How to Detect if your Cat Has Ear mites
4 December, 2012

Ear mites in cats are very common and can be treated and detected upon onset.  My cat, Sammy, had ear mites as a kitten but with treatment, we were able to get rid of them for good!  It is important, however, to look out for and treat ear mites as soon as you suspect that your cat might have them.

If your cat is experiencing any of the below symptoms, he or she might have ear mites.

1. Excessive scratching of the ears

2. Fresh or dried blood inside of the ear canal which may resemble coffee grounds.

3. Small white dots which are the actual mites.

3. Excessive shaking of the head

4. Dizziness and loss of balance

5. Flattened ears and/or unpleasant odor


If you suspect ear mites, take your cat to the vet

Ear mites on cats are not just found in the ears. This yucky parasite 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. That’s why a trip to your veterinarian should be scheduled if you suspect ear mites.

Ear mites are extremely tiny and not always visible to the naked eye, so a vet will have to examine your cat’s ears with a special instrument known as 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 will probably begin the treatment after diagnosis and then have you 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. The cat must be bathed with an anti-parasite shampoo. These products are available everywhere – pet stores, supermarkets or from vet.

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.

The duration of ear mites

The ear mite life cycle from eggs to adult takes about 21 days. From the time your cat becomes infected to the time the ear mites reach maturity, your kitty might be infested with hundreds or thousands of mites.   But, again, this can be treated.

I hope your cat never experiences ear mites, but if he or she does, just schedule a visit to your vet as soon as you notice and it can be treated.

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