Ear Mites in Cats

Updated: January 19, 2024

Ear mites in cats are common parasites often found in cats. Cat ear mites can be hardly seen by the naked eye and they just look like tiny white dots. These parasites live on the ear canal of your furbaby and they feed on the skin oil and ear wax.

Cat ear mites are extremely contagious. As stated by the VCA Animal Hospitals, their eggs hatch in only four days and grow into an adult. They are already ready to breed in the span of three weeks.

In this article, we will look at what causes ear mites in cats, symptoms of ear mites in cats, ear mite treatment for cats, and how to help prevent them.

"Cat ear mites are highly contagious and they typically spread from direct contact with an infected animal."

Symptoms of Ear Mites in Cats

Ear mites are almost impossible to be seen by the naked eye so checking your cat’s ears can be tricky. However, there are some symptoms your cat may show if they do indeed have ear mites. The following are signs your cat may have ear mites:

Excessively shaking the head or scratching the ears.

One of the most common signs of ear mites in cats is the frequent and excessive shaking of the head along with an aggressive ear scratching. Ear mites are likely to be present inside your cat’s ears. The severe itching your furbaby may be feeling is likely because the mites are dropping inside the skin of the ears.

ear mite treatment for cats

While ear mites are commonly found in your cat’s ears, they may also be found in other parts of their body as they try to wander around. This causes intense itchiness as well and will result in excessive scratching of the affected body parts.

Note: Excessive scratching of the ears and ear irritation can also be a sign of an allergy which may develop further as an infection. It is essential that you consult your vet for a proper diagnosis.

Ear discharge.

Check if your cat has some abnormal ear discharge. Ear wax is normal for your cat, but ear mites may appear to be wax if you don’t know exactly what to look for. Check for these indicators to help decipher cat ear mites vs wax.

One landmark characteristic of the presence of ear mites in the ears is a crust or waxy but dark substance inside your furbaby’s ears. The discharge is a combination of blood, ear wax, and secretion from mites. It will usually look closely like ground coffee beans and may let off a bad odor.

What Causes Ear Mites in Cats?

How do gets get ear mites? As mentioned, ear mites in cats are highly contagious. So, what causes ear mites in cats? Typically, they spread from direct contact with an infected animal. Mites may also be present in dogs and other animals, especially strays or outdoor pets.

According to PetMD, cats may also acquire ear mites from direct contact with surfaces or items that have been contaminated. Examples of this include grooming tools, pet beds, toys, and in settings like pet boarding facilities.

Ear Mite Treatment for Cats

There is an array of treatments for cat ear mites but first, you must see your vet. They may conduct tests for proper diagnosis of the severity of the infestation. Your vet will then instruct you on how to get rid of ear mites in cats. Ear mite treatment for cats may include the following:

  • Medication treatments that are applied directly to the ears
  • Monthly parasite control medications
  • Injectable medications

When treating ear mites in cats infestation, it is very crucial that you follow your vet’s instructions for medicine dosage, schedules, etc., for a successful and fast recovery. It can be very tempting to stop the medications as soon as your furbaby starts to act better and the symptoms start to begin to resolve. However, a failure to follow your vet’s recommendation for the treatment period may only result in a setback of the symptoms, as mites in various stages of their life cycle may still survive.

cat ear mites vs wax

Ear mites must be treated properly to prevent spreading. You might wonder, “Can humans get ear mites from cats?” Although it is rare, just like dogs and other cats are able to transmit and receive ear mites, humans can get ear mites from cats. According to Healthline, this does not happen very frequently, but it is possible.

How to Prevent Cat Ear Mites

Clean your cat’s ears.

One of the best prevention against ear mites in cats is to clean your cat’s ears regularly. Clean your cat’s ears using Pet WiPees™ Ear. These are pet ear wipes made specifically for your furbaby’s needs. These bio-based pet wipes help prevent allergy irritants, ear infections, and cat ear mites! These are also great at cleaning out ear discharge, hardened wax, or other debris found in your cat’s ears. Pet WiPees™ are made with vet-approved, pet-safe scents and formulated to be gentle enough for daily use on sensitive cat ears.

Keep your cat indoors.

Keeping your furbaby indoors will help prevent them from getting in contact with infected animals, objects, and environments. Since most mites are caught from other animals, this is an efficient way to help prevent it.

Wash surfaces regularly.

Keeping your cat’s possessions, like their pet bed and toys, clean and sanitized is also a great way to prevent ear mites as these parasites can also be contagious through direct contact with infected items. Washable beds, blankets, pads, and covers are recommended for your furbaby. You can use a Pawtect® Blanket to cover non-washable items in order to help keep your furbaby and their favorite spot to lay clean. These super soft, reversible blankets are made with Sherpup® material for ultimate coziness and are waterproof!

Provide parasite control medications.

Visit your vet and ask for parasite control medication for all your pets. Cat ear mites are extremely contagious. So, give all your furbabies at home regular parasite control medications to help decrease the spread of mites and lessen the chances of recurrence.

"Use Pet WiPees™ Ear to help prevent allergy irritants, ear infections, and cat ear mites!"

pet ear wipes

Cat ear mites are highly contagious but they are also treatable and preventable. Recognizing the signs of the presence of ear mites in your furbaby will help you identify infected animals, warning you to take the necessary precautions to keep your furbaby safe.

Now that you know the symptoms of cat ear mites, how to differentiate cat ear mites vs wax, and how to help prevent it, your cat can continue living a healthy, happy lifestyle.