Dandruff is skin that dies and falls off. This renewal of the skin is completely natural. However, this physiological process can be accentuated under certain conditions; the presence of dandruff on your cat's coat can then have several origins. We invite you to discover them in order to prevent the appearance of these somewhat unsightly flakes!
Dandruff and physiological shedding
First of all, the presence of dandruff in your cat's coat may be due to shedding. If the coat is not brushed regularly during the shedding process, the dead undercoat remains on the skin and prevents it from breathing. This leads to dandruff. Therefore, when your cat is moulting, we advise you to brush him every day in order to remove all the dead hairs. This will also prevent your cat from swallowing dead hair when licking, which could cause an intestinal obstruction.
Dandruff and diet
Secondly, the health of the skin and coat is directly linked to the quality of the food. Indeed, a "Premium" quality diet is less rich in fats, the proteins are of better quality and the food is more digestible, the quantities to be ingested are then lower and better assimilated by the body.
There are foods enriched with essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) specially designed for the beauty and health of the skin and coat.
At the same time, these Premium foods are at the origin of the reduction of the stools and a less strong odor of these thanks to the high digestibility of these foods.
Dandruff and parasites
It is important to know that deworming is important, it allows the cat to have a more efficient immune system (which defends him against diseases), avoids intestinal and dermatological problems (digestive worms can be responsible for hair loss, dandruff, itching, ...).
The treatment against external parasites allows to prevent itching problems and therefore dandruff due to flea bites, it also avoids infestation by certain worms transmitted by fleas. It is generally done every month.
Even if your cat lives in an apartment, it may have fleas because these parasites can be brought home under the soles of your shoes or, if your cat goes on a balcony, it can also catch them very easily. It is therefore advisable to treat your cat regularly against fleas with a suitable flea repellent.
Dandruff and dry seborrhea
The renewal of the cat's skin and the associated dandruff formation can be accelerated in many diseases: this is called seborrhea. It may or may not be associated with excess sebum, with the hair greasy and sticky.
There are primary or idiopathic seborrhea, for which the cause is unknown; some individuals are more affected. Obesity seems to be a contributing factor.
But often, this seborrhea is only the consequence of an illness. The various causes of seborrhea are :
- endocrine disorders (hypothyroidism, hypercorticism...),
- metabolic disorders (hepatic problems, malabsorption...),
- dietary deficiencies (vitamin A, Zinc, essential fatty acids...),
- Parasitosis (scabies, ringworm, fleas, cheyletiella, digestive worms...),
- allergy (pneumoallergens, food allergies...),
- pyoderma (skin infection),
- other rarer diseases (skin cancers, autoimmune diseases, other dermatoses...).
It is therefore essential to look for all possible causes of seborrhea in order to eliminate or limit them as much as possible. If no cause is found, we talk about idiopathic seborrhea and the treatment will be only symptomatic. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your veterinarian will prescribe specific emollient shampoos, moisturizing lotions, or essential fatty acid supplements.
If the presence of dandruff on your cat's hair and skin is accompanied by other skin symptoms (red or irritated skin, itching, etc.), it is necessary to consult a veterinarian.
Remember: it is essential to give your cat a good quality diet and if necessary food supplements in order to avoid deficiencies in essential fatty acids. It is also necessary to treat it regularly against fleas with an adapted antiparasitic. Finally, it is necessary to deworm your cat, even if it does not go out. Ask your veterinarian for advice.