#1 Guide on How to Get Rid of Ear Mites in Cats

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By: Rita Cunha Updated: December 2, 2020

vet providing cat ear mite treatmentEar mites in cats are actually quite common. About half of all cat ear infections are caused by these small parasites. If your cat has them, they’re not alone. But these small parasites that are invisible to the eye are more dangerous than they let on. When you don’t treat an ear mite infestation, the consequences could be ear infections and other eat canal problems.

An Itchy Cat Ear: How to Treat Ear Mites in Cats

Ear mites are small parasites that invade your cat’s ear canal skin and call it home. As parasites, they feed off of cat ear wax and oils and usually cause a lot of itchiness for kittens. They love ear wax and being in a moist and warm place so much, that it takes quite a lot of effort to kill ear mites.

You might be asking yourself if ear mites in dogs also exist. And the answer is yes, dogs can also get ear mites, it just doesn’t happen as often as it does in cats!

How Do Ear Mites Look?

There are a lot of types of ear mites in cats and dogs and humans. The most common one is Otodectes cynotis, an eight-legged crab-like ear mite. Although they’re invisible to the naked eye, you can see them under a microscope or with a special tool called an otoscope, usually used by a vet.

Ear mites have a life cycle of three weeks. During this time, they consume large amounts of ear wax and ear oils and try their best to reproduce like crazy. It’s when they have a stable source of food and good shelter that they multiply immensely.

When this happens, you still can’t see traces of an ear mite infestation, but it’s there. Because there are so many mites feeding off of your cat’s wax and oils, an ear mite infection may start to develop. It’s important to treat ear mites at this point so the infections don’t get too bad.

You might have noticed that cats with ear mites usually have a black or dark-brown discharge clogging up their ear canals. This debris you see isn’t an ear mite colony, but rather discharge from the ear infections. As soon as you see it, you’ll recognize it. It looks oddly similar to coffee grounds.

Make Your Cat’s Immune System Stronger! CBD Oil for Cats!

A way of making sure your cat doesn’t get infections as often anymore is by fortifying their immune system. You can do this in an easy and hassle-free way by supplementing their diet.

Honest Paws CBD Oil for Cats as an Immune Booster!

Their CBD oil (cannabidiol oil) is effective in boosting your cat’s immune system. This means that the next time (if there is one) they get an ear mite infestation, they’ll be able to fight any infections much more easily.

We highly recommend them, but you don’t have to take our word for it. You can read one of the many positive reviews that pet parents have left over the years online in which they swear by Honest Paws products.

Ear Mite Medicine for Cats

A product to try for your feline ear mites is Zymox Otic – this covers about anything you can think of when it comes to ear pain, infection, and yep, even ear mites.

Revolution for Cats with a Vet Prescription: Is it possible?

Revolution is a brand that has become more and more famous in recent years. They manufacture what some veterinarians and cat owners are calling a “dream remedy.”

If you’ve never heard of it, don’t sweat it. Revolution is a five-in-one preventative product that kills and reduces the chances of your cat getting sick again from a number of parasites. These include fleas, heartworm disease, roundworms, hookworms, and ear mites.

The product itself comes in a tube and you squeeze out the liquid onto your cat’s skin. Revolution is highly trusted by various vets and countless pet owners. It is not only completely safe to use on kittens older than 8 weeks old, but it’s also very effective.

In regards to ear mites, rest assured. Revolution will kill the mites that have been plaguing your kitty and prevent future ear mite infestations just make sure you go to the vet to get it.

How Do Cats Get Ear Mites?

Because ear mites are highly contagious, it’s not hard at all for cats to get them. All it takes is a casual encounter between a healthy and an ear-mite infested cat, rabbit, ferret, or dog. A simple walk around the garden where dogs and cats that have ear mites have been is all it takes.

Fortunately, ear mites are rarely ever transmitted to humans, as we are immune to these tiny parasites. You won’t have to worry about a cat-to-human transmission.

ear mites cats cone to protect from scratching

5 Facts You Need to Know About How to Get Rid of Ear Mites in Cats

Sometimes it feels like treating ear mites is a hard and daunting task. But we’re firm believers that knowledge is power and that the more you know, the easier it will be to kill ear mites.

  1. There are many, many kinds of mites out there. Scientists have identified more than 30,000 species of mites and are still looking into 450,000 more.
  2. It’s not just the Otodectes cynotis that affects our beloved pets. The Sarcoptes mite caused sarcoptic mange in dogs, while the Demodex mites cause demodectic mange.
  3. If you suspect your cat has ear mites, bring them to the veterinarian so they can check for the presence of the parasite with an otoscope.
  4. A consequence of having ear mites is developing infections in the middle ear and in the outer ear. Because mites reproduce very fast, it’s important to get rid of them very quickly.
  5. Although also parasites, fleas are nothing like ear mites. What works in killing fleas should never, ever be used to exterminate ear mites.

Symptoms of Cat Ear Mites

As we’ve mentioned, the best course of action is to address the ear mite in cats problem as soon as possible. This is the only way to prevent nasty ear infections from developing.

In order to catch the ear mite problem in time, you’ll need to know what the symptoms of an ear infestation are.

Head shaking is a very good sign that your cat has an ear mite infestation. They will also try to scratch the inside of their ears and even their ear canal with their paws or by rubbing up against hard surfaces. Cats do this because the ear mites are a source of itching and shaking their heads and scratching their ears alleviates this feeling.

white kitty scratching ear mites on cats

Cat Ear Infection: Ear Mite Treatment for Cats!

Now that you know all there is to know about mites, you can move on to the stage of the treatment of ear mites. The first step is to go to the vet, but we’ll go over the most common procedures recommended.

First of all, there are cat ear mites products that vets prescribe cat owners. They can be directly applied to the ear or the medication is applied on the skin.

Secondly, if your cat’s ears are too clogged up by the coffee-grounds-like debris, you should clean them. You can do this by using rubbing alcohol on a ball of cotton or on a q-tip.

There are also some ear drops that your vet may prescribe that will help to clear up the infestation. If your cat has developed infections because of the mites, then antibiotics are recommended.

An Holistic Approach

If you usually opt to go down the holistic path, we’re pleased to tell you that there are some products out there that will help your cat. There are even some home remedies that require very simple ingredients.

You could try rubbing your cat’s ears with olive oil infused with crushed garlic. The pungent smell from the mixture does wonders in driving them away.

Massaging your cat’s ears with organic honey also helps a lot. Another popular home remedy that works on ear mites in cats is spraying apple cider vinegar diluted in water on their ears.

Prevention is Key! How to Clean a Cat’s Ears!

Since ear mites feed off of ear wax and other oils, the best way to keep mites away from your cat is by keeping their ears clean. This way, even if mites reach your cat, they won’t have a good supply of food and won’t want your kitty as a host.

Cleaning a cat’s ears is easy — at least on paper. If your cat lets you touch them, you’ve won half the battle. Simply put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or on a q-tip and gently scrub their ears in. Pay attention to never get into the inner ear with your tools.

If your cat hates being touched, it’ll be harder. Pick a time when they’re sleepy, wrap them in a towel, and gently clean the insides of their ears.

As long as you keep their ears clean, ear mites should be no concern at all anymore.

3 Ways To Say Bye-Bye to Cat Mites

But what are some other ways you can prevent ear mites in cats? After all, who wants to deal with having to go through treatment?

  1. Applying products such as Revolution or Zymox Otic prevents ear mites in cats. Apply them once a month for best results.
  2. Keeping their ears clean is crucial in preventing cat ear mites.
  3. Cleaning your cat’s living and lounging area after you’ve treated them for ear mites is very important as well.

cat shaking head and scratching on couch

Common Questions on Ear Mites in Cats

Can humans get ear mites from cats?

How did my cat get ear mites?

How do I know my cat has ear mites?

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