what do cat mites look like

The appearance of these mites varies. Cheyletiellosis is also known as walking dandruff because the mites look like tiny white dots moving within the coat. By contrast, the mites that cause feline scabies and feline demodicosis are not visible to the naked eye.

Types of Cat Mites

Cats are typically harmed by two types of mites: burrowing mites and ear mites. Black ear pus and excessive ear scratching are two signs of ear mites, which are exceedingly common and highly contagious. Burrowing cat mites can cause noticeable damage to your cat’s skin and fur as well as severe hair loss. There are numerous methods for eliminating cat mites, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription drugs from your veterinarian.

Symptoms of Skin Mite Dermatitis in Cats

Cats with skin mite dermatitis will scratch their skin a great deal because it is so irritating. Skin mite dermatitis can affect a cat’s ears, head, neck, abdomen, foot pads, or entire body, depending on the species of mite affecting it. Cats that have ear mite infections will exhibit symptoms such as head shaking, pawing at the ears, bloody ears from scratching, ear infections, and swelling. Mite species-specific symptoms of skin mite dermatitis in cats includes:

  • Feline Scabies: skin crusts and hair loss.
  • Ear mites: A dark, coffee-ground-like debris will clog the inner ear, giving the impression that it is dirty.
  • Walking dandruff is characterized by tiny pimples and skin crusts that resemble dandruff.
  • Feline Demodicosis: hair loss and fluid-filled sores.
  • Trombiculosis: these mites appear as orange ovals on the skin, typically in clusters. Skin crusts, hair loss, skin bumps, and redness are typical symptoms.



Trombiculosis is a form of mange that is brought on by the Trombiculidae parasite larvae. One of the rare mite families that feeds on cats’ abdomen, foot pads, ears, and head is Trombiculidae. This parasite can infect a cat if it lies in the dirt.

Feline Demodicosis

A form of mange known as feline demodicosis is brought on by the Demodex cati or Demodex gatoi mites. Although the demodex mite typically causes no harm to cats, it can still pose a threat to sick cats.

Cheyletiellosis (Walking Dandruff)

Because chyletiellosis mites resemble dandruff, the condition is commonly referred to as “walking dandruff.” The Cheyletiella blakei mite, a common parasite in homes with multiple cats, is the cause of chyletiellosis.

Otodectic Mange (Ear Mites)

Because it infests a cat’s ear, the Otodectes cynotis mite—which causes otodectic mange—is also referred to as the ear mite.

Notoedric Mange (Feline Scabies)

Notoedric mange is caused by the Notoedres cati mite. Cat scabies is an extremely contagious disease that causes the skin to crust, especially on the upper parts of the body, though it is extremely rare.

Cat Ear Mite Treatments

Cleaning out the ear is the first step in treating cat ear mites. It is necessary to eliminate the accumulated wax and mite buildup. The best method for doing this is to very gently flush your cat’s ears using a pet store-bought ear cleaning solution. You might want to have your veterinarian perform this procedure because there’s a chance they could injure your cat’s ear drum or force mites deeper into the ear canal.

After the mite residue has been removed from the ears, you can apply medication. Insecticides containing Milbemycin or very low concentrations of ear mite products containing Pyrethrins are the most effective treatments for cat ear mites. Ensure that any medication you use for your cat’s ear mites is labeled specifically for use in cats. Giving your cat dog ear mite medication can be risky and excessively potent. Typically, ear mite medication comes in drops that you apply to your cat’s ears and then massage to ensure complete coverage. Although over-the-counter remedies are available for treating ear mites, your veterinarian’s prescription is typically stronger and may have greater efficacy.


Can you tell if your cat has mites?

If you’ve noticed your cat keeps scratching her ears, shaking her head a lot, or starting to lose hair, she may have become infested with cat ear mites or burrowing mites. While the mites themselves are a big problem, the real danger is your cat scratching itself in an attempt to relieve the itching.

How do you get rid of cat mites?

Treatment should include all other animals that have been in contact with the infested pet. It may be necessary to clip the hair. The crusts and dirt should be removed by soaking with a medicated (antiseborrheic) shampoo and applying an anti-mite dip. Lime-sulfur is highly effective and safe for use in young animals.

Can humans get mites from a cat?

Scabies. An infection by the mange mite Sarcoptes scabiei, scabies is another zoonotic external parasite of the skin of cats. While not as common as flea infestations, these mites can be passed from infected cats to people, where they burrow into the skin and cause itchy, raised lesions.

What do cat skin mites look like?

Walking Dandruff: dandruff-like skin crusts and small bumps along the skin. Feline Demodicosis: hair loss and fluid-filled sores. Trombiculosis: these mites can be viewed as orange ovals on the skin that are usually clustered together. Common symptoms include skin crusts, hair loss, skin bumps and redness.