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Dandruff is quite a common complaint among cat owners. If your cat has dandruff, it most likely isn’t anything to be concerned about, but it is a good idea to pinpoint the cause just to be safe. So, if you are interested in why your cat is having dandruff troubles, keep reading.

Reasons Your Cat Has Dandruff


Even though dandruff is not very serious and is usually a superficial complaint, it can indicate a more serious issue. So it is always a good idea to know why your cat is having issues with dandruff.

1. Obesity

Obesity can be a common cause of dandruff in cats, not just because they are generally unhealthy, but also because they cannot groom as well. Obese cats might find it hard to groom themselves the way that they need to as they are less flexible. This can result in their dandruff building up and becoming itchy, which will result in them scratching often.

This is very uncomfortable for your cat and can make them feel itchy and dirty all the time.

2. Allergies

If your cat has dandruff, they might also be struggling with allergies. This could be a seasonal issue or an allergen that they are regularly in contact with.

Because cats are close to the ground and are always using their nose, they can be very prone to getting allergies. They can get seasonal allergies as we do, or they may be allergic to something in their environment.

Allergies in cats can be noticed through a runny nose or eyes, sneezing, wheezing, itchiness, and dry or scaly skin. Dandruff is a side effect of many allergies that your cat could have.

It is important to identify what your cat is allergic to if you notice allergies year-round, as it can have a negative impact on their quality of life.

The first place to start would be to make sure they aren’t allergic to their food or treats and work from there.

3. Skin Condition

Skin conditions can also cause excessive dandruff in your cat. This is most common with elderly cats, but any age of cat can have skin issues.

This could include things like rashes and even eczema, which can create itchiness which will then create dandruff.

If you suspect in any way that your cat might have skin issues, get a vet appointment for them. A vet should be able to tell if your cat is suffering from any skin issues.

4. Fleas

Fleas can cause your cat to have dandruff, mainly from the itching, but they can also encourage dry and flaky skin.

If your cat has fleas, they will be obviously uncomfortable and itchy. Anytime your animal is itchy and scratching themselves, this is going to result in excessive dandruff.

If your cat is exposed to fleas every year, make sure to have the medication on hand to counteract them before they appear. This will save you and your cat some hassle and discomfort.

5. Warm Environment

 If your home is usually at a comfortable temperature, but you suddenly start using heat, this could affect your cat’s skin negatively. A dry and warm environment can encourage excessive oil production, which can lead to itchy, dry skin and thus, dandruff.

If this is an issue that you see every year when it gets colder outside, try using a humidifier to counteract the dry heat. This will add moisture to the air making it less dry and stripping to the skin.

6. Health Issues

Health issues can also contribute to when your cat has dandruff for a number of reasons. Some health issues may directly affect your cat’s skin, causing either dryness or itchiness.

Very sudden amounts of excessive dandruff might be a sign that your cat is not doing well or that they have developed a health problem. This is always worth talking to your vet about.

7. Age

The age of your cat can also contribute to whether or not your cat has dandruff. This is because elderly cats are more prone to skin issues and excessive skin and hair shedding.

Elderly cats also cannot clean themselves as well as they used to, causing dandruff to build up and become itchy. 

You may need to start washing your cat or brushing them more regularly to help get rid of the dandruff flakes.

8. Poor Food Quality

Poor quality food can cause your cat’s skin to become dry and flaky, this is usually the result of filler ingredients and excessive gluten. Many cheap cat foods also don’t contain enough healthy fats, so your cat’s skin could be dehydrated and malnourished.

The best way to counteract this is to buy only good quality food instead of the cheap stuff. Preferably something high in protein. Avoid cat food that has dozens of ingredients and a lot of fillers or food dyes.

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