Mange Mites

Mange is not very common in cats. However, rare cases of mange, have been found sometimes after contact with wild animals such as foxes, or after contact with affected other cats or dogs.

The three possible types of mange in cats are sarcoptic mange, demodectic mange and Cheyletiella mange.

Sarcoptic mange is often called fox mange, as it can be transmitted to cats from foxes. However, cats can get this type of mange from other cats as well. It is caused by a burrowing mite, which leads to excessive itchiness, scratching, scabbing and secondary skin infections. It can affect the whole of the body in more severe cases. Diagnosis is normally in the form of skin scrapings, which your vet can perform. Treatment can be with shampoos, injections, or with a spot-on treatment (drops on the neck). This has to be repeated till skin scrapings do not reveal any mites anymore. Some cats will have to be clipped if they have long fur. As long as the cat is under treatment, it is advisable not to have direct contact with other cats!

Demodectic mites live inside hair follicles and can cause baldness, but rarely itchiness. The most affected areas are around the eyes and the feet, but, again, the whole body can be affected. The diagnosis is made on the base of skin scrapings and treatment is usually in the form of shampoos, but sometimes other forms of treatment are applicable. Demodectic mange is not as contagious as sarcoptic mange.

Cheyletiella mange is caused by a surface mite. It eats skin flakes and causes scurfiness and itchiness. It is often on the back of the cat and shows as ‘dandruff’. Your vet can diagnose this type of mange by taking pluckings of hair and examining these under the microscope. Treatment is normally in the form of shampoos or sprays.

If you think your cat may have some kind of mange, please seek veterinary advice!



This pet health article is for reference only.

If your pet is showing any symptoms or distress, and you suspect your pet is ill CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY.