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Author Topic: Cat mites?  (Read 2817 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Cat mites?
« on: September 29, 2016, 10:21:13 am »
Can anybody help me out with a little mystery? Our cat was lying on our bed earlier and when he got up, I noticed several tiny mites on the duvet. They're light brown and about the size of a grain of sand.

So, since I just bought an old microscope for doing sheep worm counts, I stuck a couple of the little blighters to a piece of sellotape and had a closer (x100) look at them. They have six legs, plus two long feeler things that may or may not also be legs plus two shorter feeler things that are possibly mouthparts?:








Possibilities I can think of:


1) They're actual cat mites of some description
2) They're red poultry mites or hay mites that he's picked up from contact with our hens or from lying in the hay where they lay (though I couldn't see anything on the hens last night)
3) He got them from somebody he ate
4) Something else.....


So what on earth are they, and what should I do about it?  ???
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 11:17:52 am by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett
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Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Cat mites?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 10:59:02 am »
Oooh, I just had a look at its mouthparts under higher magnification (sorry for the poor photos - they were only taken by putting a digital camera up to the eyepiece!). The two little feeler things (indistinct on the photos above) scrabble about very rapidly, though I'm not totally sure what they're attempting to do!!








Edit: I just had an Email back from my sister who knows about these things, and reckons they're Trombicula mites (aka harvest mites or berry bugs). However, I think they look more like dermanyssus-gallinae (poultry red mite).



Either of these options would be quite fascinating if they weren't currently crawling all over my cat, duvet and possibly chickens!!  ;D
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 11:16:46 am by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Cat mites?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 12:11:39 pm »
I'm guessing from the lack of replies, this isn't normal then?  ;D

I've checked the hens on their perches at night and not seen anything. If they had red mite, would I definitely be able to see them on the perches / birds?
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Cat mites?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 01:16:54 pm »
You probably won't see red mites on the hens or perches, no.  They're cunning.  If you lift up a perch quickly you might catch a glimpse of them scuttling for cover where the perch was resting.  Or not.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Cat mites?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 02:25:41 pm »
Not even at night when they're feeding?

The only time we had red mite was six or seven years ago, when I realised that the layer of 'dandruff' on the hen house floor was gently moving  :o. No sign of anything like that this time though?
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Cat mites?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2016, 09:46:35 am »
If the cat has trombicula then they have guaranteed predeliction sites.. always in henry's pocket (the fold on ear edge) as a reddish crusty group, then just at the base of each pinna on the top of the head. It's only with severe infestations that you'ld see them on paws or trunck patches. They're also unikely to come off that easily. And they have bright orange back spnes.
Cheyletiella will shed.. but usually whitish and often called 'walking dandruff'.. you should be able to see them with a hand lens just shuffling about the low dorsal back as deep scale.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Cat mites?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2016, 09:53:46 am »
Thanks for that pgkevet. Back spines are difficult to spot under the microscope, especially when the mites are being held in place using sellotape! (note to self: buy some slides  :roflanim:).

Apart from seeing a few mites on the duvet after the cat left it, the cat itself seems fine, with no mites in his pockets nor on his paws or skin. I gave him a dose of Frontline and haven't seen anything since (though that could of course have been coincidence).

I've also been keeping a close eye on the hens, but haven't seen anything at all. I'm going to give the coop a good going over with DE at the weekend just in case though.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Cat mites?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2016, 08:20:01 pm »
Trombicula spines/colour  are so characteristic you'ld see them even with a naff microscope and sellotape and likely better seen at lower mag with more depth of focus




cheyletiella
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 08:21:56 pm by pgkevet »

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Cat mites?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2016, 03:56:03 pm »
Have you ruled out boring old domestic fleas?

 

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