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Cat Dandruff: My Cat is Flaking Out! What Should I Do? catipedia-icon2.png

Just like people, cats can get flaky. (Insert funny cat behavior comment here. Admit it - you know you've got one.) ☺

But what we're talking about is flaky skin, not crazy cat antics. Yep, cats get dandruff too. It's actually a common problem. And like people dandruff, cat dandruff is made up of dead skin cells. But unlike people dandruff, the flakes that cats shed contain a protein that can be really irritating if you're sensitive or allergic. So aside from stopping the spread of white stuff on your furniture, there are good reasons for getting your cat's dandruff under control.


Why do cats get dandruff? Seasonal changes or a dry environment can get under your cat's skin - literally in this case. Obesity or other problems that limit a cat's mobility and grooming can also contribute to the problem.

Take a minute to read "Good Grooming for Good Health" and learn why grooming is so important for your cat.

Another cause could be an actual skin disease. If your cat's dandruff is accompanied by hair loss and skin redness, this could be a more serious condition called "walking dandruff." It's actually not dandruff, but a form of mange caused by the Cheyletiella mite. Unfortunately, without medical attention, this condition may get worse. If you see any signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.


If you've ruled out the issues above, it's time to focus on restoring your cat's healthy skin (and her dignity). Try these tips to help keep the flakes at bay, and to limit excessive scratching and shedding.

  • Give her the brush off. This is probably the first, simplest and best step you can take as a cat owner. Brushing provides great bonding time with your cat and helps her if she's unable to groom all of her body. Regular brushing helps distribute her skin's natural oils through her entire coat and may help keep her free of flakes and loose hair. Brush longhair cats daily and short hair cats at least 3 times per week.
  • Brave a bath.Your cat might consider it a fate worse than death… but a bath can really reduce the amount of dandruff she leaves around the house. Choose a hypoallergenic shampoo, and add a conditioner to moisturize her skin. Make sure both products are made specifically for cats. And make sure you rinse well - excess shampoo can cause more dandruff. If a bath is too terrifying for your cat (and therefore too dangerous for you), try wiping her skin with a damp cloth.
  • Supplement her skin.When your cat eats healthy, it shows in her skin. Ask your veterinarian about supplements like Omega 3 fatty acids that help keep skin healthy and enriched with skin essential oils. Your veterinarian might also recommend adding wet food to her diet. And speaking of wet, watch the amount of water your cat drinks. If she's dehydrated, her skin will be too.
  • Moisturize the air. Contrary to popular wisdom, you can control the weather… at least in your home. Get a humidifier, and improve the air quality for everyone. Especially your cat.
  • Moisturize your cat.Believe it or not, there are actually skin moisturizers made for cats. If your cat can handle a massage, they can be the perfect remedy for skin-dryingwinter cold and household heat.

If your cat's dandruff simply won't go away, or if you have more questions about why she's shedding her skin, ask your veterinarian. However, the tipsabove may help keep your cat's skin from flaking. And keep both of you from flaking out.

You might be wondering whether cat dandruff is related to allergies in your home. Find out with "Pet Allergies: 5 Ways to Manage Your Symptoms."


  • McLennon A. Master Cat Groomer representing Nestlé Purina PetCare. Instructional Videos: "How to brush your cat"; "Cat Grooming Tips: Cat Advice from Purina Cat Chow."
  • Pet Health Network. "'Walking Dandruff' In Cats." Reviewed by Peter Kintzer DVM, DACVIM, Apr 2014.<>
  • Vetinfo. "6 Ways to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff." <>



Below you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our company, our products and caring for your cats. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to contact us.

Q: How can I email or talk with the Purina Pet Care team?

A: If you would like to talk with us, please contact us here or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

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Q: How are Purina Cat Chow products different from other healthy pet foods?

A: Inside every bag of Purina Cat Chow you'll find a selective blend of protein, fat, and fiber. Everything we use in our premium cat food formulas has a place in your cat's healthy diet.

Q: How can I be sure of the quality of the Purina Cat Chow products?

A: Our top priority is the quality of the food that nourishes not only your pets, but the pets we share our lives with, too. So from source to bowl, the quality of our food is assured by taking the following steps:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • Purina ingredient sourcing and processing meet or exceed FDA, USDA or AAFCO standards for pet food. And every supplier of ingredients for Purina products must meet our stringent standards for ingredient specifications, product safety, sanitation and manufacturing practices.
  • Ingredient Testing
  • All of Purina's North American manufacturing facilities have on-site quality assurance laboratories and staff. And we're working to expand the use of technology to further screen ingredients for quality assurance.
  • Ingredient Tracking & Control
  • 99% of all Purina pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities and Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retail stores.
Q: Where is your food manufactured?

A: 99% of all Purina-branded pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities. Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retailers.

Q: I am unable to find a particular product in my area. Can you help me locate it?

A: Yes, we can help. Although distribution of our Purina Cat Chow products is national, not all stores carry all sizes and varieties. Contact our Customer Service department via our Contact Us page or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Q: Do you offer coupons?

A: We offer coupons in local papers, through direct mailing programs and via emails to registered members. We don't have a regular section on our website itself. We suggest you watch for sales or promotions at your local retailer.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We believe there's always more to learn and to share and that discovery should be fun. It's one more way we're helping you and your cat share a better life together. Visit Catipedia for articles and information and... a little bit of fun.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian for immediate answers to urgent situations. While is an excellent resource of information provided by cat care experts, your veterinarian can provide the best care for your individual cat.