Dandruff on cats can be pretty frustrating.  Saying “the cat has dandruff” sounds a little strange, but it is more common that you think.  However, if you think about it, cats and dandruff go together naturally since they are covered in hair.  There are several common causes of this and we can run through them.

Normally, cats groom themselves.  If you have a heavy cat with dandruff, the reason may be because they are unable to groom their rumps, tails, or lower back.  Age may also leave the cat less limber, resulting in the cat being unable to reach all of his body.  If the dandruff is on these areas, this is probably the reason.  Brush the cat yourself once a week, and take him to the groomer every couple of months.  You can also give him a bath yourself, if he is cooperative. 

The weather may also be affecting your cat.  A lot of cats will get dandruff in the winter as a result of the cold and dry weather.  Since cats tend to sleep a lot, and like to do it in places that are warm, this may result in the cat’s skin drying out and causing dandruff.  Use a humidifier for the room the cat hangs out in. 

Diet can also affect the cat’s skin and give him dandruff.  Make sure your cat is getting enough moisture.  If the cat is not drinking enough, switch to canned food.  Try also adding some fish oil to the food until the problems clears up.  The dandruff may also be just because of the quality of the food.  Many of the cheaper dry foods are not nutritious enough.  Try switching to a more nutritious brand of cat food.  Again, add fish oil until the problem clears, then continue feeding your cat the more nutritious food. 

Dandruff on cats can also be a sign of feline diabetes.  It is estimated that as many as 1 in 200 cats have feline diabetes.  If the cat’s health starts to slide, dandruff may become more pronounced.  If the feline diabetes problem is addressed, the dandruff should clear up also.

There are also a few parasitic skin disorders that cause or even mimic dandruff.  Cheyletiella mites, called “walking dandruff”, are one such parasite.  Usually with parasites, all parts of the house, and all animals and people in the house will need to be treated.  Bites from fleas and lice can also give the cat dandruff. 

And, believe it or not, your cat might be sunburned.  Any where the fur is a little thin, and if the sun is right, the cat can get sunburned.  This may give your cat dandruff.  Use a lotion designed for cats and keep him out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day. 

The above suggestions will clear up most cases of dandruff on cats.  However, you always have the unknown cases.  Has some changed in your cat’s life lately?  New food or something new in the house that he might be bothered about?  Cats can get stressed also.  If it is food, take a look at it and consider switching back.  If it is something in the house, you might just have to brush and groom him to clear up the problem, and wait for the cat to adjust and calm down.

Cats and dandruff does not have to be an overwhelming problem.  If you have a cat with dandruff, just give him a brushing, then start the simple steps to figure out the problem.