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How to Treat Ear Mites in Cats?

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Ear mites are like lice in humans. They irritate, cause scratching, and are contagious. Remember the precautions, you take while treating your head lice? Ear mites are treated almost similarly. Let’s first understand these cat lice.

Anthony Brooks-DVM


Dr. Anthony Brooks

DVM, Veterinarian

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.
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Treating a Cat with Ear Mites

What Are Ear Mites?

Ear mites are basically crab-like tiny parasites that invade the cat’s ear canal. There are different kinds of parasites but the most common is Otodectes Cynotis i.e. ear mites.

This is an infection, found in almost all cats.

Cat infected from ear mites scratches his ear frequently. He shakes his head almost every minute. Microscopic parasites cause inflammation which leads to swollen cat ears. A strong and bad odor keeps coming from the cat’s ears. When left untreated these ear pests can lead to serious problems including deafness, body imbalance, and permanent ear scarring.

Ear mites are not specified to cat ears only, they make the whole cat body, their territory. They are also found in other body parts too. These microscopic parasites are contagious. If your cat interacts with outdoor cats, they are more likely to get affected by parasites.

Also, ear mites are not biased, they don’t just visit cats, but other animals, even humans too. If your cat owns a family of microscopic parasites, they will possibly grow it by reaching out to your other pets too. Your dog, hamster or rabbit have high chances to suffer from the same.

Ear mites are very tiny and it’s difficult to see them with naked eyes. Your vet can see them with his otoscope easily. Consult them immediately, if you see any of the symptoms in your cat.

How to Treat Ear Mites in Cats?

vet treating cat's ear mites

Get your cat to the veterinarian. The vet will diagnose your cat and give medication accordingly. With the instruments available with the vet, ear mites are more likely to get caught.

The Vet will collect the earwax sample and examine it properly. Microscopic parasites are easily visible under the microscope. He will even make sure to check the eardrum. And then start the treatment to vanish out all the ear mites.

Treatments are of different types and of different periods. Some cats may take weeks and some may take months. It all depends on the ear mites. Adult mites are stronger and so medication takes time to kill them.

Follow the treatment according to your vet and ear mites will get vanished. Also, make sure to take all your pets to visit the vet. Their check-up is equally important.

Can You Treat Ear Mites at Home?

Cat Ear Mites

This is a second-best option. Though you need to again consult your vet before beginning with the treatment. Cat ears need to be cleaned before starting any treatment. Make sure to do that.

Pour olive oil into your cat’s ears and rub it gently. This will smother the mites. Now go ahead look for ear mites and clean them out with a q-tip. Don’t go deep into the ears, it can harm your cat.

You can also go for an ear cleaning solution. Available at pet supply stores. Put several drops of the solution in your cat’s ear canal, especially on the areas you see ear mites and massage gently. Massaging will bring the debris up on the outer part of the ear. Then you can wipe it away with a cotton ball. And repeat the process until the debris is completely gone.

How Not to Get Ear Mites (Back)?

You need to take care of a few things. So the ear mites don’t make your kitten’s ear their home again.

Keep Your Cat Clean.

Dirty cats attract more bacteria and diseases. Clean your cat’s ear once a week. Look for liquid ear cleaners in your local pet store or online. They are good at removing the ear mites with ease. If you are unable to find the cat ear cleaners, Make your own ear cleaner. Combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. This works the same.

Take care of your cat’s regular bathing. And wash his toys, gadgets, and containers frequently.

Keep Your Cat’s Playing and Bedding Area Clean.

Clean your whole house properly once a week. Focus more on the areas your kitten visits often in your house. And keep them clean. Wash your cat’s bedding in the washing machine every week. So if there are any ear mites, they get washed off. If your cat has a scratching post and a lounging area, clean them with spot or fabric cleaner.

Use non-toxic cleaners that contain no harsh chemicals or products. They won’t harm your kitten.

Visiting the Vet More Often.

Make your cats visit the vet more frequently. This is the best way to prevent mites. The vet will examine your cat’s ears and treat the ear mites. Make sure to go for yearly vet checkups. You can also learn to examine your cat’s ear from the vet. It becomes more convenient for you and your cat.

The Final Note

Ear mites can irritate and frustrate your cat. Also, take care of yourself too if your cat is diagnosed with ear mites. Keeping an eye on him and his outdoor friends can prevent the ear mites. Taking special care of your kitten and visiting the vet frequently will also keep the parasites away from them. These simple steps can make you and your cat healthy.

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