Ear Mite Treatment for Cats
Ear mites are surface parasites that live in the ear canals of cats and dogs. They are quite common in cats. Although they are not life-threatening, they can cause irritation and other health complications.
What are the symptoms of ear mites in cats?
Unlike internal parasites like tapeworms, ear mites are surface parasites that live on the surface of a cat’s skin and ears.
There are a few common symptoms to look out for if you suspect your cat has ear mites:
- Heading shaking
- Inflammation around the ears
- Discharge from the ears
- Red, irritated ears
- Constant scratching
- Dark brown coating in the ear
- Drooping ear flap
How do cats get ear mites?
Ear mites are contagious and can easily spread from one infected animal to another. Outdoor cats and cats in animal shelters are at an increased risk of getting ear mites from another cat or animal.
Ear mites can also come from contaminated surfaces such as bedding or grooming tools used for an infected cat.
How to treat ear mites in cats
If you suspect your cat has ear mites, it’s important to take your cat to the vet to determine the cause of their symptoms.
Your vet will examine your cat’s overall health to rule out any other conditions that may be causing your cat’s symptoms.
They may take a scraping of the ear to look for mites or eggs. Ear mites are very treatable with systemic or topical solutions, or both.
In addition to cleaning your cat’s ears with a topical solution, your vet may prescribe one of the following:
If your cat experienced any secondary infections, such as a bacterial ear infection from scratching, your vet will treat that as well.
It is important to administer systemic treatments for the duration prescribed by your vet, even if symptoms start to clear earlier. It takes about three weeks for ear mites to clear after beginning treatment, sometimes longer.
Can humans get ear mites from cats?
Humans cannot get ear mites from cats. Ear mites are however contagious to other pets, so it’s important to take all your pets to the vet for treatment and diagnosis if you suspect one pet has them.
Many vets will recommend treating all pets in the home if one has ear mites, even if they are not all displaying symptoms.