Mange is one of the scariest looking skin conditions that can affect your cat. A cat with mange can seem like a horrifying condition to deal with. These microscopic spider-like parasites will burrow into your cat’s skin to feed and the results can range from mild irritation to massive hair loss, crusted skin, and intense pain. Luckily, there are home remedies for mange in cats.
What is Cat Mange?
Mange is an infestation of tiny mites and is often called scabies, however, scabies actually refers to human cases of these problematic parasites. Mange can become very irritating and it causes cats to scratch and bite their skin excessively. If left untreated, mange can reproduce to the point where the cat can die.
This parasite is more common in outdoor cats, but these pesky freeloaders are highly contagious and can afflict indoor cats as well. You may have seen or read horror stories online where these mites ravage the skin which causes large areas to scab up, ooze pus, and bleed.
This can be a reality for your feline unless the condition is taken care of swiftly and correctly. Because mange is such a common occurrence, there are several home remedies to help deal with these intrusive and destructive mites.
Mange is a condition caused by various species of mites. Most mites are parasites, but there are some natural mites that live peacefully on your cat’s skin. Any mite can cause damage if they proliferate rapidly. The three most common types of mites are feline sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabei), notoedric mange (Notredes cati), and demodectic mange (Demodex cati / Demodex gatoi).
The Notoedres Cati mite is responsible for Notoedric mange which is the most common type of this condition found in cats. It is often called feline scabies due to its resemblance to mange in dogs. These tiny spider-like creatures burrow under your cat’s skin, causing them to itch incessantly.
Notoedres Cati is highly contagious and obnoxiously persistent. It typically starts around the ears and face before spreading throughout the body. These mites can only survive a few days off the host. If untreated, Notoedres cati can proliferate and cause emaciation, anorexia, and even death.
Feline Sarcoptic Mange
Feline sarcoptic mange is rare. It is referred to as scabies and is much more prevalent in dogs. Many mites prefer either dog or cat, although they will change species in certain circumstances. These tiny spiders also burrow into the skin and cause itching and redness.
Demodectic mange is normal and appears in small numbers in cats. Shaped like small slugs, vets believe these parasites are not contagious. They only cause harm when they begin to reproduce rapidly, causing an infestation that is inflammatory. Often times, in that scenario, it means that your cat’s immune system is very weak.
Ear Mites (Otodectic Mange)
Ear mites are a type of mange. These annoying parasites will infest the ear, which will lead to swelling of the ear canal. Constant itching can also cause damage to the ear canal and eardrums. Severe infestations can affect your cat’s ability to hear and retain balance properly.
Causes of Cat Mange
Most cats get mange when they come into contact with another cat that is infected. Cats can also get mange from infested dogs or other animals. Outdoor cats typically contract these parasites in the wild. They are more likely to get mange than indoor ones.
Although it can happen, most mites do not transfer from dog to cat and even the ones that do rarely make that jump. These mites can also transfer from cats to humans, but rarely does this occur. Malnourished or sick cats are more likely to get mange. Siamese and Burmese cats are more susceptible to the overpopulation of Demodectic mange.
Symptoms of Mange in Cats
Symptoms of cat mange vary, but they all share a common ailment: itchiness. Your cat will scratch its own hair out, which is the main cause of balding during mange infestation. Symptoms appear around a week after exposure. Ear mites (otodectic mange) can also become an issue. These ear mites will dig into your cat’s external ear, causing constant itching.
Along with itchiness, your cat may swell up due to infections on the outer skin. General restlessness typically accompanies the incessant itching. Mange usually loves to hang around the face and ears, but can quickly spread to other areas of the body.
If your cat transfers the mange to you, there will be red bumps much like mosquito bites. The human body is not ideal for mites unless you find yourself to be a very hairy individual. Most mites will try to return to your cat, but can also cause you to itch along with your pet. Other symptoms include:
- Skin discoloration
- Hair loss
- Greasy face
- Excessive grooming
- Tiny bumps on the skin
- Scaling of the skin
- Foul odor
- Sores and scabs
Home Remedies for Mange in Cats – Prevention Tips
It’s hard to prevent mange from occurring, but there are some tactics that may prove helpful. If you have an outdoor cat, make sure to check your pet’s fur daily. Keep your cat away from other pets that you know have mange, and make sure to thoroughly clean your cat after extended time in shared pet communities such as kennels. Also, keep your cat’s environment clean. Unsanitary conditions can cater to the spread of mange especially if you have multiple cats. Make sure to thoroughly clean bedding and litter boxes regularly.
Besides cleanliness, a healthy immune system can help protect your cat from contracting mange. Make sure to provide a healthy and nutritious diet. You can also add immune-boosting supplements or ingredients to your cat’s diet. Another prevention tip is to add a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar or fish oil to your cat’s food to promote healthy skin.
If your cat does get mange, make sure it is completely eradicated before you stop treatment. Throw away all bedding and toys that your cat owns while treating it for mange. Thoroughly wash anything that can’t be tossed, such as couch pillows.
Home Remedies for Mange in Cats
Parasites like mange have been a plague to cats for ages. Pet owners have been battling these bugs for decades upon decades. Subsequently, they discovered various home remedies. Owners must remember, simply quarantining and cleaning the cat is not enough.
Bedding, pillows, toys, and any other objects your cat comes into contact with needs to be thrown out or thoroughly washed. It would be best to get your cat a cone mask to help alleviate excessive biting and licking. Please, take your pet to the veterinarian if home remedies are not proving effective.
Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’re looking for effective home remedies for mange in cats try using some apple cider vinegar. Mites hate acid and acidic animals. Mixing apple cider vinegar into your cat’s diet cannot only help prevent mange but it can also help with the continued battle against mange. You can also use a topical application of apple cider vinegar which will work wonders for the immediate infestation.
Mix a 50/50 split of apple cider vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle and apply it to your cat’s skin and fur. Dipping a comb in the mixture and applying while grooming is also recommended. Owners can repeat this process daily until the condition has disappeared.
Organic Unflavored Yogurt
Many people have used organic unflavored yogurt to help treat a wide variety of skin conditions in pets. This type of yogurt contains acidophilus bacteria which is a healthy bacteria that can help reduce irritation.
To use it, simply apply a tablespoon worth around the impacted for about 15 minutes. Y0u cat might be tempted to lick off the yogurt, if so try to stop it. If you can’t stop your pet from removing the yogurt try using a cone while it’s applied.
You can use hydrocortisone cream to help heal the wounds and it will also help reduce the itchy irritating sensation. Make sure to monitor your cat to make sure it avoids ingesting any of the applied cream. You may have to use a cone to keep your cat from licking this application off.
Cortisone cream is an over the counter product. It is a mild antibiotic with natural enzymes. This cream can aid the treatment of bacteria, fungus, viruses, inflammation, yeast, skin infections, wounds, and cuts.
You can also apply a light layer of raw honey to the affected areas to help relieve itchiness and irritation. The honey will help reduce scratching and damage to the skin. Raw honey contains natural antioxidant and antiseptic properties to promote itch relief.
Pet Store Spray
There are various mange sprays and ointments on sale at your local pet store. These products are good for battling mites, just make sure you are buying safe products. Never try products without reviews and make sure to avoid harmful ingredients.
All mammals, including cats, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is most prominent in the brain and gut. The ECS works constantly to help regulate mood, sleep, inflammation, digestive functions, and more. The ECS also helps regulate and maintain healthy skin. Some research suggests that CBD interacts with the ECS to help promote the overall functionality of this system. Cats suffering from a mange infestation will be itching due to inflamed, irritated, or dry skin.
Related page: CBD products for cats
Topical or ingestible CBD products may help stimulate the ECS. These interactions may help provide relief and promote a sense of calmness. Relief of itching and irritation should cause your cat to scratch less, promoting quicker recovery.
Home Remedies for Mange in Cats – Final Thoughts
Mange can be a very nasty condition for your pet. If it gets really bad the skin will look as if million of spiders are crawling underneath it, which is exactly what is going on. There have been horror stories of cats where the mange progresses to the point where they are bursting from the skin causing sores and other infections. If you believe your cat is suffering from mange, start treatment immediately. It is always recommended that owners first see their veterinarian for a diagnosis. Still, there are several home remedies that may be helpful for mange in cats. Check this article source.