Ear mites in cats are annoying pests. These tiny little crab-like insects are all too common in cats, and can cause a lot of irritation. Some symptoms of mites on cats include excessive scratching of the ear, and a welling up of black gunk inside your cat’s ear.
The ear mite Otodectes cynotis, which is Latin for Picker of the ear, has tiny hair-like bristles that they use to adhere to the inner lining of the cat’s ear. They feed on earwax, and they cause serum, the clear part of blood, to be secreted from the lining in an attempt to drive them away. This combined with their excreta and earwax causes a putrid black foul-smelling substance that may close up the ear canal if left alone. They might even lead to a type of mange in some cases.
These especially annoying creatures are highly contagious and are easily transmitted from other cats with the infestation, and even other pets including dogs, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, mice, and ferrets. They can also easily be transmitted from mother to kitten.
With adult cats showing a higher immunity to these pests, they do not often show signs of the infection leading to a higher chance of re-infestation. This is why on treating one feline for the cat ear mites; you must also treat all your other pets as well, to be on the safe side.
Kittens and younger cats are more susceptible to getting cat mites, and over 80% of all cats experience these mites at some point in their lives. It’s generally advisable to see if your cat’s immune system fights it off before treatment; treatment too early might not give enough chance for the immune system to recognize the pests, and may lead to a relapse in the future.
You can usually find good over-the-counter treatments to use in order to treat ear mites on sites such as Amazon. These usually come in the form of eardrops, which are usually a wholesome natural treatment that can be used to cure a handful of ear problems. These eardrops prevent yeast and viral infections that can crop up from the parasitic mites, and also chronic otitis.
It can also be used directly with dirty, un-cleaned ears, and in some cases, is preferred. It is, however, not to be used on any cat with punctured eardrums.
Before you use this treatment, it’s a good idea to clean the ears first. You do this by taking a small eyedropper filled with vegetable oil, and rub it between your hands to bring it to above room temperature. You then apply it to the ears of the cat that will help in loosening all the dirt and grime.