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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16160
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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my cat has dandruff

Customer Question

my cat has dandruff
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

When we see an increase of dander in a cat's coat, we do need to consider a few issues. Most commonly we can see dander, scaling, and decreased coat quality arise with a deficiency in dietary essential fatty acids. Other issues that could also trigger an increase in dander include a decline in grooming habits (often secondary to feeling unwell or having arthritis), endocrine/organ diseases (ie hyperthyroidism, etc), and in some cases the Cheyletiella mites (aka 'walking dandruff') can be mistaken for dandruff.

Now to get to the bottom of his dander issues, it would be advisable to get your vet involved to help you pinpoint which of the above is the culprit. Otherwise, you will need to rule these differentials out individually. The mites can often be treated with spot on flea medications (Ie Frontline, Revolution, etc) if they are suspect.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX dander and helping improve his coat, you should consider some essential fatty acid (EFA) supplementation. EFA’s are the fats that are part of skin cells composition and play a role in their health and coat health. A general recommendation for dietary supplementation with essential fatty acids would be to feed 1.5-2.5 ml fish oil per 4kg of body weigh. Alternatively, you can offer a small volume of fresh salmon weekly. If Max doesn't like fish, then you can speak to your vet about alternative EFA therapies. Examples of oral EFA supplements include Viacutin or Yumega. As well, there is a spot on preparation that gets around a kitty even having to ingest these EFAs, called Allerderm.

If you feel thathe is grooming less, is a bit stiff and the region of dander are in places that would require 'kitty yoga' to reach, then you may wish to also consider trying glucosamine/chondroitin supplementation. This is a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). It works by aiding joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Often we can find this helpful in animals with the beginnings of arthritis and can sometimes be just enough to take some of the discomfort away from his aching joints. Normally we give kitties 50mg glucosamine + 15mg chondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight. So, do consider trying this with him to help him address his grooming once again.

Overall, dander can be a sign of a few different issues. The key is determining if his dander is due to a lack of coat care (where arthritis or his health needs to be reviewed), due to parasites (which your vet can confirm or you can try treating with Frontline), or if the dander is the result of poor skin health (which the EFA's will aid). Therefore, in this case, I would advise ruling out each in turn. I would advise supplementing EFAs to reduce poor skin heath as a reason for his dander issue and making sure that some of the aforementioned underlying issues are not to blame for the state of his coat.


I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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