Ear Mites in Cats: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Ear mites are a prevalent type of external parasite that can easily spread among animals. They can cause irritation to both the skin and ears of cats and dogs, which can lead to uncomfortable itching, scratching, and potential health complications in the future. While these parasites are more commonly found in cats, they are not exclusive to them and can be treated relatively easily. In this article, our Grenada veterinarians will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatments for ear mites in cats.

Ear Mites 

Ear mites, also known as otodectes cynotis mites, are a common external parasite found in cats. They live on the surface of the ear canal and sometimes on the skin's surface. These tiny creatures are easily noticeable as quickly moving white spots with eight legs and a smaller set of thin legs. You can find pictures of ear mites in cats using your favorite search engine. 

Ear mites can cause significant irritation to cats and, if not treated promptly, can lead to severe skin and ear infections. Ear mites are often the underlying cause of ear infections in cats. While they rarely infect humans, they can cause some discomfort in people. However, they are generally not considered a health risk to humans.  If you suspect your cat has ear mites, it's important to seek treatment from a veterinarian immediately to prevent complications. Early detection and treatment can help ensure your cat's health and well-being.

Causes of Ear Mites in Cats

Are you wondering how ear mites make your pet's ears so uncomfortable? Well, these parasites are highly contagious and can easily spread from one infected animal to another, especially in cats. However, dogs and other wild animals can also be affected. Your pet can contract ear mites by getting too close to an infected animal or touching a contaminated surface like a grooming tool or bedding. Even shelter cats are at risk, so make sure to check your newly adopted cat for ear mites and schedule a routine exam with your vet.

Symptoms of Ear Mites

The most common signs of ear mites in cats include: 

  • Head shaking
  • Scratching at ears
  • Inflammation 
  • Hair or loss or irritation due to excessive scratching around the ears 
  • Dark crusty or waxy discharge from the ear that looks like coffee grounds 
  • Pus 

How to Treat Ear Mites in Cats

If your cat has ear mites, you might be wondering how to get rid of them. Don't worry, treatment is simple. Your vet will give your cat medicine in the form of drops or pills to kill the mites. They will also clean your cat's ears and give antibiotics if needed. If there are any infections, they will be treated too. You might need to go back for a follow-up visit.

Your other pets may also need treatment to avoid getting ear mites.  It's not a good idea to use home remedies for ear mites because they might not kill all the mites and their eggs. This means the problem could come back. It's best to stick with your vet's treatment plan.

How to Prevent Ear Mites in Cats

Taking your cat for regular checkups and ear cleanings with a veterinarian can help prevent serious ear mite infestations. It's also important to keep your cat's kennel, bedding, and home clean to prevent the spread of ear mites. Your vet can suggest parasite prevention products to keep your cat healthy and happy. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms. 

Do you suspect your cat may have ear mites? Contact Veterinary Associates today to book an appointment.