Although commonly called Walking Dandruff because the small flakes look like dandruff, the flakes move because they are a species of mites, Cheyletiella blakei. This is a very contagious disease and other Cheyletiella species may infect dogs, rabbits and even humans. Symptoms include scaling, a distribution along the cat’s back and sometimes itching that may be severe. Kittens and long-haired cats are the most likely to be infected. No matter what treatment you use, be very careful to protect your own skin.
Some natural remedies for these mites are:
- Weekly lime sulfur dipping for 6 to 8 weeks. You can get this from online sources or from some veterinarians. Make up the mix using 4 oz. to a gallon of water. Pour this over the animal after ensuring the cat cannot lick its fur by using a cone collar. Use gloves because the mixture will stain jewelry or other objects, even light colored fur temporarily. The liquid must dry naturally and smells like rotten eggs.
- The British suggest fresh lemongrass brushed into a pet’s fur to treat the mites.
Three types of seborrhea can cause flaking skin. Seborrhea sicca, the dry form, Seborrhea oleosa, the greasy form and Seborrhea dermatitis all can result in scaling. You can control each type either with sulfur or salicylic acid cat shampoos. Do not use any other anti-dandruff pet shampoo or a human shampoo on your cat. This is a chronic condition, so while it may not be totally curable, regular use of these shampoos will minimize the problem.
Almost all cases of ringworm or dermatophytosis in cats come from a fungus called Microsporum canis. The condition affects kittens more often than adult cats. Typically you see some hair loss, scaling and formation of crusts, often on the head or paws. Some suggested natural treatments include Pau d’arco, Jatoba and diluted Apple cider vinegar.
Scaling Caused by Dry Skin
There are a few natural remedies for dry, scaly skin on cats, including changes to their diet. Feed your cat omega-3 fatty acid supplements for optimum skin health.
As long as your cat’s fur looks clean and does not smell bad, regular baths not only do not help, but also may actually worsen the condition from excessive dryness. However, for continuing dry skin, try shampooing with a feline aloe and oatmeal shampoo, obtainable from pet stores or online suppliers. This keeps the skin hydrated and less likely to flake.
Sulfur 30C, three tables given two times a week for one month, then one dose every other week for maintenance.
Commercial combinations such as Skin and Coat Tonic, which contains Homeopathic dilutions of Horsetail, Dandelion, Spirulina, Bladderwrack, Kali Sulph .
The Merck Veterinary Manual-Mange in Dogs and Cats
PetPlace.com: Cheyletiellosis in Cats (Walking Dandruff Mite)
Moggies: Alternative Remedies For Parasites
PetAlive: Skin and Coat Tonic