Have a Mangy Cat? 5 Mites That Can Frustrate Your Feline

If you notice that your cat’s dandruff flakes appear to be marching along his back, he might have Cheyletiella. The mite that infests cats is contagious to other cats. It can also spread to people, causing a rash. Luckily, it’s not very common in felines. Some products that kill fleas and ticks will also keep Cheyletiella from inhabiting pets.

Another mite that spreads through contact with infested pets or their bedding or environment is Notoedres cati, better known as feline scabies or head mange. Signs include severe itching on the head and neck, hair loss, and thickened, raw or scabby skin. Rarely, cats can also get dog scabies, which causes the same signs. A skin scraping or skin biopsy reveals the presence of the mites, which are treated with lime sulfur dips or other medications over a period of several weeks.

Cats who live in the southeastern United States may encounter Demodex gatoi. It’s uncommon and may be mistaken for allergies. Sometimes multiple skin scrapings are necessary to identify the mites. Cats itchy from D. gatoi typically need multiple lime sulfur dips to rid them of the mites. These mites are also contagious between cats, so if one cat in the household has them, all should be treated.

Treatments for most mites are effective. Your cat may be mite-free in four to six weeks. Mites don’t live long in the environment, but you’ll want to wash pet bedding in hot water to make sure you rid your home of them.

More on Vetstreet.com :
* What Does My Cat's Skin and Fur Say About Her Health?
* 10 Strange Cat Behaviors Explained
* 6 Signs Your Cat Owns You
* Why Does My Cat... Lick Herself When I Pet Her?

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