Notoedric Mange in Cats
Notoedric mange is a contagious, itchy skin disease of cats caused by infestation with the parasite Notoedres cati. Notoedres cati is a mange mite that is closely related to Sarcoptes canis, the mite that causes sarcoptic mange in dogs. This is a highly contagious disease in cats that is spread by direct contact. The mites can only survive on the animal and can live only a few days off the host. It is considered rare in the United States, although it occurs commonly in certain geographic areas like southern California.
Although it is a parasite that affects cats, this mite can occasionally infest dogs and can cause temporary, minor itching in humans. The mite causes severe pruritus (itching) and infested cats can cause significant harm to their skin by chewing and scratching. The disease begins at the base of the ear and spreads up the ear pinna, around the face, and down the neck. Eventually, the lesions may reach all the way to the feet and to the anal area, possibly due to the cat’s normal grooming behavior.
What to Watch For
Diagnosis of Notoedric Mange in Cats
Treatment of Notoedric Mange in Cats
Home Care and Prevention
This mite can only be contracted through contact with an infected animal. Keeping your cats away from stray cats and their environments helps to prevent spread. Be sure to have new cats examined by a veterinarian before bringing them into your household.