WebMD Veterinary Reference from the ASPCA
What Causes Ear Mites in Cats?
Highly contagious, ear mites are often passed from pet to pet in casual contact at home or outside. Though they can infect both cats and dogs, ear mites are much more common in cats, and are responsible for more than 50 percent of all feline ear infections. Humans are generally immune to ear mites.
What Are the General Symptoms of Ear Mites in Cats?
- Excessive scratching and rubbing of ears
- Head shaking
- Hair loss and dermatitis
- Black or brown waxy secretion
- Strong odor
- Inflammation of the ear
- Obstruction of ear canal with coffee ground-like debris
- Scratches or scabs near ear
What Are Some Complications of Ear Mites in Cats?
In addition to the development of skin infections, ear mites can cause blood vessels inside a cat’s ear to rupture from intense scratching and head shaking. This is known as an aural hematoma, and often requires surgery to correct.
Are Certain Cats Prone to Ear Mites?
Although ear mites can infect cats of all ages, they are most common in kittens and outdoor cats.
What Should I Do If I Think My Cat Has Ear Mites?
It is important to bring your cat to a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. Your vet will take a swab sample of ear discharge and evaluate it under a microscope. Avoid self-diagnosis, since certain types of bacterial infections can mimic the symptoms of ear mites.
How Are Ear Mites Treated?
- Ear mites can be treated with products your veterinarian will prescribe that are applied directly in the ear or medications that are applied on the skin.
- If the ears are infected or have a build-up of debris, gentle cleaning may be required with cotton and an ear cleanser. (This may require your veterinarian’s assistance, depending on the cat’s temperament and the severity of build-up.)
- Your veterinarian may also prescribe medicated ear drops or an antibiotic to resolve infections.
- A cat will start to feel relief soon after treatment begins, but please complete the full course of treatment to ensure full eradication.
How Can I Prevent Ear Mites?
Routine cleaning of your cat’s ears will alert you to any early problems. If your pet has recently recovered from ear mites, be sure to thoroughly clean his bedding and check your other pets for infestation.
COMMENTS FROM LOVINMYPUP.COM:
This is an excellent article and resource for those feline babies and their ears. Since I really have had little experience with the feline version of fur babies, I found that I learned alot from this article. I never heard of ear mites and found this article very educational.
Hope you enjoy!
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