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8 Natural Home Remedies for Cats With Dandruff

If you spot that your cat’s coat is covered with dandruff, it’s usually a sign that something isn’t quite right. As well as being a sign of an allergy, dandruff can also be an indicator of environmental stressors. It’s not only unsightly, but dandruff can also make your cat’s skin feel sore and uncomfortable.

Figuring out what’s causing your cat’s dandruff is essential. Sometimes, you can solve the problem at home; other times, you may need to bring in your veterinarian as well. Either way, treating your cat’s dandruff will make them feel more comfortable and happier.

We’ve rounded up eight natural home remedies that you can try to see if they help relieve your cat of this scratchy issue. cat face divider 2

1. Bathe your cat

Can You Use Human Shampoo on Cats? What You Must Know! Cats are equipped with all the tools they need to bathe and clean themselves, but there may be times when your cat needs some assistance, possibly after they have walked through or played in something particularly dirty. Besides the fact that your cat will probably hate the experience of being bathed, it is important to remember that regular bathing can cause more harm than good, so it should be reserved solely for emergencies. With that said, there is a good chance that you won’t have cat shampoo laying around in the cupboard. So, can you use human shampoo on your cats? Is it safe? The quick answer is no, you shouldn’t use human shampoo on your cats. We’ll tell you more below. Should You Bathe Your Cat? Your cat has a rough tongue and powerful teeth. He has the tools he requires to effectively keep himself clean most of the time. This is especially true of short-haired cats. As such, it is rare that you will even consider bathing your cats. However, it is also true that cats are incredibly inquisitive. Some might say nosey. They want to investigate every portion of every room. They want to know what you keep grabbing out of the cupboard, and what it is that has such a strong smell in the back of the shed. They rub against things, roll in liquids and substances you don’t want them to, and have a seemingly endless list of ways in which they can cause mischief and end up caked in mud and other nasties. There may, then, be occasion when you feel it is necessary to bathe your cat. Occasional bathing is fine. The same natural oils that help protect your cat’s coat from everyday dirt and grime will recover after a bath. Frequent bathing, though, can strip these oils from the fur. This will leave your cat with dry fur. It can also lead to dry skin, rashes, and other problems that not only leave their fur lacking luster but may actually cause them harm. So, you can bathe your cat, but you should only do so when it is absolutely necessary. If you have ever had to bathe a cat, you likely won’t want to repeat the process too often. It tends to result in a lot of soapy water everywhere except on the cat, and a terrified and angry cat warning you off. It’s a lot of water, claws, and hissing, but not a lot of cleaning. You should make the process quick, be confident, and you should have everything ready before you even consider turning the tap on. Should You Use Human Shampoo? Even the most delicate human shampoo contains chemicals and other ingredients that are harmful to your cat. A lot of shampoos contain perfumes and even essential oils, both of which can prove toxic to your cat. The ingredients are effectively absorbed through the cat’s skin and broken down by the liver, but a cat’s liver is not the same as a human’s and it is not as effective at breaking down the chemicals that are found in human shampoo. Therefore, it is safest to use a shampoo specially designed for cats. Using Specialist Cat Shampoo It is worth having a bottle of cat shampoo in the cupboard, ready for any mud-based emergency. These shampoos are formulated especially for use on cats. They have the right pH balance, so are not usually as acidic as human shampoo, and they do not contain the same essential oils and perfumes as are used in our own shampoo. Cat shampoo won’t dry out your cat’s fur or skin as readily. It will contain some natural odor that will help get rid of the smell of dirt and muck, but it uses natural ingredients that are not damaging to your cat. Is Human Shampoo Safe For Cats? Some human shampoo may prove relatively safe for cats, but the majority of ingredients found in human shampoo can prove dangerous for your filthy feline. Stick to cat shampoo, only bathe when necessary, and be prepared before you grab the cat because the process is likely to get a bit scratchy.
Image Credit: Olleg, Shutterstock

If you have hypoallergenic cat shampoo at home, that’s a good option that will help soothe and moisturize your cat’s skin, reducing their dandruff. You can also make an easy DIY oatmeal shampoo for your cat using ingredients that you’ve probably got in your house already!

You’ll need:
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of organic oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon Dawn dish soap (do not substitute for other brands)

If your oatmeal is coarse, it’s best to grind it to a finer powder using your blender. Then mix the above ingredients with 4 cups of warm water. Apply this mixture to your cat’s coat, working it down to their skin with your fingers. Allow it to sit for up to five minutes — if your cat will accept this! Placing lickable cat treats on the side of the bath is a great way to distract some cats from the fact that they’re covered in oatmeal!

Oatmeal will help moisturize and soothe your cat’s skin while avoiding the use of harsh shampoos that can cause further outbreaks.

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2. Groom your cat

hand brushing a cat
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Regularly brushing your cat’s coat can help improve blood circulation across their skin, as well as spreading the natural oils throughout their coat. This can help moisturize their coat as well, decreasing the likelihood of your cat’s dandruff reoccurring.

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3. Encourage your cat to drink more water

cat water
Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay

Cats often don’t drink enough water, so their dandruff can be a sign that they’re dehydrated. Many cats don’t like drinking from still water sources, like a bowl. Cat water fountains are a great way to encourage your sensitive kitty to drink more, but you can also collect rainwater and place it in a small dish for your cats, as many of them prefer the taste to tap water!

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4. Consider changing your cat’s food

cat eating
Image Credit: Capri23auto, Pixabay

Some skin conditions like dandruff can be linked to a food allergy. You might want to try changing your cat’s food to a limited-ingredient diet to try and rule out food allergies. This is one remedy that you’ll probably need to bring your veterinarian on board for. They can help advise you which foods could be triggering an allergic reaction in your cat, as well as which foods to switch to remedy the situation.

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5. Add an omega-3 supplement

omega3
Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

Dry skin is one of the main culprits when it comes to dandruff in cats. Improving the condition of your cat’s skin from the inside out can solve their dandruff woes.

Your cat may simply not be getting enough fatty acids in their diet to keep their skin in the best condition.

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6. Use a humidifier

cat Dehumidifier_mariia boiko_shutterstock
Image Credit: Mariia Boiko, Shutterstock

If you live in a dry climate, then this can dry out your cat’s skin, increasing the risk of them developing dandruff. Using a home humidifier to raise the level of moisture in the air will help your cat, and you, feel more comfortable!

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7. Check for fleas and parasites

Cat with fleas_shutterstock_Maja Marjanovic
Credit: Maja Marjanovic, Shutterstock

If your cat has picked up fleas or other parasites, they can start to develop skin irritations and even develop an allergic reaction to the bites from these pesky little critters. If your cat is scratching their skin frequently, it can make dermatitis and dandruff worse.

If you have flea remedies at home, you can treat your cat after checking them over to confirm that you can see fleas. You might want to speak to your veterinarian if you suspect another type of parasite or if you need to stock up on flea treatments.

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8. Moisturize your cat’s skin

cat asking for cuddles
Photo credit: 99mimimi, Pixabay

If you have coconut oil at home, this can make a wonderful moisturizer to help soothe any dry and scurfy patches on your cat’s coat. Simply rub a little oil onto their skin, and let it work its magic. You might need to keep an eye on your cat to make sure they don’t lick it all off. Coconut oil does have antimicrobial properties and can be safely fed to cats, though, so you don’t need to worry too much!

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Wrapping it up

Home remedies can be used to help your cat suffering from dandruff. Sometimes, solving the problem will be a simple fix, like adding more water to your cat’s diet or using a humidifier.

Other times, you might need to invest a bit more time and money into changing their feed or treating them for parasites. Either way, your cat will thank you when their dandruff disappears, and they start to feel more comfortable again!

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Featured Image Credit: photong, Shutterstock