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How to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff and Care for Your Pet

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When it comes to taking care of your pet there’s a whole lot that you want to pay attention to. But you may not think about dandruff as one of them.

Did you know that your cat can get dandruff just like humans can? Well, they absolutely can and that’s why it’s so important to watch out.

And it’s definitely important to know what to do and how to get rid of cat dandruff if you do find it. We’re going to talk about a few different methods to help you.

Does Your Cat Have Dandruff?

Bad hair of a Siamese cat with dandruff

First of all, dandruff is dried skin that may look scaly or flaky on your cats skin or in their fur. If you notice something you think is dandruff the first thing you should do is talk with a vet to make sure that it really is just dandruff. If it is then the process to take care of your cat is going to be much simpler, however if it’s not then you absolutely want to know what the problem is so that you can get it taken care of quickly.

The vet will be able to check and see what the cause of the dandruff is or at least rule out illnesses and other health conditions like diabetes, overactive thyroid, arthritis or other conditions. If it is any of these (or any others) your veterinarian will be able to make some better suggestions about what you should do. Once you know what’s going on, if there is a more serious problem, you’ll be able to get the medication or treatment that they need immediately.

The vet can also help you figure out if there’s a skin mite that is causing the problems or that is actually making the dandruff worse. There is a skin mite that can look a lot like dandruff but it actually causes that dandruff to get even worse. Your veterinarian will be able to help you figure out if that’s a problem as well, which means you can get your pet feeling a whole lot better and make sure mites aren’t causing them problems in the future.

What to Do About Dandruff

Once you know that your cat has dandruff it’s time to actually do something about it. There are a number of different factors that can contribute to dandruff, including arthritis, obesity and even problems with their teeth. If your cat isn’t grooming themselves properly, which can happen with any of these conditions, then dandruff can occur because they aren’t able to clean themselves properly. Make sure you’re watching your cat to see if they are bathing themselves or watch for signs that they aren’t, such as matted fur or dirt and debris in their coat.

If you have a cat that isn’t able to clean themselves or doesn’t clean themselves make sure you’re grooming them regularly to make sure they don’t develop dandruff. This could mean brushing them daily, but it does not mean bathing them quite so frequently because your cat shouldn’t need frequent baths, even if they’re not bathing themselves. If your cat is not grooming themselves and also not eating it could mean that they have a problem with their teeth or a sore mouth, which is something you’ll want to talk with a veterinarian about to get it taken care of.

On the other hand, if your cat is not grooming because they are overweight you’ll want to talk with a vet about getting them on a diet to make sure they are healthy. This may get them back to grooming themselves, which can help with dandruff problems. Make sure you’re talking with the vet before you start any type of weight loss program or diet so that you can keep your cat getting the healthy ingredients and nutrients that they need while still making sure they’re not eating too much.

Another important step is to make sure your cat isn’t outside in the heat and the dry weather too frequently. If you have an indoor only cat that might not be a problem, but if your cat goes outside a lot you’ll want to try and keep them out of the weather extremes. This can dry out their skin and actually burn the skin, which then causes even more flaking. Keeping them away from dry and sunny days even in the winter is an important step and can help them feel and look a whole lot better.

Proper Grooming Practices

Groom a cat using brush tool

When you do brush them make sure that you’re doing it carefully and using a soft bristle brush to rub out some of the dried skin without hurting their skin or scrubbing at it. Your goal is to remove only what’s already loose rather than to remove anymore. You can brush them regularly to make sure you’re getting rid of loose skin, loose fur and to improve their blood circulation. That’s going to make their skin healthier all around and it’s also going to make their coat look a whole lot better at the same time.

Keep in mind that when you start increasing your brushing of your cat they’ll actually have more dead skin cells for a few weeks because you’re loosening them up. After that, you’ll notice that the dead skin slows and then gets better over time. That’s because you’re going to improve the health of their skin and fur as you continue to brush them more regularly and that’s going to stop them from shedding as much and also stop some of the dry skin, as long as you’re following some of the other processes here.

Contrary to what you might think, bathing your cat too much during this time can actually be counterintuitive. You could actually strip out some of the oils that they need in their fur and their skin, which is going to make it even more dry and could result in even more dandruff. That’s why it’s generally best if you let your cat groom themselves and don’t worry about bathing at all. If you absolutely must bathe your cat make sure that you use a good moisturizing shampoo to get plenty of hydration into their skin and reduce the risk of stripping oils and increasing the problem with dandruff.

Using a quality ointment is a good way to help boost the health of their skin as well. Make sure you’re looking for a quality product from a pet store or that you talk with your vet to find out what they recommend. These products can be applied directly to the skin and then absorb in and help moisturize the dry skin. This is important to help those pets who have extremely dry skin or they can be used with some other products if your cat has a condition that causes dry skin.

Watch Their Eating Habits

Owner feeding cute cat at home

The way your cat is eating could have something to do with them having dandruff as well and it’s not just about them being overweight. If your cat isn’t getting the nutrients and the healthy ingredients that they need it could actually cause them to develop dry skin. That means you want to take a closer look at what you’re actually feeding them and whether it has the right amount of fatty acids and especially linoleic and arachidonic acids. If the food they’re getting doesn’t have enough of these they’re going to have less of the ingredients they need.

Make sure you’re giving them a healthy food that has plenty of real meat in it and make sure that it’s not getting too hot or too cold. If you have high quality food but it gets too extreme in temperature it could actually affect the quality and the stability of the food. Then you end up with less of the health benefits. But don’t just give them a standard food and think that’s going to do it for their overall nutritional needs.

You want to make sure they’re getting plenty of omega fatty acids overall. These are found in things like fish and marine oils so make sure you’re looking for supplements, treats or even extra food that includes these fatty acids. They don’t need a huge quantity, but you do want to make sure they’re getting a good dose each day which might mean giving them at least a bowl of the high omega 3 and6 foods alongside their regular food.

Finally, make sure that your cat is getting the water that they need in order to stay hydrated and healthy. If they’re not getting enough water they will definitely end up with dry skin and that’s going to be bad for their overall health. Ensuring they have quality, clean water at all times and that it’s free from bacteria is extremely important. Rinse out the dish every day and make sure you’re wiping it out routinely as well to get rid of anything that might start to grow in the bowl.

If you’re looking for ways to take care of your cat and make sure that it’s as healthy as possible you’re going to want to know several things. One is how to get rid of cat dandruff. With these steps you should be able to not only find out if your cat has dandruff or something else, but also take care of that dandruff if it is a problem. All you need to do is talk with your vet and start paying attention to just what your cat is trying to tell you. They can let you in on a lot if you’re listening.

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