As the name suggests, ear mites are a tiny
spider like parasitic mite that infect the ears of dogs and
cats. They usually live in the ear canals but can live
on other parts of the dog or cat's body. Ear mites are the
most common cause of ear infections seen by vets. They are
more commonly found in cats than dogs but are a considerable
cause of ear infection in dogs too.
Ear mites thrive in the warm moist area where the air flow
is restricted. They feed on epidermal
debris & ear wax. They burrow into the ear, causing
inflammation and irritation which the body responds to by producing more wax.
What are the Symptoms of Ear
Mites in cats?
Ear mites are terribly uncomfortable for your
cat. Imagine how it would feel having thousands of little bugs
running around in one of your most sensitive areas. Usually
the first symptom you notice will be your cat scratching his
ears or shaking his head due to the extreme itchiness that the
You may notice that your cat's ears appeared
flattened or laid back. His ears may be painful to touch and he may cry
in pain when you touch them or while he is scratching them. You may also notice a foul odor coming from the ears.
Cats may cause damage to their ears by scratching
them. Often their
ears will bleed as a result of this. They may also shake their ears with such
intensity that small blood vessels are broken and hematomas
If you have a look inside the ear of an
infected cat you will see dark reddish brown or black debris
throughout the ear canal which has been described as looking
like coffee grounds. This debris comprises of ear wax, blood
and Ear mites are visible to the naked eye
(but can be seen better with a magnifying glass) and can be seen as white dots among the dark debris. You may
even see them moving around.
Your vet will look in your cat's ear with a
magnifying instrument called an otoscope and may inspect the
debris from the ear under a microscope for a more definite
diagnosis. Ear mite infections can be serious if left
untreated resulting in damage to the ear canals and eardrums
and leaving deformity of the ears and possible deafness.
Secondary bacterial or yeast infections are
also common so it is important to consult your veterinarian.
Treatment of Ear
Mites. How Do I Get Rid Of
can purchase ear mite treatments from your usual pet supply
store or your veterinarian will prescribe an oily
insecticide to treat the ear canals.
All the black ear gunk has to
be cleaned from the ear canal daily to ensure the medication
can reach the mites. The best way to do this is with a
cotton ball or soft cloth dipped in vegetable oil.
After cleaning the ears the medication should massaged deeply into the cat's ears
taking care to get into all the nooks and crannies of the
It is important to follow
your vets or the products instructions for the application
of the treatment. Do not cease treatment
because it appears the ear mites have gone. You must
continue for two weeks to beat the life cycle of the mite.
is an easier but more expensive option. It is a Parasiticide
which is applied to the skin of cats six weeks
of age and older. Revolution, a top spot treatment is
used once a month and is applied to the skin just above the
shoulder blades of the cat... not used directly on the ears.
Revolution is used to prevent
heartworm disease, kills adult fleas and prevents flea eggs
from hatching and treats and prevents ear mite infestation.
Your cat might
also require antibiotics for secondary infections.
Are Ear Mites Contagious?
Ear mites are very contagious
and can be passed on from cat to cat or
cat to dog and visa versa so it is important to treat all of your pets at the
Can Humans Catch Ear Mites?
No, humans are not affected by ear mites.
Different breeds of cats
with pictures, description and information on each of the listed domestic cat
Which breed would you choose?