Ear mite infections are one usually found in cats. As common as they are though, not many parents take note of them, which should not be so. So that you don’t get lumped up with those cat parents who neglect their cats with such an infection, here is a piece that guides you on everything you need to know about the subject.
What are Cat Ear Mites?
Ear mites are tiny parasites that are usually found in the outer ear and ear canals of cats. They are crab-like in nature and they can attach to your cat in a number of ways. There is no singular ear mite known to cats.
How do cats get ear mites and how to treatment it?
In fact, if you were to be isolating and identifying them all one after the other, you will find out that we have tons of them. The good news is that, 90% of the time, the mite at fault is Otodectes Cynotis.
How do cats get ear mites?
Ear mites are very contagious. That is why they are usually passed down from pet to pet. This usually occurs in pet-to-pet contact, parent to offspring and the likes. Likewise, your cat can get ear mites from another type of animal, not necessarily another cat.
If you’ve got a dog or rabbit that has the infection, you cat runs the risk of getting them too. However, you should know that ear mite infections are way more common in cats than they are in dogs
What are the Symptoms?
If you are start feeling that your cat might have an ear mite infection, here are the things you will want to look out for. We should mention that sometimes, noticing some of these symptoms might not necessarily point to an ear mite infection but something else entirely. That is why a trip to the vet’s is recommended.
As soon as you confirm any of the symptoms below, don’t waste time in taking your cat in for treatment. If left unattended to for long, your cat runs the risk of getting partial or total loss of its hearing, among other secondary problems.
- Your cat starts to scratch its ears excessively
- Presence of dried or fresh blood inside the ears of the cat. When dried, you might mistake the blood for brown patches
- Excessive shaking of the head for no apparent reason
- Presence of white spots in the ear (these could be the mites)
- General dizziness
- Loss of balance in the cat
- Lopsided movement in the cat/ cat favoring one ear over the other
- Unpleasant odor coming from the affected ear(s)
While ear mites are associated with the ears of your cat, know that they can always spread to other parts of your cat’s body as well. That is another reason why you should contain the infection before it causes your cat to go into a mad scratching frenzy
Can Humans Get Ear Mite from Cats?
The ear mites are known to move from one animal species to the other. That means they don’t find only your cat tasty and might start spreading to other pets in the house. If you’ve got a dog, rabbit, or other pets, you should treat them for the infection too as soon as you spot them on your cat.
However, to answer your question, humans cannot get these mites from their cats.
Prevention of Cat Ear Mites
If you have checked out your cat for ear mites and they do not have it, that’s very good news for you. This is the time to start making sure they never get it. Likewise, if your cat has just been cured of the infection, here is what you should do to ensure your feline friend doesn’t get a relapse
- Clean your cat’s ear regularly. That will alert you to anything that is off as soon as it starts developing
- If there are other animals in the home with such an infection, isolate and check the cat.
- In the case your cat has just been treated for ear mites, make sure to check all their beddings and furniture.
- Fumigation of the entire living area of the cat from time to time, especially if they have just been treated
Treatment of Cat Ear Mites
Ear mites are responsible for half the ear infections in cats. No matter how hard you try though, the problem might still come up. That is not the time to panic. Instead, here is what you should do
- Take the cat to the vet for proper examination. That way, you can eliminate other problems and confirm that what your cat has is, indeed, an ear mite problem
- Use products prescribed by the vet to treat the problem. Many cat parents go for over the counter medicine/ self-medication which can be harmful to their pets. Your vet knows your cat’s history and better understands what will be best for them
- For an infected ear, gentle cleaning of the inner ear canals is required. If you cannot do this by yourself, ask for your vet’s help
- Ask the vet (if they don’t offer it already) for possible ear drops/ relief medications you can use to ease your cat
- Use ear mite pesticides to clean the cats ear every 7 – 10 days. That will help you get rid of the mites and their eggs before they hatch at all
- Clean the cat’s tail thoroughly. Due to the tendency of cats to sleep with their tails near their head, there is a chance the mites would have found a nest in your pet’s tail too
- When all else is done, a complete swipe of the cat’s body is recommended. See your vet for this.
Facts About Cat Ear Mites
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind about ear mites
- They might not always be visible to the naked eye due to their small nature. The fact that you don’t see them does not mean they are not there
- If not treated, they could lead to a secondary infection so serious, surgery is needed to correct the problem
- The ear mites are not specific to your cat. Once it is found on one animal in the house, treat the whole pack
- Humans are generally immune to ear mites
- The life cycle of an ear mite (from egg to adult) is about 3 weeks.