Cat scratching its ears indicates many possibilities. This can be normal itching or the feline has mites in its ears. Now you can question what ear mites are or how to treat ear mites in cats.
Well, ear mites are microscopic parasites. These will make your cat shake its head and scratch its ears frequently. You can try different ways to get your cat rid of these ear mites. Applying medicine is the most effective treatment of cat ear mites.
If you do not know the proper way to treat ear mites in cats, this article is for you. Here you will get everything you need to know.
Ear mites in cats
What are ear mites? Or what do ear mites look like in cats? I am sure you are wondering about these questions too.
Well, I have already mentioned that the ear mites are microscopic parasites. This condition is also known as otodectic mange. Ear mites can be of many types. The most familiar one is otodectes cyanotic.
The ear mites are not visible with naked eyes. With magnified vision, these parasites look like tiny white dots. The moist and warm skin inside the feline’s ear canal is a suitable place for the mites to grow and spread the population.
The mites live on the blood, earwax, and the skin cells of the cat’s ear canal. These parasites can cause itchiness, swelling, and inflammation in the feline’s ears. The ear mite condition is contagious. If you have more than one pet, others can get infected from the sick one.
How do indoor cats get ear mites?
You already know that ear mites are highly contagious. Mostly the outdoor cats get the ear mites, but the indoor cats can suffer from this condition too.
The cats get the ear mites from another animal. As the ear mites are not species-specific, the transmission can occur via any animal. The adult mites lay eggs in the feline’s ear canal. It takes 3 weeks for the eggs to become mature. Then the mature mites can start breeding and infestation.
Ear mites are one type of ear infection. Getting in touch with the infected animal is one way to get the ear mites. These parasites can cause itching anywhere on the cat’s skin too.
Symptoms of ear mites in cats
Before learning how to treat ear mites in cats, you need to know the signs of ear mites. The symptoms of car mites can be easily determined in cats. Here are the signs that a cat shows if its ears are bugged:
- Scratching ears
- Shaking head
- Keeping the head tilted at an angle
- Waxy, crusty, dry, and dark discharge from the infected ear
- Loose skin lesions
- Red spots around the affected ear
- Inflammation in the ear
- Scratching marks on the outer ear or pinna
Ear mite diagnosis in cats
From the symptoms, you can assume the cat has got ear mites. But to be absolutely sure, you can seek the help of a professional. The expert will use an otoscope to look for ear mite signs in cats.
Sometimes the swelling signs are enough to determine the condition. If the cat’s ears are too swelled, the vet gives it a sedative and continues further examination. Microscopic testing is also common to determine ear mites in cats.
How To Treat Ear Mites In Cats
There are many ways to treat ear mites in cats. Each one is equally helpful and effective. In this section, I will discuss the top 4 methods:
Proper cleaning can help your cat get rid of the ear mites. But for this, you must depend on the vet. Do not try to clean the cat’s infected ear by yourself.
The ears are sensitive and the feline may need to be sedated. The vet will remove the crusty dark wax. This will relax your cat and the infection will get better with time.
2. Spot on flea treatment
Many of you may not know this but spot-on flea products can be used in ear mite treatment in cats. They are suitable for both the treatment and prevention of ear mites. Do not buy any flea products you find in the store but only the licensed ones. Continuous usage of these will prevent the attack of ear mites in the future.
Also, take the approval of the vet before applying the flea treatment on felines. However, sometimes the vet can prescribe extra medicines if he notices itching, inflammation, and swelling in the cat’s ear.
3. Ear drops
This is the most effective and approved ear mites treatment in cats. The vet will suggest anti-parasitic ear drops for the sick cat. You have to apply the drops regularly and continue using it for a certain period.
Some eardrops only kill the mites, but not effective for the eggs. Instead of buying those products go for the ones that can tackle both. However, it may take a few weeks for the cat to get well.
4. Home remedies
You can treat your feline’s ear mites with different home remedies. All these ways are effective and suitable for cats. Let’s take a look at the home remedy for ear mites.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Mix this vinegar with water in a 50:50 ratio. Spray this solution on the cat’s inner and outer ear portion twice a day. Soon you will get an excellent result.
- Ear miticide: You will find different anti-mite drops that contain pyrethrin. This is an insecticide and can kill the ear mites. Apply this regularly following the given instructions on the product’s label.
- Oil: Use oil to clear and massage the cat’s infected ear. Almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil to clean the ear mites. Lukewarm oil and a mild massage are enough to suffocate the ear mites.
Usually, it will take 3 to 4 weeks to treat the affected cat. This article on how to treat ear mites in cats contains all the information you need to know. No matter how severe or little the condition is, consulting with the vet is a better option.