The coat mite (Cheyletiella) is a parasite about the size of a pin bud and lives off skin flakes. Coat mites are mainly transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, but also by insects such as fleas, lice, and flies. The symptoms consist of (sometimes severe) itching, excess flaking skin, and loosening of hairs. The veterinarian makes the diagnosis based on the symptoms present and by examination of hairs and skin flakes using a magnifying glass or microscope. The material for this examination is often collected with the vacuum cleaner.
The infection of the cat with cheyletiella can also cause itching on the owner. Especially on the belly can cause severe irritation. As soon as the cat has been treated, the symptoms disappear with the owner.
Treatment of coat mites consists of washing or powdering all animals once every five days for four weeks. Specialized products are available for this purpose. Also, baskets and other berths have to be cleaned thoroughly.