Cat Scabies Treatment

Scabies treatment can help to prevent a secondary infection from developing. Because the condition is extremely contagious and progressive, prompt treatment is crucial to stopping the progression and spreading of the condition.

What Is Cat Scabies?

Cat scabies, or notoedric mange, is a skin condition which is caused by a small mite, only 1/3 of a millimeter in length, known as Notoedres cati. This mite is very contagious between cats and is shared through direct contact. Interestingly, the Notoedres cati mite only has the ability to live on a cat. It cannot use a dog or a human as its host.

Cat scabies is known for causing extreme itching and patchy hair loss. As the female mite burrows underneath the skin of your cat to lay her eggs, she creates a very intensely irritating feeling for your cat. While it is mainly the head and neck area that will be affected, the entire body of your cat is a playground for this mite. Eventually, your cats continuous scratching will create bald spots and patches of scabbiness. If left untreated, the scabs will start to crust and a secondary infection can develop.

Diagnosing Scabies in Cats

Once you take notice of some of the symptoms of scabies appearing in your cat, the next thing to do will be to get a diagnosis of what you suspect. A thorough physical examination and review of the symptoms will be a good indicator of the problem at hand. However, because scabies can be similar in appearance to other parasitic skin conditions, a series of skin scrapings are vital to making an accurate diagnosis.

The scrapings will be taken from various parts of your cat's body. When the samples are viewed microscopically, the determination can be made that the Notoedres cati mite is the parasite responsible for causing these symptoms in your cat.

How to Treat Feline Scabies

Scabies treatment is a three step process. The treatment process needs to be done once a week until you see signs of the condition clearing.

The first thing to do is clip all long hair. Even if your cat is short-haired, you need to cut the hair as close to the skin as possible. Cutting the hair close to the skin helps to ensure that when bathing your cat, as implied in the next step of treatment, the majority of the solution will be able to get down to skin level and not get caught in the hair.

Next, you will need to bathe your cat with a gentle shampoo. You can try using a shampoo made with aloe or oatmeal. Whichever shampoo you choose needs to be something that will not irritate the scabs or sore spots of the skin. The scabies condition is very itchy and sensitive, so using warm water and a gentle cleansing shampoo will make this easier on your cat.

After you have bathed your cat with conventional shampoo, you will need to perform a lime sulfur dip. The sulfur is the agent responsible for killing off the Notoedres mite, so getting this to every part of your cat's body is crucial to the treatment process.

In general, scabies is not considered to be a life-threatening condition unless it is seriously neglected and left untreated. However, because the treatment process is relatively simple, there should be no issue with ridding your cat of the Notoedres cati mite.