What’s mange in cats-Symptoms, causes and treatments

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Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Aftab Tariq

What’s mange in cats? Mange, a skin condition affecting various animals, including cats, is not a disease but is caused by tiny parasites known as mites that bite your pet’s skin, resulting in itching, flaking, hair loss, and inflammation.

Scabies, a specific type of mange linked to the Sarcoptes mite species, causes sarcoptic mange. Though rare in cats, mange may not be immediately recognized by owners. Due to its highly contagious nature, it can spread among pets, underlining the importance of promptly treating mites.

What's mange in cats

There are several medications available to effectively eliminate mange, and your veterinarian can help you find the most suitable one for your cat.

What Does Mange in Cats Look Like?

Hair loss that isn’t the same all over, skin rashes, little red bumps on the skin (starting where there’s less fur—bugs like those spots—but then spreading), and skin sores that look crusty.

What’s Mange in Cats Pictures?

What's mange in cats

What's mange in cats

What's mange in cats

What's mange in cats

Different kinds of tiny bugs called mange mites dig under a cat’s skin, causing them discomfort. These mites can lay eggs under the skin, making things even more uncomfortable for the cat.

So, there are a few types of mange that can affect cats:

Chiggers: These tiny bugs, often called chiggers, stick to your cat’s skin, drink blood, then fall off. They look like small, orange ovals and can be found on your cat’s head, paws, or belly.

Feline Scabies (Notoedric Mange): Feline scabies and canine scabies are caused by different parasites, yet they produce similar symptoms.

Walking Dandruff (Cheyletiellosis): These mites are called dust mites because they’re small and pale, and they move around on pets. They can cause problems for lots of different pets and even for people.

Canine Scabies (Sarcoptic Mange): Even though they’re labeled as “canine” mites, they can also affect cats. Cats commonly pick them up from an infected dog in the same household. These mites cause skin sores, hair loss, and itching in cats.

Ear Mites (otodectic Mange): Ear mites live inside your cat’s ears, usually in the ear canal but sometimes on the outer ear too. They make your cat’s ears itch and can hurt the eardrum.

Demodex: Three different types of microscopic mites have the potential to infest a cat’s skin, hair follicles, or ear canals, depending on the specific species. Among these, Demodex gatoi is contagious among cats but does not affect dogs

What is Mange in Cats Sympotms?

What is Mange in Cats


Different types of mange in cats typically show similar signs, including itching, scratching, skin sores, crustiness, and hair loss. Depending on the specific type of mange, additional symptoms may appear.


  • Feeling of scratching
  • Inflammation
  • Rough or scaly patches on the skin or wounds
  • Loss of hair

Feline Scabies

  • Rough, irritated edges near the ears
  • Intense scratching
  • Skin flakes
  • Hair shedding
  • Swelling

Walking Dandruff

  • Excessive skin scaling and dandruff, often concentrated on the back.
  • Itching.
  • Over-grooming.
  • Hair loss.
  • Crusty sores.
  • Presence of Demodex Mites.
  • Symptoms can vary based on the type of Demodex mite, including:
  • Itching/over-grooming.
  • Hair loss.
  • Scaly or crusty skin or sores.
  • Debris/irritation in the ear.
  • Head shaking.
  • Redness.

Fur Mites

  • Coat may rarely appear dull or rust-colored, sometimes salt-and-pepper.
  • Itchiness is uncommon.
  • Hair loss, mainly in the rear half of the body.

Ear Mites

  • Scratching noted in the ears, head, and neck.
  • Frequent head shaking.
  • Dry, crumbly discharge in the ear canal, possibly black or red-brown.

If ear mites spread:

  • Skin crusting and scaling on the neck, rump, and tail.
  • Generalized itching and scratching.

What Causes Mange in Cats?

Various forms of feline mange are caused by different types of mites:

Chiggers: Larval mites from the Trombiculidae family

Feline scabies: Notoedres cati (feline scabies) and Sarcoptes scabiei (canine scabies)

Walking dandruff: Cheyletiella mites

Canine Scabies (Sarcoptic Mange): Lynx acarus radovskyi

Ear mites: Otodectes cyanotis

Demodex: Demodex gatoi, Demodex cati, or an uncommon species of Demodex

What’s Mange in Cats Contagious?

Mange arises from microscopic mites that infiltrate the skin of otherwise healthy animals. These mites trigger skin irritation, leading to manifestations such as itching, hair loss, and inflammation. All types of mange are highly contagious.

What Treats Mange in Cats?

These are the different treatments available for different types of mange in cats:

What's mange in cats


Even though they aren’t specifically approved for chiggers, most flea and tick control products can effectively eliminate them.

Feline Scabies

Injections of Ivermectin have been used for a long time to treat scabies in cats. Even though it’s not officially approved for this purpose because scabies in cats is rare, these flea medications can also help:

Walking Dandruff

While there isn’t a product specifically licensed to treat walking dandruff in cats, it can be addressed using flea and tick medications. It’s crucial to treat all other pets in your household as well.

Canine Scabies (Sarcoptic Mange)

Most common flea and tick products can manage fur mites, and it’s recommended to treat all other pets in your household too.

Ear Mites

Approved by the FDA, eardrops such as Acarexx®, MilbeMite®, or Otomite Plus® are utilized for managing ear mites in cats.


You can utilize the same remedy for all varieties of Demodex mites: either weekly 2% lime sulfur dips for several weeks or two or more applications of Bravecto® or Revolution Plus®. Don’t forget to treat any other cats that may have been exposed as well.

What is Mange in Cats Treatment at Home?

Olive oil, castor oil, and coconut oil can eliminate mites by suffocating them. They also soothe the skin and moisturize dry patches. You can apply these oils directly to your cat’s skin, but make sure your cat doesn’t leave oil marks on your furniture.

What’s Mange in Cats Home Remedies?

Sure, here are simple home remedies for mange in cats:

  1. Use diluted apple cider vinegar as a rinse.
  2. Apply olive oil to soothe skin and suffocate mites.
  3. Use aloe vera gel for inflammation relief.
  4. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties; apply to affected areas.
  5. Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth to kill mites in the environment.
  6. Keep bedding and living areas clean.
  7. Ensure a balanced diet and consider immune-boosting supplements.

Remember, severe cases need vet attention.

Recovery and Management of Mange in Cats

For any situation involving mange in cats, it’s essential to ensure your cat receives regular flea and tick medication to prevent future occurrences.

Chiggers: This problem should resolve itself within a few weeks, and by consistently using flea and tick products, you can prevent future infestations.

Feline Scabies: Use Bravecto®, Revolution Plus®, Revolution®, or Advantage Multi® regularly to stop it from coming back. You’ll see results in a few weeks.

Walking Dandruff: To prevent this from happening again, ensure to regularly apply flea prevention measures.

Canine Scabies (Sarcoptic Mange): Keep giving your pet flea and tick prevention.

Ear Mites: You should start to see your cat getting better in 7-10 days. Just keep using Advantage Multi®, Revolution®, or Bravecto® as your vet tells you to.

Demodex: After getting rid of the mites, your cat might keep itching for a few weeks. Keep giving Bravecto® or Revolution Plus®. Also, make sure to treat any other illnesses that might be making your cat’s immune system weaker.

How Do I Know If My Cat Has Mange?

Many cat owners suspect their cats have mange when they notice them scratching more than usual. Mites cause itchiness, so cats try to relieve it by licking, biting, or scratching the affected areas.

What's mange in cats

However, this scratching can make things worse by irritating the skin even more. The combination of mites and scratching can lead to hair loss and inflamed skin, often showing up as scaly patches, sores, or scabs.

In the case of ear mites, cats may shake their heads or flatten their ears to relieve discomfort. You might see a lot of wax buildup and mite residue in their ears.

Humans can also get bitten by these mites, causing itching, redness, and swelling. But don’t worry, these mites can’t reproduce on humans, so they’re easier to get rid of on your skin than on your pet’s. If you’re bitten, talk to your doctor about treatment.

Can a Cat Die From Mange?

While it’s possible, it’s not common. But if mange is left untreated for a long time, especially in cats that are not eating well or have weak immune systems, it can lead to other infections and may even be fatal.

Note: Mange in cats needs quick attention for their health. Keep an eye out for signs and see a vet if needed.


Notoedric Mange in Cats 


Sarcoptic Mange

Mite Infestation of Cats

Sehrish kiran

Hi, I am Sehrish Kiran a blogger. The main motive to create this Harpersatelier site is that I want to share knowledge about Pets Information, Stories, Pet Breeds, and tips for grooming with all the pet lovers out there.

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