If your cat is irritated almost all the time, he jumps from beds and chairs to scratch his head immensely. Even he does the same while eating and littering. His ears are red and you saw little blood on them. This possibly is the ear mites which makes him do so.
Let’s take a closer look at how do cats get these parasites.
How Do Cats Get Ear Mites?
But wait, do you know What Are Ear Mites?
Ear mites or Otodectes Cynotis are microscopic parasites. They are very tiny and can’t be seen with naked eyes. These parasites are found in ear canals, where they feed on skin debris, ear wax and dirt.
Ear Mites cannot survive in the environment on their own. Mammalian pets appear to be immune to them. These eight-legged pests are contagious. They get transferred from dogs to cats and cats to humans. Their life cycle is of 3 weeks. But they spread their family in no time. Ear mites are the most common reasons for ear infections.
Cats suffering from these tiny pests, scratch and shake their heads harshly. Ear mites cause itching, irritation and hair loss(due to excessive scratching). This can create problems like skin infections and swollen ear flap. Here are a few symptoms, if your cat is suffering from ear mites.
Symptoms of Ear Mites
- Black, coffee grinds type of bumps in the ear canal
- Light bleeding in ears
- Frequent head shaking
- Excessive ear and head-scratching
- Red ears
- Itching of the head, neck, ears or whole body
- A thick brown or black crust on the outer ear
- An Unpleasant odor from ears
How Do Outdoor Cats Get Ear Mites?
Outdoor cats are not safe and they tend to get severe diseases. They frequently get hurt or ill because of the seasonal changes. Outdoor cats average life is just 2-5 years.
While outdoor cats get exposed to the open environment, they are more likely to get diseases. They play in gardens and sand which have germs. Some flowers are also toxic to cats. They often find food from the garbage where they come in contact with other parasites like ticks and worms.
Outdoor cats can easily come in contact with ear mites. As these parasites are contagious, cats can catch them from any other animal. Outdoor Cat’s Physical or direct contact with an animal suffering from microscopic parasites can make them a victim of ear mites.
These tiny monsters, typically live in cat’s ears but they can spread to other body parts. Like face, neck, back, and tail. As there is no one to take care of outdoor cats, they don’t get the required medications for ear mites. The cat might die from the infection.
How Do Indoor Cats Get Ear Mites?
Indoor cats are much safer than outdoor cats. Cat owners identify their pet’s health problems and resolve them with the help of the vet. This increases the cat’s life span. Indoor cats live for 17 or more years. They are usually fit and healthy. As they are taken care of by their parents. But these tiny monsters don’t leave them either.
Ear mites are more common in kittens than older cats. If a cat is suffering from these pests, her baby can also get infected. If your kitty is pregnant, make sure she isn’t suffering from ear mites. As that can affect the newborn fury ball.
If you are a parent of more than one cat, take care of all of them. Ear mites can fly from one to another. Isolate your cat from other cats. Till h/she gets a clean chit from the vet.
Indoor cats are not likely to get any severe diseases as they frequently visit vets. Talking about ear mites, indoor cats can get them from outside. If your cat has some outdoor cat friends suffering from this infection. They can crawl off to your cat too. You can always trust the best ear cleaning solution for cats after they have been treated.
How to Treat Ear Mites?
Cats infected with ear mites often develop other severe bacterial and fungal infections. Which can also lead to hearing loss. Consulting a vet is better than dealing with the ear mites on your own.
You can go for spot-on treatments. They are the most popular form of treatment. The period of treatment depends on the infection. Some of the spot-on treatments require 3 weeks of medication if it’s hard to kill the eggs of parasites. Medications work slowly on the adult ear mites. Parasites take 21 days to develop into adult mites.
Other spot-on treatments need 10-14 days which uses stronger medications. It kills the eggs and adult ear mites easily. Consult your vet and choose suitable treatment. Spot-on treatment is quick and less stressful for your cat than ear drops.
If you are planning to adopt an outdoor cat, make sure to do all the required medication. Ear mites are bad for indoor as well as outdoor cats. These tiny pests can cause inflammation and irritation.
Also, take care of your cat whenever she is outside. Ear mites can be prevented from regular vaccinations and parasite prevention.
Joseph was a full-time cat groomer at his own pet salon before he co-founded CatLovesBest with help of another co-founder – Clara. He has been doing cat grooming for more than 10 years. He co-founded this website not only because his interest was driven towards this field but he also has a wide knowledge in this field as well.
Although he has experience with many kinds of pets, large and small, cats are his true love, and he particularly enjoys writing about feline care and behavior.