Scabies in Cats | Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Scabies in cats is one of the most common diseases among household cats. Most importantly, this skin is mainly caused due to the appearance of different types of tiny mites. However, most species of tiny mites are normal and they’re usually found in cats especially on their skin and hair follicles while others are known as parasites. All of these mites can cause mild and several infections if they infest in a larger number.

If you don’t know the actual difference between mange and scabies then this section is for you. Scabies is a type of mange that is caused due to mite infestation.  Mange is a term used for animals while scabies is used for human. Different types of mites can cause different level of skin diseases to cats. Moreover, the mite infestation can make your pet’s skin itchy and reddened.

Scabies in Cats

What is Mange?

Mange or scabies in cats is another name of severe mite infestation. There are two most common types of mange including red mange (Scabies Sarcoptes) and black mange (Demodex Cati) mites. These mites are buried deep into your cat’s skin; therefore, they cause severe skin infection, hair loss, and itching.

Causes of Scabies in Cats (Notoedric Mange):

Mange or Feline Sarcoptic mange is an uncommon disease that is sometimes referred to as Scabies. These are caused by mites having oval-shaped, microscopic, and a light color. Mites that cause feline scabies cause severe skin problems to cats. In general, the skin infections first appear on the face, ears, and then spread to the rest of the body.

It’s to be noted, these skin infections are contagious. The Demodectic mange is yet another type of Scapies or mange in cats. It’s commonly caused due to cigar-shaped mites. These mites also result in severe skin infections and hair follicles.  These mites are often found on the dog’s skin. However, there is no proof of these being transferred from dogs to cats. It’s to be noted that skin infections occur when mite infestation is large.

General Symptoms of Mange in Cats:

Scabies in cats can result in severe skin infection and other effects such as intense itching, restlessness, and frantic scratching. Furthermore, these symptoms occur after one week of mite infestation.

Most importantly, scabies sometimes results in a moth-eaten appearance to the skin along with patchy hair loss. Mange often appears on the face and the cat’s ear. However, it affects the entire body if mites spread to the entire body.

Not to mention, mange in cats can also affect human skin in case of contact. Your body will have a rash of red bumps just like mosquito bites. Scabies can be sometimes self-limiting due to an incomplete life cycle. However, your cat will be uncomfortable during a mite infestation.

The other symptoms of mange may include:

  • Restlessness
  • Hair Loss
  • Excessive grooming or licking
  • Bumps on the skin
  • Skin discoloration
  • Scaling around the eyelids, neck, and face
  • Greasy face
  • Swelling
  • Scratching and Itching

What to do if your cat has scabies?

Scabies in Cats

The first and foremost treatment is to take your cat to the nearest veterinarian for a thorough skin scraping. During tests, the veterinarian will check your cat’s skin surface with a microscope to monitor the mite presence. Most importantly, it’s very difficult to find mites on your cat’s skin if they’re buried deep into your cat’s skin. Following this, your vet will review past clinical reports to diagnose the skin of your cat.

Is Scabies in Cats Common?

You may find it in your cat or pet with a compromised immune system. If your cat has a compromised immune system then it’s more like to get affected by mite infestation and may bear severe skin infection.

Mange Treatment:

As mentioned earlier, mites on animals transfer from one pet to another pet. Following this, you need to isolate your cat from other pets and your family members as well. This will limit the spread of scabies mites from one pet to another.

After isolation, your vet will prescribe you a proper medication to kill mites on your cat’s skin. Depending on your cat’s immune system and skin health, your vet may prescribe a topical medicine. The medication can be applied topically through injections or dip and shampoos.

The antibiotics and anti-inflammatories or antibacterial shampoo may work best to ease inflammation and prevent skin issues. Although, mites are killed immediately your cat’s skin may recover after 1 month of thorough medication.

You must also note that some antibiotics, dips, collars, and insecticides are only prescribed for dogs, so, they can’t be used on cats. It’s always suggested that you must consult your vet before applying any type of shampoo or insecticide.

Is there any way to prevent mange recurrence?

First, you need to isolate your cat from other pets. During mange treatment, you need to thoroughly clean your cat’s collar, toys, dishes, and replace his/her bedding after some time.

Secondly, prevent your cat from playing with your neighbor’s cat if it is affected by mites. Make sure to consult your vet and let him/her examine your cat for mite infestation. Your vet will then prescribe a shampoo or insecticide to kill mites on your cat’s skin.


Taking care of your cat is very important. Some diseases in cats can be transferred from a cat to a human which is why noticing symptoms of disease in cats and treating them on time is very important. We have mentioned every essential aspect of scabies in cats and their treatment.

Please let us know if you think we haven’t covered/mentioned something important on this topic. We will try to add that just to help people do the best with their cats.

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