What Is Cat Dander: How to Reduce It?
  • What Is Cat Dander?

Simply put, dander in your cat's hair is a buildup of skin cells that your cat has shed.

Source: petkeen.com

Let's start with the composition of a cat's skin:

A cat's skin is made up of epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue.

Source: merckvetmanual.com

The outermost epidermal layer is mainly composed of keratinocytes, melanocytes and Langerhans cells.

In the process of skin keratinization, new cells will replace old cells, and old cells will fall off.

If the skin's environment is out of balance, the keratinization process will be more frequent and skin cells will shed too much, resulting in the dander we see.

Why Do Cats Have Dander?

The most common condition is dry/oily seborrhea, that is, the cat's skin is too dry/oily, so a lot of dander is generated, which is the same as seborrheic dermatitis in humans.

Source: healthline.com

Some cats even have two kinds of seborrhea at the same time.

  • Cat's Seborrhea

The disease is most pronounced on the back of a cat in areas of skin rich in sebaceous glands.

Source: researchgate.net

There may also be redness in some skin areas and a dry/greasy feeling in the hair, which may be worse in areas with more wrinkled skin (feet, neck, armpits, thighs, etc.).

Cats with oily seborrhea also have an unpleasant smell, which can become intensified if they develop a secondary bacterial or yeast infection.

Seborrhea may be a primary or secondary disease. Primary seborrhea is congenital and is common in long haired breeds such as Persian cats.

Secondary seborrhea may be caused by the following reasons:

  1. Hormonal disorders (especially hyperthyroidism)
  2. Allergy
  3. Parasites (such as fleas)
  4. Fungal infection
  5. Dietary problems (the content of omega-3 fatty acids in food is too low)
  6. Environmental factors (temperature and humidity change)
  7. Obesity
  8. Musculoskeletal disease

In addition, there are many diseases that may cause cats to develop dander.

  • Other Diseases

Specifically, cat dander is a symptom that can be caused by many diseases.

Diseases with dander manifestations are divided into 3 categories, namely, primary/hereditary keratosis, exfoliative dermatosis and secondary dermatosis.

  • Primary/Hereditary Keratosis
  1. Acne
  2. Epidermal dysplasia
  3. Feline idiopathic facial dermatitis
  4. Feline primary/idiopathic seborrhea
  5. Follicular dysplasia
  6. Follicular hyperkeratosis
  7. Hyperkeratosis of cat paw pad
  8. Ichthyosis
  9. Acrodermatitis
  10. Psoriasis dermatosis
  11. Hyperkeratosis of nose
  • Exfoliative Dermatosis
  1. Contact dermatitis
  2. Dermatitis medicamentosa
  3. Feline immunodeficiency virus
  4. Feline leukemia virus
  5. Parapsoriasis
  6. Pemphigus foliaceus
  7. Systemic lupus erythematosus
  8. Thyrophyma
  9. Toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Secondary Dermatosis
  1. Allergic disease
  2. Environmental diseases
  3. Infectious diseases
  4. Parasitic disease
  5. Metabolic/endocrine diseases
  6. Neoplastic disease
  7. Nutritional disease

How to Reduce Cat Dander?

  • No Other Abnormalities

1. Use a Humidifier

The appearance of cat dander may be due to the dry air. After the humidifier is used, the humidity of the environment where the cat is located will rise, and the dandruff will be reduced to a certain extent.

2. Brush Cat Regularly

This can disperse the oil on the skin to the whole hair, remove the floating hair, and maintain the oil balance of the cat's skin.

Source: preventivevet.com

3. Improce Diet

Supplement the cat with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and feed some diet with high fat and protein content to help the cat recover the ability to secrete enough oil.

4. Hydropathic Compress with Warm Towel

This can help the cat relieve dry skin.

  • Measures to Prevent Dander

1. Control the cat's weight.

2. Regular internal and external insect repellents for cats.

3. Let the cat drink more water.

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