Ear mites are tiny bugs that go into your feline friend’s ear canal and live there. These bugs can cause a lot of health issues for your cat. For example, if your cat gets ear mites, it can cause severe skin infections. You can tell your cat might have ear mites if they start scratching their ears a lot. If you see this behavior on your cat (scratching their ears), visit your vet.
Cats can get ear mites from contact with other animals. Ear mites love moist places, so that is why they get into your cat’s ear canal and live there. Ear mites can pass from one cat to another easily. The best way to prevent this situation is to visit your vet and with better hygiene routines.
What Are Ear Mites?
Ear mites are microscopic parasites so small the naked eye has a hard time seeing them. They live in different species of animals like cats, dogs, rabbits, and ferrets.
Ear mites usually are found in the ear canals of the host. Ear mites like moist and dark places to inhabit. These bugs consume the earwax, blood, and skin oils from your furry friend and can cause, if not treated, serious skin infections.
How Do Cats Get Ear Mites?
These parasites are highly contagious and can pass from one animal to the other easily. Direct contact from one infected cat to another is the most common way of infection. However, the interaction between cats does not have to be long duration, and this is why ear mites are so problematic.
Other ways your cat can get infected with ear mites is the environment, their surroundings. For example, suppose there are ear mites in the areas where your cat usually plays. In that case, the chances of getting infected are higher.
Ear mites are tiny and, therefore, very hard to see. However, there are symptoms of ear mites infection that you might be able to notice.
The presence of ear wax with a brownish color similar to coffee ground color is one of the symptoms of ear mite infection.
If you see that your cat is scratching and rubbing its ears more than usual, that might be an indication of an ear mite infection. Another symptom might be a constant shake of the head. If your cat is doing that, go to your vet to check if it might be ear mites.
Other symptoms of ear mites infection are loss of hair near the ear canal’s area and a strong odor coming from your cat’s ears.
Do Ear Mites Harm Your Cat?
Parasites like ear mites can be dangerous and harmful to your cat if the infection is not treated correctly and on time.
Ear mites can cause inflammatory issues and irritation to your cat. In addition, these ear mites can infect the internal and external parts of your cat’s ear canals.
As we mentioned in the symptoms part, the dark wax can accumulate in the ear canals until it can create an obstruction, leading to hearing loss.
How To Prevent Your Cat From Getting Ear Mites?
The best way to avoid ear mites infection on your cat is with two fundamental principles, regular vet checkups, and high hygiene standards.
When it comes to the high hygiene standards, it goes like this, constantly checking your furry friend’s ears to make sure there is no dark wax forming there.
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Keep your cat’s favorite places clean, their toys, and everything they usually use or touch. If the things your cat has contact with are clean, it is less likely that your cat gets an ear mites infection.
Another prevention method is by deworming your cat regularly; you can decrease the possibility of an ear mite infection with that action.
Regular vet checkups are the number one principle because they can help you prevent the infection from happening. If there is one, they are capable of treating the infection before it gets too problematic.
Your vet knows what’s best for your cat, and they have the tools and knowledge to give great care to your cat. Because they know best, your vet can provide you with parasite prevention medicine that could help maintain the ear mites away from your cat.
Are Humans Affected By Cat’s Ear Mites?
The short answer to that is no, ear mites from your cat can’t affect humans, so with that being said, you can relax and know that you and your family are not at risk.
However, the long answer is that it is rare, but humans can be infected with ear mites. The thing to know is that chances of the ear mites passing from your pet to you are virtually impossible.
If an ear mite infection happens to a person, the symptoms to look out for are the same as our furry friends. In humans, another sign is feeling that your ear is full of something or that there is pressure in the ear canal.
Same as with your cat, the best course of action to deal with an ear mites infection is to go to your doctor and get professional care.
How To Treat Ear Mites In Cats?
The check-out from your vet will be pretty straightforward. First, your vet will explore the ear canal areas using an otoscope. Then, if your cat is not happy with the instrument, your vet will try to collect a sample with a cotton swab.
Once you go to your vet and have your cat checked out, the treatment is straightforward. The treatment will start with cleaning the area to remove the wax in your cat’s ear canal. Then the second step will most likely be to apply a topical medication that will intent to eliminate the ear mites and smooth the infected area at the same time.
How To Remove Ear Mites In Cats With Homemade Remedies?
We want to point out that the course of action that we recommend for in-ear mite infections is visiting your vet. Homemade remedies usually work with infections, like ear mites, that are not very advanced and severe.
One of the homemade remedies that could help you prevent and solve mild ear mites is to prepare a spray solution with water and apple cider vinegar. The mix of the two can be on a 50/50 ratio. Then, you can spray the solution on the infected areas for about a week.
Using oils like coconut oil to clean your furry friend’s ear canal is an excellent way to suffocate the ear mites while cleaning your cat’s ears.
Lastly, there are anti-mite ear drops that you can purchase at any pet store to help you eliminate a mild ear mite infection.
Cats are very clean animals, have cleaning rituals, and do not like messiness, but they are still prone to getting ear mites despite all that.
Ear mites are bugs that get into your furry friend’s ears canals and make them scratch their ears constantly. There are numerous ways cats get infected by ear mites. For example, the contact with other animals, the places near them, or even the visit of another pet lover to your house are all ways your cat can get ear mites.
The best way to prevent the infection of ear mites in your cat is by putting a lot of attention on their hygiene routine. Another way to reduce the chances of your cat getting ear mites is to make sure your cat’s environment is properly clean and sterilized.
We recommend that you keep visits to your vet regularly. Then, it will be easier for the vet to detect the ear mites and fight them before they get too problematic.
There are ways you can fight the infection with homemade remedies. Still, these remedies will only slow down the infection of ear mites on your cat and will not stop them 100%. Hence, as we mentioned before, the best solution is to have your vet’s input and guidance.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.