Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Demodex gatoi

Synonym(s): D. gatoi

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Charlie Walker




  • Family: Demodicidae.
  • Genus: Demodex.
  • Species: Gatoi.

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Clinical Effects


  • Variable degrees of pruritus.
  • Alopecia, crusting and excoriation .
  • 'Non-inflammatory' alopecia .


  • Stratum corneum only.


  • Not known, but probably similar to D. canis  Lifecycle: Demodex canis - diagram  :
    • Egg.
    • Larva.
    • Nymph.
    • Adult.


  • Infestation by close contact with affected individuals.
  • Pedigree cats, especially Bengal cats Bengal, appear much more likely to be affected in UK.
  • Introduction of new individuals into a household or breeding establishment.
  • Exposure to other cats through grooming visits.
  • Presumably by direct transfer from mother to kitten during nursing then re-activation to cause a clinical condition, or development of a hypersensitivity (in isolated individuals and closed colonies).

Pathological effects

  • Focal to multifocal Pruritic dermatitis.


Control via animal

  • Isolate newly-introduced individuals and pre-treat with miticidal agents.
  • Protect showing or groomed individuals by using prophylactic miticidal agents prior to potential exposure.

Control via chemotherapies

  • No licensed treatments exist.
  • Topically-applied selamectin Selamectin plus sarolaner (Stronghold Plus®, Zoetis), used at the standard dose and frequency licensed for other ectoparasities, has been shown to be effective.
  • Unlicensed short dosing frequencies (moxidectin Moxidectin with imidacloprid Imidacloprid (Advocate®, Bayer; Stronghold®, Zoetis) or selamectin (Stronghold Plus®, Zoetis).
  • Concurrent application of unlicensed topical rinses (LimePlus Dip®, Dechra).
  • Oral or topical isoxalaners are likely to be effective though no journal articles have been published to date for this specific feline demodicid (Aug, 2018).
  • Consider miticidal environmental sprays and bedding changes at time of treatment of infected individual(s).


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Short J & Gram D (2016) Successful Treatment of Demodex gatoi with 10% Imidacloprid/1% Moxidectin. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 52 (1), 68-72 PubMed
  • Saari S A, Juuti K H, Palojärvi J H et al (2009) Demodex gatoi-associated contagious pruritic dermatosis in cats--a report from six households in Finland. Acta Vet Scand 51, 40 PubMed.
  • Chesney C J (1988) An unusual species of demodex mite in a cat. Vet Rec 123 (26-27), 671-673 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Walker C (2018) A Treatment of Demodex gatoi mange in two sibling Bengal Cats in the UK with a combination of selamectin and sarolaner (Stronghold Plus®). Proceedings of BVDSG Spring Meeting, pp 77-79.
  • Duangkaew L & Hoffman H (2018) Efficacy of oral fluralaner for the treatment of Demodex gatoi in two shelter cats. Vet Dermatol 29 (3), 262 (Letter to editor) PubMed.
  • Westermeyer R (2013) Treatment of Demodex gatoi mange.  International Dermatology ListServ Summary.
  •  Ferguson E (2013) Treatment of Demodex gatoi mange. International Dermatology ListServ Summary.
  • Scott D W, Miller W H, Griffin C E, Campbell K L (2012) Feline demodicosis. In: Scott D W, Miller W H, Griffin C E, Campbell K L (eds): Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology 7th Ed. Philadelphia, PA, USA: WB Saunders. pp 313-315.
  • Nuttall T, Harvey R G, McKeever P J (2011) Feline Demodicosis. In: Nuttall T, Harvey RG, McKeever P J, editors: Skin Disease of the Dog and Cat 2nd Ed. Manson Publishing, London, UK. pp 276-277.
  • Paterson S (2000) Skin Diseases of the Cat. Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK. pp 75-77.