Common causes of dandruff

  • Shedding
  • Stress
  • Food
  • Dandruff mites
  • Seborrhoea (excessive discharge of sebum from the sebaceous glands)
  • Ringworm

Dandruff during shedding period

Cats change fur twice a year from winter fur to summer fur and vice versa. In connection with fur shedding, skin deposits can also flake off and then dandruff occurs.

Food can cause dandruff

An incorrect feed can cause dandruff in your cat. Being overweight can also contribute to your cat getting dandruff as they find it difficult to groom certain parts of the body.

Get the help of a vet to find a feed that suits your cat or if it may be appropriate to give your cat supplements.

Stress is often visible on the cat's fur

Stress can affect a cat in many different ways. The fur can become dull and flaky can be symptoms of a stressed cat.

Dandruff mites

Dandruff mites (Cheyletiella blakei) are very small parasites that can live on the cat's skin. Dandruff mites cause skin changes, dandruff and dry, flaky skin, often on the cat's back. Cats can also get itching from dandruff mites.

Dandruff mites are very rare in cats. Often, cats will simply lick them off. The use of certain tick preparations can also work against dandruff mites.


Seborrhoea is a morbidly increased occurrence of dandruff. In a cat with seborrhoea, the coat can be perceived as dry or greasy. Symptoms of seborrhoea are often seen on the lower back, around the eyes, ears and in skin folds. In some cases, there may be an underlying disease for seborrhoea that needs to be treated for the problems to disappear.

Ringworm - a contagious disease

Ringworm is a fungus that grows in the skin and on hairs down in the cat's hair follicles. It is often young or old cats with weakened immune systems who are affected. Symptoms of ringworm are hair loss, dandruff, redness and sores on the skin.

Treatment of dandruff

There are over-the-counter dandruff preparations intended for cats that can relieve problems with dandruff. Dandruff preparations can be bought at well-stocked veterinary clinics and animal hospitals. If the symptoms are persistent, you should contact a veterinarian to rule out possible underlying causes.

Often, good food and regular brushing of the fur can help with dandruff. Regular brushing also means you can notice any changes to the skin or fur earlier.