Dry scaling or dandruff in cats can be due to a diet low in essential fatty acids, a dry environment, poor grooming habits (especially obese cats that can't reach their back to groom), internal disease (usually other signs such as weight loss or poor appetite would be present in that case), and parasitic skin infections such as microscopic Cheyletiella mites (which can also cause itchy skin). Harsh shampoos such as tar or benzoyl peroxide can also cause dry skin. Make sure that your cat is on a good balanced diet made for cats, and try supplementing the diet with daily oral essential fatty acids such as Derm caps or EFA caps (some are prescription and some can be purchased at petstores or online). A mild hydrating shampoo 1-2 times monthly may be helpful, or a pet shampoo that helps decrease scaling such as one that contains sulfur/salicyclic acid (SeboLux, SebaLyt). If your cat is also itchy, or is having any other health issues, then I recommend taking her to your veterinarian for further evaluation.
Hope that helps,
Kimberly Coyner, DVM DACVD
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