Cat has dandruff on his back

Sometimes the owner, showing affection to his fluffy pet notices that in the hair of the cat appeared very real dander. For many this will be an unpleasant surprise, especially if the hygiene of the pet is observed by all the rules. Dandruff in cats looks the same as in humans – the upper layer of skin gradually dies off, and scales slough off the surface of the skin at a certain rate. Sometimes it happens that an excessive number of dead cells are formed, and then there are white particles of skin on the coat, and the appearance of the pet becomes unattractive.

Can cats have dandruff

Many people are surprised when they hear that cats have dandruff. But if you think in terms of physiology it is quite common, though not very often. The skin renewal process is constant and the old skin flakes need somewhere to go, and they get stuck in the thick cat fur. The layer of particles on the coat can be dry or greasy. The primary cause of a greasy layer is often seborrhea.

If the horny dead layer looks like scattered flour or even snow, we speak of the dry variety, and with the greasy type, the hairs at the base look glued and greasy. The type of the disease depends on the individual characteristics of each pet’s body.

For some owners, it can be dangerous because of an allergy to cat dander, as a lot of cat saliva is left in the sticky hair.

Causes of cat dander

There are external and internal causes for the appearance of dead skin particles in an animal’s coat, which explain why the fur looks unkempt.

Internal causes:

  • Fungal skin diseases depress healthy cells and contribute to their death and detachment;
  • Skin parasites like fleas, mites, and lice. They can make the cat itch and, as a result, scratching their claws off the skin particles even worse;
  • Diseases related to the gastrointestinal organs and others;
  • diseases of the genitourinary system;
  • hormonal disorders;
  • thyroid disorders;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • allergic reaction of cats to food or environmental factors;
  • stress, fright, fears;
  • reactions to certain medications. There are products that contribute to excessive dryness of the skin. Shampoos that are not suitable for the cat can have the same effect;
  • Nutritional errors and lack of fatty acids in the diet;
  • Overweight does not allow the pet to fully care for the coat in the back and tail area, so there is often noticeable dandruff.

The external causes of dandruff include improper care for the pet: fans of cat baths one day may be surprised to note that from the coat of the cat is falling “snow,” or, conversely, behind the ears and on the back appeared sticky unkempt hair. If you find yourself allergic to the shampoo, it will also be evident from the crumbly skin particles.

Grooming a cat's coat causes irritation and dandruff

Affects the condition of the coat dry air. If the house is too dry, it will soon affect the skin of the pet. Sunburn will also make itself felt. It doesn’t matter how old the pet is, dandruff easily occurs both in an old cat and in a tiny kitten.

Dandruff on a cat’s back near the tail

Such a phenomenon as bristles of dead skin on the body of the pet can appear near the tail. Sometimes a cat’s heavy weight is cited as the reason – it is simply not able to brush the fur in this area. Dandruff near the tail bothers only the owner at first, but if the problem is not solved, in addition to the unpleasant smell from the skin of the pet, hair loss in this place can begin.

Dandruff on the back of the cat can be both dry and oily. The color of the scales does not depend on the color of the coat: the particles can be gray, white and yellowish. If the color of the dead particles is black, it signals parasites or fungal diseases in the kitty. In any case, the first thing to do is to go to the veterinarian and get blood tests and culture for the pathogen.

Treatment of cat dandruff

To rid the pet of dandruff, you need to determine the cause that caused the increased sloughing of dead skin particles. A small kitten can be severely depressed by itching, so the investigation is not delayed. You will probably have to fight it for quite a long time: for example, if dry air in the apartment was the cause, then the problem requires a global solution.

Before going to a specialist with a question of how to treat dandruff in the cat, you can independently eliminate the cause of the phenomenon. Such negative factors as improper diet, unsuitable shampoo, dry air are easily corrected by the owners without the intervention of the veterinarian, and additional medication treatment of dandruff on the back is not required.

It is worth asking yourself if there was anything new in the cat’s diet after which dandruff was noticed. You can cure the affliction simply by eliminating the product from the menu.

If shortly before the “snowfall” from the skin particles the pet was given any medicine, this is sure to be mentioned to the veterinarian at the examination. The doctor is even informed about procedures such as grooming performed at the salon and the last treatment for parasites.

If the disease is not eliminated, you should not try to become a veterinarian at home without special training: the doctor is much better able to detect the disorder in the cat’s body and prescribe the appropriate effective treatment.

Dandruff shampoo for cats

The first thing to try after adjusting the diet is an anti-dandruff shampoo. Such products function as antifungal, antibacterial and bring the sebaceous glands back to normal. The main active ingredients are zinc and salicylic acid. Thanks to their impact, the regeneration of the upper layer of the skin and the healing of wounds takes place.

Pet skin parasites can also cause dandruff on both the back and other areas of the cat's body

The most famous shampoo can be called a product called “Petway Petcare Anti Dandruff Cat Shampoo”. The benefits of the product include the elimination of unpleasant odors, itching and allergic reactions. The shampoo is easy to lather up and rinse off without residue, as a result, the coat looks silky and shiny. If you want to get rid of skin flakes in one go, don’t count on it – a tangible effect is achieved in several applications over a long period of time.

Shampoo is applied to the coat and is not washed off for 3-5 minutes. During this time, you should distract the pet and do not let her try to lick the product off.

It will be a good idea to get expert advice before using the above product.

The professional grade shampoo from Anju Beauté is called a super-cleaning shampoo. Its action is aimed at normalizing the sebaceous glands, as a result, the skin is degreased, sebum secretion is reduced, and the coat itself is moisturized. Check the price for Petway Petcare Anti Dandruff Cat Shampoo on Amazon.

Vitamins for cats for dandruff

When seborrheic rampant on the skin, a vitamin course will not be superfluous you can buy on Amazon:

Dandruff spray for cats

To treat dandruff in cats, you can use medicated sprays like CatFresh Oatmeal Skin & Coat Spray (also available on Amazon). This is a natural product soothes itches and irritations, moisturizes and conditions, removes dander and flaky skin, cleanses just like waterless shampoo, detangles when used during brushing, deodorizes also great on cat beds and kitty litter, gentle enough to use every day, can be used with other treatments..


Oily particles of dead epithelium are noticeable by a strongly shiny coat. And if you do not look for the cause, the appearance of the animal will be neglected and unkempt. Such a disease signals problems in the body: leukemia virus, systemic lupus erythematosus, chronic liver disease, drug rash.

Untreated disease also leads to hair loss.

Seborrhea as a cause of skin exfoliation can easily be passed from one cat to another, which will not make owners happy either. So there’s no room for second thoughts – treat and treat.

Black dandruff in cats

If the dandruff was suddenly black, and the color of the pet is also black – do not be complacent, this is not a variant of the norm. Parts of exfoliating skin may be light gray, creamy, white, but if they are black, then there is a fungal disease or presence of parasites in the body.

Cat has dandruff and hair loss

Yesterday your cat was found to have dandruff, but today you notice that her hair is falling out in large quantities – yes, this happens. A cat with dandruff sheds much more, and can even get bald spots from actively trying to brush the itchy skin.

The veterinarian will conclude whether parasites, fungus, or improper nutrition are to blame. In the first two cases, adequate medication will be prescribed, and the diet will need to be corrected at home. If the cat has been eating dry food, he will have to find another type of food.

Wandering cat dander

In addition to normal cat dander, there is the so-called wandering dander, which is caused by the mite Cheyletiella. The disease itself is called a beautiful word heyletiellosis. The disease as opposed to the word is not pretty at all and is extremely contagious to all pets with fur. The mite quietly moves in the keratin layer of the skin, so the dander itself, a thick layer of dandruff covering the coat, also moves after the mite. It’s not hard to spot the mite in cats: you can see the mite with a good magnifying glass, and the coat is like a battlefield: there are paths on the skin everywhere, along with a thick rash of skin scales.

Treatment of heylethiellosis begins with a vacuum cleaner, and better a steam generator, cleaning all the nooks and crannies of the house, with a rerinse all bedding, mats and carriers. Then the cat is bathed daily with sulfur-based preparations and even includes standard insecticides in the treatment.

Preventing dandruff in cats

Although the phrase “it’s easier to prevent disease than to treat it” has hit everyone’s nostrils, it has remained, and always will remain, the most trusted advice. The first thing to do, not only for your pet but also for your own health, is to think about the optimal level of humidity in the apartment. Along with maintaining humidity levels, don’t forget about your pet’s constant access to clean, fresh water.

In order to avoid formation of ugly untidy tangles of hair with particles of dead skin on it, you should wash your cat with a quality shampoo in warm water and not hot.

Of course, the presence of parasites in the cat’s life is unacceptable, both inside the body and on the coat.

For those owners whose cats have access to walks, will be relevant advice to avoid prolonged exposure of the pet in the sun.

It remains to add the recommendation on the proper diet of the purrfect cat and the care of the owner, preventing possible stress.

Reyus Mammadli/ author of the article

I have had pets since childhood: cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, geese, chickens, ducks, parrots, aquarium fish and dogs (in the yard). Of course, I constantly encountered diseases of pets and treated them. Glad to be able to share my skills and experience, as well as advice on caring for and adapting these critters and birds.

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