what do ear mites do to cats

Ear mites are a common and highly contagious issue for cats. These tiny parasites can irritate your cat’s ears and skin and result in infections that lead to excessive itching, scratching and eventual health issues. Thankfully ear mites are relatively easy to treat.

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What are ear mites?

Cats are frequently home to ear mites, also known as otodectes cynotis mites, which belong to the arachnid family of animals. This highly infectious external parasite lives on the ear canal’s surface and occasionally the skin’s surface.

Even though they are small, if you have good vision, you might be able to see them as rapidly moving white spots. They have eight legs, with the hind legs being noticeably smaller. You can find pictures of cats with ear mites by using your preferred search engine; the post’s thumbnail features a buildup of black wax inside one of the cats’ ears.

They can irritate our feline companions quite severely. Even though treating ear mites is not too difficult, if treatment is not received, the mites can lead to serious skin and ear infections. Ear mites are often the underlying cause of suspected cat ear infections that our veterinarians diagnose.

Human ear mites are rare and not usually thought to pose a health risk.

How to Treat Ear Mites in Cats

Thankfully, there is not much difficulty in treating cats with ear mites. Your veterinarian will recommend an anti-parasitic drug if they determine that your cat has ear mites. These medications are available in oral or topical format. Depending on the severity of the infection, your veterinarian may also clean your cat’s ears with a solution meant to get rid of ear mites and recommend an antibiotic course.

Furthermore, in order to treat any secondary infections that may arise from the infestation, your veterinarian will identify them. Most likely, your veterinarian will advise you to come back in a week or two to make sure the mites have been removed and no additional care is needed.

Due to the high level of contagiousness, your veterinarian will most likely recommend medication for any additional pets in your home to prevent the infestation from spreading.

It’s not recommended to use home remedies for ear mites. Many at-home treatments do not kill the mites eggs. Therefore, when the eggs hatch, the infestation will continue even if the mites appear to be gone.

FAQ

Are ear mites in cats serious?

These parasites cause significant irritation in our feline friends and, while ear mites are quite easy to treat, they can lead to severe skin and ear infections if they aren’t caught early.

What kills ear mites in cats?

“There are many topical, oral, and systemic agents,” Dr. Miller notes, “and most—such as ivermectin—are highly effective. Even one old-time remedy—baby oil—can do the job. A few drops put into an affected ear several times a day for a month or so will usually smother the mites.”

What happens if ear mites go untreated?

Some people with an ear mite infection also have tinnitus. This is a condition characterized by a ringing, buzzing, or humming noise in the ear. Some people even have a sense of fullness or pressure in the ear. If left untreated, ear mites can damage the ear canal and cause hearing loss.

Can ear mites spread from cats to humans?

Ear mites can definitely be passed to other pets that come in contact with infected animals or their environment. As for these parasites being passed to humans, they are not zoonotic, meaning they cannot be passed from animal to human and vice versa.