Think of the scene: One day your just sitting down relaxing with your cat when you pass your hand over your cats ears and notice something unusual inside – something like the likeness of coffee grounds, dark and crumbly. Before you get completely surprised, your cat may just have a common issue of having cat ear mites. But just what is there to know about these little critters, and how can you treat them? Let’s take a closer look at the answer to these questions and more.
To begin cat ear mites are a small, minute sized insects that live in and breed in the ear canals. They eat the dead skin, cell fluid, and blood and usually gnaw on the skin of the ear and its tissue. Cat ear mites usually cause bad irritation and itching, so you might notice your cat scratching at the backs of its ears, shaking their heads often, or even holding their heads at an unusual angle. If scratching occurs, be sure to treat as soon as possible, because sometimes cats can scratch until their skin is raw.
Cat ear mites are a common problem, and are easily spread between animals. Treatment for ear mites can include using a topical solution to remove debris from the ears, and insecticide that destroys the remaining ones and new mites that could hatch out of eggs left behind. All animals in the house must be treated, because if not, some mites just might take up residence in another animal until the coast is clear. Treating your cat’s case of ear mites is a three step process.
First you have to clean the ear which allows you to get as many of those tiny mites out of the ear as possible. You can do this using a cleaning solution or even almond or olive oil. Before using the latter two, be sure to check with your vet first. Massaging will help bring the ear debris to the fore where you can gently wipe it away with a cotton ball or tissue. Do not use cotton swabs as you don’t want to puncture an ear drum by accident.
Second you must administer an ear miticide. At your local pet supply store, you should find something with pyrethrins which is a natural insecticide. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, and daily or weekly as directed. It takes a while, but is worth it, because one female mite left behind with eggs could start the whole ordeal all over again, and you surely don’t want that.
Lastly you have to make sure to keep your cat from being reinfested. Using a flea shampoo or other may help in this process. Before ever starting mite control steps, you have to be completely sure your cat has ear mites. You can do this by rubbing off some of the dark debris and checking under a bright light. Any movement means mites. If nothing more, be sure to check with your vet.