Cat Dandruff

Our question this week was:

Dear Dr. Debra,

My cat is 15-years-old and spends most of her time sleeping. Due to her being overweight, she is on Hills Prescription Diet R/D dry food. I have noticed that recently she seems to be suffering from dandruff mainly on lower back. She spends a lot of time sleeping in front of radiators could this be contributing to her dry skin or is her diet lacking in vital nutrients? Any advice or help you can give would be appreciated very much.

Best wishes,

Michelle Collie


Hi Michelle – thanks for your email. I’ll try to summarize your questions. First – you have an overweight cat on Hills Prescription Diet R/D. She has seborrhea/dandruff on her lower back and she is sleeping in warm spots.

The seborrhea/dandruff on the lower back is very common in overweight cats – mostly form them not being able to effectively groom themselves. The Prescription R/D is balanced and nutritious and should not be contributing to the dry skin. As far as the “heat-seeking” behavior – I don’t know what part of the country you are in but it has been pretty cold in the north so this may be normal behavior.

Is she eating okay? Any vomiting or diarrhea? Is he playful and acting normal? If so, I couldn’t worry. If you are worried, take her to your vet for evaluation.

You can also help your cat by trying to groom her. Many cats like it – especially along the lower bag. You can use a brush and comb and remove much of the dry scaling. Routine combing and brushing helps distribute oils and promotes a healthier skin.

An couple articles that might be helpful to you on our are “Obesity in Cats” and “Seborrhea in Cats

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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