What are signs of ear mites in cats
Ear mites are tiny parasites that live among the fur of cats. Ear mites are common in cats and kittens, causing itchiness and irritation. However, they are not a cause for concern unless they become a severe infestation.
Ear mites are very small insects that are reddish-brown in color. They are closely related to spiders, and are about the size of a sesame seed. They can be seen with the naked eye, but can be hard to see unless you have a magnifying glass.
Ear mites do not carry diseases, but are a nuisance to cats because they can cause irritation and scratching. Some cats develop an itchy, crusty patch on their ears. This is caused by the ear mites’ saliva, which causes inflammation and irritation.
Ear mites are most commonly seen in cats that are indoors and have not been exposed to other pets or people. Signs of ear mite infestation include:
Redness or irritation of the cat's ears
Scratching of the cat's ears
Small red bumps on the cat's ears
If you are observant, you may also see ear mites scurrying around in the ear canal.
How do I get rid of ear mites in cats?
Treatment of ear mites depends on the severity of the infestation. It is easiest to treat ear mites when they are still in the kitten stage, before your cat has grown into an adult.
Follow these steps to control ear mites in your cat:
Clean the cat’s ears by gently flushing them with warm water to remove loose debris and dirt.
Put a small amount of unscented baby shampoo into the ear canal.
Gently massage the shampoo into the ear canal.
Allow the shampoo to work its way through the ear canal and into the ear.
Take a dry cotton swab and clean the inside of the ear canal.
Press the cotton swab firmly against the inner surface of the ear canal to remove any water that is trapped behind the cotton swab.
Repeat this process if necessary.
Clean the cat’s ears one more time with warm water.
Place the cat in a warm, quiet environment for a few hours.
Repeat the process if necessary.
How do I prevent ear mites in cats?
Proper hygiene is the best way to prevent ear mites in your cat. Preventing ear mites also means keeping your cat indoors and away from other cats that may carry ear mites.
You can also use over-the-counter ear mite treatments to treat an ear mite infestation. If you are using these treatments, you will need to follow the instructions carefully to avoid serious side effects.
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