Mange is an uncommon illness on cats that reflects on their skin. It isn’t easy to recognize it or detect it right away since it is not visible for a couple of days or weeks, but it is important to treat it right away since it could affect their well-being.
Not all cats have mange. This is mainly caused by a parasite that reflects on their skin, causing your cat to lose a lot of hair, inflammation, and itching. If you see your pet constantly licking or scratching a specific part of their body, that is probably a sign that they might be feeling sick.
We always want to ensure that the health of our cat is at its high peak. Infestations like mange are a skin problem that affects all animals, including cats; if you want to know what to do when your pet has it, keep reading!
How To Know When Your Cat Has Mange?
As a skin problem, this type of infection could occur in all kinds of animals caused by mites. A parasite that bites the skin off of your pet, resulting in constant itching, stomach inflammation, and hair loss. Dogs are more likely to suffer from mange, but cats could have it too, and if you are a cat owner, you should be aware of the symptoms of mange so that you can seek immediate help if necessary.
Commonly your cat will start to show the signs of this disease on top of their head and neck, demonstrated with excessive hair loss, itching, and extremely red skin. If your cat loves to be outside, be on the lookout for their behavior when they come indoors.
As humans, we also have an immune system that assists us in fighting viruses that may enter our health system. Like any other animal, cats have a defense system that allows the body to fight potential diseases. Many bacteria live on their skin, which ironically aids in preventing hair loss and the spread of mange and scabies.
But we must be highly alert to parasites that can be negatively infected in our felines. It is well known that many cats like to play outside in the sand or feel like they own the place by visiting other neighbors and playing with other cats. And when this happens very often, you must keep your eyes open for the possibility of catching a disease from the street.
Although diseases such as mange are not common in cats, they are still subject to being contagious. The main types of mange are Demodex cati (that shows in black on their skin) and Scabies Sarcoptes (red signs).
Demodex cati is the type of parasite that lives in all cats helping their defense system, but when there is an overpopulation of mites in them, this can cause a health problem since an excessive growth of them can cause systemic disease in very young cats that have not had their vaccinations or older cats.
Scabies Sarcoptes, on the other hand, is not as common as the Demodex. If you have an adventurous cat or one in contact with wildlife, it is susceptible to catching this type of parasite. It is very important to take extra care of those cats that are more likely to go outside and catch diseases because this type of parasite could also affect human health.
Basically, what this parasite does is that it is embedded under your cat’s skin, causing irritability in it and causing them to scratch constantly. This results in the skin turning red or black because they are scratching very aggressively, leading to excessive hair loss. Since the area is infected, it does not allow healthy hair to grow naturally and smoothly.
Types Of Mange In Cats
Cats could be susceptible to catching different types of mange on their health. The most common ones are:
- Cheyletiellosis (Walking Dandruff): This type of parasite is more visual since it is white and small and moves on your cat’s body. This is very severe because it could also affect humans.
- Trombiculosis: These mites bite the skin of your cat and attach to their body, looking for blood. Their frequent areas are their paws, belly, or head.
- Sarcoptic Mange (Canine scabies): Cats usually are contagious when nearby a dog for a long time that generally lives in the same house and likes to go outside or any other dog from the streets.
- Otodectic Mange (Ear mites): This is commonly found inside of your cat’s ear damaging their eardrum because of the excessive itching.
- Notoedric Mange (Feline scabies); This is similar to canine scabies since it could also be caught when playing outside very frequently, especially on a dirty surface or sand. They have almost the same symptoms.
What To Do When Your Cat Has Mange?
The first thing we need to do after confirming that our cat has mange is taking them directly to the vet because they will provide the necessary medicine your feline needs to be cured. In the meantime, if you want to keep your cat calm while they are sick, you can dab apple cider vinegar with a little bit of warm water into the spot where they are itching. Another home remedy could be to put coconut oil in the place where the skin is redder.
This could be very scary for you as a car owner to see your cat so sick, but the good thing is that there’s a treatment for it. Just follow the directions your veterinarian will give you.
Usually, your vet will give you a prescription with the medication your cat will need to cure this disease, like oral medication to eliminate the mites, some creams to put in the itching spot, a couple of vaccines, and shampoos for their hair loss.
It is important to follow the directions provided by the veterinarian since we can’t overdo it and give an excessive amount of medicine to our cat. Some of these treatments could be very strong, which will result in a burn on your cat’s skin or make it worse.
How To Prevent My Cat From Getting Mange
Sometimes we can’t control how our pet will be infected with any disease. Parasites could be found anywhere even when we try to be more careful, but a couple of tips you can use to prevent your cat from catching mange could be:
Have him avoid constant contact with possible infected cats: This could be challenging since cats love to be outside, but with the proper training, they can learn to be in a specific area of your house that will not allow them to go near cats that live on the streets.
Maintain a good level of vitamins and proteins on their immune system: As previously stated, many bacteria live inside your cat that could prevent parasites from being harmful. By having a good immune system, your cat will be less likely to catch mange.
Keep their environment clean: Change their water and their litter box constantly.
If you have other pets at home, take good care of them as well. Even though it is fun to have several friends around you all the time, they are vulnerable to disease, just like humans.
Also, a good diet is a key to maintaining the boost on their immune system, so watch out for the food you give them.
Lastly, if your cat has mange, you must keep some distance and treat them with gloves and extra care since this type of disease could be very contagious for humans, and although it can’t cause death, it will cause a lot of itching on your skin.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.