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Ear mites in cats: symptoms and treatment


Ear mites in cats usually cause severe itching in the ears. This parasite infestation is also called ear mange. Because ear mite infestation is very uncomfortable for the velvet paws and the parasites are quickly transmitted to other animals and even humans, you should consult a veterinarian at the first symptoms to have your cat treated. Ear mites in cats: A case for the vet - Image: Shutterstock / Hasloo Group Production Studio

Stray cats are particularly often affected by ear mites, but free-range animals are also occasionally affected by the parasites, which cause very severe itching on the ears. When the cat comes home from their forays, there is an increased risk that it will spread the ear mites to other pets or family members. It is all the more important that you recognize the symptoms as early as possible.

Symptoms for ear mites in cats

Ear mites initially attack the cat's ear cups. There, they can cause itching so severe that your cat scratches bloody on the ears. Another symptom of ear mites in cats is constant tilting or shaking of the head. Some animals also open their ears. Sometimes the itching caused by the parasites is so severe that the velvet paw runs uncoordinated in a circle. If your cat expresses such behavior, you should see a veterinarian anyway. A look in the ears can provide additional certainty: a black crumbly secretion is another clear sign that ear mites are torturing your cat.

This is how the vet treats ear mites

It is important to properly treat a cat with mite infestation to prevent further inflammation-related illnesses. The veterinarian will use more detailed examinations to find out whether the parasites are actually itching or whether there are other causes of itching on the ears. If the suspicion is confirmed, the first part of the treatment consists of thorough and professional cleaning of the cat's ears. Then an anti-parasitic agent with the active ingredients ivermectin, doramectin or selamectin is likely to be used. They make it possible to carry out the treatment exclusively on the ears. The vet also treats possible inflammation from the parasites.

Preventing mite infestation in cats: tips

Preventing mite infestation is only possible to a limited extent. Especially when the cats as free walkers ...

Prevent ear mite infestation again

Other pets may need preventive treatment at home as veterinary advice, since ear mites can survive for several weeks without the host. To ensure that the parasites do not nestle again in the healthy cat, other animals or family members, the veterinarian can recommend an ambient spray and thorough cleaning with a vacuum cleaner. To prevent ear mites, a so-called spot-on medication may also be necessary. This is applied to the skin of the cats and keeps the parasites from re-nesting over a longer period of time. You can also prevent with the right means to clean your cat's ears.

Beware of home remedies recommendations from the Internet

There is a wide variety of tips on the Internet for combating ear mites in cats with home remedies. For example, paraffin oil or olive oil is recommended, others advise drizzling baby oil into the cat's ear. However, this is very risky, because from the outside you can hardly estimate how far the mite infestation has progressed and whether scratch wounds have already infected. The danger is just too great that home remedies of this kind will only make things worse.

So be sure to go to the vet if your cat scratches a lot, has dark crusts in the ear cups, holds its head askew, or is otherwise sickly. He can make the correct diagnosis and check whether it is really ear mites. He then prescribes the appropriate medication for your cat and gives you precise instructions for use and dosage.

The second part: "Ear mites in cats: means of treatment"