What is Mange on a Cat?
"Mangy cat" is a common enough slur thrown at down-on-their-luck felines, but in fact cat mange is a fairly rare condition, much more common in dogs. Nevertheless, some cats do get the mange and it can be an intractable problem for cat owners to resolve, especially in a safe and natural way. So does your cat have mange? Well, mange is actually just a description of the set of symptoms that accompany a mite infestation in your cat. The symptoms of cat mange include skin infection, rash, hair loss, hair matting, and the typical itching and scratching that go with an irritating feline skin condition.
Mange in cats includes several related conditions including demodectic mange caused by one species of mites, ear mites, feline sarcoptic mange, and notedric mange. The last two are at times called feline scabies, after the similar condition in dogs, but they are different health conditions. Some forms of feline mange are contagious (notedric mange, in particular) and some are not (demodectic), but in most cases if your pet has mange then you too may see red bumps or a rash on your own skin, a symptom of mite bites.
How to Treat a Cat with Mange
Cat mange treatment begins with strengthening your cat's immune system, since mites can't easily take advantage of healthy cats. Increasing your cat's sulfur intake with food supplements such as garlic can help fight off mites and support the immune system. A variety of drugs and steroids are generally administered by vets, with different treatment regimes for different mites. However natural immune support, nit-combing, shampooing perhaps with borax or hydrogen peroxide, and careful cleaning of your cat's home environment can help a mite infection and cat mange go away on their own.
09/20/2012: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.: "I have been treating my cat for over a year now for mange, this website has helped me a great deal. The first time she was treated with borax & peroxide and was tolerated well, the cats mange was gone for approx. Eight months but she also has an upper respiratory infection that I failed to treat. I noticed a few months ago a few new spots of mange coming back, it's my understanding mange attacks most animals with low immunity, I used what I found to be a temp. solution for head lice, as I stated it worked great but with in the past few months the mange has come back a whole lot more aggressively, I am doing my very best to keep it away from her face/eyes(mange).....I recently bought a dip for mange also a collar to stop her from cleaning her self while being treated. My cat is a strong fighter, she has the faith for sure. I needed to know if she will be ok with this dip? I have tried so many things I am afraid i'm wearing her resistance down as well as her strong ability to hold on as her immune system gets lower & she gets older, she is approx. Two or three years of age. I have had many pets but she is so smart & fights for her life, it shows me she has the will to live. Any suggestions please? Thank you so much for this web site. I could never do this alone. God bless."
09/13/2012: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.: "The first two times I used peroxide & borax for my tiny frail cat it worked great for at least seven or eight months but then it recently returned even worse this time around. I tried many different suggestions but I have to be very cautious as I mentioned she is very sick with an upper respiratory infection/when the immune system is way down she is susceptable to any thing especially mange plus many other diseases. I did a web search to find using vaseline because it smothers the mites(I wish now I had of used cooking oil ;o( I left it on for two days, then had to use dawn dish liquid to cut the thickness of the vaseline what a disaster, but my poor sweet little kitty was a real strong trooper. Then I used oatmeal that I bought in an herbal store specially for baths, I could see a huge difference where she was totally infested with these mites every where after her ordeal there was no more mites except red spots. Now I pray her mange is gone until I can rebuild her immune system. I also bought some lime/sulfur dip from an equine web site, it's sold in smaller amounts as well, also I can buy antibiotics from them and a few other treatment items for animals of all sizes. The dip can now be saved for another time, but in hopes the mites won't come back. My kitty is an extra special kitty to me because she has withstood so much but she tends to still hold on and begins to show more trust in our ability to bath her as often as needed. My very best goes out to all others that are brave and willing to keep fighting to save their loving pets. And I also found all animals have a soul....... <(*;*)> God bless"Replies
09/14/2012: Linda from San Francisco, Ca, Usa replies: "Diamond! Please do not use that dip! Usually a dip is a good way to kill a cat. Please do not use that dip unless you run it by a good vet.
Sorry for the urgent tone, but I have known people whose kitties expired before their eyes within 10 minutes from using a dip for fleas.
01/13/2012: Yajnaseni from New Delhi, India: "Hi, I have been reading about Ted's cure for mange in dogs. I wanted to know whether this is safe for cats. I have a one-and-a-half yeay old male tabby who has been suffering from scabies (as told by the vet) for over a year now. Vet treatments, spectrazole, antibiotics, 3-5 round of washes have not helped. The top of his head and his neck have gone completely bald and he has a thin layer of fur. I am based in New Delhi and winters are harsh here, I feel really bad for him. So if the borax and peroxide treatment could work, I am willing to try it. But, I am worried about the toxic effect. My cat's immune system is not great either. Thanks for all the help.
01/14/2012: Linda from San Francisco, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Yajnaseni, I just want to say that what is OK for dogs may be very dangerous for cats.
I am sorry, I know that doesn't answer your question, but I would not do this with a cat unless I had a whole lot more information on it.
There may be a way to contact Ted directly on the Earthclinic homepage.
I hope you will check this out very, very carefully. It would be a shame to find out after the fact that it was unsafe. I have had cats for 35 years and would not do this. Cats are very delicate and very different than dogs.
I *would* go to www.catnutrition.org , whose site owner has cured several rescued cats of all-over skin diseases, and see what you can find out there.
It may simply be a matter of diet or dietary deficiency.
Best of luck to you both,
09/01/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Usa: "I have a kitten growing up fast as I post, she had mange and I got rid of it once only this time it came back worse(it's revenge only got stronger)I tried the borax and peroxide and it worked to the extent it got rid of a few but appeared to be resistant to same methods, I then decided to use some sort of softener such as a heavy oil bought at herbal store then I combed them out, but she is so sick and refuses me to do any more exploring or combing of fur. My cat then decides to eat one of my ferns which made her weaker and that much more sicker. I found her to be very cold to the touch but breathing ok; in the meantime she hadn't eaten in three days or any water.
I decided to find a remedy on my own, I knew her blood was low because of being so cold, I mixed a small amount of spring water with black strap molasses(iron)and lysine and forced it down her throat with a sringe on the side of her mouth. She spit it everywhere, I waited a few minutes then re-administered it and she swallowed it, I did this for six hours straight finally she was accepting it willingly, I fixed her a rich cat food with many vits. Also my remedy of molasses & lysine;so now she is back in the swing of things, minus the mild case of mange and upper resp. conditions, she is eating great an sleeps a lot. Was that a coincidence or what? thankfully luck was with me."
05/25/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa: "Hi everyone, I think I am finally finished with my kittens mange treatments as well as spraying tea tree oil and water mix all around the house, beds etc. I washed all bed linen, beds and cats/dogs items. I washed every thing in either bleach or amonia, I washed all my floors with amonia. Ahhh but then to bath my small dogs, what fun ;o)
It took me over three months of doing the kittens mange treatments then the whole house, too my surprise the dogs did not get the mange but they were infested with huge ticks pregnant mother and all, I had a struggle with that fat tick that just did not want to leave my dogs body, my husband was pulling ticks out of the dogs ears, every where and any where they could hide from my treatments, my female dog wasn't bad at all she had very short hair and one treatment did the job well. So just when I thought all was well and settled in resting...... My kitten that had been treated for mange was a great escapee(chuckles)
many times I have brought her back in or coaxed her back in, this morn. She got out again its now 6pm eve. And no sign of her yet, so I put an add in the newspaper if any one can catch her to bring her home to me. That was some kitten;I never saw a kitten with a personallity like her's, I would give her commands that my dogs were supposed to abide by and she would obey. I put in the newspaper she is presently being treated for upper respiratory infection. Prayers for her safe keeping and safe return home.Thanks"
05/13/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa: "I have been posting in this one forum for months now about my little kitten I found wandering the streets in a storm. She was very tiny, she couldn't hold any thing on her stomach, I checked her body for her size and weight when I noticed a lot of bumps I thought to be sores, I did a web seach and thankfully I found this site, where a picture of a dog with mange was shown and sure enough it was mange I was dealing with, it took me months to deal with the whole situation because she was so mal-nutritioned; I found a special and strong vitamin powder for her and the best and most expensive cat food for her.
I started her treatments of borax and peroxide all over accept near her eyes, I had to leave it on over night because she hid on me where I couldn't find her or reach her, the next morning she came out to eat so I got her first thing and bathed her clean then a good rinse, she then started eating in great amounts. That was way too much of an ordeal for her so I needed to give her a few days rest even though I really wanted to get this done as quickly as possible, three days later she started trusting me again so I put another solution of peroxide/borax on her and left it to do it's work once again, I felt she knew it was doing her some good. And as for her constantly throwing up, I added some ACV to her cat food for only a few days and she was doing great, no more throwing up at all, even though it was mostly hair-balls the ACV did the trick 100% then I bought fish oil caps. And added it to her food every day for the oil to help with a shiny coat plus move the hair balls out when she moved her bowels.
Again I went back to the treatment of her mange again rinsed out the solution of borax and peroxide. I did this for three months where I was getting worried as warm weather was coming and the baby mites were developing quickly and my poor kitty was getting terribly upset, so I went to the drug store in hopes of getting quell for humans body lice it had to be bought by prescription only, so I sat in the drug store and read all the ingredients until I found what was good for humans head lice, one of the ingredients was permethrin:leave it on only five minutes, for a dog I'm not sure but it did great for my kitten and I finally am free of the mange bot of the treatments of peroxide & borax plus the head lice solution did the complete job.
Now she is so fat she can no longer jump up onto the table unless she falls back down. Then we have a self disposed cat litter box she sits on the motor, I guess she likes the motion/the noise or what, but she is the natural & normal baby kitty she should be, she loves chasing my small dogs around and making an older cat mind his manners when he growls at every one, the kitten demands Law & Order (chuckles).....
Thanks to Ted and everyone else that has made this website possible for people like me to treat my loving pets as well as other people's pets.
"The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" Gandhi
[YEA] 05/06/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa: "I used Apple Cider Vinegar & borax for the first treatment before trying anything else, before I could even apply this solution on my animal, the solution turned into concrete(?)had I of put this on my pet how would I have ever gotten her out of a concrete slab? :o)
I chose to use peroxide & borax it worked very well but because my animal was a kitten she was resisting treatments most times & hide on me for days, but I did continue treatments as best as I could, those mite's were gross & jumping everywhere. I completed the regiment after three months, with a few days rest in between, it got rid of a great deal of the mites, but babies were still lingering around(leave & return)So I decided to use CVS brand head lice treatment, it has permethrin in it, I left it on for exactly five minutes only because her treat. Were nearly completed via the peroxide & borax, then I rinsed her in clear warm water and her body is now free of every mite. I found it odd that she was a stray when I found she had mites there were two types of mites, mange(mites are red & black) and what I feel was bed bugs(?)(were small black bug).....
I was wondering if thats even possible?
I am so very thankful for this site and every one that has contributed to these forums especially to Ted & his helpers that have made this all possible.namaste.........
05/04/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa: "Well I said I would be back to post more info. On my kitten and her progress;and a slow progress it was. I found a kitten approx. Four months ago wandering the streets in a heavy snow storm, I brought her home and fed her but her food would not stay down so after a months try I did a web search and thankfully I found this site;while examining my new kitten I found sores all over her body they were nasty looking, so I again checked this site and there it was"Mange"I gave her the treatments with a few days in between to rest as I was trying to build up her immune system, she was very thin, tiny and sickly. I gave her ACV in her food and after a day or two she was doing great holding her food down and wanting to eat more and more, she is much better in that dept. After two full months of this over load of mange covering her whole body except her face yet! I finally got most of these mites out but the others were stubborn and developing new babies, finally I went to the drug store to get some quell for scabies, it was not over the counter as I had thought, so I searched through all items for cooties of the head lol there is one for head lice with permethrin, I put it on her an left it for five minutes and rinsed her twice to be sure there was no more solution on her body as it would have burned her skin, she is now hopefully free and clear of any mites except the dead ones I comb out with a fine tooth comb offered with the lice solution. I am so thankful for this site and that my kitty has a newer start in life, pain free.
Thanks to every one that has made peoples education about animals care more available, cheaper and easier to treat.
I hope to come back with yet more good news on the progress of my sweet little kitty" Muffin" I wish I had of taken a pic. before and after, she is now beautiful, fat and brassy, she is the youngest//smallest and yet she is in charge of all other pets here including the dogs lol
God bless every one."
04/22/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa: "This has been some gruesome journey, but I am most grateful for this site. I heard awhile back that any animal with mange was automatically put to sleep because of the treatments entailed were lengthly, expensive and very painful for some animals. I found a very fluffy kitten thin, dirty and what looked like bites, I thought maybe she was chewing herself because of fleas. She was wandering the streets during one of Massachusetts biggest storms. I took her home & fed her, I let her adjust to her new home first, then within two days I decided to bathe her, whatever she had wasn't going away with one bath, I did a web search and thankfully there were pictures of dogs with mange and I could surely identify with all the signs, so I followed the directions and found it was a long drawn out process, but the process was well worth it. I have given her the total of four baths but I would let her rest a few days to a week as I felt she was already weakened by other diseases(of unknown origin).
I was getting so worn out from the process, and trying to keep every single room in the house clean and free of these mites as I saw them flying around looking for new hosts. I washed, scrubbed, and threw whatever needed air outside on the patio for the cold air to rid these mites if any attatched to clothing, bedding etc. Then I too would take an ACV bath, even or amonia is good, 1/2 cup full in bath water and same for washing clothes.
Today April 22, 2011 I have just given my kitten her fourth bath this eve. During the first part of the week I used neem oil where it raised these mites above the skin, I let it set for a day or two, then I filled the big sink with warm water, I already had borax mixed with peroxide I put that on her and rubbed it in as good as I could, waited a few min. Then rinse, then put dawn dish liquid on her and washed her real good feeling & making sure there were no more raised bumps(mites)then for last results I rinsed her with warm water & ACV......... Thankfully I didn't see or feel any more mites anywhere on her, all I can do now is pray & keep my fingers crossed. I know she is rather upset with this process but there is no way of explaining it to her until she is totally free of these mites and is able to be a kitten for the first time in her little life.
Last night for the first time in months she escaped from the house outside, I watched her chasing leaves flying around the yard, it was worth a thousand words to watch her playing for the first time ever. She has gained weight big time, she was eating six to seven times a day because of the loss of her nutrients, I was and still am giving her Paul Newman's chicken & rice//rice is good for anyone as it absorbs any impurities in the body. We are all here for a purpose in life; I do believe we are here to protect mother earth and our pets as well as all animals. I will be back on more of her progress. Thanks for everyone's help here God bless"
04/04/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa: "I can tell you this kitten has a lot of fight in her.
I have been treating my kitten for the past few weeks, with very little results only because she dosen't let me finish the process so then I have to wait until she calms down some, then when she comes to me when I call her then I'm ready as well as she is. I have started by putting neem oil & vitamin oil on these mites just to start any process I could until I found this site. Even though I wasn't about to wash off the oil's and put her through too many ordeals at one time, I had to cut corners as best as I could and try being consistant, my kitten is a fighter in many ways, one she fights to live and two fights me because she thinks I am trying to do her harm/and the water bit? I'm trying to drown her(NOT)lol This is what I did, it had to be a one time deal until a few more weeks when she re-builds her confidence in me again. So I put a shower chair in my bath tub, I set up all the things I needed to give her a bath, I had already put the borax & peroxide on the night before, so the items in my bath tub;I put ACV, dawn dish liquid a very large bowl filled with ACV and warm water, I wore thin pants and a shirt in the shower, I sat in the shower chair with a heavy bath mat on my lap for claw protection then I had the kitten passed into me;as I applied the water an ACV I also applied the dish liquid and washed her good all over then rinsed her with fresh ACV and warm water and now she appears to be a nice fresh clean kitty;I hope :o) I'm quite sure there will be more treatments along the way as she was covered from head to toe. They were some huge dudes and dudettes chuckles. Right now she is cleaning herself with the most of her worries taken care of. She thinks she is hiding on me because she can't see me, but I can see her. And to think this kitten wouldn't have had a chance other wise. IT's us; you, me and thee that make a huge difference in these little babies lives. I hope this site goes on for many, many years on. good luck & god bless."
04/01/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa: "As I had written in previous messages, I have a stray kitten here she is the sweetest kitty ever, I'm willing to try most any thing to help her get better and I might say she has improved a wee bit from the time I found her from five to ten weeks later, at first she could not hold any food down at all, she was biting & itching constantly, I gave her Apple Cider Vinegar everyday & now she eats everything constantly and still wants more, because of these mites they suck the nutrients from the animals bodies. I have actually seen two of these mites flying around the house after one of my kitties treatments of borax and peroxide then I put vit. E all over her as these mites couldn't get back on board or whatever. These mites have an all black body except on top of the back has an oval shape blood red on it's back and they are some big; so they must burrow real deep. I have been giving my kitten a probiotic 500mg which seems to some what help. I'm very nervous as it's so much harder to do a cat/kitten because they fear water. I still see red dots on her back? she won't sit still so I can examine her and I don't really have anyone to help me with her. I was wondering if it be acceptable to use a dropper and put mineral oil in her ears? they are dirty and infested. Every time I call my vet his wife's calculator starts kicking in.
I had some what expected and/or hoped for a quick remedy never knowing what these mites are or how they were eliminated. I read where it's worse for the animal if they get too stressed out so I try to let her rest a few days but by then she runs from me. I really hate putting her through this again. How can I tell if she has anymore? And does these red dots mean they are still there? Thanks every one."
Respiratory Infection, Mange
08/29/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Usa: "I'm really feeling so bad about my beautiful little kitty, she has both returning mange and an upper resp. Infection. I did good for the remainder of the summer and allowed her to play even though she tired easily. But it seems that the mange comes in or out for the winter and now she is loaded. I used the usual dosing of borax and peroxide, it got rid of only a few and there was another huge amount left, so I found a great nit comb, I put a natural oil on her fur and just comb them out, they totally grossed me out they are so big and black, also looked like white ones where they may have been eggs. Her body always feels cold to me. I'm hoping to try and do some less evasive remedies and only pray they continue to work. I can say this; she is some strong trooper. I hope she continues to hang on in the battle to combat these two diseases
Thank you so much for this site and letting me share as well as you sharing with me. God bless"Replies
09/06/2011: Judyds from Oconomowoc, Wi replies: "Look into a product called Nu-Stock. There are very many testimonials for it getting rid of mange. It is a sulphur based salve."
Ted's Mange Remedy
07/08/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Usa: "ted; my kitten had mange approx. eight months ago so bad i had no clue what it was, it was some disgusting;i had already given up on vets. he wanted to test her for a thyroid problem while i'm here worried sick about this horrible looking disease on my kitten was, thankfully i found your site by luck and chance. i treated her for approx. three months with peroxide and borax i made a paste and did her treatments every three days or more, she was very sickly and has upper respiratory infection so i didn't want to weaken her immune system any more than need be, it was really tough on her all around she continued to throw up no matter what i fed her, so i gave her acv every meal she was cured and still is of throwing up and doing great, during her treatments of peroxide and borax she seemed to be having mild seizures.
finally i decided to stop the treatments for awhile and left the same borax and peroxide on her temp. a couple weeks later she seemed to be ok so i went back to the same treatments the mange appeared all gone, i kept the house clean, washed floors with ammonia and/or disinfectant, things seemed to be ok, i just checked my small dog and he has sores all over his tail(?)it's raw from him biting his tail; thats the same way my kitten had her mange was on her tail.
my kitten has more sores or some sort of scars i thought might be mange again, but again i have a cat that beats on my kitten, my kitten will not let me check her tummy to see what it is, should i start more treatments on my cat again as well as my small dog?
gee this is a nightmare even though the treatments are great, i hate seeing animals suffer. i recently saw small black hard shelled bugs running around, when i thought i got rid of them i found them to have moved into the laundry room then into my husbands room; please tell me these are not mange/ mites? i can't seem to kill them. also i was wondering if these bugs may have come in from the hay i have on my front patio? they do come in on my socks i assume.
i'm terribly sorry for such a long message but it's scary and itchy here with all of us. i think i should move out as i'm being invaded by these mites.
thank you so much for your help. god bless"
[YEA] 05/26/2008: Jen from Toronto, Canada: "Just wanted to say that I tried the borax treatment on my cats tail (he's got what is called a 'stud tail) and it worked wonders. He always had an oily tail and I tried everything even professional grooming and nothing helped before! So at least that problem is out of the way for now. But he has another problem - a hernia. Does anyone know of any treatment methods for a cat hernia? I really don't want to opt for surgery."
[YEA] 03/23/2008: Marsha from Nashville, TN: "Cat mange cure with hydrogen peroxide, borax, and warm water. My 10 year old lynx/siamese /himalayan cat developed intense itching with loss of hair and redness around the neck recently. I thought it was hair mats at first. I called to schedule a shave for her but the vet said they would have to sedate her and get blood work first to see if it was safe to sedate her. Total price, $300! I said "never mind". I began to feel that her condition was more than hair mats. I thought it resembled the mange in dogs I'd seen. I research the net for cat mange and the symptoms matched perfectly. I found Ted's peroxide,borax,water concoction and immediately fixed up a small amount. About 3TBS borax, 2 cups warm water, and 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide. I took a small rag and soaked it and rubbed it around her neck. She was suspcious at first of the wet rag but she was enjoying the rub to much to care for long. Before I started the application her neck was red and hairless. Within 1 hour her skin color on her neck was a light pink. I checked her the next day and the area was flesh colored and she wasn't scratching so much. I did another treatment that day for a added kill of the mites and let it rest the 3rd day. On the 4th day her hair is regrowing about an inch and she has more energy. I treated her again and rewarded her with fresh catnip. My cat never goes outside and there are no more animals around. Although on pretty days I open her window so she can perch there and watch the outside. I was thinking maybe bird mites blew on her if thats possible. Anyway the remedy works on cats too! Thankyou for saving me lots of $$$ and the unknown chemicals and added stress of going to the vet on her. Her name by the way, is Whisper and she says "Meow meow" (thats thankyou Ted)"