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Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 18780
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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There are white specks all over my cats fur. Is it ...

Resolved Question:

There are white specks all over my cat's fur. Is it just dandruff or something else? How do I take care of it?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 7 years ago.
Hi,

Are the white specs located on only one part of your cat's fur? If so, where?

Do you see any black specks also, which resemble ground pepper?

Is your cat currently on a monthly flea preventative like Advantage?

Thanks for your additional details.

Cher
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Jessesmom's Post: It is actually my friend's cat and I believe that he was on something before he came to live with us but I don't believe that he has been on anything since. We do have a Hartz brand flea collar.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I don't believe he is on a monthly preventative. The white specks seem to be pretty much all over. I could not see any black specks. The flea collar is not on him. We have a new one still in the package.

Maggi
Expert:  Cher replied 7 years ago.
Hi Maggi Elizabeth,

DO NOT use the new flea collar! They are not effective and can cause serious adverse effects to your cat, especially HARTZ products!

From your description, the white specks may be flea eggs. They would ordinarily be accompanied by black specks which are flea 'dirt' (excrement). If your cat's coat is dark, that might be why you're not seeing the black specks. Try combing your cat with a fine-toothed flea comb, or if you don't have one, a brush, and see if any black specks come out. If so, put them on a white surface like paper towel, tissue, etc., and wet slightly. If the specks turn reddish-brown, they are flea dirt. Start your cat on a monthly flea preventative like Advantage or Frontline, available at your vet's, or online. DO NOT use any over the counter flea remedies, especially not HARTZ OR SERGEANT'S; they are not effective and have caused serious and even FATAL side effects in cats! If you do find live fleas and/or flea dirt in the cat's coat, you'll have to treat your home, too, to totally get rid of the problem. Hiring a professional exterminator who specializes in fleas, like FleaBusters, is your best course of action. I've used them, and they're great!

If the cat does not appear to have fleas, the white specks may be from dry skin which could be caused by dry weather conditions (if it's winter where you live), indoor heating, food allergies, not enough essential fatty acids in his diet. The vet might recommend a nutritional supplement to help counteract the dryness of the skin. It's also possible for the specks to be other external parasites, like mites, or they're larvae.

Sometimes, a dry coat may be an indication of an underlying medical condition, and the vet check will help determine this.

Try running a humidifier in the house to moisturize the air and also comb/brush the cat a few times daily to help bring naturals oils to the surface of the skin.

If this doesn't help the problem, definitely schedule a vet visit ASAP for an in-person evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

I hope you're able to solve this problem quickly and the cat will be fine!

Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 18780
Experience: Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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