People use olive oil for enhanced brain and heart health, improved immunity, and reduced inflammation. But, the usage of olive oil to treat mild skin conditions such as dandruff in pets is also becoming popular.
It may sound hard to believe that olive oil can be used for cats to cure dandruff. However, it is an entirely holistic way to deal with many skin and tummy troubles in pets. Extra virgin olive oil is non-toxic for most animals, including canines and felines. Not to mention, olive oil is laden with valuable polyphenols, fatty acids, and micronutrients.
So, how do you use olive oil for cat dandruff? To use extra virgin olive oil for cat dandruff, you can gently massage a little bit of warmed up olive oil into the affected area of skin with your fingers. After 20 minutes, you can rinse it off with warm water. This process can be repeated daily or every third day.
Now, it is true that there aren’t a lot of studies that indicate the advantages of using olive oil for pets. However, many vets and pet parents are happy use olive oil to deal with irritating problems such as dry skin, matted fur, ear mites, constipation, and dandruff. So, without further ado, let’s get to how olive oil can help your furry friend.
What Is Cat Dandruff?
Shedding skin cells is a natural phenomenon in both humans and animals. Losing dead skin cells is a healthy process through which the skin stays fresh and hydrated. When your cat starts to lose excessive skin cells, the flakes become noticeable.
Humans tend to be embarrassed by their dandruff. It’s lucky that your cat will not suffer from such embarrassment. But, it is vital to ensure that your furbaby does have healthy skin and fur.
Also, dandruff occurs with other associated issues such as redness, itchiness, or dry skin. If your kitty has some dry skin with dandruff, then you can easily handle the problem. But, if you see your cat’s skin is inflamed in any way and find that they aren’t eating, then there might be other underlying health concerns.
Why Does My Cat Have Dandruff?
Cat dandruff can happen for many reasons, and it’s only when you know the cause of a problem that you can address it adequately. Let’s view some of the root causes of dandruff in felines.
Dehydration is the cause of dandruff, not just in humans but in cats too. Now, if you live in a hot and dry region or you happen to experience grueling summers, then your kitty will experience dehydration. It isn’t typical for most cats to enjoy drinking water, so dandruff might be inevitable.
You can remedy the situation by providing treats such as watermelon or cucumbers or adding a bit of water to the meals that you offer. Your kitty cat will feel the heat less, and with the dehydration under control, you’ll put a stop to dandruff too.
2. Fungal Infection
Indoors cats can get fungal infections, too, as you can contract a fungal infection through ingestion or inhalation. Skin fungal infections such as ringworm are common in cats. Your kitty can quickly get it from the soil you use in the litter.
Your cat will likely have dandruff when it is suffering from a fungal infection. But, your cat will also show other signs such as excessive hair loss, lethargy, and reduced activity levels. The best way to get a cure is to change the brand of litter you use and head straight for the vet.
3. Allergies To The Environment
Cats can be allergic to the elements in the environment just like you. If you’ve recently changed your detergent or even the floor cleaner, then it’s likely that some chemical in those cleaning agents is causing your cat to develop allergies. If the allergy is significant, then your cat is likely to have dandruff too.
If you switch to a milder cleaning agent, you’ll probably help your furry friend with its allergies as well as dandruff.
Cats tend to get dandruff as they age. As cats age, their skin becomes drier. Cats aren’t big on drinking water and keeping themselves hydrated, so the dry skin can become aggravated enough to get dandruff. So, when it comes to older, more mature cats, it falls on you to ensure that their dietary needs and upkeep are up to par.
Introducing a new animal or even something as simple as rearranging the furniture can cause your kitty stress. If your cat is suffering from anxiety, especially for a long duration, then it will start to show clear signs of stress. Hair loss, dandruff, and even loss of appetite can occur due to anxiety.
But, there are also changes in your cat’s behavior that can alert you to anxiety in your feline. For example, if your usually well-behaved cat is having more accidents, or destroying your furniture by clawing things up, then it could be that your poor kitty is stressed.
The surest way to put your feline pal at ease is to place things as they were and if it is a new pet in the house that may be creating frustration, then make space enough for the two pets to move about without running into each other too much. You may also want to provide perches for each cat to get up high away from the other.
6. Feline Lymphoma
Feline lymphoma is a rare condition in cats that can have severe symptoms. It is a malignant cancer of the lymphatic system and can impact every aspect of a cat’s physical existence. The immune system as a whole of a feline is compromised due to feline lymphoma and can also cause extreme skin dryness. Dandruff is a mild symptom of feline lymphoma.
Most cases of gastrointestinal lymphoma are low-grade lymphoma. 70% of the cases can be treated. But, lymphoma isn’t a disease that is ever cured, it just goes into remission, and the symptoms are temporarily “cured.”
Of course, you should always take your cat to the vet if you suspect that they may be suffering from a serious illness.
Cats can get hypothyroidism as well as diabetes. Your cat will likely develop either of these conditions if it doesn’t have a wholesome diet or proper exercise. If your cat gets too many sweet treats or consumes too much human food, the negative impact of its improper diet will surface through illnesses such as diabetes.
Again, you should always take your cat to the vet if you suspect that they may be suffering from a serious illness.
One of the most common reasons why cats get dandruff is because of parasites. If your poor cat somehow gets lice, fleas, or mites, it will have many skin problems. Dry skin, irritation, redness, and lots of scratching are the apparent signs. But, parasites can cause other symptoms too, where your cat may even start to lose weight.
How To Use Olive Oil To Get Rid Of Cat Dandruff
The reason for dandruff can be as simple as dehydration or as complex as feline lymphoma or anxiety. But, there are steps that you can take to eliminate or minimize the extent of dandruff your furry friend has. But, before you can go to that, there are different versions of live oil available in the market, and you must acquaint yourself with them.
- Pomace Olive Oil: You cannot directly or indirectly term pomace olive oil as ”olive oil,” as it is extracted via chemicals. Pomace olive oil lacks many of the nutrients, flavor, and smell that are to be found in extra virgin olive oil. It is not recommended for much for human use, let alone for pets.
- Lampante Olive Oil: This is refined in the refineries after the olive fruits have been used to extract oil. Fundamentally, it is the leftover material that refineries use to create a colorless, tasteless and odorless olive oil. It cannot be sold directly to consumers. It is certainly not recommended for your pets.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This is the cold-pressed olive oil that is extracted directly from the olive fruit. It is the most potent form of olive oil, also known as EVOO, and contains the most health benefits. This is the kind of olive oil you should be using for your cat.
You can use extra virgin olive oil not only to soothe dandruff but also to remove ticks, fleas, and bugs directly from the skin of your cat.
Here’s how to use extra virgin olive oil for cat dandruff:
- Warm some extra virgin olive oil in the microwave for 30 seconds. It should not be hot to the touch but pleasantly warm.
- Place your cat in a room or tub where they won’t be able to get olive oil on your furniture.
- Using your fingers or gloves, take some warm olive oil and gently massage it beneath your cat’s fur, all around the affected areas.
- Let the olive oil sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. Do not use cat shampoo, or you will strip the nutrients back out of your cat’s skin and completely undo the benefits of the olive oil treatment.
- Gently dry your cat with a towel.
- Repeat daily or every 3rd day for the best results.
Extra virgin olive oil (we’d recommend this brand) has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties as well as antioxidants. When you rub some olive oil into your pet’s skin directly, you protect the skin from infections. Olive oil provides the dry skin with the moisture it needs to prevent dandruff.
Furthermore, you can even go so far as to add some olive oil into your cat’s food. Olive oil has antioxidants that fight off chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
It prevents stress oxidation, keeping away problems like diabetes and hypothyroidism. When you add olive oil into your cat’s meal, you’ll supply its system with the means to overcome skin-related issues such as dandruff naturally.
Many studies have been conducted to show the health benefits of consuming extra virgin olive oil. It isn’t toxic for your pets, particularly your cat, so it makes sense to revert to natural remedies like these to get rid of dandruff.
When it comes to safety, it’s better to err on the side of caution. If you want to try using extra virgin olive oil to cure cat dandruff, don’t forget to consult a vet about the appropriate dosage for your kitty.
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