How to Prevent and Treat Ear Mites in Cats
28 March, 2017
Ear mites in cats are very common and need to be treated as soon as they occur. Ear mites are microscopic parasites which infect your cat’s ears. They tend to gravitate towards cat’s ear canal where they feed on skin debris. The mites create irritation and itchiness, which causes cats to scratch their ears which can then cause lead to further problems.
The symptoms of ear mites are the following:
Excessive scratching of the ears, excessive shaking of the head, dizziness, flattened ears and/or an unpleasant odor, fresh or dried blood inside of the ear canal which may resemble coffee grounds, small white or black dots which are the actual mites.
Ear mites can also cause excessive amounts of wax in your cats’ ears
Ear mites cause the lining of the cat’s ear canal to produce excessive amounts of wax. This wax is typically a dark brown and can sometimes look like waxy dirt in your cat’s ears. A cat with healthy ears will have minimal earwax. If you see something that resembles coffee grounds or dirt in the ear, this is a sign of ear mites or a health issue.
If you suspect your cat has ear mites, take your cat to the veterinarian immediately
Ear mites are sometimes found not only in cat’s ears but can travel all over the cat’s body. Without treatment, your cat’s ear mite infestation can spread to other cats or dogs in your home. All family pets have to be treated if mites are found on just one animal which is why you should see your vet immediately.
Ear mites are extremely tiny and not always visible to the naked eye, so a vet examine your cat’s ears with an otoscope. A secondary infection can result if the ear mite infestation is not treated. The sooner you bring your cat to the vet, the better.
Treatment and prevention of ear mites
First you must treat the ears. Clean your cat’s ears, then apply ear mite drops to the ear canal for seven days. Ear mite medications are safe and can even be applied to kittens. Your vet can recommend treatment and then you will continue applying the drops from home over the next week.
Because mites can be located outside the ear area, the entire body of the cat should also be treated. Your cat should be bathed with an anti-parasite shampoo. These products are available everywhere – pet stores, on-line or your vet can make a recommendation.
How to prevent ear mites from occurring
One of the most effective treatments for ear mites in your cat is prevention. There are different topical solutions on the market that your vet can recommend which prevent ear mites. If you apply an ointment to your cat’s ears’ monthly, it is unlikely that he or she will ever get ear mites.
Routine cleaning of your cat’s ears will alert you to any early problems. If your pet has recently recovered from ear mites, be sure to thoroughly clean his bedding and check your other pets for infestation.
Make sure to check all your pets for ear mites
If you have more than one pet and suspect one of them has ear mites, check all their ears. Ear mites spread easily between animals if they sleep together or groom each other. If you only treat the affected pet, it might be that other pets harbor the parasite but don’t show signs, and can act as a reservoir for re-infection.
Your kitty will start to feel relief soon after treatment begins, but make sure to complete the full course of treatment to make sure the ear mites are gone for good!