Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

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Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby headtrip_honey » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:01 am

Hey guys!

Long time no post - mainly because I've been super busy planning my wedding, AND because I finally moved out of Mom and Dad's house, so I no longer interact with a herd of Brittanys every day. :)

I do, however, still have my cat Ziva. While she has transitioned well to living in an apartment with me and my fiance, there have been some bumps in the road.

First, within a week or two of moving, she got a UTI. At first I thought she was peeing on our couch as retaliation for me leaving her alone all day (remember, she was raised in a house with three dogs, another cat, and an adult who was home most of the day - my mother), but then she kept doing it over the weekends when I was home with her, and even did it in front of me and my fiance!

So, I took her to the vet post haste, and she went on a round of antibiotics, which cleared that up. However, the antibiotics absolutely DECIMATED her digestive system. She's had constant diarrhea ever since, which I'm able to keep in control with probiotics...but the minute she goes off the probiotics, it comes back. She doesn't get dehydrated, and she isn't going constantly. She keeps her regular once-a-day poo schedule, but when she goes it's fairly liquid.

Anyway, that's one issue. I've got it fairly under control, but if you have any suggestions I'm open. The probiotic we've been using is Purina Fortiflora.

The other issue I'm kind of stumped on. She's always had a little dandruff, but since moving it has ramped WAY up. I've looked up common causes of cat dandruff, and none seem to apply to her. She can groom herself just fine, she's been to the vet recently so I highly doubt it's anything like mites.

Her diet consists of Nutro MaxCat (dry) in the morning, and half dry half wet in the evening (with her probiotics stirred in).

I tried giving her salmon oil, but she absolutely HATES the stuff and won't go near her food if there's even a hint of salmon oil on it.

Any ideas why her dandruff's gotten so bad? I did some google research to see if the antibiotics could have done THAT to her as well, but couldn't find anything. My only other thought is that we keep the apartment more air-conditioned than my parent's house was, so maybe the dryer air has affected her skin that much?

Any thoughts as to how to combat it?
-Emily
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby Barb Wright » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:34 am

No clue, except dandruff can be a stress symptom in dogs, maybe in cats too.

Sounds like your life is going at top speed.....Congratulations on the upcoming wedding, wishing you all the best :D
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby headtrip_honey » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:02 pm

Barb Wright wrote:No clue, except dandruff can be a stress symptom in dogs, maybe in cats too.

Sounds like your life is going at top speed.....Congratulations on the upcoming wedding, wishing you all the best :D


Thanks!

I thought maybe it was just stress, but she's not stressed out at all now. It's been over two months since we moved, and she's pretty content. She gets lots of play time from my fiance in the evening, and we have a bird feeder on the deck that attracts a bunch of birds to keep her entertained during the day.

She seems very settled in her new routine.

That said, do you have any thoughts on her digestive problems, or do you think I'm doing all you can do?
-Emily
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby Barb Wright » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Gosh, just don't know about cats....I"d just be guessing but I think I would cut her food quantity down for starters to give the digestive system less work to do. Also, you might go all wet food and stop the dry kibble for a bit. There are a few fairly high quality canned foods for cats.

Also, if the probiotic seems to help then I'd think the antibiotic didn't get all the bad bacteria and so they are both still duking it out. I'd want to get the stool tested for just what bad bacteria is still there, and if it is still there then get the proper antibiotic for that bacteria. The bacteria are getting less susceptable to broad spectrum antibiotics so sometimes you need to actually target the specific bad bacteria with a specific antibiotic.

Hopefully someone else here on the board has cats and be of more help....I've only had one cat and it was my first and my last cat :wink: :P
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby headtrip_honey » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:56 pm

Aw, I've been a cat lover AND a dog lover all my life. Ziva is my ::counts in head:: sixth cat.

Thanks for the advice! We tried her on the all wet food for a bit, but once the novelty of wet food wore off, (and she was no longer scarfing it down), she would leave her bowl half full. Once the wet food would dry out from sitting there uneaten, she wouldn't touch it. ::sigh:: CATS. :roll:

Hopefully someone else can chime in.

But seriously, if this latest round of probiotic doesn't *stick*, I'll have to get the vet to check her out, cause this just isn't normal.
-Emily
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby Cindy » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:33 pm

I've had a fair number of cats (and LOVE them) and only twice had a dandruff issue and that was with older cats who had trouble grooming themselves. I just started bushing/combing them alot and it seemed to take care of the problem. As for the diarrhea hmmm - I would think you'd want to take her to the vet at this point.
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby headtrip_honey » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:11 pm

Cindy wrote:I've had a fair number of cats (and LOVE them) and only twice had a dandruff issue and that was with older cats who had trouble grooming themselves. I just started bushing/combing them alot and it seemed to take care of the problem. As for the diarrhea hmmm - I would think you'd want to take her to the vet at this point.


Been. Done. Like I said, they give her a probiotic, which works until she goes off it. If this latest round doesn't solve things, another visit will be in order, however. Ugh.

Regarding grooming her, I do occasionally furminate her, and while she loves that, it doesn't seem to have any effect on her dandruff. And I know she can groom herself there (it's all along her spine to the base of her tail), because I've picked her up after a grooming and she's been slightly damp in those areas.
-Emily
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby rtropeano » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:32 pm

Hey, sorry you're having trouble with Kitty. Fortiflora is good stuff for cats and usually works well so I'd keep her on that. I was thinking that maybe she could have worms, but if you had her stool tested and I'm sure they checked for that.

I have three cats of my own, so I do have some experience with this - I'm thinking that even though kitty doesn't appear to be stressed, she still could be.

Cats are definitely creatures of habit and they do not like their routines disturbed. Double check with your vet, but maybe a little rescue remedy in her water might help and a Feliway diffuser (cat pherome).

If she continues to have dietary issues, change the food and see if that helps the dandruff/runs. Sometimes it's matter of getting the right food, for the right animal. Another thing that could help with dryness is increasing water intake, which can be difficult in cats - try getting a drinkwell or some other type of drinking fountain - OR simply mix some additional water into the food. You can also try a little olive oil in the food to help soften the coat.

Barb is right about going all well - particulary in cats, this is the best option because if you are feeding too much dry, cats tend to get dehydrated and it causes all sorts of issues from urinary, kidneys and dry skin etc. You an also moisten dry food....

Good luck and keep us posted - if none of this works, I can put an inquiry out to my shelter (we have a lot of cat lovers) and see what they come up with.
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby headtrip_honey » Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:54 pm

rtropeano wrote:Hey, sorry you're having trouble with Kitty. Fortiflora is good stuff for cats and usually works well so I'd keep her on that. I was thinking that maybe she could have worms, but if you had her stool tested and I'm sure they checked for that.

I have three cats of my own, so I do have some experience with this - I'm thinking that even though kitty doesn't appear to be stressed, she still could be.

Cats are definitely creatures of habit and they do not like their routines disturbed. Double check with your vet, but maybe a little rescue remedy in her water might help and a Feliway diffuser (cat pherome).


I have a Feliway diffuser somewhere...if I find it I will definitely use it. While I don't think she's stressed now, I'm sure she could still be feeling the aftereffects of such a huge move.

If she continues to have dietary issues, change the food and see if that helps the dandruff/runs. Sometimes it's matter of getting the right food, for the right animal. Another thing that could help with dryness is increasing water intake, which can be difficult in cats - try getting a drinkwell or some other type of drinking fountain - OR simply mix some additional water into the food. You can also try a little olive oil in the food to help soften the coat.

Barb is right about going all well - particulary in cats, this is the best option because if you are feeding too much dry, cats tend to get dehydrated and it causes all sorts of issues from urinary, kidneys and dry skin etc. You an also moisten dry food....

Good luck and keep us posted - if none of this works, I can put an inquiry out to my shelter (we have a lot of cat lovers) and see what they come up with.
Rose


She actually has a water fountain (this one: http://www.petco.com/product/112616/PETCO-Premium-Ceramic-Cat-Fountain.aspx?CoreCat=firstinresult_catfountainsAugPRESS) -she doesn't like water unless it's moving, but she's a good drinker. It's filtered, and I try to clean it once a week so that it doesn't get grungy.

Re: changing the food - she's on the same food she grew up with. Initially I thought the issue might be due to the food the vet put her on after the UTI (Hill's c/d for urinary conditions), so I took her off that and put her back on her regular food. Didn't change anything. Which is when I figured it was probably the antibiotics (since it happened at the same time - food and meds). I thought about changing her food, but I was worried that might a) change her routine too much or b) aggravate her stomach even more.

I will try the olive oil, though. Like I said, she HATED the salmon oil, so we'll see how she likes this. She's notoriously picky (won't even eat roast chicken! She'll eat raw fish, but not cooked poultry. Odd.), so we will see.

Thanks for the input. If the fortiflora doesn't stick this time, she will definitely go to the vet - see if there's something else going on in there.
-Emily
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby rtropeano » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:39 pm

Emily, hmmm, it's hard when they are picky, hopefully the fortiflora will help. I had to put my cat on antibiotics because of FLUTD and a UTI and it made him sick and he wasn't eating properly....keep in mind it could also be the amount of antibiotic - usually I get 62.5 mg 2x per day, this time they gave me 125 mg 2 x's, which I found out is the amount for a 20 lbs. animal. he's 14 - so it was too much. Once I cut down the amount, he did much better.

Hopefully you get it all straightened out.
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby adele » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:38 am

I'm no cat expert but did have one when I was young who lived to the ripe old age of 20. Knowing the wee bit I know about dog nutrition makes me think that one of the reasons Tabby did so well was that she got lots of real food in her diet (she was very picky and didn't much care for cat food :lol: :roll: ). If your cat doesn't like salmon oil but you want to include something oily in her diet you could try smelts. Mom used to buy them frozen (any grocery store) and Tabby would come by and ask for a fish so we'd take one out of the freezer and run hot water over it until it was warmed up (a minute or two they were only about 3 inches long 1 inch thick) then just toss it to her bones and all.

I've no idea if this will help with dandruff or if your cat will eat them. I just know that our cat LOVED them, they probably contained fish oil, and they were very easy to feed to her.
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby headtrip_honey » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:31 am

Hmmm....that's an idea. Ziva has eaten raw fish before, so she might like that.

I'm fasting her today to see if that helps her tummy - she's still having off and on diarrhea even though she's on the probiotic. One day it'll be normal, the next day splat.

So she gets fasted today, tomorrow she'll get just a little wet food, and we'll go from there.

If I can't get this under control soon, back to the vet she goes. OH, and she has a waxy ear - FUN. My favorite thing ever: cleaning a cat's ear.
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby adele » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:42 pm

headtrip_honey wrote: OH, and she has a waxy ear - FUN. My favorite thing ever: cleaning a cat's ear.
I'll lay money that is the result of a allergy. I wonder if dandruff could be the result of an allergy?
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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby rtropeano » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:53 pm

Hmm, has she had an xray = wondering if there is a chance she has a partial blockage of some sort?
Hope she gets feeling better soon There's a great site called www.catinfo.org - it has some great stuff on a feeding
and all things cat...

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Re: Kitty Dandruff Help? (and other fun stuff)

Postby headtrip_honey » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:54 pm

adele wrote:
headtrip_honey wrote: OH, and she has a waxy ear - FUN. My favorite thing ever: cleaning a cat's ear.
I'll lay money that is the result of a allergy. I wonder if dandruff could be the result of an allergy?


I'm betting it might be. Aaaarrrgh.
-Emily
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