Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: What Is Mange In Cats?

July 26, 2018 1 Comment

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: What Is Mange In Cats?

Mange is one of the most common conditions in dogs. However, it can rarely be seen in cats.


Mange is basically a skin disease which is caused by various species of tiny mites. It is important to know that some mange mites are normal residents of a cat’s skin and hair follicles, but, others are considered parasites.


That being said, it is true that all mites have the ability to cause mild to severe skin infections in case they proliferate.


In this blog post, I will answer the question, “What is mange in cats?”in as much detail as I possibly can and will share the causes, symptoms, and treatment of this disease.


So, let’s get started.

The Various Types of Mites

As I mentioned earlier, there are different mites present on a cat’s skin and hair follicles. In this section of the blog, I would like to go through them in detail to help you understand things a little better.


Let’s get started, shall we?


  • Cats that haveFeline Scabies or Notoedres Cati have mites that burrow under their skin and affect mostly the head and neck area
  • Octodecttes Cynotis, orear mitesaffect the ears and if your kitty constantly scratches her head or ears, that’s what she may have. These are the most common types of mites that affect cats
  • Cheyletiella Blakei causes cats to have itchiness and skin irritation which also includes flaky and reddened skin

You should take your kitty to the vet to know exactly what’s affecting her and seek the right treatment for it.


Moving on.

The Causes of Mange in Cats

In this section of the blog, we will go through the various causes of mange in cats. The main cause of the disease, however, is the mites, as discussed above.


Let’s begin.


  • Feline sarcoptic mange is quite uncommon. Also known as scabies, sarcoptic mange is caused due to oval-shaped, light-colored and microscopic mites
  • Notedric mange or feline scabies is similar to sarcoptic mange in dogs. The mites cause severe skin infections in cats, which starts on the face and ears and spreads to the rest of the body, and is highly contagious
  • Demodectic mange is caused by Demodex cati is not considered contagious, nor is it common in cats. The cigar-shaped mites are normal residents of a healthy cat’s skin and hair follicles

Now, let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of mange in cats, shall we?

Symptoms of Mange in Cats

The symptoms of mange in cats includes intense itching, restlessness, and frantic scratching. The symptoms usually appear after one week of exposure and usually result in patchy hair loss and a moth-eaten appearance.


The areas that are commonly affected include the cat’s ears and face.


Mange can affect humans in contact with the kitty as well. Usually, the mites cause red bumps, a rash, and look similar to a mosquito bite.

Diagnosis of Mange in Cats

The most common method used to diagnose demodectic mange in cats is skin scraping. Sometimes, the hair samples are also taken to help identify the specific mite responsible for the condition.


In some cases, a urine test is also taken to help identify other possible causes which are caused due to a disorder in your cat’s metabolic system and to rule out allergies or scabies.

The Treatment of Mange in Cats

The vast majority of cat mange cases tend to resolve themselves spontaneously.


However, it is the severe cases that need close medical attention and treatment. In this section of the blog post, we will go through that.


Let’s begin.


The very first step taken to treat mange in cats is to isolate the affected cat ensure that the condition doesn’t affect other pets or humans. Your veterinarian will prescribe a medication to kill the mites.


The medicine will be given as an injection, applied topically, or by shampoo and dip according to the type of mage your cat has. Your vet may also prescribe an antibacterial shampoo or anti-inflammatories and antibiotics to treat skin issues and ease inflammation.


The mites are killed fairly quickly but, you still need to wait a month to see the effects of the treatment.


Keep in mind that some insecticides, collars and dips that are labeled safe for dogs but, can be toxic to cats and some should not be repeated frequently, so check with your vet before beginning any treatment program for mange.

How Can I Prevent a Recurrence of Mange?

Don’t want your kitty to suffer from this disease? Here are some tips that’ll help you.

  • If your cat has ever been diagnosed with mange, you should  thoroughly clean or replace his bedding, collar, toys, dishes, etc
  • If you suspect a neighbor’s kitty is infected, keep your pets away to keep the disease at bay
  • Bring your cat to the vet as directed for rechecks to ensure the mites have been eradicated

Summing Up: What Is Mange In Cats?

Mange is basically a skin disease which is caused by various species of tiny mites. It is important to know that some mange mites are normal residents of a cat’s skin and hair follicles, but, others are considered parasites.


  • Feline sarcoptic mange is caused due to oval-shaped, light-colored and microscopic mites
  • Notedric mange or feline scabies is caused due to mites which cause severe skin infections in cats and is highly contagious
  • Demodectic mange is caused by Demodex cati is not considered contagious, nor is it common in cats

The symptoms of mange in cats includes intense itching, restlessness, and frantic scratching. The symptoms usually appear after one week of exposure and usually result in patchy hair loss and a moth-eaten appearance.


You should take your kitty to the vet immediately if you think she’s suffering from mange.


Do you have questions? Leave them in the comments, and we will get back to you as soon as we can!




1 Response

Brenda
Brenda

September 24, 2018

I have two cats, totally indoor cats. I don’t think cats should be outside. About two weeks ago, they both started to scratch their self. Acting like they had fleas. Could not find any trace of fleas or skin rashes. Vet checked them very good, nothing. He gave them an allergies shot. They are still scratching. What do I do? Thanks

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