Kitten Dandruff

Kitty dandruff has multiple potential causes, from skin irritation to diet deficiency.
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Kitten dandruff is easy to spot, because its symptoms look just like those of human dandruff. Most of the time, it's more of an annoyance for you than an inconvenience for your furry friend.


Your kitten's dandruff signs resemble those of human dandruff. You may notice white flakes intermingled with oily- or greasy-looking cat fur. Cat dandruff commonly appears on the back, near the tail, but can occur in other areas, too.


Much of the time, dandruff in kittens is harmless and can be treated. Overweight kitties that may not be able to reach to groom themselves can get dandruff. Cat dandruff may be a sign of fungal infections, skin parasites, fleas, food allergies, diet deficiencies, skin irritants or serious diseases, like lymphoma. In winter, when the air is drier, kittens may get dandruff caused by the skin disorder Cheyletiella.

What to Do

Since kitten dandruff has many potential causes, enlist your vet's help in determining what is making your kitty get so flaky. If your vet finds a diet deficiency, he may prescribe fatty acid supplements that will clear up the dandruff within six weeks. If he suspects food allergies, he may suggest a diet change.

Next Steps

An over-the-counter dandruff shampoo or spot treatment may help clear up white flakes. Your vet can recommend a dandruff shampoo or spot treatment formulated just for cats, so you don't reach for people products. However, it can be difficult to treat kitty dandruff effectively. If your kitten doesn't seem bothered by it, you may decide to seek no further treatment.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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