Best Ear Mite Treatment For Cats
There are a variety of treatments for ear mites to choose from. You can order from online sellers for quick and easy delivery direct to your home. You may even be able to make up a home remedy from items you already have. Make sure you do some research before choosing the best remedy for your cat(s).
First step is proper diagnosis from a vet as an incorrect diagnosis could mean the wrong treatment is used. The mites are too small to see without a magnifying instrument. Untreated, it can spread all over your cat, be very uncomfortable, pass to other animals and even cause hearing loss. Don’t worry though the parasite cannot survive long on humans!
- ear scratching
- blood in ear canal
- white dots (may actually be the mites)
- balance problems
- unpleasant odor from ear
- flattened ears
- dark wax that resembles coffee grounds
Debris (dried blood and wax) from the ear needs to be removed before any treatment can be effective. Cotton wool soaked in mineral oil works well and should be discarded carefully. Note: use multiple swabs to prevent reinfection. Your cat will also need to be washed in an anti-parasite shampoo. Some cats love baths but most do not so prepare for resistance! A shampoo containing pyrethrin (natural compound extracted from chrysanthemum flowers) is a good choice.
There are a large number of brand name anti-parasite treatments on the market. Treatment is usually with drops applied directly into the clean ear daily for a month. The mites have a life cycle of 21 days so you want to make sure you get them all including the eggs and prevent an ongoing infestation.
A natural home remedy can be just as effective as chemical treatments.
To make a potent garlic oil chop up four gloves of garlic, place in a small container and cover with olive oil. Leave overnight and strain. Warming the oil to body temperature will be more comfortable for your cat. Place a couple of drops in each ear, twice daily, gently massaging the oil into all parts to get all the eggs and mites. Repeat daily for at least 21 days. Garlic has anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties. The oil smothers the mites and can be removed with cotton swabs. Caution: garlic oil should not be used if the ear drum is perforated – check with your vet.
Lavender and tea tree essential oils have natural properties that can assist in the treatment. However, use caution as if inhaled they can make your cat sick. Essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil before applying into the ear of your cat. Reported problems around the web have generally been when owners used the oils undiluted.
Preventative treatments when applied regularly following the instructions can prevent an infestation returning. May be drops or tablet form for crushing in to food. My cats always ate round their tablets if I didn’t crush them! To prevent the spread to other animals all bedding should be thoroughly washed. Cleaning ears regularly with garlic olive or a mineral oil and cotton swabs will also help prevent reinfection. These mites love wax!
- Seek a professional diagnosis if your cat has some or all of the symptoms listed
- Treat with ear drops or natural oil remedies
- Wash cat in anti-parasite shampoo
- Clean bedding and check other animals
- Reduce the risk of re-infestation by cleaning ears regularly with an oil e.g. mineral or warm olive oil
- Use preventative drops or tablets