We often get questions about cat dandruff and feline skin problems especially during the winter months.
This is also one condition our own family deals with periodically. Our big domestic tabby cat Riley is very susceptible to dandruff related to what we believe is dry skin.
Her condition seems to worsen during the Winter months when the forced air heat dries out the air and therefore her skin. Luckily for Riley her human mother hates dry fly away hair and runs a humidifier during the harsher Winter months.
We accidentally noticed that when the humidifier is run often her flaky skin problems seem to subside. After discussing this with our vet, his view on the situation is that cat dandruff is often caused by skin irritations.
Other things that can cause flaking skin and even bald spots is infections like ring worm or even allergies. He reminded us in the case of our tabby Riley that often overweight cats are prone to dandruff and poor skin health in general.
Other Causes of Feline Dandruff
This is not a fun feline skin problem to talk about, but we wanted to make you aware that a rare cause of excessive cat dandruff can be caused by a parasite known as the fur mite.
This is a parasite that is much less common than fleas. One of the telltale signs of this condition is extremely heavy amounts of cat dander. My vet explained that sometimes the fur mite condition is called walking dandruff.
This is because if the cat is brushed onto a dark colored sheet of construction paper some of the cat dandruff may actually appear to move.
These walking flakes of skin are actually the tiny little mites themselves that are white in color. Although this condition is not dangerous to humans or even the kitty cat itself it can be really irritating to people with cat dander allergies.
People with this type of condition may experience rashes on the body and arms and worse than usual symptoms associated with regular allergies.
The treatment for this condition is very similar to the treatments used for cat fleas as both of these parasites make their homes in the fur and on the surface of the skin. I recommend asking your vet for his opinion on the best way to treat this skin problem.
Other Cat Skin Problems that Cause Flaking
Another skin problem we ran into more than once is ringworm. Although this will not cause cat dandruff in large amounts it can create flaky skin in the affected areas. The main reason I wanted to talk about this skin condition is because this is one of the few things animals can pick up that can also be transmittable to humans.
One common misconception about ringworm in cats is that this problem is an actual worm.
It is not actually a worm but instead it is a fungus. Another thing that can throw you off about the name ringworm is the affected area may not actually be circular despite its name.
Some of the symptoms of ringworm are balding of the affected area that might also include redness and scaling. It may also be accompanied with the area being scratched by the feline in some cases violently, because it itches so much.
Some of the more common areas for this to show itself is the head and the paws of the kitty. If you believe your cat has it, I really do recommend taking them to your vet for testing. This the quickest way to find out if your cat has this ailment.
Treatment of ringworm can be lengthy and you must be diligent to eradicate the problem. When our cats had ringworm the vet prescribed oral medication that we administered twice-daily for three weeks. Give this feline skin problems page a bookmark or share with a friend that has a flaky kitty.