Mange is a type of condition in cats that causes lesions, hair loss, scratching and scales on the skin. Compared to dogs the condition is rare in domestic cats but still needs your attention because if ignored, the disease can be a reason behind the irritation in cats.
The disease is caused by mites that are usually present on the cat’s skin and hair follicles. Generally, cat’s immune system is able to control the mite infestation but in some cases, if the infestation of mites increases rapidly they can cause mild to severe skin infections.
Hence to make sure that your cat is immune from this disease caused by the mites you need to more about the disease, its symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention.
Causes Of Different Types of Mange
Mange in cats is of different types and is caused by different type of mites.
Demodectic mange is caused when the mites (Demodex cati or Demodex gatoi) proliferate and the immune system of the cat is unable to control the infestation.Demodex cati is difficult to find and can be seen clinically in the hair follicles of any healthy cat as a part of cutaneous flora whereas Demodex gatoi has a round tail and lives in the stratum corneum layer of the epidermis. Demodex gatoi is also found to be contagious to other cats.
Once considered as a rare condition in cats, Feline Demodicosis is becoming more common nowadays. However, fortunately, the symptoms of this disease are not severe in cats.
Sarcoptic Mange – A type of mange that is again very infrequent in cats but has severe repercussions once the disease infects your cat. Caused by Sarcoptes scabiei
Mite, these mites are oval in shape and are microscopic.
Notoedric mange is also referred to as feline scabies because it is similar to Sarcoptic Mange and is caused by Notoedres cati. These mites cause severe and highly contagious skin infections in cats, on the face and in and around ears which then spreads to the rest of the body.
Symptoms And Diagnosis Of The Mange
Symptoms like red skin, lesions, irritation, itching, patchy hair loss, and restlessness infect the face and ear, and later on, it infects the whole body if not treated. Symptoms generally become visible after a week of your cat getting infected with the disease.
For diagnosis of this disease, vets will use a skin scrapping method and perform a microscopic study to corroborate the presence of mites. However, in some cases, if the mites bury themselves deep into the skin, this makes difficult for the vet to identify these parasites.
Therefore, in these circumstances, vets diagnose the disease by observing the clinical signs and history of your cat.
Treatment Of Mange In Cats
Mange in cats is usually self-limiting and is cured by the cat’s defense system. But if your kitty’s defense is weak then the infection becomes severe and the treatment is needed to support the body to fight against infections.
Your vet will prescribe treatments like Frontline Spray, Frontline Plus, Serest Collar and many more that aid in the eliminating the mites that cause Sarcoptic Mange.
Also, your vet may also suggest you buy other relief treatments like Essential 6 shampoos, Homeopet skin, and itch relief and HP Healing cream that help in suppressing the symptoms (itching, lesions, and bad hair quality and hair loss) caused by Mange disease.
Prevention Of Mange In Cats
To prevent mange you need to keep your cat healthy so that the immune system of your cat is able to control the infestation of mites naturally. Keep your cat hygienic and away from shady and damp places where parasites thrive. Make sure that you don’t expose your cat to an infected cat because the disease is contagious especially Sarcoptic Mange.
Keep your cat under the monthly flea and tick treatment that also treats and prevents mite infestations.
Can Humans Catch Mange From Cats?
Well, you need not to worry more because of demodectic mange not contagious to humans because Demodex mites cannot survive on hosts of other species. On the other hand, sarcoptic mange is contagious to humans but doesn’t last for a long period and also it is self-limiting and the symptoms are less severe.
Hope the information is helpful for you. Ensure that you keep your cat under parasite control program throughout the year. This will relieve you and your cat from unwanted health issues and vet visits.