After a hard day’s work we always look forward to having some bonding time with our furry babies. Stroking and holding your pet’s soft and fluffy fur gives an uplifting feeling both for you and your cat. So, it would be very distressing if you discover that she has matted fur and white flakes all over.
The most common cause of matted cat fur and white flakes are an unbalanced diet, parasites, allergies, dehydration, general health and age.
Causes and symptoms of matted cat fur and white flakes
Your cat has an unbalanced diet.
A poor and unbalanced diet and an Omega-3 oil deficiency could trigger a host of skin problems as well as dull fur on your pet cat. Omega 3 fatty acids like DHA ( docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are found in marine sources like salmon, trout, and mackerel and should be added to your cat’s regular meals.
Your pet may have parasites.
The presence of parasites in your pets results in dermatologic reactions and bites from mites, fleas, or ticks trigger allergic reactions that lead to excessive itching and dandruff. The more your cat scratches her fur and skin, the more likely will it result in matting of fur aside from a bad case of white flakes.
Food and environmental stressors and allergies can trigger matted fur and white flakes for your pets. Even subtle changes like moving to a new home, new routines, exposure to toxic irritants, or introduction to new or unfamiliar food can all trigger allergies and result in dandruff or matted fur.
Your pet cats are prone to dehydration because it is quite common that cats do not drink enough water. Unfortunately, not drinking enough water leads to dry skin and ultimately to matted fur and white flakes or dandruff.
Health and Age
The appearance of matted fur and white flakes could be manifestations of an underlying medical issue such as hypertension or hyperthyroidism. These illnesses usually surface as your pet cat ages. Senior cats are prone to medical conditions that’s why it’s always best to bring your pet to your vet for a prompt consultation.
Similarly, the age of your cat can also be one of the causes of matted cat fur and white flakes. As cats age, they become plagued with joint problems that highly affect their ability to groom themselves and as a result, their fur may become tangled together and form into mats.
Dry and humid temperatures could spell disaster to our pet cats because it can lead to dry and flaky skin resulting in white flakes or dandruff. While this condition may affect all types of cat breeds, those that are at high risk are cat breeds with thin hair as well as hairless breeds like the Sphynx and Peterbald.
Treatment for matted fur and dandruff
While matted cat fur and white flakes are perennial conditions, both are highly treatable, and effective treatment options can be done. These are some treatment options for matted fur and white flakes:
Matted cat fur can pose a great danger to your pets as it damages the tissues and prevents oxygen and moisture from reaching the skin. As a result, your cat’s skin becomes irritated, dry, and scaly, and white flakes appear. To prevent this, brush your pet’s fur daily and clean it with a damp washcloth. According to the Cornell University College of Veterinarian Medicine, regular brushing of your pet’s fur makes it soft and shiny, gets rid of mats, and reduces the appearance of white flakes or dandruff. You can use premoistened cat wipes to wipe the fur and coat, it’s a good conditioning agent plus it has a pleasant scent.
Here’s what you can do to get mats out of cat fur:
For not-too-big or too-tight mats, you can gently separate it with your fingers. Then, apply an oil-based detangling spray to loosen it. To detach smaller tangles, you can use a metal comb and start combing the hair below the mat which is closer to the skin, and detangle into smaller pieces. Use short, fast strokes to avoid pulling of the skin. Never, ever cut the mats as it could result in wounds and bleeding. Regular brushing and combing of your pet’s fur and coat are necessary and should be a daily routine to prevent the formation of matted fur.
Encourage your pet cat to drink more water.
While it’s common cat behavior to drink too little water, it’s always good to encourage them to drink more and to stay hydrated. A trick you could try is by placing a cat fountain. This usually piques a cat’s curiosity and will encourage her to hang around and drink water from it. The more hydrated your pet is, the lesser chance that she will develop dry and scaly skin which could lead to matted cat fur and white flakes.
Treat dry skin and fur with ointment or lotion
Relieve your pet’s dry skin and fur by applying ointment or lotion to keep the skin and coat moist. Always take extra precautions and see to it that it’s applied moderately as over-application may result in further irritation. Cats also tend to be extra sensitive when it comes to skin concerns.
Give your pet supplements like Omega-3.
As earlier mentioned, Omega 3 deficiency is one of the culprits of matting and dandruff so your pet should be given the right amount of this supplement. Consult your vet on the proper dosage for your cat to avoid any complications. These are some of the benefits of Omega 3 supplements for felines:
- it results in a shiny coat and less shedding.
- it promotes healthy skin
- it promotes joint health
Our pets could easily become unsuspecting victims of matted cat fur and white flakes, thus, proper grooming and good hygiene should always be maintained. Ensuring that our pet cats have a balanced diet and ample water intake are also beneficial. Most importantly, regular visits to the vet should always be practiced to check for any underlying medical issues.