What are some strategies to help with my cat’s dander problem?
Original Question: I have just taken in Muffin to foster her. She is three years old and because someone in the household didn't like cats she was banned to the basement to her own devices (which meant eating as much as she wanted). Her owners took her to the vet to euthanize her because "she is too fat." She has lost 5 pounds while staying with the rescue group and she is on a weight loss cat food. It doesn't seem that she was ever brushed because she moves away when I try. I will keep coaxing her to be brushed because she really needs it. She has dander pretty bad (I know it's because she can't groom herself properly) but I was wondering if there is something I can give her/do for her to help with the dander problem without putting more calories on her plate - or something with a small amount of calories. I know brushing will start her natural oils coming out but I just wonder if there is something else I can do. Thank you so much. Bev and Muffin. - Bev
Thanks for your question.
Good for you for taking this wonderful cat on. Getting the weight off is going to help a lot because once she slims down she’ll be able to reach around to groom herself and help you out so keep up the good work.
Dander is typically helped by added omega 3 fatty acids to the diet. You can buy a liquid version and add it to her food. It will not add significant calories.
Moisturizing shampoos will help as well if she will allow it. You can apply the shampoo and leave it on for 10 minutes before you rinse it off. If she doesn’t want to be bathed, you can start slowly to get her comfortable with it. You could place her in the tub with no water in it a few times over a couple days. Then put a tiny amount of water in the tub just so it pools around the drain and then put her at the dry end and let her walk around if she will. Then put a centimetre of water in the tub a day or two later and place her in so just her feet get wet. After a few times you could pour a couple spoonful’s of water on her and get used to that until you can spoon enough to perform a lather and rinse.
Good luck. I hope this helps.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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