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Rebekah Kane
Rebekah Kane, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 263
Experience:  small animal veterinarian
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My cat will not groom mself and he has dandruff. I have

Customer Question

My cat will not groom himself and he has dandruff. I have attempted to get him to our local veterinary clinic and cannot get him into a carrier. I believe he is approximately 7-8 years old. I got him as a rescue.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Rebekah Kane replied 3 months ago.

Hi there, I am Dr. Kane, and I will do my best to assist you with your pet today. Please give me a moment to type up a response to your concerns. In the meantime- please take a moment to relay any other pertinent information. Sound good?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
We also have a dog in the house. The dog is a female Akita. They tolerate each other pretty well but either of them can be aggressive if provoked like feeding time. The cat does not leave the house but the dog does leave the house 7-8 time daily. They share water but not food.
Expert:  Rebekah Kane replied 3 months ago.

OK, got it. The recommendations I have for you are twofold- I will address the skin issue as well as the behavioral concerns (not being able to get him into his carrier). Please give me 5-10 minutes to type this response for you.

Expert:  Rebekah Kane replied 3 months ago.

As far as his skin- the dandruff and unwillingness to groom can be due to several causes.

I usually see dandruff start to form when there is a lack of grooming- which is what you are describing. Not wanting to groom can stem from several different issues (oral pain due to dental disease, being overweight, general malaise secondary to underlying illness). Sometimes the dandruff can be due to a primary skin issue- like skin allergies, or nutritional deficit. To fully determine what the underlying cause is, he will need to be examined by his veterinarian. In the meantime, you could start him on an omega-3 fatty acid supplement. The one I recommend can be found here:

Now, to the issue of getting him into his carrier, and making his transport and visit to his veterinarian a more positive experience.

The first is getting him used to his carrier- keep it out in the open, feed him frequently in it, give him treats in there- so that it becomes a daily part of his environment. This will take time. Once he has no fear of going into the carrier, start closing it for short periods- while providing treats to make it a positive experience. Then, once he is used to that, take him in the carrier out to the car for a few minutes- giving treats, and gradually work your way up to car rides. This requires repetition, and consistent positive reinforcement. Make sure it is a large enough carrier so that he can turn around easily without being squished. It should be a carrier that opens from the top as well as from the front, and has a top that is easily removed with quick release snaps. When in the car, the carrier should be covered with a large towel.

If there is one in your area, I would recommend a cat only veterinarian, to reduce the stresses of dogs barking. If one is not available, let the practice know how stressed he can become, prior to your visit. They may have you keep him in the car until a quiet private room is available.

The other option is to find a veterinarian in your area who makes house calls. You can search house call veterinarians online.

I hope this has helped, please let me know if you have any additional questions at this time.