Why Does My Maine Coon Have Dandruff?

If you are wondering why does my Maine Coon have dandruff, then it is time to inspect your cat’s skin condition and grooming habits.

Dandruff is not always a sign of an underlying medical condition, but it is important to be vigilant if you notice any difference in your cat’s health.

Dandruff is caused by a buildup of dead skin cells. Most cats naturally remove these skin cells through grooming, but obesity, old age, and illness can affect a cat’s ability to properly groom itself. Underlying health conditions such as fleas or other parasites can also cause dandruff.

If you notice abnormal flakes of skin in your cat’s fur, then it is important to determine the underlying cause.

Dandruff is not usually a cause for concern, but it can be a signal that something is wrong with your cat.

Keep reading to learn why your Maine Coon has dandruff, as well as what you can do to fix it.

Why Does My Maine Coon Have Dandruff?

The Maine Coon is a large, wild-looking breed that originated naturally in the cold and snowy state of Maine.

There, these cats developed long, dense fur to protect them from the elements.

Today, Maine Coons are beloved for their gorgeous triple coat, which makes them look like miniature lions.

We pet owners always love to keep our cats’ fur in perfect condition.

A smooth, silky coat does not just look pretty, though; it is also a good indicator that your cat is healthy and strong.

If your cat’s fur appears dull, matted, or dirty, then there may be something wrong with your cat.

Feline dandruff occurs when a cat’s dead skin cells build up and shed in clumps. These dead skin cells are usually removed naturally as your cat cleans itself.

But, if your cat is unable to groom properly, or if it is suffering from an underlying health problem, then these skin cells can build up over time.

If your Maine Coon is struggling with this condition, there are a lot of potential underlying reasons.

While not all of these reasons are a cause for concern, it is important to understand exactly what is causing your cat’s dandruff, so you can rule out any health problems.

Here are some of the most common causes of cat dandruff:

Old Age

If your old cat has dandruff, then chances are you will need to take a more active approach to grooming your cat.

As cats age, their joints become stiffer, and they become more likely to develop chronic pains from arthritis and other conditions.

Senior cats also have less energy than they used to. As a result, many older cats are unable to groom themselves as well as they once did, so you should brush and bathe your cat more often.


Normally, cats groom every inch of their bodies, typically several times a day!

When a cat is overweight, however, it may become unable to reach certain areas, leading to a buildup of skin and oils over time.

Poor Nutrition

If your cat is not receiving enough protein, vitamins, and minerals, it can cause problems for your cat’s skin and fur, as well as make your cat lethargic.

Make sure you are feeding your Maine Coon high-quality food with lots of protein, all of the essential nutrients, and a small number of carbohydrates and filler calories.


Even cats can have allergies!

Your cat could be allergic to dust, pollen, or even certain foods, all of which can cause skin problems and other unfortunate symptoms.

Skin Infections

Cats can be susceptible to skin infections, including fungal infections or bacterial infections.

Outdoor cats are more likely to develop these infections, which can become life-threatening if left untreated.


Your Maine Coon may also contract parasites like fleas, ticks, or worms, which can irritate the skin and cause dandruff.

Underlying Illness

Finally, your Maine Coon’s dandruff could be attributed to a serious underlying medical condition like hyperthyroidism or even cancer.

Keep a close eye out for other worrying symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea, and take your cat to the vet immediately if you suspect something is off (sources 1,2).

What Does Cat Dandruff Look Like?

Just because you notice particles in your cat’s fur does not necessarily mean your cat has dandruff.

It is important to look up pictures of cat dandruff, and compare it with other possible skin conditions before you jump to any conclusions.

Dandruff appears gray or white, and your cat’s fur will usually look red, irritated, or flaky.

Location is also important; if you notice dandruff on cat’s back near tail, then it is more likely to actually be dandruff. Whereas, if you notice it near your cat’s belly, though, it could be a parasite or infection.

Dandruff and flea eggs may appear similar at first, but the difference between cat dandruff and flea eggs is that dandruff is irregular and flaky, whereas flea eggs are smooth and circular, or oval-shaped.

The difference between cat dander and cat dandruff, though, is a bit subtler. Dander and dandruff both refer to the dead skin cells that your cat sheds.

Dander is usually removed naturally through grooming, and it is tiny and nearly impossible to see. Whilst dandruff is accumulated dander, which sheds in larger clumps.

Cat dandruff can be confused for various parasites and other skin problems, so it is important to check with your vet so they can properly identify the problem (sources 1,2).

How Do You Treat Dandruff On A Cat?

If you have discovered dandruff on your Maine Coon, you are probably wondering, how can I treat my cat’s dandruff at home?

Thankfully, there are lots of ways you can prevent and treat cat dandruff on your own, but keep in mind that it is important to check with your vet first, so you can rule out any underlying health problems.

Here are a few dandruff treatment methods:

Regular Grooming

If you are wondering how to stop cat dandruff, then grooming is probably the most important step.

Maine Coons should be brushed at least once or twice a week, and even more during shedding season.

You can also get a cat dandruff brush, which will distribute your cat’s natural skin oils throughout its fur.

Nutrition And Hydration

Poor nutrition and dehydration can both contribute to dandruff.

Make sure your Maine Coon is on a high-quality diet, and consider providing wet food two or three times a week, as well.

You should also ensure your cat has constant access to fresh, clean water.


While most cats do not need to be bathed, if your Maine Coon regularly appears dirty, or if your cat goes outside often, then consider bathing your cat once every month or so, as well.

You can also bathe with home remedies for cat dandruff. For example, when it comes to cat dandruff, olive oil can actually help a lot!

Simply massaging some olive oil into your cat’s coat and rinsing it off can provide natural fats that help remove and prevent dandruff.

Prevent Parasites, Infections, And Allergens

When learning how to get rid of dandruff on cats, prevention is a key factor!

Fungal and bacterial infections, as well as parasites like fleas and ticks, can all cause dandruff.

Give your cat a regular flea and tick medication, and check your cat’s fur for signs of infection.

You should also talk with your vet about potential allergies, so you can remove potential allergens from your cat’s environment (sources 1,2).

Best Cat Dandruff Shampoo

If your cat’s dandruff is simply due to poor grooming or a buildup of oils, then there are lots of shampoos and other treatments out there that can help.

So, if you are wondering what to put on cat dandruff, then one of the cheapest and safest options out there is Burt’s Bees for Cats Natural Dander Reducing Spray.

If your cat has dandruff and oily fur, then this gentle spray provides moisture through natural ingredients, which can reduce dander and greasy fur.

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If you are wondering, why does my Maine Coon have dandruff, then it is important to take your cat to the vet.

Dandruff is usually caused by poor grooming, but it can also be a sign of infection or serious health conditions.

If your cat is older, overweight, or has problems grooming, then learning how to deal with dandruff on cats is essential to keeping your Maine Coon’s coat in perfect condition.

You should groom your cat regularly, prevent parasites and infections, and provide high-quality nutrition and hydration to treat and prevent dandruff.

Related Questions

Are Maine Coon Cats Allergy Free?

Maine Coons are not a hypoallergenic cat breed, and their extra thick, long fur can actually cause worse shedding, leading to stronger allergic reactions.

Why Am I Not Allergic To Maine Coon Cats?

If you have cat allergies, but Maine Coons do not seem to bother you, you may have developed a tolerance to the breed over time. Regular bathing and grooming can also reduce allergens.

Do Maine Coon Cats Have Dander?

Dander refers to a cat’s dead skin cells, which are shed naturally, to be replaced by newer skin cells. Like all cats, Maine Coons have dander (source 1).

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a CRAZY CAT LADY! I've been in love with the Maine Coon cat breed ever since we welcomed an adorable male Maine Coon kitten into our home 10 years ago. We called him 'Pippin', but he also goes by the name ‘Pipsteroo’! Our enormous, kind-hearted cat genuinely thinks he's a dog and has convinced me that cats are Man's True Best Friend! UPDATE: We recently adopted two 4-year-old male Maine Coon cats. They are named Mika and Bali.

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