Types of Mites that Affect Pets

Mites are microorganisms that can cause serious diseases in cats or dogs, such as scabies. This can get so bad that the itchiness is unbearable and your pet may scratch and bite himself so much that he might injure himself. 
Types of Mites that Affect Pets

Last update: 27 May, 2021

It’s not just ticks and fleas that feed on your cat or dog, there are other organisms that invade their skin and fur, and can cause different diseases. In this article, you can learn about the types of mites that affect pets.

Types of Mites that Affect Dogs

Mites are small microorganisms that, like other parasites, invade the skin and fur of both cats and dogs.

They can cause light or serious conditions, and the most common are scabies and dermatitis.

Dog with mites

They can be very contagious and they reproduce easily if they’re in the right environment. Since there are different types of mites that affect dogs, treatments may vary. Therefore, it’s always best to talk to your vet.

Mites can be transmitted by even the slightest amount of contact between animals. For example, your pet can get them by playing in the park with animals and end up having a variety of skin conditions. The following are the most common for cats and dogs:


1. Sarcoptes scabiei canis

This mite causes sarcoptic mange, which occurs after female mites create various tunnels in the dog’s skin and deposit their eggs. Dogs are allergic to their saliva and excrement and as a result end up scratching and biting themselves to the point of injuring themselves.

Dog with sarcoptic mange

This causes hair loss, infections, flaking, irritation, and hardening of the skin, etc. Sarcoptes scabiei doesn’t just affect the skin but also affects dogs internally. The dog will gradually become more skinny and apathetic.

2. Demodex Canis

This is another mite that affects pets and can cause scabies and demodicosis. This occurs when pets have a weakened immune system.

The symptoms are mainly itchiness and redness on the body. The bad thing about this parasite is that when a pet gets a severe case of scabies, it can cause skin infections and will worsen the animal’s health.

3. Cheyletiella Yasguri

This mite causes what is known as “walking dandruff”, which  another type of scabies, but a little milder than the previous ones. It’s very common in puppies.

Dog being groomed

These microorganisms feed on dead skin  and cause flaking when they move around the body. Other symptoms include redness and itchiness.

4. Otodectes Cynotis

This type of mite lives inside a dog’s ears. It causes scabies and otitis when the female mite lays eggs inside the skin of the ear canal.

Dog being checked at the vets

These mites can also provoke an allergic reaction while feeding on your dog’s secretions and keratin. You can detect this condition by checking your dog on a regular basis. You can do this by seeing if he shakes his head a lot from side to side or aggressively scratches his ears.

Types of Mites that Affect Cats

Although some types of mites are “shared” between cats and dogs, others are more common in cats even though they may have similar symptoms.

1. Demodex Cati

Also known as demodex gatoi, this type of mite causes scabies in felines. It’s less common than the equivalent in dogs but is still something that you should keep track of.

Cat scratching

Symptoms can take the form of red bumps which turn into ulcers, hair loss , and constant itching.

2. Notoedres Cati

Sometimes known as “feline scabies” and similar to the sarcoptes scabiei mite in dogs, this mite is transmitted through direct contact with other infected animals.

Lesions will appear on the cat’s head or neck and will be very itchy. The cat will injure himself with his claws from scratching so much and may cause many injuries or infections because of this mite.


The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.