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My semi-longhaired cat has had frequent bouts with dandruff. He has a specific kind of dense fur beneath the longer hairs, almost like down or wool which makes grooming him a challenge. I have been trying him on a 1/3 of a cap of olive oil added to his kibble for one week now. I am waiting to see results. Has anyone tried this method for cat dandruff on their persian/longhaired cat?

The vet sells a kind of fatty supplement in a toothpaste tube for this specific problem but I find it expensive.

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You should speak to your vet about identifying the underlying cause of the dandruff, rather than trying random "home remedies" which will do nothing about the true cause and may or may not be safe for your cat. While a cat can safely consume olive oil in extreme moderation for relief of constipation and hairballs, I have found no references anywhere to using it to treat dandruff.

According to PetMD, dandruff and dandruff-like symptoms can arise from nutritional deficiencies, allergies, infections, parasites, immune diseases, diabetes, and skin tumors; they recommend consulting with the vet to identify the underlying problem. None of these issues will be addressed by feeding olive oil in any quantity.

On another page on the topic, PetMD's top suggestion for relieving dandruff is, again, consulting your vet. Their full list of high-level suggestions is:

  1. Get Your Veterinarian’s Opinion
  2. Look Into Changing Their Diet
  3. Bathe Your Pet Regularly
  4. Try a Dandruff Shampoo [Designed for Pets]
  5. Get the Right Brush, and Remember to Use It

Once again, olive oil is not mentioned anywhere; under the diet header, fish and coconut oils are mentioned, but with the advice to consult the vet before adding them to an already nutritionally appropriate food.

Other sites have also recommended stepping back from over-bathing and hydration as further ways to alleviate the issue; both are good ideas in general, as cats rarely benefit from bathing unless it is truly necessary (and, as in humans, overgrooming can worsen dandruff symptoms), and are frequently dehydrated.

I am unsure where you came up with the idea of feeding olive oil to relieve dandruff, as I was not able to find a single source recommending it, either on reputable or questionable pet care sites. It is vital to remember that our pets have different digestive systems than our own, and many things that are perfectly safe for humans to consume may be dangerous or deadly to our pets; never feed any human food without first verifying that it is safe.

  • thank you for your reply . Just to put things in perspective, the olive oil is added every 2nd day for only one week now. I have been dropping a few drops on his kibble. The cap is small but if I were to measure it precisely, it would be about 2ml. In spite of this small amount your point is still well-taken. That the vets advice is the only reliable advice. Yet, I have to add that the vet always has a commercial interest to sell you all kinds of goodies,let us not be fooled. Perhaps it is the quality of the kibble at play? I notice he consumes a huge amount of water. – Turi Sue Jul 2 at 17:55
  • The amount of olive oil doesn't change the fact that it does nothing and does not remedy the underlying cause. The vet does not "always have a commercial interest," their job is to diagnose and treat your animal. If your cat is drinking excessively, that could point to dehydration or diabetes, both of which could show dandruff as a symptom, and which have vastly different treatments. – Allison C Jul 2 at 17:58
  • called the vet technician just to confirm the olive oil story who said the amount I'm giving him is negligible and that in order to have any effect positive or negative,one would have to increase the dose.But olive oil is not dangerous fo cats.She advised an Omega 3 supplement which is sold in a pump.Vitamin A is included in that supplement. Like all private medical practices there are commercial interests, like price mark-up on drugs and extra services. Its naive to think otherwise. One should ALWAYS maintain a critical eye.Vets care for our sweethearts,its true, but they are also a business. – Turi Sue Jul 2 at 21:14
  • In small doses, no, it's not harmful. It will cause digestive issue in large doses. And it still does NOTHING for dandruff. Omega-3 and Vitamin A are much more likely to have an effect, IF AND ONLY IF the cause is malnutrition (in which case you should change your food as well). Your vet (not tech) needs to see (not a phone call) the cat to make a diagnosis. – Allison C Jul 3 at 12:46
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First of all, your vet is the right one to ask about this to eliminate an underlaying problem.

I do not think olive oil will solve this fully (olive oil does contain some of the essential oils your cat might need but not all of them).

I think that it is better to buy some fish oil (not cod liver oil). Fish oils do contain omega 3 fatty acids, and this can be usefull for skin problems in cats and most other pets.

You can get fish oil at your pet shop, at your vet, or you can buy it online.

I can not post a link to fish oil as most of the sites sell the product and I do not want to post links that can be seen as spam here. You can google fish oil for cats and get lots of hits on the net.

The most effective way to help your cats is to brush them every week. The best way to brush a cat (if it does not like it) is to let the cat stand on the floor and you bend down from above to brush it. You might have to give your cat some breaks during this and continue later.enter image description here

This is the types of brush that I like to use on my cat, maybe you can get something similar.

  • Yes,I do brush him with the exact brush you posted above.The brush will dislodge the dandruff, but more keeps coming.. It seems to come in bouts as if there are cycles to its appearance. There are times he has little to nothing ,then one month later ,he is full of it. Thank you for the fish oil idea. I didn't think of that. – Turi Sue Jul 2 at 17:38

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