Mange in cats, is it possible? Although this skin condition is much more prevalent in dogs, cats can and do get the mange.
So what exactly is mange, what form of mange can a feline contract, and what are the symptoms and the treatments?
Mange is a skin disease that comes in several forms and causes. It can be mild to very chronic and it is always caused by parasites.
With this skin infection your cat will most likely develop skin lesions, itching, and in severe cases, the loss of large amounts of hair.
The parasites that cause this condition are ear mites.
Although there are several mites that can affect both kittens and cats of any age or breed, the most common ear mites that will affect your cat is the Demodex canis, Sarcoptes canis, or Notoedres cati mites.
Mites are extremely contagious and can be transmitted very easily from mother to kitten, for cat to cat, or from cats to dogs, as well as dogs to cats.
In rare cases of mange in cats, they can also be spread to humans and the major form of mange that can be transmitted to humans is referred to as scabies.
These mites that will affect and attack your cat in the vast majority of cases will be either a burrowing or a non-burrowing mite.
The burrowing species of mite will literally dig down into your pets skin, forming tunnels, and then will lay their eggs all along these tunnels.
The non-burrowing species feeds on your pet’s skin by sucking both tissue and blood.
There are five different varieties of mange in cats that your feline friend can become infected with, but by far and away the most common is Noteodric mange.
Rare forms of mange that can also affect your cat are Demodectic, Cheyletiella, Chiggers, or Sarcoptic mange.
Noteodric mange, the most common form is also called scabies or head mange.
this skin condition your cat is infested by the mite that burrows under the skin and as a result causes your pet to scratch themselves so roughly that it can cause sores and bleeding.
This form of mange is extremely contagious, and affects your cats face in most all cases.
However, it can also attack around the ears and neck, as well as spread to most all parts of the body if severe enough.
It is also the form that also can cause severe hair loss, and can be transmitted to humans if not treated.
Much like scabies in dogs, it has been referred to as the seven year itch by some cat owners.
It is often mistaken for Sarcoptic mange, which has very similar symptoms, but this form of mange is extremely rare in cats.
Demodectic mange in cats can cause hair loss as well, but can also cause very small red patches that can become extremely inflamed.
It is generally localized in that it will affect only small areas of your cat’s body, but if it is severe enough it will become generalized, meaning that it affects large portions.
This skin condition in your pet is considered very dangerous as it can lead to bacterial infections in their skin.
However, even though it is rare, it does occur quite often in Burmese as well as Siamese breeds.
Cheyletialla mange in cats is also referred to as walking dandruff as it is caused by a larger reddish mite that produces scaling or flaking on your pet’s skin that actually looks like dandruff.
This form is again rare, but when infested you cat will most likely be attacked on the back, neck, as well as their sides.
This is also a highly contagious form of the mange that can be transmitted to other animals as well as humans.
Chigger’s mange is caused by mites that appear to be either red or yellow spots on you pets and can cause red sores as well as very raw skin.
The last form of mange is Sarcoptes, and it is extremely rare but has occurred in cats.
When it does it is extremely resilient, long lasting, and can be very serious for your pet.
Diagnoses of mange in cats and what kind it is and what mite has caused it, even by the best of veterinarians, is usually only accurate about 50% of the time.
This is due to the fact that your cats intense scratching has removed the actual tick.
Treatment for mange in cats is very effective in most all cases. The most preferred treatment is Ivermectin which is applied to your pet’s skin by your veterinarian.
There are several very effective forms of medicated shampoos that you can buy that will also help in both the treatment and prevention of mange.
Cortisone may also be prescribed to help with the itching that your cat will have.
However, there are still some things that most cat owners should do with this condition as both preemptive as well as treatment conditions, and that is supplementing them with vitamins.
Vitamin C is especially useful for this condition as it reduces the effects of any potential allergy producing substances from mange, as well as acting as a protein agent for the skin.
It also helps your pet fend off any developing bacterial infections.
Vitamin A is also vital for keeping skin healthy as well as resilient, something your pet will need to both combat and recover from with mange.
It also helps in restoring and repairing body tissues.
The mineral zinc will also be critical in increasing your feline friend’s susceptibility to infections that mange might cause.
Your cat can get mange, but you can also help to prevent it by also keeping there eating, sleeping, and playing areas as clean as you can.
If they do come in contact with another cat or dog that has mange, at least you have build up their resistance by providing supplements and a clean environment.
There are several very good companies with products to help with this condition including several listed here.