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Treating Ear Mites In Cats

Treating Ear Mites In Cats

Ear mites are highly contagious in cats and can cause itching, scratching and health issues. In this article, our Parrish vets explain the symptoms, treatments and causes of ear mites in cats.

Cats & Ear Mites 

Ear mites, scientifically known as otodectes cynotis mites, are a common issue among cats and belong to the arachnid class of animals. These highly contagious external parasites primarily reside on the surface of the ear canal and occasionally on the skin.

Although they are minuscule, with sharp eyesight, one may observe ear mites as swiftly moving white specks. These arachnids possess eight legs along with a smaller set of appendages. To visualize ear mites in cats, you can use your preferred search engine to find images.

These parasites cause significant discomfort in our feline companions, and if left untreated, they can result in severe skin and ear infections. In many cases where cats suffer from ear infections, ear mites are often the underlying cause. However, it is important to note that ear mites rarely affect humans and are generally not considered a health risk to people.

Causes of Ear Mites in Cats

If you come across information about ear mites, you might wonder how these parasites manage to infest your pet's ears, causing such distress. What triggers their infection and how do they spread from one animal to another?

The primary reason for ear mite infestation is their highly contagious nature, allowing them to swiftly pass from one infected animal to another. Although cats are the most susceptible, ear mites can also affect dogs and various other wild animals. Your cat can easily contract ear mites if it interacts closely with another animal or comes into contact with contaminated surfaces such as grooming tools or bedding, especially in environments like boarding facilities or outdoor areas.

It's important to note that shelter cats often acquire ear mites, so it's advisable to thoroughly examine your newly adopted cat for any signs of ear mites and promptly schedule a routine examination with your veterinarian.

Symptoms of Ear Mites

The most common signs of ear mites in cats include: 

  • Inflammation 
  • Hair or loss or irritation due to excessive scratching around the ears 
  • Dark crusty or waxy discharge from the ear that looks like coffee grounds 
  • Pus 
  • Head shaking
  • Scratching at ears

How to Treat Ear Mites in Cats

For pet owners seeking solutions to eliminate ear mites in their beloved cats, it is reassuring to know that the treatment process is relatively straightforward.

Once your veterinarian confirms the presence of ear mites, they will administer antiparasitic medication in either topical or oral form. Additionally, your vet will likely clean your cat's ears to remove the characteristic wax and discharge associated with these parasites. Depending on the severity of the infestation, a course of antibiotics may also be prescribed.

Furthermore, your veterinarian will assess the presence of any secondary infections caused by the infestation and treat them accordingly. It is advisable to schedule a follow-up appointment with your vet in a week or two to ensure complete eradication of the mites and determine if any further treatment is necessary.

Given the contagious nature of ear mites, your vet may also prescribe medication for other pets in your household to prevent the infestation from spreading.

It is important to note that relying on home remedies for treating ear mites in cats is not recommended. While some methods may be effective in killing mites, many home treatments do not address the eggs of these parasites.

How to Prevent Ear Mites in Cats

Frequent visits to the vet and ear cleanings for your cat will be a sure way of preventing more serious infestations of ear mites on your cat. Likewise, make sure that you clean your cat's kennel, bedding and your home to catch any stray mites. Your vet will also be happy to recommend parasite prevention products for your feline companion.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms. 

Do you suspect your cat may have ear mites? Contact Ellenton Animal Hospital today to book an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Ellenton Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Parrish companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

(941) 776-1100