How Do I Know That My Cat Has Dandruff?
Cat dandruff is one serious problem, just like in human beings. It is made from dead skin cells. The difference between cat dandruff and cat dander is that cat dander consists of invisible skin cells. The dead skin cells are usually shed as part of the normal cycle of growth.
Cat dander has protein that can be very irritating, especially to people who are allergic. You will know that your cat has dander if whenever it comes near you, you’ll start having allergies like watery or itchy eyes, coughing, or nasal congestion.
Factors That Cause Dandruff In Cats
Cat dandruff is mainly caused by dead cells. What usually happens is that the sebaceous glands that produce oil in the cat’s skin produce oil excessively. The oils are supposed to protect the skin, but they irritate the skin and cause flakiness if in excess. If you can see white particles in your cat’s fur, then it has dandruff. Here are some common causes of dandruff in cats:
Whatever your cat eats plays a big part in contributing to dandruff! Some nutrients are essential in your cat’s food. For instance, for the skin cells to be renewed, your cat should take in proteins since 30% of it is used. Other essential products are Omega 3, Omega 6, and Vitamin A that contribute to the skin’s health, oil production, and regulating cells’ growth.
The kind of lifestyle you choose for your cat will also affect dandruff’s development in your cat. If your cat stays indoors, it means they will be groomed a lot. If you use products that are not cat shampoos during cleaning, they will irritate the cat’s skin. For cats in warm surroundings, the skin can dry and lead to the overproduction of oils that cause dandruff. So, watch out for your cat’s lifestyle.
Dry skin on cats could also mean that your cat has ringworms. Ringworm is a fungal infection that happens when spores enter the cat’s skin through a scratch or a bite. You will discover ringworms by circular patches of hair loss, red patches on the skin, and weak hair. See a veterinary doctor as soon as you notice these symptoms.
How To Treat Dander In Cats-a Vet’s Perspective
Cat dander can be treated by a vet, especially if the home remedies you have tried are not working. Here are some of the several tests that will be performed by a vet:
- Skin Scraping: here, a scalpel is used to scrape your cat’s skin gently. The fragments are then examined under a microscope to check whether mites, yeast, bacteria, or other issues are prevalent.
- Skin Culture: this test involves observing whether there are bacteria that may be causing the dander.
- Skin Biopsy: this involves a small portion of skin being removed and checked under a microscope to find out whether there are fleas, mites, or bacteria.
- Food and allergy test: an allergy test will be done to determine whether an allergy causes the dander.
- Tape test: here, a tape is placed on the cat’s skin, and then the tape is examined to check whether there are any parasites.
The vet should also do a blood test to check your cat’s blood sugar level. Diabetes mellitus is prevalent in cats, and it’s also a cause of dander.
Your vet should also check to ensure that your cat is not obese because an overweight cat may cause dander. The pet doctor should advise you to change your cat’s diet for better grooming to prevent dander development.
After all the tests, your vet will give you the results and prescribe the appropriate treatment for your cat. The treatment should help reduce your cat dander.
5 Home Remedies You Can Try
Fortunately, there are simple remedies you can use from home to prevent cat dandruff. Here are five of them:
1. Bathe them using a cat dandruff shampoo
This is one of the most effective ways to cure cat dandruff at home. Get a cat shampoo that has been designed for use on dry skin. You don’t have to bathe your cat daily, but you can do it occasionally. This will help in removing any dead skin and also moisturize the skin.
An excellent alternative for dandruff is aloe and oatmeal shampoo. They are not like some soap that is harsh and can be harmful to the cat’s skin. A vet can prescribe medicated shampoo that can help treat skin conditions.
2. Treat parasites
Allergic reactions in cats can happen when they are bitten by parasites like lice, fleas, and mites. The reactions end up causing dandruff. To get rid of such parasites, treat all the pets, and remember to clean the bedding in your home.
3. Buy a humidifier
A dry and hot climate will cause dry skin because of dry air. To bring in some moisture, purchase a home humidifier. The appliance will add moisture to the air, hence preventing the cat’s skins from drying.
4. Have a regular grooming routine
Introduce a cleaning routine whereby you can brush your cat’s hair. This will help in blood circulation and spread natural oils on the cat’s skin, promoting good skin health. Get a proper cat brush that will help to reduce grease, dead skin cells, dirt, and loose hair. The routine will also help you bond with your cat. By bonding, you will be able to notice when there are changes with the skin condition.
5. Try new cat food
One cause of cat dandruff is the lack of some food nutrients. Find food rich in proteins and omega-3. Wet food is good since it will increase the intake of water by your cat. If your cat is allergic to some food products, remove them from the cat’s diet. It could be beef, dairy, or fish. Make sure they also don’t eat a lot and become obese.
Cat dandruff can easily be avoided and treated. Follow the home remedies discussed or find a vet to advise you in case of severe conditions.
Project dedicated to support and help to improve Veterinary Medicine. Sharing information and raising discussions in the veterinary community.