Why do my cats shed and have white flakes all around the area?

Our question this week was:

I’ve noticed that two of my three cats are shedding excessively and have little white flakes all around the area near and on their tails. Is this just dry skin or something I should be concerned about? What can I do?

Diana Poliquin


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that two of your three cats shed a lot and have white flakes near their rear areas and on their tails. This is very common. It is dry skin in most cases. That is a common area where owners noticed it because it is an area what cats don’t groom well (they can’t reach real well – especially if they are overweight).

Cats can have dry skin because of humidity relative to heat, diet, illness or just because (no underlying reason). I’d recommend that you ensure that you are feeding a high quality premium cat food formulated to meet their needs (AAFCO approved).

You can help with shedding and the flakes by routine coming and brushing. Combing and brushing stimulates blood supply to the skin and removes dead hair.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you are Seborrhea (Dandruff/dry skin in cats) and What To Do If Your Cat Is Shedding.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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