My Cat Had Developed Terrible Dandruff

  1. Does anyone have any advice or theories on why my 10-year old, male, neutered cat has suddenly gotten terrible dandruff? He's strictly an indoor cat and gets professionally groomed every ten weeks, but the past few days it's been weird.

    Huge flakes of skin are coming off of his back and even though I comb him all the time, I can't get it to go away.
  2. I noticed that on my cat. His vet said it doesn't hurt him so we should just watch him. If it keeps happening and it visibly bothers him and we see sores on him then we could put a fish oil supplement in his food.

    (Dandruff occurs in cats that don't get enough fat in their diet.)
  3. Yeah, you can add fish oil to the diet. That didn't do anything for my cat though. And she eats the same diet as my other two and she's the only one with a problem. I think it can also happen if your cat eats mostly dry food. It can also happen if your cat is overweight. That is why my cat got it probably. They don't properly groom themselves then. As long as it isn't scabby or crusty or weird and irritating the cat, I think it is ok. My vet was never worried about it as long as my cat was acting normally otherwise. She has lost the weight but since she's elderly and arthritic, she still has dandruff from not being able to always reach back there to groom. The other cats groom her, but I think she's just always going to have it. Might not be the case for your cat, just how mine is. We comb her and she's clean and everything, but I never really ever see it decrease.
  4. My cat is about 8 pounds and I add 1/2 teaspoon of flax seed oil to her food daily at the recommendation of my vet. It has really helped her dry skin. As an added bonus, she almost never throws up any hair balls and she sheds a lot less.
  5. ^ I would also reccomend adding an omega supplement to her diet and see if that helps.
  6. I have one big boy who had bad dandruff but when I put all my cats on canned food, it started to go away. So I agree that it probably has something to do with diet. Also, I see dandruff on obese cats or cats that do not groom much (Obese cats have hard time 'reaching', etc).
  7. Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I will try to ammend his diet and include the things you have suggested. As many of you have said, an over weight cat is prone to dandruff and he is very overweight (18lbs!!) due to a thyroid condition. He is on medication for it, but there's nothing more to be done calorie-intake or exercise-wise.

    I will look into the supplements you recommended. Thanks so much!
  8. Leelee, do you actually have a cat that is hyPOthyroid??? You don't hear many of those as most cats become hyPERthyroid, which weight loss is the main symptom...
    Anyway, good luck!
  9. Tiramisu, He has a hyPOthryoid condion. He takes Thyrozine twice a day.

    About three years ago it was detemined that he had a hyPERthyroid so the vet suggested we send him to a special clinic near Baltimore where they would give him radiation treatment to restore his thyroid to normal. He had to stay there for the four longest days! I missed him terribly. Anyway, long story short, something went amiss and he is one of those rare cases where the radiation triggered the complete opposite situation. So, he's not had very good luck with his health, despite our trying to do all the best and right things for him.
  10. Leelee, I guessed either your cat had thyroid carcinoma that had to destroy all thyroid gland tissue to become hypothyroid, but your kitty's case was one of those even rare that your hyperthyroid cat turned hypothyroid... I am so sorry. I work in a veterinary hospital that does I-131 cases (not Radiocat). We scan all cats and tailor dosage of I-131 to make sure things like your kitty case does not happen... I know, it is the hardest thing for the mommies and daddies to be apart from their kitties. I had two of mine done, and back then, they had to stay at least 7 days!!!
    Anyway, I feel confident diet change and supplements will help the dandruff with your kitty! I was just noticing that with my big boy who had terrible dandruff now has all nice and smooth coat!
  11. Thank you tiramisu for your kind words and sharing your knowledge of thyoid problems in cats. I had forgotten the term "Radiocat" until you mentioned it in your post, and that is exactly what he had...."Radiocat".

    Thankfully your precious kitties came through just fine. I couldn't imagine being apart from them for a whole week.

    You have such a wonderful occupation. There couldn't be anything more rewarding in the world than helping pets and their parents. What a wonderful career you have chosen!
  12. Leelee, I have no advice to offer but just wish to offer your cat my best wishes.
  13. Thank you, passerby. You are very kind.
  14. Leelee, my cats had always been eating some wet food, they have both wet & dry, but i just realized... after this thread, that my cats dandruff is almost entirely gone. We just switched them over to the Wellness line. Not sure if there is something that changed with that, but her coat looks a lot healthier. They are eating MORE canned food, but they've always had it in their diet, so maybe it was just the quality of what we were feeding her. I guess it was something I had seen for years, and so I just always assumed it was still there. But nope! We also switched to a filtered water fountain, not sure if her increased water has anything to do with it either. So I guess there is hope!
  15. That is good news! I'm glad your cats have improved. We live in the country so we are on well water. I'm thinking maybe I should give him bottled water instead of tap water. Anything that could help my poor guy is worth a try.