How to Get Rid of Ear Mites in Cats at Home
Ear mites are a highly contagious, pesky little parasite that largely affect cats and dogs. While it may be difficult to tell from afar, your pet could be infested with these tiny, crab-like nuisances. So if you discover that your cat does have mites, how can you treat it at home?
How Can I Be Sure My Cat Has Mites?
If you notice that your cat has the symptoms of ear mites, you can take a sample of the wax and inspect it for any movement that indicates mites are present. To do this, remove some of the wax from your cat’s ear canal using a cotton ball. It is important that you do not use a q-tip to do this, as any sudden movements or slips can result in ear damage. Smear the wax on a dark surface (such as a dark piece of paper) and examine it under a bright light. If you can see any movement within the wax, your cat has mites. If you can not see any wax in your cat’s ear, gently massage behind her ear at the base. If she scratches at her ear it is a good indicator she has mites.
How Can I Treat Them?
There are several steps in treating ear mites, and the process can take up to a month.
- Remove as many of the mites as possible – You can do this using an oil, such as olive oil, mineral oil or almond oil. You can also use an ear cleaning solution from your local pet supply store. It is a good idea to make sure the oil is warm (not hot) before administering it, this will make the debris easier to remove.- Place a few drops of warm oil into the ear canal and gently massage to dislodge the mites and wax.- Use a cotton ball or tissue to clean debris from the ear canal.
- Administer an ear miticide – Use a product with Pyrethrins as the active ingredient. It is a natural insecticide and is found in your local pet supply store.- Place a few drops into your cat’s ear and massage gently. Be sure to wipe away any excess.- You may have to do this for 3-4 weeks depending on the product you choose. It is important that you continue to do this, as the mites will have laid eggs that can survive in the ear for up to 21 days after the initial application. Failure to kill all mites will result in another flare up, and you will have to go through the process again.
- Preventing Reinfection – If your cat still has mites or symptoms of mites after 3-4 weeks, take her to see a vet- Treat your cat with Selamectin and Fipronil (for her back paws) to prevent fleas, mites, ticks, lice and other parasites.
It is important that you follow the steps carefully and remember to treat all pets in your home when one gets ear mites. You should also try to keep an eye on your cat and watch for signs of any damage from the mites. While it is a long process, your cat will surely thank you in the long run.