Is Cat Dandruff a Problem?

Just like humans, cats can suffer from dandruff—dead skin cells, white and flaky, usually appearing on the back area of cats near the head or tail. Since cats aren’t out to impress or avoid social rebukes, dandruff isn’t necessarily a big appearance issue, as it might be for humans. However, dandruff on a cat can be indicative of a more serious underlying cause. Here, a Northwest Austin veterinarian tells you more.


Cats can experience a bit of skin dryness, which leads to dandruff, naturally without any obvious cause. In those cases, dandruff should not be an alarming problem. There are times, though, when the condition becomes excessive and the cause could be something greater.

Sunburn, ear mites, fleas, dry environment, dietary deficiencies, allergies, fungal infections, and even diabetes can all cause dry skin and dandruff in cats. With so many possibilities, the best thing to do is to take your cat to your Northwest Austin vet. He or she will be able to pinpoint the exact cause of your cat’s dandruff and tell you whether or not it is a severe problem.


The solution to your cat’s dandruff will depend on what’s causing it. If mites, fleas, or other parasites are the problem, you’ll have to take the necessary steps to eliminate them, including washing and disinfecting your cat’s bedding and carpeting. If a dry environment is the cause, consider adding a humidifier to your home. If a dietary deficiency is to blame, you should choose a food that bolsters protein or other nutrients your cat is missing. Again, your Northwest Austin vet will help you with this, prescribing any medications your cat might need, as well as offering tips for at-home solutions.

Sometimes, nothing in particular will cause your cat’s dandruff—if your Northwest Austin vet rules out any serious underlying cause and your cat doesn’t seem to be bothered by the dandruff, it may be just as well to not worry about the condition. You’ll need to have a discussion with your Northwest Austin veterinarian to determine the right course of action for you and your cat.

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