Cat ear mite
Ear mites can be infectious, painful and a true nuisance to a cat. Here's what symptoms to look for and how to treat it yourself.
How to cure cat ear mite?
Ear mites are microscopical mites that can live inside the ear channels of all kinds of animals. It is normal for animals to suffer from an infestation. The mites are highly contagious through physical contact with other animals. Humans can also get infested with ear mites, but it rarely is obtained from cats or dogs.
The mites will create an itching sensation and will not disappear by themselves. It will require treatment. There are pharmaceutical treatments that can be applied, but there are also ways you can deal with them yourself, with just a few simple steps.
It is common for animals to get ear mites, and it can affect them badly if the problem persists over time. Continuous itching can lead to scabby skin around the ears, which in the worst case leads to harmful infections, including yeast infections.
The mites reproduce rapidly in the animals' ear channels. They live up to four weeks and will lay eggs on the third week. The eggs will hatch after approximately four days.
We recommend you start the treatment as soon as you discover the mites.
The symptoms of cat ear mite?
Itching and vigorous head shaking
In the early stages of an ear mite infestation, the cat will itch the areas around and in its ears a lot. But because it can't reach the inside of its ear channels, it will likely shake its head when water gets trapped inside its ear channels.
Hair loss around the infested area
No matter how much the cat itches itself, it won't reach the itchy spot as it is inside its ear channels. So instead, it will itch and scratch to the point where it will lose the hair around its ears if it doesn't receive treatment in time.
If the cat begins to lose hair, it is also likely to get scabby skin as it will continue to scratch and itch itself on bare skin, which will cause damage to the surface of the skin. After a while, this can lead to infections which can cause extra medical attention.
A clear sign your cat suffers from ear mites is if a black and tare-like discharge forms inside its ears. It consists of blood, mites, wax, and debris, and in some cases, it can block the ear channel completely. If you are unsure whether the discharge is there, you can use a cotton swab to scoop some out or bring it to the vet for a closer inspection.
How to treat your cat's ear mites?
The infection will not disappear by itself and will need treatment. The mites will reproduce quickly and in vast quantities, so the sooner you start the treatment, the better.
The two most common treatments are the antiparasitic treatments, Ivermectin and Selamectin.
Ivermectin is a water-based liquid that needs to be injected into the ear channel and spread evenly around to work properly.
Selamectin is a preventive cream spread around the ear and ear channel to prevent an ear mite infestation from happening.
DIY – natural treatments
Oils – how to use it and why
Most oils will be effective in treating ear mites. Still, we recommend oils that are naturally inflammatory and antibacterial, such as coconut oil. But baby oil or olive oil are also highly effective and recommended.
The oil makes the mites lose their grip. This will flush them out or drown them over time. Inject a few drops into the cats' ear channel to dissolve the discharge and use a cotton swab to reach the mites sitting the furthest in. Then use a paper towel to clean the oil out of its ear.
When the ear has been emptied and cleaned, inject three more drops of oil, and let it stay there. Repeat this process for seven days, then do nothing for seven days before repeating the whole process for another seven days. That is two weeks of treatment over three weeks.
The mites will probably vanish after the first week of treatment, but it can take some time to be effective towards eggs and larva's, which is why it needs repeating.
How do you prevent your cat from getting ear mites in the first place?
Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to prevent ear mites other than Selamectin, a preventive substance applied to the cat's ear entrance. It needs to be applied once a month, and you can get it by consulting a veterinarian.
If you don't want to use Selamectin, we recommend you check your cats' ear channels often to make sure they are clean and healthy.