Find out what causes dry, flaky skin in cats and what to do if your cat has dandruff.
Cat flaky skin often appears near the lower back and base of tail.
Q: My indoor cat has a very shiny coat. She is groomed on a regular basis, but I notice that my cat has dandruff on her back toward her tail. Her coat is thick and has no area of dry skin. It clear's for a while and then returns, becoming very heavy. I feed her a well-balanced cat food.
A: The lower back and the base of the tail are common areas for dry, flaky skin to develop in some cats. Here are some basic sources of cat dandruff:
If obesity is the problem, put your cat on an appropriate weight-loss program. Have your veterinarian evaluate the skin and coat and make sure there isn’t a parasitic problem.
- Overweight cats will often develop greasy, flaky skin in that area simply because they are too overweight and inflexible to groom themselves properly.
- Occasionally, cats on a restricted fat diet will develop dry, flaky skin.
- Some parasitic skin disorders, such as Cheyletiella (known as "walking dandruff”), can cause the coat to appear flaky and dry.
- Cat dandruff can increase during the winter months when the air becomes drier than normal.
I’ve had great success treating these cats with a fatty acid supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It may take four to six weeks to see any change, but usually after that the coat looks wonderful and there are minimal flakes.
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