How much do you know about ear mites in cats? You will learn all the important information about this disease in this pet parent guide!
Ear mites are tiny, crab-like parasites that usually invade the outer ears and ear canals of cats. Although there are many different types, the most common is otodectes cynotis. It is found in approximately 90 per cent of all cats with ear mites. This disease is highly contagious! Learn all the important details about ear mites in cats with the aid of this pet parent guide!
How can you detect ear mites in cats?
Noticing ear mites in cats is not very difficult. As you will see soon, the symptoms of this disease are very straightforward. All you have to do is detect them! Nevertheless, a trip to the vet will be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Do not overlook these signs because ears mites can become severe and lead to a partial or complete hearing loss for your cat. Common signs of ear mites in cats are:
- Excessive scratching of the ears
- Fresh or dried blood inside the ear canal.
- Excessive shaking of the head
- Loss of balance
- A lopsided appearance
- Flattened ears
- Unpleasant odour
How dangerous can ear mites be?
Ear mites are not just found in the ears! They can travel all over the cat’s body. Also, they can affect other species as well. In fact, all family pets must be treated if mites are found on just one animal.
Treatment of ear mites in cats
“Ear mites are a common infestation and are easily spread between cats and other animals. Treatment of ear mites involves removing the debris from the ears and using a topical insecticide in the ear canal to kill off the remaining mites and new mites that hatch out of eggs left behind. All animals in the house have to be treated -- if you don't, the ear mites that you get rid of from one cat will just take up residence in another cat's (or a dog's) ears”, said Dr H. Ellen Whiteley.
The three steps process for curing ear mites in cats
Treating your cat's case of ear mites is a three-step process:
- The first step is to clean the ear. You can use an ear cleaning solution or try almond or olive oil. You can do this by putting several drops of the solution or oil into the ear canal. Afterwards, massage gently. Massaging is important because it will help bring debris up to the outer part of the ear where you can wipe it away.
- Next, you need to administer an ear miticide. Follow the directions of the vet or the label on the medicine very carefully. Make sure to massage as well. Never carry out a single cleaning and treatment with ear drops. As long as you leave one surviving female mite with eggs, the disease will continue to spread! That is why you must clean your cat's ears every day and use the miticide as instructed.
- Finally, you need to prevent re-infestation. Mites can hide out deep in your cat's fur. Then they can crawl back into the ear after the treatment is over! Furthermore, mite eggs can hatch days after treatment. Taking all of this into account, it could take a few weeks before you can safely say that your cat and home are mite-free.
Can you prevent ear mites in cats?
One of the most effective treatments for ear mites in cats is prevention. You can use a monthly topical dose to prevent an ear mite infestation from ever happening! Additionally, these topical treatments protect against fleas, hookworm, roundworm, and other dangerous parasites. Finally, you need to conduct constant care of your cat’s ears. Although cats are constant groomers, you need to make sure that his difficult-to-reach places (like the ears) are clean and free of parasites.
Try these methods to treat ear mites within a few weeks. If you don’t see any improvements, get professional help. Either way, you need to treat the ear mite! An untreated ear mite infestation can lead to a skin disease or to a full ear infection. Take note of everything that you read in this pet parent guide, and get ready to deal with ear mites in cats!