home Cats How to tell if a cat has an ear mite

How to tell if a cat has an ear mite

Signs of tick infection

A dumb animal cannot complain to its owner about its misfortune, but its behavior is more than eloquent. The fact that cats have a tick can be determined by the symptoms:

  • animals behave restlessly, as if shaking off parasites from their heads;
  • try to get into the ear canal with their hind paw, scratch it until it bleeds;
  • try to relieve itching by rubbing their head on furniture;
  • an unpleasant odor is detected, the appearance of a dark brown liquid from combed and re-infected ears;
  • hearing impairment or even complete loss of hearing is noted;
  • possibly an increase in the body temperature of the animal.

tell, mite

The ear parasite is a highly contagious feline disease

The more we know about the symptoms of the disease, the clearer it will be how to treat ear mites in cats.

Technology for the use of medicines

  • With any of the methods, a mandatory procedure before each digging in should be the cleansing of the surface affected by parasites from purulent discharge, dried crusts. This can be done with a cotton swab moistened with camphor 2% alcohol solution, special ear lotion, or hydrogen peroxide.
  • The animal will knock out the muddy dirt itself from the ears, or they are removed with a cotton swab.
  • After instilling the medicine, for the fastest getting into the ear canal, it is necessary to lightly massage the ear near the base.
  • It is necessary to drip or treat the ear in another way strictly according to the instructions with the frequency indicated in it, and then analyze the earwax again and again until the animal is cured.
  • As a preventive measure, apply wet cleaning of the premises so that ticks, after they are “expelled” from an infected cat, do not crawl onto another cat.

The mite is harmful at any stage of development

“Habitat” of ear mites in pets

Ear mites in Murok and Zhuchek live in the ear canal, the outer part of the shell, on the eardrum. In some cases, they can be found on their heads. Earwax is a breeding ground for both adult parasites and larvae that have just hatched from eggs. Infection of a healthy animal can come from a sick animal. Ear mites in cats are transmitted, albeit with a minimal likelihood, even to pets. Another way of infection is contact with infected rugs and dishes. Although the likelihood of a tick infecting other animals is not as high as that of cats, if a parasite is found, all animals in the house should be treated.

By the way. Precautions apply only to “smaller brothers”. It is considered unproven that ear mites in cats can be transmitted to humans.

With a favorable breeding environment, comfortable external conditions, parasitic colonies can cause acute otodectosis (ear scabies). Most often, this disease occurs in one and a half month old and other age (up to a year) kittens, less often in adult animals: they also fall into the risk zone. In any case, tick infestation is a highly contagious feline disease.

Ointments / aerosols

Remedy for ear mites in cats can also be in the form of ointments, aerosols. Aversectin ointment with acaricidal action is applied with a special spatula into the ear, absorbed with light massaging. The acaricidal effect is provided by a creamy composition based on prednisolone and amitraz “Amit”. They are treated with ears, previously applied to a tampon, twice a day with a frequency of 5 days. The auricles can be treated by spraying the Acaromectin spray evenly over the inner surface of the ear.

Because the method of treatment is simple, at the direction of the veterinarian it is quite possible to carry it out at home. Stronghold, Oridermil, Frontline. these funds are effective, but only after being prescribed by a doctor. Revolution for Cats is considered a complex action drug. It is applied by drip to the withers. After absorption into the blood, the active substance begins to act not only on ticks, but along the way on fleas. Revolution for Cats is often used for prevention purposes.

What is he like, ear mite?

A nondescript infectious organism measuring 0.2. 0.7 mm, pale yellow in color. This is what an insect looks like when examining sulfur from the ears under a microscope. Compared to the body, its limbs are rather long. However, without special optics, it is impossible to see what an ear mite looks like in cats.

It looks like an ear mite in cats. photo after magnification under a microscope

The first signs of its presence consist in the discovery in the ear of a small, cereal black plaque: a mixture of sulfur, animal blood, biochemical secretions of the parasites themselves. Not only can a tick cause inflammation of the ear, it reduces the body’s defense reaction, affects the skin and other internal organs.

Ways of healing “smaller brothers

Modern pharmacology has many remedies. Medicines based on insecticides are effective when directly targeting the parasite and are powerless to kill its eggs. With this treatment, the course of therapy lasts 3 weeks: throughout the tick’s life cycle.

Home first aid kit for a cat: traditional methods of treatment

  • Ear mite drops can be prepared by yourself using the bactericidal properties of green tea. A tablespoon of plant leaves is poured with a cup of boiling water. Let it brew for 5 minutes, cool, instill with a pipette in each ear daily for a month.
  • Treatment with folk remedies may not give a quick positive result, but it is more gentle for animals. A powerful antiseptic. garlic. as a medicine, you must first insist on oil (sunflower, olive, almond) for 24 hours. And only then bury it in the ears 1 time a day.
  • One should not write off the celandine herb that occupied the surrounding plantings. It is enough to pick the green stems of the plant, leaves, process in a meat grinder, squeeze out the juice. Put it in 2 drops in each ear twice a day.
  • You can treat the inner ear cavity once every day with the following composition: an alcohol solution of iodine (1 part) mixed with glycerin or vegetable oil (4 parts). It is good to lubricate the affected inflamed areas of the skin near the ears with Konkov ointment, sulfuric.

Infectious disease otodectosis in cats with ear mites can be very difficult. It is important to establish contact with the animal, “talk” with him in the same language. At the first sign of illness, a veterinarian is required. The sequence of treatment, adherence to hygiene rules, and an increase in the immunity of the animal will accelerate its recovery.

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Auricle treatment

When performing this manipulation, it is better not to use cotton swabs, because there is a high risk of injury to the ear canal. Also, you can accidentally push the selection deeper.

Processing is carried out according to the following algorithm:

  • Ears are cleared of plaque accumulations. This reduces the number of parasites and secondary microbial flora. Ordinary vegetable oil or special solutions are used (Fitolar, Otoklin, Otifri).
  • Drops or ointment are applied in the amount specified in the instructions.
  • Massage the ears to distribute the medication evenly.
  • Rubbing the auricles with a cotton pad soaked in a remedy.

Is ear mite dangerous for humans

For humans, these parasites are not dangerous. But when in contact with the skin, they can cause irritation. “pseudo scab”. This condition does not require treatment and goes away on its own.

Folk remedies

The use of folk methods is allowed only at the very beginning of the disease. If the symptomatology is pronounced, then this can only be an auxiliary treatment. The main ways are:

  • Hydrogen peroxide. For wiping the cartilage surface and wetting the crusts.
  • Garlic juice or gruel. It has a strong irritant effect, so you need to use it carefully.
  • Juice from the leaves or stems of celandine.
  • Vegetable oils (sea buckthorn, olive and others). It softens scabs well and helps to remove them.
  • Green tea. Strong infusion has antiseptic properties, helps reduce inflammation.


From the moment of infection until the first signs of the disease appear, it can take a long time. Typical symptoms of otodectosis:

  • Animal nervousness and aggression.
  • Head shaking. Thus, the cat tries to get rid of the tick on its own.
  • Hyperemia and swelling of the ears.
  • Discharge from the ear canals, the formation of brown crusts.
  • Severe itching. The pet is constantly scratching its ears.
  • Areas of alopecia in the area of ​​the auricles.
  • Bad smell.

In advanced cases, the following symptoms may appear:

  • convulsions (when the process spreads to the meninges);
  • loss of appetite;
  • hearing loss;
  • fever.

Features of the disease

The causative agent of otodectosis is a small insect Otodectes cynotus, which belongs to the group of acariform ticks. It is difficult to distinguish it with the naked eye. It is a parasite with a whitish oval body and a gnawing type of mouth apparatus. The articulated limbs end in suckers. The insect lives in cats inside the ear canals and almost always affects two ears at once. Its main food is the epidermis and tissue fluids. The mite secretes waste products that are toxic to animals.

Most often, cases of infection occur in the spring and early autumn periods. At risk are kittens under the age of one year and weakened cats.

How to treat

After confirming the diagnosis, you must immediately start treating it. Pathology causes discomfort to the animal and progresses rapidly.

Otodectosis therapy is carried out in several directions. Here is a list of them:

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  • cleansing the ears;
  • the use of antiparasitic drugs;
  • increased general immunity.


If you ignore the disease, then it gradually leads to a deterioration in the health of the animal. Some conditions can be very dangerous and even fatal. Among the unpleasant consequences:

  • spread of the lesion to other parts of the body;
  • self-injury (due to scratching);
  • purulent otitis media;
  • auricle hematoma;
  • inflammation of the lymph nodes under the jaw;
  • damage to the central nervous system;
  • meningitis;
  • deafness.

Ear Mites!


There are a wide range of medicines available to treat ear mites in cats. They come in the form of drops, ointments, aerosols, suspensions, tablets, and injections. The veterinarian selects the best option for each specific case. It takes into account several factors:

  • the age of the pet;
  • the presence or absence of concomitant infections;
  • degree of defeat.
  • Dect;
  • Aurikan;
  • Demos;
  • Ectodes;
  • Surolan;
  • Aversectin ointment;
  • Otoferonol Gold;
  • Amidel;
  • Oricin;
  • Ivermek;
  • Avertel;
  • Otodectin.

If the case is neglected, then the specialist always prescribes antibiotics or injections.

Depending on the severity of the pathology, the treatment lasts from two weeks or longer. In difficult cases, therapy lasts several weeks or even months.

Strengthening your immune system means eating a balanced diet. If necessary, it is worth adding vitamins for cats or immunomodulators (for example, Fosprenil).

How to treat ear mites in cats

Before starting treatment for otodectosis in cats, many factors are considered:

  • Condition of keeping (whether the cat walks outside).
  • The severity of the condition.
  • The presence of other animals at home.

If there are other pets in the house, then general treatment is carried out. Processing of the premises and objects is not required, since the parasite does not survive well in the environment. Also, there is no need to change diet and lifestyle.

It is more effective to treat otodectosis in a cat that does not go outside and is completely kept in an apartment with systemic drugs. This is one way to get rid of ticks for good. If the cat walks and comes into contact with other animals, parasites are removed with acaricidal preparations, which are applied topically.

It will not be possible to quickly cure ear scabies in cats. On average, treatment takes 1-1.5 months.

It is important to clean your ears throughout your treatment. Otherwise, a cat’s ear mite takes refuge in sulfur, secretions and acaricidal agents do not penetrate to the place of refuge.

There are many effective drugs: drops for instillation in the ears, application to the withers, ointments, sprays, aerosols, dusting powders, solutions for injections. Since ticks in cats can live outside the ear canal. Therefore, the most effective treatment of ear mites is considered when external and systemic agents are combined.

Ear mites (otodectosis) in cats: symptoms and treatment

Mites that parasitize the inner side of the ear, ear canal, and eardrum in cats cause diseases such as otodectosis.

Ear mites are common in cats, especially kittens. Adult pets with strong immunity get sick less often, but can also become infected.

Otodectosis in cats: symptoms

To feed, the parasite injures the skin of the animal, from which a liquid is released, which serves as food for it. Such microtrauma, as well as the secretion and excrement released in the process of vital activity, irritate the skin and cause severe, unbearable itching. To alleviate the condition, the animal constantly shakes its head, scratches its ears with its paw, rubs them against objects.

Due to mechanical damage to the skin on the back of the head and ears, scratches, abrasions are found, and lesions with bald patches may appear. If the eardrum is affected, the pet tilts its head to one side.

In the absence of treatment, the condition worsens, inflammation gradually develops. otitis media. Therefore, otodectosis is also called parasitic otitis media.

Over time, the inner surface of the ears turns red, the skin in this place thickens, gathers in folds. If the process is not stopped, the inflammation spreads to the eardrum, the inner ear and further penetrates into the brain. In this state, the pet’s body temperature rises, lethargy, convulsions or seizures appear.

  • sudden movements appear, running to nowhere;
  • meowing when scratching the ears;
  • the cat presses the ears, does not allow stroking itself on the head and touching the ears.
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The owner, in order to understand what is happening with the cat, needs to examine the ears. It will not be possible to consider parasites. But the signs of an ear mite in cats are immediately clear. an atypical color of plaque and severe itching.

If normal sulfur in cats is light with shades of yellow or brown, then with otodectosis, the contents of the ear have a dark brown and even black color, resembling coffee grounds (as in the photo below). At the same time, sulfur can be of different consistencies: dry, wet, loose, solid, pasty.

In the presence of an inflammatory process, an unpleasant odor comes from the ear.

What is otodectosis in cats

Otodectes cynotis, a disease of the outer ear caused by the microscopic parasite, is known by the names of feline otodectosis, parasitic otitis media, ear scabies, ear mites.

In the beginning, one ear is most often affected, then the disease spreads to the other. Also, with otodectosis of a cat, the parasite is able to settle in other areas: neck, tail, pelvic area. This is because the animal curls up into a ball when it sleeps. Outwardly, it may look like dermatitis, allergies, flea bites.

Under good conditions, proper nutrition, regular cleaning of the ears, otodectosis in some cases remains unnoticed by the host and is asymptomatic. However, with deterioration of conditions of detention, with unbalanced feeding, weakening of immunity, ear mites can go into the active stage. Then the disease is acutely showing characteristic symptoms and treatment directly depends on the condition of the “patient”.

In kittens and young animals, the disease is severe. The kitten becomes infected especially quickly from other animals and from the mother.

Many cats carry ticks without any external manifestations.

How does the infection take place

Otodectosis is a highly contagious disease.

Even a completely domestic cat that does not walk on the street can become infected with ear mites at any time of the year.

If there are several cats in the house and one is diagnosed with otodectosis, then we can assume that others are sick.

Infection occurs through contact with sick animals, through objects (combs, bedding, carrying), or the owner brings the parasite from the street on shoes or clothes.

How to properly handle your ears

Before curing a cat of scabies with drops, you need to clean the passage and sink with a special lotion. The agent is instilled, the ear is folded in half and massaged at the base. Clusters in the ears become softer, breaking up into small fragments. The cat starts shaking its head and all the contents are shaken out. Then you need to wipe the auricle with a cotton pad.

Also, for cleansing, vaseline or unrefined vegetable oil is used. This is a conservative, popular method, but effective. The oils themselves do not have a therapeutic effect, but they dissolve sulfur and the waste products of parasites well. Hydrogen peroxide and boric acid are used for purification. It is only important to remove excess of these funds before applying the medicine.

You can not use cotton swabs for cleansing, as the ear canal is curved in the shape of the letter “G”. The cotton swab will not only not cleanse, but it can also provoke the appearance of plugs and inflammation. After instilling the drops, the ear must be massaged so that the product is distributed faster and better. Also, the medicine is moistened with wool on the ear and in neighboring areas.

Drops for external use

Drugs used for ear scabies:

Name of funds Method of application, dosage Additional Information
Buried every 3 days. Requires 3 to 6 treatments. Ear mite medications in cats are not toxic. Acts on adults, larvae and eggs. If there are abrasions, then the pet may experience a slight burning sensation when applying the product. Contraindicated in pregnant women.
Aurikan 5 drops are dripped daily for a week. Then twice a week for a month. Used for treatment and prevention.
Suitable for otodectosis complicated by infection.
Be sure to bury in both ears.
Means for preparing solutions: Butox, Neostomazan. Apply once a week strictly according to the instructions. The solution is not only instilled into the ear, but also lubricates the hair in the auricle.

Is ear mite spread from cat to person?

Otodectosis is an unpleasant disease and it is quite justified to worry about whether an ear mite in cats is dangerous for humans. Feline ear parasites do not live on humans. However, on contact with the skin, they can cause irritation, which is called “pseudo-scab”. The condition does not require special treatment. When the animal is rid of parasites, scabies in humans disappears.

Only in extremely rare cases does a feline tick settle and parasitize in the outer ear of a person.

Ignoring treatment

As a result, otitis media is diagnosed, in advanced cases. inflammation of the membranes of the brain. In this case, the pet’s body temperature rises, he throws his head to one side, and seizures happen to him.

The consequences of neglected otodectosis are sad: the animal dies.

Where does the tick come from?

The parasite is not always transmitted from a sick individual to a healthy one, it can be brought into the house on shoes by the owner.

If stray cats live on the staircase of an apartment building, the infection will easily penetrate the apartment, and the pet will suffer. Fleas, lice and flies are also carriers of infection.


Ears are cleaned regularly as they become dirty. If the procedure is carried out rarely or completely ignored, then the risk of inflammatory ear diseases increases, and tick infection can simply not be noticed.

Eliminate unwanted contacts

The pet should not walk unattended on the street and come into contact with yard cats. They are the carriers of parasites. It is better not to let a pet living in a city apartment out into the street at all.

Why is self-medication dangerous?

In the process of improper treatment, a secondary infection can join, which significantly worsens the situation. The animal may lose hearing or die.

Examination by a veterinarian

Before going to the veterinary clinic, the cat’s ears are not cleaned. The accumulated content will be needed for analysis.

In a clinic, the doctor examines the affected area with an otoscope. The instrument allows you to assess the condition of the inner and middle ear, eardrum. Ear discharge is taken for examination under a microscope, after which an accurate diagnosis is made.

general information

In a cat, both ears are mostly infected. the animal itself transfers the parasite when washing from a diseased ear to a healthy one. Symptoms of infection soon appear, the pet is uncomfortable.

Secondary signs of ear mite infestation:

  • Suppuration and an unpleasant odor appear: this is a sign of insemination of ear secretions by a different flora.
  • Fever rises: this is a sign of the infection spreading to the middle ear.
  • Hearing goes down: this is a sign of the spread of the infection to the middle and inner ear.
  • Convulsions begin: this is a sign of the spread of the infection to the lining of the brain.

Symptoms of ear mites in cats

Did your pet run out into the entrance? Took a cat from the street? Or maybe you bought a kitten in a cattery with crowded conditions? The first symptoms of an ear mite infestation in a cat can appear only after two weeks. during this period, you need to observe the pet’s behavior especially carefully.

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Primary signs of an ear mite infestation:

  • The cat shakes its head: usually ticks penetrate both ears at once, but if the infection is uneven, the animal tilts its head in the direction that causes more concern.
  • Cat scratching: usually bald patches and non-healing wounds appear in the places of scratching.
  • The cat becomes petrified in behavior: it ignores its favorite toy, refuses to eat, starts to get nervous, clings to its owner, or, conversely, becomes aggressive.
  • Ear shell turns red: redness may be accompanied by claw scratches and hair loss from the outside of the ear.
  • Ears become dirty: copious gray, brown, brown, or coffee-colored ear discharge appears.

Stages of development of the disease

The standard development of otodectosis takes place in several stages. Get familiar with the course of the disease to recognize ear mite infestations at an early stage:

  • Skin damage: Ear mites gnaw through the upper layers of the skin to forage or lay eggs. This is usually accompanied by severe itching, and the animal tends to comb its ears with its paw or rub against doorframes or furniture. However, in some cases, the first stage is asymptomatic.
  • Vascular fragility: the skin inside the ear begins to redden. And with hypersensitivity to ear mites, edema and inflammatory reactions are possible.
  • Ear Discharge: Natural ear wax is difficult to clean, resulting in copious dark brown, coffee, or brown ear discharge in an adult cat or gray in a kitten. In the case of insemination of ear secretions with a different flora, suppuration and an unpleasant odor are possible.
  • Ear plug formation: The buildup of wax and dead skin and other secretions leads to a blockage of the ear canal. In the advanced stage of the disease, this can lead to rupture of the tympanic membrane with the transition to otitis media.
  • Transfer of infection to the lining of the brain: with damage to the middle and inner ear, the pathology begins to spread. The animal tries to tilt its head to the side so that the sore ear looks at the floor. This leads to the development of sepsis and subsequent death.

How to get an initial check at home

To check your pet at home, you will need a cotton swab or long tweezers wrapped in a bandage, a piece of black paper, and a magnifying glass:

Gently slide a cotton swab along the inner wall of the auricle, without getting into the ear canal.

Brush ear discharge onto paper.

Examine the selection with a magnifying glass. Scabies ear mites in cats look like a whitish moving dot.

If traces of the parasite are found, sign up for a consultation with a veterinarian: a specialist will draw up a treatment plan and select effective drugs that correspond to the age of the pet, the characteristics of its health and the stage of the disease.

Please note: if a secondary infection has joined the ear mite, and the ears fester, you will not be able to see the parasites.


Standard tick treatment for cats is not traumatic: it can be carried out in a veterinary clinic under the supervision of a veterinarian or independently. at home.

To reduce the risk of re-infection, treatment against ticks must be carried out in a comprehensive manner.

There are usually four components to a course of treatment:

  • Cleansing the auricle of excess earwax, crusts and pus: these are antiseptic agents that will prepare the skin for the application of medicines.
  • The use of acaricidal preparations: these are special drops from ticks for cats in the ear or drops on the withers, ointments and powders that kill an adult.
  • The use of external treatment agents: these are aerosols and sprays for treating wool, open surfaces and household items.
  • Diet change: these are special balanced feeds with high protein and vitamins.

Effective remedies for ear mites in cats

Any acaricidal agent can be divided into four segments: drops, ointments, powders, and sprays. The form of release, treatment regimen and dosage are prescribed by the attending physician. But if there is a choice, most owners use drops or spray: this form of release is the safest and easiest to apply.

The treatment regimen is prescribed taking into account the tick’s life cycle. Since the active substance only kills the adult, the treatment is carried out in several stages. until all the eggs hatch. Most often, the treatment regimen is prescribed for 1.5 months.

The following are examples of drugs that a veterinarian may prescribe:

Possible treatment regimen, dosage Notes
Drops and sprays
Amitrazine Instill 0.5 ml in both ears from 2 to 5 times with a break of 1 week Kills fungi
Less toxic
Not suitable for the treatment of pregnant cats and kittens up to 2 months
Otoferonol Instill 3 drops in both ears once a week, usually the course is designed for 2-3 repetitions Relieves complex inflammation
Less toxic
Use with caution when treating kittens and pregnant cats
Leopard Drops should be instilled from 10 drops in both ears with a break of 1 week, usually the course is designed for 2-3 repetitions
Spray to use according to the instructions
Eliminates purulent inflammation
May not be suitable for cats with high sensitivity to active ingredients
Tsipam Instill 3-5 drops in both ears with a break of 4-5 days, usually the course is designed for 2 repetitions Quickly relieves the disease in the initial stage
Has no contraindications
Baby Instill in both ears 2-3 drops 2-3 times a day for 5-10 days, usually the course is designed for 2 repetitions Effectively eliminates bacteria
Not suitable for kittens under 30 days old and pregnant cats
Amidel-gel Apply to cleansed skin 2-5 times with a break of 5-7 days Used to aid in infection control
Not suitable for the treatment of kittens and pregnant cats
Aversectin ointment Apply to clean skin 2 times with a break of 5-7 days Used to aid in infection control
Not suitable for the treatment of kittens and pregnant cats
Phenothiazine Blow into both ears as directed Characterized by strong antimicrobial and anthelmintic action
Finely dispersed sulfur Blow into both ears as directed Effective against fungi

The course of treatment and doses must be agreed with the veterinarian.

Please note: in the case of a secondary infection, you will need treatment against secondary otitis media caused by the stratification of microflora on the affected ear. And in severe cases, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory subcutaneous injections. for example, Ivermectin. and antihistamines that relieve itching. The treatment regimen and dosage are prescribed individually, taking into account the age and weight of the cats.

How to tell if a cat has an ear mite

The scabies ear mite (Otodectes cynotis) is a microscopic parasite transmitted through contact with sick animals or infected surfaces. Pets that do not have access to the street can become infected through the owner’s hands, clothes or shoes. An ear mite in cats leads to the development of otodectosis. ear scabies. How to identify clinical signs of the disease at the initial stage and prevent complications in secondary infection. in the material of this article.