There are several types of parasites that your pet can be exposed and the ones that live in their ear are among the most difficult to find so here is our guide on how to prevent ear mites in cats. There are actually several types of mites that can live in a cat’s ear but the ones called Otodectes cynotis are the most prevalent ones and they feed on the oils and wax found in the cat’s ear canal.
Mites are contagious and they can live on the cat’s paws or fur as well so they can spread to other cats or dogs but humans aren’t threatened by them.
Symptoms of Ear Mites
They might just cause a mild irritation of the ear or they can cause constant itching so your cat will try to scratch and shake their head a lot. Since the ear will react to them you will probably notice a lot of dark wax buildup in the ear.
Some cats are very sensitive to ear mites and as they will scratch over a long period of time you will notice loss of hair around the ears and blood hematomas in the region. If ear mites aren’t treated they can lead to serious ear infections that can cause more damage so you should take them seriously.
Ear Mite Treatment
The life cycle of an ear mite takes three weeks from the moment they hatch out of the egg and up to them becoming adults so even if the problem was contracted just a few days ago they will probably have a large amount of mites.
If you prolong treatment for too long the pet might get permanent damage due to the itching but fortunately there are many over the counter ear drop treatments or you can ask the vet for a prescription. Acarexx and Milbemite are prescription options and you also have the choice of Revolution or Advantage Multi which take care of fleas as well and as they contain Selamectin it will help prevent mites, fleas, heartworms and intestinal parasites.
Prevention of Ear Mites
Treating the cases that you know of are the first step in future prevention and thus you should start with a thorough check of all your household animals. The above mentioned Revolution or Frontline are flea treatments and they can also help in the prevention of ear mites so you can have two things taken care of at once.
Periodical checks for the symptoms and having a look inside the cat’s ear will also help detect the problem early. If your pet has recently recovered from ear mites then you should do a thorough clean of their bedding, toys and other things that they used a lot. Hot water and detergent should remove any traces and you also have to vacuum and clean the house.
Remember that the hair coat can still contain mites even after the treatment and they can lead to problems with another pet or have them get the parasites again so having the pet take a bath is a very good way to prevent this and always follow the instructions given by the vet for such cases.