Mange is mostly found in dogs but cats can also suffer from a similar skin condition known as Demodicosis or Demodectic mange, which is an inflammatory skin disease caused by various types of mites that live on the cat's skin and can go unnoticed by the naked eye.
Cats are often subject to mange if their immune system is compromised by illness or stress or if the body is producing too much excess oil and hormones, which can then lead to skin and hair problems. If your cat shows symptoms of mange and is left untreated, they can go onto develop hair loss (alopecia) further down the line.
The severity of symptoms is determined upon the type of mite living on your cat's skin. Mange in cats is often rare but more commonly found in Siamese cat breeds and Burmese cat breeds.
Symptoms of mange in cats
Majority of symptoms include hair loss around the head, eyelids, neck and their flank. They can also develop lesions on their skin with crusty patches and scales.
Causes of mange in cats
Mange is rare in cats, however, two types of mites can cause mange in cats and these are Demodex Gatoi and Demodex Cati.
Demodex Gatoi is very contagious and can be transmitted between cats that live in the same household.
Demodex Cati is associated with the disease of the immune and metabolic system. This can often be found in cats that suffer from an underlying health condition such as diabetes. Often, in circumstances like this, the mite can overpopulate and cause severe skin conditions if left untreated.
How is mange diagnosed in cats?
Diagnosing mange in cats involves taking skin scrapings as well as hair samples which can help identify the specific mite living on the cat's skin.
Taking a urine sample from the cat can also detect possible causes for your cat's skin condition. In the majority of cases, your cat will be suffering from allergies or scabies.
How to treat mange in cats
Majority of cases of mange in cats will resolve itself without treatment. For more serious cases it may be necessary to medicate the cat to help control the disease. This will be determined by your veterinary practice.
How to prevent mange in cats
Keeping your cats health in optimum condition will go a long way in protecting your cat with most diseases and health conditions. Of course, genetics play a big part in predisposed health conditions and these are unfortunate. Keeping your cat clean will also help prevent your cat from catching mites, Cats with generalised health conditions should not be used to breed as their genetic disorders will carry on through their offspring.