The following tips are not intended to take the place of the advice of medical professionals, nor are they a substitute for a diagnosis of any illness. Instead, they are tips to make you aware of some issues that may cause problems for your cats and kittens.

You’ve seen them…as have I…the “little white flakes” that sometimes peek out of your cat’s fur when you pet him or her. The flakes may be dry skin or they may be a sign of something a bit more serious like this:

Cat dandruff is common among diabetic cats.

In fact, a study shows that 1 in 200 cats has what is known as Diabetes Mellitus (DM), so if you want to know what to look for to help your pet get better, here are some things you can do:

Diabetes Mellitus is associated with poor nutrition.

So, instead of buying one of those generic brands of cat food, perhaps you might change your cat’s food, such as one of the good quality brand names–even if it may cost a little more.

You may also want to give food supplements that contain fish oil, which have proven to correct the dandruff problem. We have found, though, that “fish” products are not necessarily a yummy enticement for our “boys.”

Fish oil may also come from canned tuna, since it is rich in Omega 43 fatty acids. It will usually improve your cat’s hair in about a week.

Symptoms to look for to tell if your cat has a skin care problem like dandruff include:

* An increase in their appetite
* Excessive thirst or urination
* Dehydration
* Depression
* Muscle wasting
* Lethargy
* Weight loss, and
* Unkempt hair coat that is a direct result of poor grooming.

It gets worse, when the cat displays weak rear legs.

Aside from a cat being diabetic, other risk factors for dandruff include certain steroid injections, neutering and old age. The cold weather could also be another cause, since it dries the cat’s skin. As can running the furnace, making the room excessively dry.

If your hunch that your cat has dandruff is correct, you can fix this problem by buying a topical and oral treatment creams designed to treat dry skin.

Aside from dandruff, though, your cat’s people parents should also be concerned about allergies as they also can cause skin problems among cats. This may come from cleaners, pollen, food and other sources. And, since it is hard to pinpoint the exact cause, owners are advised it’s best to use only natural care products when cleaning the home.

Further, for numerous reasons, your cat should also be confined indoors to prevent her from roaming outside. Studies have shown that sunburn kills the top layer of her skin, causing it to dry and flake off.

Repeated sunburn may even result in skin cancer, so if you decide to let your cat out it should be done before 10 in the morning and after 4 in the afternoon. You may have noted that those are also the times when it’s best for people to move around in the outdoors.

During the winter, your cat “little one” should not be allowed to sleep near the fireplace because this also quickly dries out her skin. And to keep her warm during the cold months, you should invest in a good humidifier.

At some point, you may also find your cat has (or will) become infested with fleas and ticks.

Thus, it’s wise to check your cat’s skin routinely and to pull out any fleas and ticks and use powder to flush out the rest. The hair should also be combed so this does not happen again.

If your cat’s skin care problem continues, it is best to take her directly to the vet since over-the-counter medications and parasite treatments you may have tried unsuccessfully (or over a long period of time) are not good enough to do the trick.

Some of the symptoms associated with dandruff could be something else like a skin disorder and one of them is Cheyletiella, which requires the help of a professional.

It’s also been shown that if cat skin care problems, like dandruff, are not taken care of immediately, it will get worse. So you must pay attention to the symptoms and signs already mentioned here.

Proper hygiene, diet and grooming are the best ways to keep dandruff away, and if household remedies don’t work, get help as soon as possible so the exact cause can be determined and the proper treatment can be given.

Yours in detecting illness early,

otbs-sig-karen

P.S. We’ll have more articles about health issues and concerns in the coming months, and we’ll also provide links to other helpful resources.