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(Last Updated On: September 7, 2021)

Have you noticed that your cat has flaky dandruff bits in its fur? Not sure why they are showing these symptoms? You might be asking yourself – Why does my cat have dandruff? Or is that even dandruff? Just as dandruff on a human can be caused by allergic reactions to certain items on the skin, your diet, or dry skin, so the same is true of your feline.

How do you know if this is something to be worried about or just something you can fix at home? We have compiled a generalized list of things to consider when you notice your feline is afflicted with dandruff and steps to rid them of this pesky concern.

Cat Dander vs. Cat Dandruff

The first thing to note when you see flaky skin from your cat is the difference between dander and dandruff. Dander is skin cells that naturally are shed by your cat as part of their body’s normal functioning and should cause no skin irritation or scratching in the feline themself. It should be noted dander is what causes allergies in humans that are sensitive to these shed cells but rarely impact felines. Dandruff, though, will be abnormal flaking in your feline caused by underlying medical or wellness concerns. Dandruff also will traditionally be accompanied by irritated skin and excess scratching of their skin by your cat. 

Causes of Dandruff in Cats

Several concerns can lead to feline dandruff. First, it can be a dietary cause from a poor quality diet containing the wrong nutrients or insufficient hydration. The right fatty acids are what make all the difference in the health of feline skin. This poor nutrient composition and/or water content can cause the skin to flake, itch, and shed in an unhealthy manner. 

Grooming concerns in overweight, older cats and some that have issues taking care of their own needs can cause dandruff. In addition, if they can’t reach certain places on their body, dead cells and the like can build up and cause irritation and flaking. Finally, various pests such as mites, ringworm, and fleas can cause dandruff to occur in cats. 

Diagnose of Underlying issue

First and foremost, check your cat’s food and change it up if you find that maybe they aren’t getting the fatty acid content needed to maintain skin health. Be sure that you follow the recommended Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid content for your size and breed of cats, as these directly address inflammation and skin health  

Additionally, regular grooming with a comb that your feline will allow to be used on them can help rid the skin and coat of dead skin cells that if not removed can irritate. If, with these changes, improvements are not noted, see a veterinarian to ensure that are no other underlying health issues you need to address. 

With that done and feel you have tried what you can, it might be time to consider some shampoos to help alleviate dandruff. Many cats will be aggressively grooming and causing more concerns trying to eradicate their dandruff on their own. Staying on top of this issue for their comfort and ensuring no future issues are created is critical. 

Feline Dandruff Shampoo/Treatment Options

We know that shampooing your feline can be a challenge. When trying to address dandruff, there is a myriad of cat products on the market. One of the top choices we could find was Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic 5 in One Oatmeal Pet Shampoo + Conditioner with over 9,500 reviews on amazon. This uses aloe vera, almond oil, oatmeal, and Vitamins A, D & E to help ease allergies and skin irritations that can be causing your cat’s dandruff. At a reasonable $14.59 for a 17 oz bottle, this was also an average costing bottle for the benefits. Featuring over 7,400 5 star reviews, this had great customer information to look over to see why so many choose this shampoo. 

Another option is Pet MD. With over 2000 reviews, you definitely want to check this one out! 


Ensure you do your due diligence, research the pros and cons for all products, and scour the reviews to ensure you make the best decision for you and your cat. Whether this is a food imbalance, a health issue, or simply a cat with some grooming issue, dandruff is real for many cats. Getting your kitty comfortable again in their own skin can take a bit of trial and error, but with perseverance, you can conquer dandruff.