Why do cats get dandruff?
Like humans, cats may also suffer from dandruff. Dandruff shows as little white specks on the cat’s coat and develops when loose dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin flake off and get caught in the cat’s fur. Dandruff can cause a cat’s coat to appear unsightly and unhealthy. Fortunately there are many home remedies for cats which can be used to cure the condition.
Dandruff may be caused by a variety of factors such as sensitivity to a fungus that is present on the scalp, fungal infections, over-active or clogged oil glands the skin which can get very dry and produce dry flakes. Stress or a weakened immune system may also be the cause. Environmental conditions like cold weather or a dry environment are also known to trigger dandruff. Lastly, dandruff may also result from food allergies or intolerances and excessive washing of your cat may also result in flaky, dry skin.
Treatment will depend on the cause of the dandruff. Conventional treatment often involve topical creams. Be aware though that these treatments may have side effects. One word of advice, never use human moisturising lotions on your cat’s skin as they contain chemicals that can irritate your cat’s skin.
A balanced diet is one of the most effective home remedies for cats with dandruff. As dandruff may be the result of food allergies or intolerances, feed your cat fresh, raw food without artificial additives rather than processed food. However, make sure you do not change the diet suddenly as this may cause an imbalance of natural oils and consequently a dry, flaky skin.
Supplementing your cat’s diet with omega-3 oils or adding a tablespoon of olive oil to the food a few times a week can help the skin and condition of the fur by stimulating natural oils in the skin. Vitamin A also helps to maintain healthy skin. Carrots, squash and sweet potatoes are excellent sources and can be grated into your cat’s food.
Herbal remedies will also help to keep your cat’s skin healthy and nourished as they support the natural oil production of the skin. Herbs such as horsetail and dandelion act as an effective tissue tonic and keep the skin hydrated. These and bladderwrack, a sea vegetable used in supplements, can be found in ready-made natural remedies for cats with dandruff that you can buy such as Skin and Coat Tonic from PetAlive.
Skin and coat care
One of the easiest home remedies for cats with dandruff is regular combing. It will not cure the condition but will remove flaky skin cells from the coat and stimulate circulation of blood in the skin. Brush your cat regularly, but gently to loosen dry skin cells and dandruff flakes.
Dry your cat thoroughly after washing, as shampoo residue can dry on the skin and cause flaky skin and dandruff. If you wash or bathe your cat regularly, reduce the frequency. Bathing removes skin oils and can make the skin scaly. The production of natural oils in the skin is disrupted to counteract the dry skin caused by frequent washes and oil glands start producing too much oil.
If your cat is prone to dandruff, avoid keeping your cat in very cold and dry environments. Humidity in a room can be controlled by installing humidifiers.
These natural remedies for cats with dandruff will rid your cat of dandruff in an effective manner.