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Cat 'dandruff' 

Hi

Love your show! I'm hoping you can tell me what to do about my cats' dandruff. I find when I brush one of them he has loads of 'dandruff', particularly this time of year. He's black and it's not a 'good look' plus I'm worried that he's got a deficiency in something. I've also found that another one is having the same problem this year although not as bad. Do I need to add something to their food or get something for their coats? They get good dry food, canned fish and minced meat (for pets) daily. The black one mainly eats the meat.

Regards
Lesley

Answered Friday 23 October 2015

Hi Lesley,

thanks for your question as this is quite a common problem in cats and dogs. Dandruff usually indicates dry skin however sometimes it can indicate mites or infection. Have you had your cat checked out by your vet yet? Your vet will perform a skin scrape and sticky tape press on your cat's skin to rule out any of the above problems. Also, is he grooming himself regularly or has this stopped. Sometimes when cats are unwell or have arthritis they are unable to groom and hence you see a build up of the products that the cat would usually remove.

It is really important to have your cat checked by your vet to make sure that he is not unwell as outlined above as the coat is often the tip of the iceberg. Your vet will probably also take a small sample of blood and urine to complete the check-up and help rule out internal problems.

Assuming that he is generally well then there are a couple of things that you can do. Brushing is really important as it distributes the natural oils in your cats coat evenly through the fur and it also removes dead skin and rancid oil from the skin surface.

Secondly, you may be best to switch to a diet that is higher in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Although the food that you are offering him is excellent, if he is mainly eating the meat then he is missing out on a lot of things that he needs in his diet. I would recommend either feeding a high quality commercially available wet or dry food (Hills, Eukanuba or Royal Canin are the best) that is high in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids or if you would prefer, make a complete and balanced homemade diet and supplement it with a product called "megaderm". Your vet will be able to give you a recipe for a homemade diet and you can make up a big batch and defrost it in batches.

It is important not just for his coat but for his teeth and general well being that he eats more than mince. You may need to remove the mince option to encourage him to eat the other foods that are better for him. (just like taking the chocolate cake off the kitchen bench when you are trying to get the kids to eat the brussel sprouts!).

Good luck and thanks for asking,

regards,

 Anthony and James.

Pet Experts

Dr Ant and Dr James

These two best mates share a love of animals and are the stars of Village Vets Australia.

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