If you care for your pet, and we know you do, then it is important to also allow a veterinarian to care for them. Your vet is the one who can provide vaccines, check your pet for ongoing conditions like arthritis and parasitic infections, and recommend medications to treat fleas and ticks. Most vet are very familiar with treated dogs and cats, and many will also treat rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and other household pets. If you'd like to learn more about veterinary care, then plan on spending some time on this website. It's a good resource for any curious pet owner.
Ear mites can afflict any cat, but those that spend time outdoors are more likely to become infested. These pinhead-sized pests create large colonies in the ears. Besides discomfort, a mite infestation can lead to sores, infection, and hearing loss. Fortunately, mites can be easily treated if caught early.
Signs of Mite Infestation
Symptoms of a potential mite infestation are easy to spot. Your cat may increase grooming attempts around the ears, scratch constantly, or repeatedly shake their head. You may also notice that your cat has balance problems or their perception may seem a bit off. If you look inside your cat's ears, you may notice a collection of black dots or crust. The skin may also appear red and irritated. In some instances, a yellow-brown waxy discharge is present.
When to Call a Vet
The best course of action if you suspect mites is to take your cat to the veterinarian. Your vet can verify that mites are the issue and not a different problem. It's also important for the vet to verify that the cat does not have an ear infection. An ear infection caused by mites in the outer ear can spread into the inner ear where it may damage the eardrum and lead to deafness and permanent balance problems.
Fortunately, treatment is easy. Your vet will thoroughly clean the ear with a warm oil to remove the wax and many of the mites. Your vet will then provide a prescription to kill any remaining mites and their eggs. This is typically applied via an ear drop. You may also be given antibiotic drops to apply in the event your cat has developed an ear infection. Your vet may also provide you with instructions on how to properly clean your cat's ears in the event more discharge occurs.
You will need to take steps to prevent future infestations. Your vet can recommend a monthly anti-parasite treatment that works well for your cat. These treatments are typically only used if your cat is at high risk of infestation, such as if it is an outdoor cat. It also helps to clean your cat's ears regularly — once monthly for indoor cats and more frequently for those that spend time outdoors.
Contact a vet if you suspect your cat has ear mites or if you have further questions about pet care for your cat.Share