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Ear Mites in Cats: Symptoms and Treatments 2017



Ok, all done here, next question.

Can I get ear mites from my cat?

Wait… how do they get them… how could I get them? Oh, you want more information than that?

But if you’re in a rush, you can go see some flea treatments for cats and kitten right here.

Ok, let’s break down your questions and take them one at a time.

Here we go.

How do cats get ear mites?

While it is obviously more difficult for indoor cats to get parasites such as fleas and ear mites, it can happen.

Both of these are easily transmissible.

Ear mite life cycle?

Ear mites survive for about three weeks, so they can come in on bedding or from outside.

Anything outside your house can get in your house, even if it’s difficult.

I had an older cat who never went outside and I was debating on not doing her regular vaccines, or at least not the rabies – more because she hated trips in the car and I didn’t want to put her through the drive.

But the vet said, “What if a bat got in your house?” and of course I decided to keep on with her vaccines.

She didn’t just “talk” like some cats do – she yelled, and I swear her yell sounded like a particular four letter word, and I avoided eye contact with the driver of any car next to mine on the way to the vet, lest they think I was the one yelling and cursing.

Now that I think about it, the possibility that my the fellow drivers thought there was someone in back seat that they couldn’t see who was yelling and cursing like that was probably as bad, if not worse.

So yes, all cats be they inside or out can get ear mites though ones who go outside or interact with other cats have a much higher risk of them.

Ear mites are so easily passed between cats that if one is diagnosed with them, you can just assume everyone has them and treat accordingly.

In the video below:

Dr. Jones gives a brief description on ear mites and their history, then gets into natural remedies to help get rid of them:

If your cat is scratching at her ears and crying out in pain, ear mites are probably the cause but don’t diagnose on your own – cats have wonderful, weird, and complicated ears and there could be issues going on in them that need to be diagnosed professionally and treated quickly, or your cat may have permanent issues.

Wonder, weird, and complicated ears?

There are some myths about how cats balance (an old wives tale is that they use their whiskers but their whiskers actually serve another amazingly complicated purpose – and no it is not to measure if their bodies will fit through openings; that is yet another myth.)

Cats balance with their ears. No, not on their ears – with their ears.

They have a structure inside each ear the helps them determine the level of a surface and maintain their balance.

Have you see a carpenter’s spirit or bubble level?

It is sort of like that, and it helps them do those amazing acrobatics.

Have you ever seen a cat jump down from a high height, climb or land an amazing leap and then shake their heads?  

They are resetting their interior level sensing organ.

Isn’t that amazing?

So, if cats are having ear issues, have a vet take a look at it and treat it as a serious issue.

Cats rely strongly on three major senses:

  1. hearing
  2. smell
  3. and their sixth sense: which we humans can only guess is between those two.  (When they open their mouth partway and inhale, often with their eyes closed, they are using this special extra sense.)

Their eyesight isn’t actually that acute, they use their other senses far more.

So if anything affects your cats ears, get him into the vet for a checkup.

Any issues with the complicated inner ears needs to be dealt with by a professional and, even if it is something as simple as ear mites, a cat can shake his head really hard after scratching and cause an ear hematoma.

What is a hematoma?

It’s when the ears swell up with blood and when the blood vessels in their ears rupture.

The blood vessels are those little red lines you see in the delicate skin in your cat’s ears.

If these rupture, the ear itself fills up with blood and swells up like a pillow.

A hard, blood filled pillow.

While the hematoma itself isn’t an urgent health issue – they do heal fairly well – the blood inside the rupture doesn’t always reabsorb and it can lead to cats having a crinkled appearance to their ears and the change in ear shape and mobility can adversely affect their hearing.

Below in the video (mind you its a bit graphic) this vet shows you what a hematoma looks like and how you can treat it:

Cat ear mites treatment?

So, if your indoor cat has any ear issues:

  • Get him to a vet and make sure it isn’t serious and if you need a diagnosis. (you don’t have to use the conventional treatments, there are natural treatments)
  • If it’s ear mites, treat all the cats in your house every week for three weeks. (a few solutions below)
  • Wash any of their bedding that is washable in hot water as well during this period, just to clear the problem up faster.

You don’t have to get rid of anything that can’t be washed or anything, it is just good to wash what you can to keep reinfection down and help clear things up as soon as possible.

Ear mites only have about a three week lifespan anyway, so any not reproducing in the cat’s ears will die off quickly.

Name of ProductImageWhere To Buy
Eradimite - 1 oz
Miracle Care R-7M Ear Mite Treatment 4oz
Petpost | Dog & Cat Ear Cleaner - Natural Coconut Oil Solution
Ear Mite Treatment for Dogs & Cats - 4 ounces
Four Paws Ear Mite Remedy
Pet King Brands Zymox Plus Otic-HC Enzymatic Ear Care Solution, 1.25-fl.oz
2 Pack Zymox Otic With 1.0 Hydrocortisone 1.25 Oz Bottle
Versatile and Effective Solution for Cleaning Dog and Cat Ears
Zymox Otic Enzymatic Pet Ear Treatment without Hydrocortisone

Home remedies for ear mites in cats:

First things first, before applying any of these natural type treatments please make sure you clean your cats ears first.

Here is a great way to clean and sooth their ears before the work begins on treatments:

  1. Use olive oil and pour into their ears – using your thumb to rub gently (this will smother the mites.)
  2. Then go ahead and begin the process of cleaning them out with a q-tip (make sure not to go deep into their ears!)

I found one remedy from this site:

  • Using infusions of yellow root extract (Yellow Dock Root to make a tincture.) She tells on how to make your own tincture from the post and also states to dilute the oil as to not burn your cats ears.
  • This is a great site with holistic home remedies as well: Live A Little Longer

As always, please consult your vet before ANY treatment you decide to use… especially if you decide to go the traditional medicinal route from the vet using these ear mite treatments.

Can I get ear mites from my cat?

Yes, you can… sort of.

Ear mites can live on humans, but we aren’t their preferred habitat, and we don’t have the right ear shape, depth and temperature so they don’t prefer us as hosts.

They can live on us, but they aren’t happy about it.

So if your cats have ear mites and are scratching like mad, and they sleep on the pillow your head sleeps on, and your ears are itching like mad, too – then have your doctor take a look and see.

With just a general exposure to them by living in the same area, you probably won’t get them, unless you infect yourself on purpose.

Infect myself on purpose?  WHAT?  Who would do that?

Well, most people wouldn’t, I would hope but I did have a veterinarian tell me about another veterinarian who gave himself ear mites on purpose.

That vet was studying ear mites, their life cycle and growth and looking for new treatments and he realized he couldn’t really ask the cats how they felt over time, so he took some cotton swabs, dug around to get some ear mites on them, and infected his own ears to study them from a human’s eye or ear view.

Afterwards, he wrote a study on it that my vet had read and led to him sharing this story – I did not read the study myself but I do believe it was legitimate as the source sharing the information was.

That vet did cure himself after a time of study, and wrote first hand… first ear? about it, and maybe advanced science and improved the lives of many cats.

While you think about that, I’m going to go scratch my ears, because writing this made them really itch for some reason.

Cat Ear Mites – FAQ’s

How do you get rid of ear mites in cats?

Before even treating your cat for ear mites, however, you need proof that they’re there. Gently remove a little bit of the crumbly debris from your cat’s ear canal with a cotton ball. Then examine it under bright light with a magnifier or spread it on a piece of dark paper.

What is the best treatment for ear mites in cats?

There are several types of ear mites that can live in cats’ ears, but the most common are Otodectes cynotis, tiny, eight-legged parasites that feed on the wax and oils in a cat’s ear canal.

Can ear mites in cats be transferred to humans?

Ear mites are extremely contagious. They can be passed from the mother animal to her offspring. Additionally, the mites are easily spread to other pets within the household including cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, mice, ferrets, etc.Humans are not affected.

Can indoor cats have ear mites?

Whether your cats are indoor cats, outdoor or both, you may notice head shaking or excessive ear scratching. … There are a few types of ear mites that cats can get, but the most common is Otodectes cynotis, a tiny parasite with 8 legs. This ear mite lives off the oils and wax in the ear canal.

How do you get rid of ear mites in cats?


  1. Fill the eye dropper halfway with mineral oil.

  2. Directly apply the drops into the ear canal.

  3. Massage the ear at the base.

  4. Take a cotton ball/swab and spread the mineral oil throughout the ears.

  5. Repeat twice per week for a minimum of one month.

How do you treat ear mites in cats?

The first step is to get as many tiny critters out of the ear canal as possible by cleaning the ear. You can use an ear cleaning solution (available at pet supply stores) or try almond or olive oil, but clear the latter with your vet first. Put several drops of the solution or oil into the ear canal and massage gently.

How long does it take to get rid of ear mites?

This parasiticide should be used for 7-10 days to eradicate mites and eggs. Be sure to repeat the treatment approximately 2 weeks later. Ear mites can also live in other spots on your dog’s body, including the feet and tail.

How do you know if your cat has an ear infection?

Other symptoms to look for include:

  1. Black or yellowish discharge.

  2. Redness or swelling of the ear flap or ear canal.

  3. Waxy buildup on or near the ear canal.

  4. Discharge from the ear that resembles coffee grounds (a symptom of ear mites)

  5. Strong odor.

  6. Hearing loss.

  7. Loss of balance or disorientation.

What is the black stuff in my cat’s ears?

Cat Ear Discharge: Common Causes. … Symptoms of ear problems in cats include pawing at the ears, sensitivity to touch, a large amount of dark brown or black wax, hearing loss, head tilting or shaking, and loss of balance. The most common causes of ear discharge in cats include: Ear mites .

What can you use to clean a cat’s ears?

After the massaging, stand back and let your pet shake his or her head to bring the softened wax up out of the ear canals. Use clean cotton balls to gently wipe out and up the canal, removing any wax or cleaning solution you see. For smaller cats, you may need to use cotton balls that have been pulled in half.

Why does my cat scratch her ears so much?

Ear scratching is one of the more common reasons cats see veterinarians. When the head starts shaking and claws start digging, it’s a safe bet that a cat has itchy ears. But the cause is not always clear. Is it mites?

Can Tresaderm be used for ear mites?

Tresaderm is a type of medication that must be prescribed by your veterinarian to treat ear mites in your kitty. This topical medication is a liquid that is used not only to rid your furbaby of her ear mites, but to treat any bacterial or fungal infections as well.

Why is my cat shaking his head?

Ear mites can cause several of these symptoms including a black discharge, scratching and head shaking. However, ear mite infections generally occur in kittens and outdoor cats. … By the time the cat is presented to the veterinarian, the mites may be gone but a significant ear infection remains.

Can you use coconut oil for ear mites?

Just add a few drops to their ear, then massage the area around their ear to helpclean out any wax and soothe itchiness. … Coconut oil will also smother any bothersome ear mites! You only need to apply coconut oil to your pet’s ears every day or two to keep them clean, healthy, and itch-free.


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Lucy Patrick
Lucy Patrick
Hi Furiends! Welcome, and thank you for reading CatFoodStuff! To learn more about our story, come visit us on our about page. I am Lucy Patrick, I have been around with cats for around more than 12 years. I have done the catsitting for alot of clients in and around our area & have been pursuing the Veterinary Course from University. Catfoodstuff is my attempt to answer all the issues that comes around while raising cats at your places & I am highly delighted with the reviews I am getting. We would be happy to hear from you! We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program that is what provides a means for CatFoodStuff to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. The price remains the same for you & we receive a small commission contributing to the website development. Certain content that appears on this site comes from amazon services llc. this content is provided 'as is' and is subject to change or removal at any time.

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