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Home > Cats > 8 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff (With Pictures)

8 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff (With Pictures)

Cat scratching behind ears

Note: Home remedies are not an alternative to professional medical advice. If your pet has a serious issue, please consult your vet immediately.

Cats can get dandruff – just like people. There are tons of commercial products that claim to treat cat dandruff, but these aren’t always easy to use or practical. You likely can’t just bathe your cat with a dandruff-fighting shampoo and expect the problem to disappear. Some cats are more prone to dandruff than others. Sometimes, dandruff may be the cause of an underlying problem. Other times, it can simply be genetics.

Luckily, there are quite a few ways to get rid of cat dandruff naturally at home – no matter the reason your cat has dandruff.


The 8 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff

1. Make Dietary Changes

Cat eating melons
Image Credit: Guajillo studio, Shutterstock

Diet plays a significant role in skin and joint health. If a cat is experiencing dandruff, it may be that they aren’t getting everything they need in their diet to repair their skin and coat properly. Just because a diet is technically “complete and balanced” doesn’t mean that it’s the best option for your feline.

If you’re feeding your cat a grain-heavy diet, you should likely switch to something meat-based. Generally, these foods are high-quality. Plus, meat provides extra fats that are important for skin health.

Omega fatty acids may be beneficial for cats with skin problems. These fatty acids aren’t considered “essential” by the cat food industry, but they can prevent skin itchiness and dandruff. They’re also helpful for joint health if your feline is having issues in that area as well.

Most cat foods with added omega fatty acids have added fish oil. Others include high levels of salmon or other fish, which are naturally high in omega fatty acids. Flaxseed oil and other plant-based oils are also used.

  • Straightforward
  • Doesn’t require a change in routine
  • Can be challenging to switch your cat’s food
  • Finding the correct food is somewhat confusing

2. Increase Hydration

cat drinking from fountain
Image Credit: Nana_Hana, Shutterstock

Cats are notorious for not drinking enough. Even if fresh water is available, they may not consume enough of it to stay properly hydrated – just like some people don’t drink enough, even with an abundance of fresh water available.

When cats are dehydrated, their skin often isn’t as moist as it should be. Therefore, they may develop dandruff.

In the wild, cats would receive a lot of moisture from their food. Raw meat is very water-rich.

In captivity, this isn’t always the case, though. Many cats eat kibble, which hardly includes any moisture. For this reason, it isn’t odd for cats on kibble-based diets to be dehydrated.

You may want to switch your feline to wet food if they are experiencing regular dehydration. A veterinary visit may also be to throw out any possible medical problems that could be causing dehydration.

You can also add fountains, which are often more appealing for cats to drink out of.

  • Finding fountains and wet food is easy
  • Improves your cat’s overall health
  • Some cats won’t eat wet food
  • Wet food isn’t appropriate for all cats

3. Provide Grooming Help

DakPets Pet Grooming Brush
Image Credit: DakPets, Amazon

If dandruff seems to be mostly contained to the lower back and base of the tail, your cat may need help cleaning those areas. This problem is most common in obese, sickly, and older cats. Sometimes, these cats have a hard time reaching that area.

Cat cleansing wipes can be extremely useful in these situations. You could bathe your cat, but this is usually not the best option, and most cat owners who have tried before know why.

Most cats don’t like water, and bathing them will surely end up as a bad time – in most cases, at least.

  • Cat cleansing wipes are easy to use
  • Time-consuming
  • Usually hints at an underlying problem

4. Use a Humidifier

Sometimes, cats may develop dry skin because their environment is drier than usual. In these cases, we recommend running a humidifier in your home, particularly in the rooms that your feline spends time in.

The more humid a room is, the less likely your cat’s skin is to dry out. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should keep it highly humid. Often, an average humidifier is enough to help. If it isn’t, dandruff probably wasn’t due to a dry environment to begin with.

  • Plug it in and forget about it
  • Impossible to place humidifiers everywhere

5. Bathe Them

Girl washes cat in the bath
Image Credit: Olleg, Shutterstock

As a last resort, you can bathe your cat in dandruff or medicated shampoo. Often, this is just as difficult as it sounds. Most cats don’t like to be bathed and will fight you every step of the way.

Some groomers may bathe cats. In this case, it is often in your best interest to enlist a groomer to help you. They usually have dandruff shampoo handy, allowing them to take care of your cat’s problem.

Alternatively, you can do this yourself. There are many directions and videos out there on how to bathe your cat correctly. Just be sure that you use a high-quality dandruff shampoo so that you don’t have to bathe them again.

  • Allows you to use very powerful shampoos
  • You have to bathe a cat – enough said

6. Reduce Stress

Holding Cat
Image Credit: Ann Kosolapova, Shutterstock

Sometimes, dandruff and dry skin can be due to stress in cats. Cats can become stressed for all sorts of different reasons, including changes in routine, introducing a new animal into the home, or even moving the furniture around.

Cats tend to be very sensitive to changes. Things minor to us can seem very serious to our cats, especially since we can’t just explain what’s going on.

In many cases, you can reduce your cat’s stress, which should stop any physical symptoms they’re experiencing. Other times, you won’t be able to change the direct cause of their stress. Sometimes, we need to move the furniture around or switch jobs.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can try to reduce their stress in other ways. Cat pheromone sprays and even medication can help a chronically stressed cat.

  • Can improve your cat’s overall health
  • Some solutions are straightforward
  • Discovering the underlying cause of stress is challenging

7. Limit Sun Exposure

cat in the counter
Image Credit: OceanicWanderer, Shutterstock

Dandruff and peeling can be caused by sunburns in cats – just like in people. Therefore, if your cat is spending a lot of time in the sun, you may want to start limiting their exposure.

Lightly colored cats are much more likely to experience sunburn than other felines.

Keeping your cat indoors is likely the best option.

  • Very easy to do in some circumstances
  • Requires a change in your cat’s routine

8. Try Skin Moisturizer

Burt Bees dander reducing wipes
Image Credit: Chewy

They do make skin moisturizers for cats. It’s a bit like lotion.

As you might imagine, these can help considerably with dry skin. Some are even specifically made for dandruff.

Because lotion is hard to apply to the skin, these moisturizers usually come in wipes or sprays. Wipes are most common for cats, as they can be a bit scared of sprays!

  • Widely available
  • Can be challenging to apply


When to Call the Vet

Cat Vet_Stock Asso_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Stock Asso, Shutterstock

Visiting the vet is often called for if your feline experiences chronic or sudden dandruff. Sometimes, cat dandruff is linked to more pressing issues, like parasites and allergies. You should check with a veterinarian if you suspect an underlying cause of your cat’s dandruff.

Your vet can also rule out other potential health issues before you attempt to solve them through DIY means. It will cost you more, but you may save a lot of time and energy trying to narrow in on what’s causing the problem.


Final Thoughts

Skin dandruff in cats usually isn’t a big deal. Most of the time, dry skin in our cats is similar to dry skin in people. Special shampoos, moisturizers, and similar products can all be beneficial. You can also make changes to the environment, such as reducing stress and adding a humidifier.

Sometimes, cats are unable to clean specific areas, which can lead to dandruff. In these cases, cleaning wipes or dealing with the underlying cause of the cleaning difficulties is necessary.

Featured Image Credit: FOX, Pexels

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