Mites in Cat Ears: Understanding the Problem and Finding Solutions

Originally posted on June 19, 2023 @ 12:04 am

Mites are tiny parasites that can infest the skin and hair of cats, including their ears. These pests can cause discomfort and irritation for your feline friend, and if left untreated, can also lead to infections and other health problems. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about mites in cat ears, including their causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Understanding the Problem of Mites in Cat Ears

Cats are adorable creatures that make great companions. They are playful, affectionate, and have a calming effect on their owners. However, owning a cat comes with some responsibilities, including taking care of their health. One of the most common health issues that cats face is mites in their ears. Ear mites are tiny parasites that live in the ears of cats and feed on their blood. They are highly contagious and can spread from one cat to another.

What are Ear Mites?

Ear mites are tiny arachnids that live in the ear canal of cats. They are not visible to the naked eye but can be seen under a microscope. Ear mites are highly contagious and can easily spread from one cat to another. They are most commonly found in kittens, outdoor cats, and cats that live in multi-cat households.

Symptoms of Ear Mites

Ear mites can cause a range of symptoms in cats, including:

  • Head shaking
  • Scratching at the ears
  • Redness and inflammation of the ear canal
  • Dark discharge from the ears
  • A strong odor coming from the ears
  • Crusts or scabs around the ears

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it is essential to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Finding Solutions for Mites in Cat Ears

Ear mites are a common problem in cats, but there are several ways to prevent and treat them. Here are some solutions to help you deal with mites in your cat’s ears.


Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to prevent your cat from getting ear mites.

  • Keep your cat indoors to reduce their exposure to outdoor cats and other animals.
  • Regularly clean your cat’s ears with a vet-approved ear cleaner.
  • Use flea and tick preventatives to keep your cat free from parasites.
  • Regularly groom your cat to keep their fur clean and free from dirt and debris.


If your cat has already contracted ear mites, there are several treatment options available.

  • Ear drops: Prescription ear drops are the most common treatment for ear mites in cats. Your vet will prescribe a suitable ear drop that you will need to administer to your cat for several weeks.
  • Medication: If your cat has a severe infestation, your vet may prescribe medication to help kill the mites.
  • Cleaning: Regular cleaning of your cat’s ears can help reduce the number of mites and prevent further infestations.

Natural Remedies

If you prefer natural remedies, there are several options available to treat ear mites in cats.

  • Olive oil: Applying a few drops of olive oil to your cat’s ear can help smother the mites and soothe any inflammation.
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and soothe your cat’s ears.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Diluted apple cider vinegar can help kill the mites and soothe any itching or irritation.

FAQs for Mites in Cat Ears

What are ear mites in cats?

Ear mites are tiny parasites that infest the ear canals of cats. These mites are often found in the ears of outdoor cats and can easily spread from one cat to another through close contact. The specific type of mites that affect cats are called Otodectes cynotis.

What are the symptoms of ear mites in cats?

Common symptoms of ear mites in cats include excessive shaking of the head, scratching at the ears, and dark discharge or debris in the ear canal. You may also notice your cat tilting their head to one side or showing signs of discomfort when their ears are touched. If left untreated, ear mites can lead to more serious infections, hearing loss, and other complications.

How are ear mites in cats diagnosed?

If you suspect your cat has ear mites, it is important to take them to a veterinarian for an official diagnosis. Your veterinarian may examine the ears and take a sample of the discharge to confirm the presence of ear mites under a microscope. They may also perform an ear swab to check for other infections or ear problems.

How are ear mites in cats treated?

Ear mites in cats are typically treated with medications that are applied directly to the ears. Your veterinarian may recommend a topical medication or an oral medication, depending on the severity of the infestation. It may also be necessary to clean your cat’s ears to remove debris and buildup. Your veterinarian will provide specific instructions for medication and cleaning.

Can ear mites in cats be prevented?

The best way to prevent ear mites in cats is to keep them inside and away from other cats that may have ear mites. Regular cat grooming and ear cleaning can also help prevent ear mite infestations. If you have multiple cats, it is important to treat all cats in the household if one cat is diagnosed with ear mites to prevent the mites from spreading.