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Ear Mites in Cats

Does your cat keep scratching its ears? The chances are that it has ear mites. In this CatAppy article, we will shed light on the causes and symptoms of this condition, and also provide some information on the treatment measures that you can resort to.
CatAppy Staff
Owning a cat is an altogether different experience, since they are fun to observe and play with. However, what also matters is, the cat's health, which mainly depends upon the food they eat and their hygiene. If you happen to own a feline, you need to be aware of various health problems that it can suffer from. And when we talk of cat health problems, ear mite infestation, which happens to be one of the most common problem, needs a special mention.

Causes and Symptoms

In this case, the infection is generally a result of lack of hygiene. Ear mites are present in the environment in large numbers, but they just love to reside inside the ears of pets, like dogs and cats. These are parasitic organisms with hairy bodies that cause irritation in the ear canal. Your feline might get infected while it is grooming in the garden, or if it comes in contact with any other infected animal even for a few minutes or so.

Ear mite infection is highly contagious, such that even slight exposure can result in this painful condition. If your cat is constantly shaking its head or scratching its ears, there are significant chances that it has been affected by mites. However, the degree of pain depends on the severity of the infection, and in worst conditions, can lead to bleeding and your cat might whine because of pain.

If you simply observe your cat's ears using a magnifying glass, then you will see a black or dark brown foul-smelling debris, which is actually the mixture of earwax, blood, and ear mites.

Treatment

Antibiotic Ear Drops
This vet will mainly recommend the use of ear drops or similar solutions available in the local pet shop. What you need to look for, is the presence of an insecticide that would kill these harmful parasites. The most recommended ear solutions are Milbemycin, Acarexx, Fipronil, and Selamectin, since they contain pyrethrin, which acts as an excellent insecticide.

Home Remedies
Home remedies for ear mites work well. In this case, essential oils are used, instead of antibiotics, to smother the mites. First of all, you need to clean its ears properly with the aid of a cotton ball and remove as much of debris as possible. Next, you need to mix the ingredients, add few drops with the help of an ear dropper, and massage their ears so that it gives a soothing effect. If the ear has any internal bleeding or injury, then the oils help cure these wounds as well. However, the treatment needs to be continued for few weeks to absolutely get rid of the mites. Below is the list of ingredients you could try out.
  • Corn Oil: Few drops
  • Mineral Oil: Few drops
  • Almond or Olive Oil: Half ounce of oil mixed with 400 IU of Vitamin E
  • Yellow Dock Root Extract: 9 drops of extract mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • White Vinegar: 1 part of vinegar mixed with 2 parts of water
Shampooing
Along with the above treatment measures, shampooing every alternate day is also considered helpful. Even though ear mites primarily reside inside the ears, they can also be found in the fur, near the tail, or over the entire body. To get rid of them, make sure you shampoo your feline with an odor free and effective herbal shampoo. This will keep its body clean and free of any further infection.

As they say, prevention is better than cure, so make sure you keep your cat healthy in all the respects. Take care of your feline!