groom well, the old hair builds up and the coat gets matted
  • Removal of dirt and oils: cats are also literally cleaning themselves, which is also why toxins on the coat are dangerous. We have the ability to help with this by regular bathing and grooming.
  • Maintenance of insulation: that clumping compacted coat can’t keep your cat warm or cool like a shiny, smooth coat

Grooming isn’t just something to keep busy. It’s a highly complex, programmed and essential feline behaviour. So the next time you see your cat grooming, remember this: not only is it essential, it’s also a sign of your cat’s wellbeing. You can help your cat too!

See in picture- white dandruff being removed during washing.


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Resource: Walkerville Vet | Adelaide Veterinary Clinic | Preschool & Blog, Pawsitively Divine grooming photo