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Cat scabies to Humans

by Jasmine Sanchez
(Newark, Ca, US)

I recently took care of a orphaned kitten for about 3 weeks. I then found out from its new owner that it had scabies. Some sites say that it is not transmittable but others say it is. I want to know..can I or my family get scabies from the kitten and what are the signs?


Answer:

Cat scabies can be transmitted to humans, so you and your family may be at risk. In fact, veterinarians sometimes suspect scabies in cats on the basis of human involvement.

As far as symptoms are concerned, the specie of mite which causes scabies in cats, i.e. Notoedres cati is host specific, i.e. mite can only reproduce or complete its life cycle only on cats. In humans, it can only cause one time symptoms of sudden and severe itching over the skin, especially on the hands, under the the arms, legs and belly. Unlike cats, they cannot burrow themselves under human skin. Itching is experienced soon after direct contact with the mites, or with the cat that was infested with them. Symptoms resolve once the mites either get away from or are segregated from the human skin.

The intensity of symptoms depends upon number of mites with which a human comes in contact, directly or indirectly, and severe itching can only be resolved by using a suitable ointment/cream. Moreover, you’ll have to clear the environment too, by using adequate disinfectants.

One product for human scabies treatment that is is available without prescription is Dermisil for Scabies. (This link provides range of products, both for topical use in humans and for disinfection of your home)

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