I am very aware and responsible as a cat parent. But still, last year, one of my cats was infected with these ear mites.
He was shaking and scratching its head. After a closer look, I found that my pet had ear mites. I took immediate action and he eventually got well. After hearing the term ‘ear mites’, the first question that comes to mind is, “ What are ear mites in felines?” Or how to get rid of ear mites in cats?
Well, if you are looking for these questions, then this article can be a help for you. So, do not forget to read to the end.
What are ear mites in cats?
The scientific term for the ear mites is otodectic mange. The otodectes cynotis is the most common type of mites that attack the felines. These are basically small parasites that live in the cat’s ear canal and build up an infection.
These point sized creatures have numerous miniature limbs that stay stuck out from their sides. I have already mentioned that the ear mites are parasitic. It means they depend on the host’s body for food.
The humid, waxy, and moist environment inside the feline’s ear is the perfect place for these parasites to grow. They eat the skin cell, dirt, tissue fluid, ear wax, and sometimes blood to live on.
How do cats get ear mites?
The ear mites are highly contagious. These parasites transmit to your pet cat from another infected cat or other animals like dogs, squirrels. If your pet comes in direct contact with them, it will get the mite eggs.
The mite eggs do not get mature overnight. It takes three weeks for the eggs to hatch. After that, the felines start showing symptoms of having ear mites.
Usually, the ear mites are not severe if you can treat it immediately. But if the condition goes untreated, these parasites can cause ear damage in cats. However, the ear mites can live on the skin of the felines. As a result, the kitty may feel itchiness on the body.
Can humans get ear mites from cats? You can surely ask this question. Even this is rare but yes. Sometimes the mite eggs can be transferred to people and they feel itchiness and lesions.
Check this article to know more about ear mite transmission in cats.
Sings that a cat has ear mites
From the frequent ear scratch and head shakes, you can assume that something is wrong with the feline. Besides these key signs, the cats also show some other symptoms, which confirm that the pet is suffering from ear mites. For example,
- Scratch marks on the outer layer if the infected ears
- There will be skin lesions on the ear
- You will notice a dark and dry discharge from the infected ears.
- The ear will become red.
- The cat may feel inflammation in the ear.
- There will be crusty and dark brown wax.
The infection becomes visible when the condition becomes severe. The cat will be very uncomfortable with the mites in its ear. It will act restlessly and become very loud sometimes. If you find any of these symptoms in your cat, take it to the vet for proper treatment.
How to check for ear mites in cats?
By observing the symptoms, you may assume that your cat has ear mites. But just to be exactly sure, I suggest you take the pet to a vet. The professional will examine the infection to determine the disease.
However, sometimes the vet suggests doing a microscope or magnifying test to look into the ears. There is another way to determine the disease. The physician will take a sample and place it under a special light. In that special environment, the tiny, pointy, small parasites become visible under the microscope.
How To Get Rid of Ear Mites in Cats:
Now you know what ear mites are or how the cats get these parasites. This is the time to know how you can get rid of them or how to treat this condition. Basically, there are 3 ways you can try. For example,
- Home remedies
You can remove the ear mites from the cat’s ears by cleaning them properly. Remember, if you are not an expert do not try this by yourself. Ears are sensitive for cats and a small mistake can cause great damage. However, you might need an extra hand if your cat does not let you clean.
Here is a step by step process to clean your cat’s ears:
- First of all, prepare the working station. Make your cat sit gently on a table or wrap it with a towel so that the pet can not kick or scratch you.
- Gather all the supplies you will need. For example, gentle cat ear cleanser, tissue, paper towel, and a gauze.
- Hold your feline’s ear and pour a few drops of ear cleaner into the canal.
- Massage the ears for a few minutes and then release the pet. The cat will shake its head to get back the control.
- Now use the paper towel or tissue to clean the wax inside the feline’s ear.
Most of the time, vets suggest ear drops to cure the condition. This is the fastest and most effective way to deal with ear mites. If the cat is going through inflammation, the vet will prescribe some anti-inflammatory meds too.
You will find different mites killing drops in the market. But only buy the licensed and prescribed ones.
Home remedies are possible to treat ear mites in cats. Here are the top home treatments for ear mites:
- Apple cider vinegar: This vinegar has the quality to eliminate parasites. Mix this with water in a 1:1 ratio and spray the infected ears once a day and 10 days at a stretch.
- Garlic and olive oil: Chop some garlic and put it in the olive oil for two days. Then smear the mixture around the feline’s ear. This oil will soothe the inflammation and clean the ear mites.
- Aloe Vera: I am sure you know how effective Aloe Vera is. It can neutralize the ear mites and prevent further attacks.
In this article, I have discussed how to get rid of ear mites in cats. If you find any symptoms of these parasites in your feline, take the right step immediately.