Notoedric Acariasis

Notoedric Acariasis (feline scabies) is a highly contagious skin disease caused by Notoedres cati mites. The disease is rare in North America but may be found in areas with substantial feral cat populations. As with canine sarcoptic mange the disease is mostly species specific, but can also affect dogs, rats, squirrels, rabbits, bats, hamsters, marsupials, and humans.1

The genus Notoedres is similar to Sarcoptes. They are skin parasites that burrow in the skin, causing inflammation, crusty lesions, and hair loss known as notoedric mange. Notoedric Cat Mite (Notoedres cati) mostly affects cats, rabbits and dogs. Most infestations begin on the head, causing a condition called head mange, commonly observed in cats and rabbits. From there mites spread to other parts of the body.2 Compared to demodectic mange notoedric mange is much less frequently diagnosed in the United States.

Infested skin becomes thickened and crusty with visible hair loss. Tunneling of the mites in the skin causes severe itching and scratching. Lesions may rapidly spread from ear edges to face and neck. all cats in contact with the infected cat must be treated with a miticide effective against Notoedres. 10 % imidacloprid/ 1 % moxidectin (Advocate®/Advantage® Multi spot-on for cats) against natural N. cati infestation in cats has been reported to have 100 % efficacy.3


  1. Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat: Clinical and Histopathologic Diagnosis. Thelma Lee Gross, Peter J. Ihrke, Emily J. Walder, Verena K. Affolter
  2. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. Gary R. Mullen, Lance A. Durden
  3. Treatment of naturally Notoedres cati-infested cats with a combination of imidacloprid 10 % / moxidectin 1 % Spot-on (Advocate® / Advantage® Multi, Bayer).

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