Home Remedies for Mange on Dogs and Cats

Home Remedies for Mange on Dogs and CatsYou probably can’t swing a mange-ridden cat by the tail without an old-timer telling you that burnt motor oil is the best treatment for the condition. Fortunately, these days mange is often effectively treated at home with simple household products.

Of course, the more deep-rooted, and contagious, species of mange mites may call for prescription medication. But even in these cases, symptoms like itching and scabbing may be soothed more quickly with additional home treatments.

Know Your Manges

For dogs, the two main types of mange are demodectic mange and sarcoptic mange. The demodectic type, also known as “red mange,” is more common in puppies, older dogs and those which have been sick. Bare patches of skin are the most common symptom of red mange. The more serious of the two types, sarcoptic mange, provokes an intense scratching response, potentially leading to infected, open wounds. Unlike demodectic mange, the sarcoptic type is highly contagious and therefore needs a vet’s attention as soon as possible. 1

Felines are also susceptible to demodectic mange. In cats, demodectic mange can either be localized — typically around the head and neck — or generalized, occurring all over the body. Bare patches and scaly, itchy skin are common symptoms. 2 As with dogs, a more serious and infectious type of mange exists, known as notoedric mange, or feline scabies. These mange mites burrow more deeply than the demodectic mites, potentially causing open sores and infection. If you see many scabs and open sores on your cat, notoedric mange is a likely cause and should be treated by a vet. 3

Peroxide-Borax Treatment

Mange mites can often be killed with a regular dosing of a peroxide-borax solution. Once a week is the appropriate spacing for the treatment, but opinions vary as to how many consecutive weeks you should give the treatment. Ask your vet if more than two treatments are safe for your pet’s breed and size. The most effective solution uses 1 percent hydrogen peroxide and household borax. 4

A cat or smaller dog’s “recipe” starts with about 2 cups of warm water; multiply the amount needed for medium or large dogs. Add 1 cup of the hydrogen peroxide and 3 tablespoons of the borax, and stir well into the solution has dissolved.Sponge the hydrogen-borax solution onto your dog or cat, and allow the mixture to air-dry.  5

Tea Tree or Neem Oil

Killing and repelling mange mites is an important step in helping your pets recover from mange. Both tea tree essential oil 6  and neem oil 7 have antimicrobial properties which help kill the mites, as well as to aid in the healing of their associated lesions.

Both oils are non-irritating to most pets, but it’s always wise to put just a drop on the back of your dog or cat’s neck, or top of the head, and watch for any signs of distress. If your pet seems fine, add a drop or two to a handful of mild shampoo, and wash as you normally would. The oil will soothe the mange-ridden skin, while helping to ward off future mange mites. You can also make a repellant spray by adding a small amount of tea tree or neem oil to water, then spraying your pet prior to venturing outside. 8

Lime Sulfur “Dip”

Cats affected by the less serious type of feline mange, demodectic mange, can be given a lime sulfur “dip” either at the vet’s or via home treatment. Typically a few ounces of lime sulfur are added per gallon of water, but double-checking with your vet for the strength, and whether your cat (or dog) will benefit from it, is a good idea. Sponge it into your pet’s coat one to two times a week, taking care to avoid the eyes. You should also wear gloves and old clothing to protect against staining and irritation. 9

Skin-Soothing Treatments

Applications of common household products can do much to soothe the itching and irritation as mange mites are eradicated with other methods. Among the best soothing home remedies are:

Cooking oil. Not only does a vegetable or olive oil soothe irritated feline and canine skin, but it has the added benefit of smothering mites and their eggs.

Yogurt. For pets with localized mange with just a few sore spots near the head, ears, and neck, yogurt provides cooling relief, while also offering antibacterial protection against irritation. 10

Aloe vera. Just as this the gel inside this houseplant’s leaves soothe burned and itching skin in humans, it can provide relief for dogs and cats. The fresh type is best. Slit open an aloe leaf and scoop the gel directly onto your pet’s affected area. 11


  1. Mange in Dogs, Dogster Magazine
  2. Demodicosis in Cats, Pet Health Network
  3. Notoedric Mange in Cats, Pet Health Network
  4. Demodectic Mange Home Remedies, Health Research Funding
  5. Home Remedies for Mange in Dogs, Dogs, Cats and Pets
  6. Demodectic Mange Home Remedies, Health Research Funding
  7. Canine Homeopathic Treatments for Natural Pet Care, Mother Earth News
  8. How To Use Neem, Discover Neem
  9. How to Treat Demodectic Mange in Cats, Pet MD
  10. Demodectic Mange Home Remedies, Health Research Funding
  11. Mange, Pet Care Naturally