Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Feline Dandruff

Question from Laura in Bridgeville:
I have a 14 year old indoor male cat. He has developed dandruff on his back. I usually only feed him dry food and thought this may be the cause. I started adding wet food to his dry food, but it upsets his stomach. What do you think is causing this flaky skin and what can I do about it?

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
The dandruff you describe could have several underlying causes. If you are feeding your cat a diet that is low in fat, this can affect his natural skin oils and lead to flaky skin. If your cat has gained weight in the past few months, he may have noticeable scale due to the inability to groom his back adequately.
I recommend a check up with a veterinarian. A physical exam can help to rule out a type of skin mite that closely resembles dandruff. Also, a 14 -year old cat should be examined and have blood tests run every 6 months to detect health problems. An underlying disease can cause cats to groom less often and will lead to flaky skin. If no problems are found, your veterinarian can offer advice on supplements containing fatty acids that can help to minimize your catís dander.

Posted August 12, 2008

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