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The cat shakes his head what does it mean

Does your cat constantly shake its ears? How to clean your cat’s ears?

When a cat suffers from ear mites. she becomes restless, constantly combing her ears with her paws. So what kind of enemy is this. ear mite (Otodectes cynotis)? Ticks. They are microscopic arachnids that live on the skin or ear canals of a cat. They can be seen with a magnifying glass. They look like small yellowish-white dots moving slowly along the inner surface of the auricle. When examining the ear, the veterinarian usually uses a compound magnifier or orthoscope. The causative agents of this disease live in the external auditory canal and feed on the remnants of the skin (epidermis). Usually, a cat has ticks in both ears.

A characteristic sign of infection with ear mites. This is intense itching, in which the cat scratches its ears violently and shakes its head. In especially advanced cases, he can even comb his ears until they bleed, so unbearable itching torments them. If the cat constantly rubs the skin between the ears and between the ears and eyes, this can cause loss of all hair on the shells, there may be foci of subcutaneous bleeding (hematoma), which must be surgically removed, otherwise, as the sores heal, the auricle will shrink, taking on an ugly shape.

But this is not the only sign of ear mite infestation. Another sign of the disease. the presence of a dark brown plaque in the ear, it resembles coffee grounds in its structure and looks just like brownish dirt in the ears of a cat with an unpleasant odor.

shakes, head, does, mean

The more the ears are affected, the more painful the cat will be, the more it will be from these ticks, so it is always better to remove ticks at the initial stage and never delay treatment. As soon as there are some dark deposits, some black dots. these are ticks.

After all this is prepared, take a bottle of “Bars”, pour it into some small cap and put it next to where you will carry out the procedure.

Then take boric acid (we will pour it into the ear after cleaning). How is it done technically. you take a small piece of paper. about the size of a palm, it can be smaller, bend it in half, pour a pinch of boric acid inside, on one side you can clamp it with a paper clip so that the powder does not spill out. Make such 2 pieces of paper with powder inside and put it where you will clean the cat’s ears. Then it will be very convenient to pour boric acid from these pre-prepared pieces of paper with powder into the cat’s ear. but we will do this at the very end, so let these 2 pieces of paper lie down for now, waiting for their turn.

Everything, the tools for successful treatment of the ears are ready, then we go to prepare the cat.

Ear cleaning. This is a rather unpleasant procedure for a cat, so before starting it is important to take precautions to protect yourself from your pet’s claws, because the fact that she will be pulled out of your hands during the procedure is for sure. How are the precautions being implemented? this is very easy to do. some thick bedspread, cape, plaid is taken. anything, even a towel, as long as it is thick enough (so a regular sheet will not work). The cat’s paws are pressed to the body and after that you wrap the cat in this blanket, as if swaddling it so that only its head sticks out. It is very important to swaddle her paws so that she cannot scratch you with them. To keep the bedspread and not fall off, you can tie it with some kind of string or ribbon around.

When you have done this, you can start cleaning your ears. Of course, it will be easier if someone helps you. keep the cat in the right position, keep her head, because she will constantly jerk her and try to escape. But if there is no one, you can carry out the procedure alone.

After the cat has been wrapped, we can safely proceed to the very cleaning of the ears. We do this in turn. first one ear, then the other. We wrap the cat’s ear back so that the inner surface of the ear is visible and visible, then we take a cotton swab or a bandage on tweezers, dip it in the Bars solution from our prepared cap, and clean the brown plaque from the ears with this stick. Clean your ears with these cotton swabs, remove dark plaque. first scrape off the larger particles of plaque, then the smaller ones.

As soon as the cotton swab gets dirty, we change the cotton swab to a new one. And so on until the ear is completely cleansed.

It will be very unpleasant for the cat. the more the ears are affected, the more painful it will be, but one way or another, you will have to clean everything early, no matter how unpleasant it is for the cat, so do not stop if the cat protests and tries to interfere with you in every possible way.

Cat shaking head: causes and treatments for cat head shaking

Attention! Do not push the cotton swab too deep into your ear. you could hurt your eardrum! Clean only that dark plaque that is visible from the outside with the eye, and do not climb into the ear canal. Otherwise, it may end badly for the cat, because damage to the eardrum can lead to hearing loss.

When you have cleaned both ears in this way, you need to perform another procedure. To consolidate the results, you also need to fill the cat in each ear with a little boric acid, which we have already prepared in advance. We just pour the powder from the prepared paper into the cat’s ear, and not in the ear canal, but in those places that were affected by the ear mite. fall asleep like powder. The cat will shake its head, but that’s just fine. so the powder is spread evenly all over the ear. Part will spill out of the ear, and only the necessary amount of boric acid will remain in the ear, which is necessary.

This procedure should be carried out 2-3 times a week for the first week, then once a week, then once a month, and so on, less and less, until the ticks completely disappear from the ears. Mites can migrate to other areas of the body, so it is useful to spray powder or aerosol all over the body.

Inflammation of the ears is much less common, but infestation of ear mites always causes ear inflammation. It is best to contact your veterinarian to find out the true cause. He will prescribe the necessary treatment.

Editor: veterinarian, candidate of veterinary sciences V. Aronov. tel.: (812) 923-86-80, mob. 7 (911) 923-86-80.

The cat shakes its head (head tremor)

Small movements of the head can be conscious and voluntary or involuntary. In the latter case, they are called tremors. Head twitching can be physiological and pathological.

Symptomatic treatment

Physiological tremor does not require treatment.

To understand that a cat is shaking its head because of pain, it is important to observe it. The following signs should alert you:

  • the animal not only shakes its head, but also actively itches (to wounds and abrasions);
  • pus or ichor leaks from the ears;
  • the cat does not lay its head on a certain side;
  • the animal’s appetite decreases or completely disappears;
  • there is a wobbly gait, movements are not coordinated;
  • the cat meows loudly and plaintively or, on the contrary, becomes lethargic, tries to hide from prying eyes.

In case of pathological twitching of the head, the diagnosis must be made by a doctor. To do this, he will examine the cat’s ears, take blood tests. If no external signs of pathology are found, the veterinarian will do an ultrasound or computed tomography. After making the correct diagnosis, the specialist will prescribe the appropriate treatment:

  • For the treatment of otodectosis, antiparasitic ear drops may be sufficient; antibiotics will have to be used to treat otitis media.
  • It is also better to entrust the removal of foreign bodies from the ear to a veterinarian. At the same time, after the procedure, the specialist will treat the ear with antibiotics and prescribe drops that will help to avoid infection.
  • Antifungal therapy includes treatment with chlorhexidine (washing the ears with a solution) and treating the ears with Otibiovin drops. Also, veterinarians prescribe an internal intake of “Ketokenozol”. But you need to give his pet strictly in the dosage recommended by the veterinarian.
  • Dermatitis is treated with hydrogen peroxide and ointments that have astringent properties, such as 2% silver nitrate. Instilling a few drops of novocaine into the ears will help relieve itching.
  • When neoplasms occur, the question of the operation is decided. Most often, the ear and hearing can be preserved when the growths and tumors are removed.
  • Neurological disorders and organ failure require specific treatment, which can only be offered by an experienced veterinarian.
  • Multiple organ diseases, liver failure require treatment of the underlying disease. When recovery comes, the tremor will subside.

Causes of head tremor

A healthy cat can move its head from side to side before jumping. At the same time, he can bend down to the ground and twist his croup, he can not do this. Carefully and intently following the subject of interest with his eyes, the cat can make twitching head movements from side to side with a small amplitude.

During the period of sexual arousal, animals may experience slight tremors. The cat can make small movements of the head. Shivering usually spreads to the whole body.

The reasons can also be pathological. In this case, the tremor is caused by a disease and the cat needs to be treated.

Head tremor, as a symptom, develops in the following diseases:

  • If an animal violently scratches its ears and shakes its head, it is most likely developing a parasitic disease. ear scabies (otodectosis). The disease is caused by a small mite that literally gnaws into the delicate tissues lining the animal’s auricle. This is accompanied by severe itching, and the cat literally tears its ears and shakes its head, trying to get rid of the discomfort. The cat may meow pitifully when it scratches its ear. On visual inspection, the owner may notice abrasions and scratching on the auricle and brown-black discharge in the cat’s ear canal. They consist of clotted blood and tick waste products. Simple ear cleaning does not solve the problem.
  • A cat may shake its head if a sulfur plug has formed in its ear. This condition causes discomfort in the animal and hearing loss.
  • A foreign body lodged in the ear canal can also cause tremors. Pieces of dirt and small stones can get into the ear, especially if the cat has been rolling on the ground outside.
  • Ingress of water into the ear. If the owner noticed that the pet shakes its head after bathing, there may be water in the ear. Often cats shake out the water on their own and no special help is required. By the way, symptoms may not appear immediately, but 4-6 days after water procedures.
  • Ear injuries. They occur most often after animal street fights. The wound can fester and cause severe discomfort and pain. The animal shakes its head, trying to get rid of discomfort in this way.
  • Infection with parasites such as fleas. If fleas are not removed, then they reproduce on the cat’s body quickly. Their number is growing by leaps and bounds. Fleas are small in size and can easily enter the cat’s ears. It is very simple to understand that there are fleas in the ears: the cat scratches not only the ears, but the whole body.
  • Ear infections with fungi and bacteria that cause severe itching in the auricle.
  • Dermatitis, which can occur on any part of the animal’s body, including the ears. In this case, the cat not only shakes its head, but also actively itches, and weeping ulcers form on the surface of the ears.
  • Otitis media can cause the animal to shake its head. In this case, the cat does not allow to examine the ear due to pain, it may even bite the owner. From the ear may not smell very good (a purulent odor appears) and the contents of a purulent character expire.
  • Some neurological diseases cause involuntary tremors of the head. A cat can shake its head with encephalitis, developing stroke, dizziness, TBI and other pathologies. In this case, you need to pay attention to additional symptoms: unsteadiness of gait, pupils of different sizes, movements in a circle.
  • Ear growths that block the ear canal and interfere with the cat. Most often there are well-known papillomas, but there are also all kinds of cysts, as well as malignant tumors.
  • Head twitching develops in an animal with hepatic, renal, or multiple organ failure. They testify to the failure of one or another organ. This is a serious condition for the animal, which may end in its death. Such twitching does not occur against the background of the animal’s well-being. The disease proceeds with characteristic signs for it, and tremor develops already at the last stage.
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Symptomatic diet and procedures

It is worth remembering that the cat will not just shake its head for so long, comb the area of ​​the ears to abrasions. Most often, the cause of the tremor, fortunately, is not associated with serious disorders, and recovery occurs quickly.

But many diseases, in particular the appearance of ear mites, fleas, injuries, foreign bodies and water in the ears, can be prevented. It is enough to monitor the cleanliness of the pet’s body in general and the ears, in particular. At the first signs of parasites, it is important to treat the ears with drugs as soon as possible.

If the cat is domestic, you should not let her go outside alone. And after “felting on the ground” the cat’s ears must be carefully cleaned. Do not use a cotton swab on your ears. For cleaning, use soft cotton swabs rolled into tubes. The tampon should be damp. You can dip it in boiled water or saline before treating the ears.

You need to wash your cat correctly. Avoid getting water in your ears. Therefore, it is better to water the head not with a powerful stream from the shower, but with the help of a ladle, slowly and carefully. You need to pour water from top and back. Do not forget to give your cat the opportunity to dust off after water procedures.

To prevent tremor from appearing due to serious health problems, you need to balance the daily diet of the pet, periodically carry out recovery with the help of vitamin and mineral complexes, show the cat to the veterinarian at least once a year.

What does head-shaking in cats say??

If the cat shakes its head often or too intensely. there is a reason for this, it may be due to illness or environmental influences. You cannot leave this behavior to chance, since many diseases can have irreversible consequences.

The most common reasons a cat shakes its head is pain or itching. When a pet suffers from itching, the problem is localized most often in the ears. When a cat scratches its ears with its hind legs, it will release its claws and severely injure the skin. The scratches swell and become infected, resulting in pain.

The conclusion suggests itself. itching is only a symptom, and the real reason for shaking your head is always pain.

There is also an option that is not associated with ailments. this is a foreign body stuck in the ear canal or clogging it. If you suspect that there is something in your cat’s ear, it is strongly discouraged to provide assistance at home. Turning to a professional, you can be sure that immobilizing measures will be applied to the animal in case of a threat of aggravation of the condition.

If you try to get the object yourself, the pet may jerk and the foreign body will push even deeper. Note that cats have an L-shaped ear canal and is thin and sensitive.

Are you sure there is nothing stuck in your pet’s ear? In this case, the cause may be a buildup of sulfur or disease. As mentioned above, cats have an L-shaped ear canal, which can make sulfur plugs invisible. If you haven’t cleaned your cat’s ears for prophylaxis, it is recommended that you see your veterinarian. The doctor will clean your pet’s ear canals with a special solution that softens the wax and allows it to pass naturally from the ear. Of course, you can do all these procedures yourself, but if the cause of the discomfort is not in the sulfur plugs, the ingress of liquid into the ear canals is highly undesirable.

Many owners, noticing that the pet has an ear ache, independently begin treatment with drops of a wide spectrum. Quite often this method works, although it is not entirely correct. For adequate therapy that will not harm the pet’s health, you need to identify the exact cause of the discomfort. The use of drugs based on intuitive sensations is also a method of treatment, but it is relevant if the doctor cannot find the cause and acts by exclusion.

When the cat shakes its head, the cause is most likely in the ears, but there are other options. If the problem was not identified at the first visit to the veterinarian, the diagnostic process will be delayed. The pet will be prescribed symptomatic treatment, and the owner will need to show maximum attention to the cat’s behavior and changes in it.

Diseases of the ears of cats

As mentioned above, if a cat starts shaking its head, it is most likely to have an ear ache. In this case, head-shaking is triggered by the desire to stop the discomfort. Note that jerky movements partially help dull pain.

A common misconception is that if your ear hurts, then you need to treat otitis media. Let’s not argue, otitis media is a painful ailment, but not the only one.

In veterinary medicine, there are more than a dozen diseases that can cause ear pain, headache, itching, blurred vision, dizziness. and all these symptoms will make the cat shake its head. Even a toothache can lead to similar behavior.

Let’s figure out the symptoms of the most common diseases. A relatively rare phenomenon in cats is meteorological dependence. Simply put, a cat has a headache when blood pressure changes. You will not be able to officially confirm this diagnosis, but it is simple to identify it by observing the behavior of the animal. Quite often, meteorological dependence becomes a mystery, since the cat experiences discomfort at different times of the day. seasons of the year, etc., and the owner cannot link these signs into one logical chain.

Ear mite is a disease caused by the microscopic Otodectés mite. In veterinary medicine, the disease is called otodectosis. In order for the tick to live and reproduce, it needs a warm and humid environment, that is, the auricle fits optimally. An ear mite is a very contagious ailment, as soon as the parasite enters the auricle, it begins to lay eggs. Rapidly multiplying parasites feed on skin flakes, earwax, blood and lymph.

Statistically, it is cats that are more likely to get sick with ear mites, but they can infect dogs and people. The mite cannot multiply on the skin of people, but it will cause temporary irritation. Note that if kittens are infected with an ear mite from their mother, they are most likely to die, while an adult animal will fight the parasite until blood intoxication reaches a critical level.

It is not difficult to identify an ear mite, the main symptoms are as follows:

  • The cat shakes its head.
  • Active scratching of the ears, head, occiput is observed. In just a few days, strong scratching appears on the skin.
  • The cat often keeps the ears tucked in.
  • Acute pain syndrome. the cat meows, does not allow to touch the ear.
  • Incessant itching. the cat tries to scratch the ears with its paws and on the surface of the furniture.
  • Wet ears at an early stage of infection. in the first days or hours, the plaque is slightly greasy, transparent and abundant, after which an ichor or blood appears.
  • A brown, thick coating, with impurities of grains of coagulated blood, crusts and small white crumbs. these are the ticks themselves and their eggs.
  • Unpleasant odor. many owners cannot understand why the cat began to smell bad and only on this basis they find an ear mite. The fact is that secretions, blood residues, tick excrement and earwax turn into a foul-smelling substance that dries up and forms plugs.

What to do if no ear mite symptoms are found, the ears are clean, but the cat still shakes its head and itches? There is only one way out. to consider otitis media and other, less obvious reasons. To begin with, remember the events of the next few days, could the pet get a head or ear injury? Quite often, the consequences of blows to the head are dizziness, nausea and weakness. Shaking its head, the cat tries to focus its eyesight and cheer up.

Ear trauma is a common occurrence in cats that have free access to the street. The fact is that freely walking pets often fight, and in fights cats hit each other on the head and ears.

If you bathed your cat the other day, it is highly likely that water has entered the ear canals. The situation can be resolved without intervention, since it is by shaking its head that the pet shakes out the water. It is recommended to monitor the condition of the pet. regularly wipe his ears dry and make sure that inflammation does not start.

Please note that symptoms may appear 5-10 days after bathing.

The cat shakes its head and scratches its ears: reasons, how and how to help the pet

What to do if your cat shakes its head, flattens its ears, or constantly scratches its head. It is clear to any owner that the pet is experiencing discomfort and pain, but how to identify the causes of the disease? Understanding the main types of diseases that can cause bridging, headaches, or affect the ears.

Types and causes of otitis media in cats

When a cat scratches its ears and shakes its head violently, the cause may be otitis media. some cat breeds are prone to this kind of disease. Regular prophylaxis. examining and cleaning ears reduces risks to a minimum, but does not eliminate them.

It happens that otitis media develops for external reasons:

  • Features of the anatomical structure. in some breeds of cats, the ears are pressed to the head. There is also a congenital narrowing of the ear canals, which provokes the so-called congestion. the sulfur cannot completely leave the ear. Cats with curved ear cartilages have a warmer environment in the ears, which promotes more intensive reproduction of microbes and parasites. Cats with bent ears are also at risk, since their hearing aids are not protected from environmental influences. water, dust, direct sunlight, etc.
  • Water or foreign matter trapped in the ear canal.
  • Rubbing the ears roughly or using unsuitable solutions such as alcohol, leading to dryness and cracking of the skin.
  • Infestation by parasites, including fleas, lice, lice, etc.
  • Papillomas and other growths, such as those that narrow or even block the ear canal.
  • Damage to the ear canals by fungi or bacteria.
  • Improperly selected nutrition leads to metabolic disorders and the functioning of all body systems. Usually, cats have a deficiency or excess of protein, in the first case, the discharge from the ears becomes more oily, in the second, the cat suffers from poisoning with all the ensuing consequences.
  • Viral diseases. any virus stimulates the immune system, which leads to overactive work of the mucous membranes, including those located in the middle and inner ear.

When can otitis media be excluded? With profuse brown discharge. as mentioned above, this is a symptom of an ear mite. However, ear mites and other illnesses can lead to the development of otitis media. Note that there are also relatively painless forms of this ailment, in which the ears itch more than hurt.

The following symptoms may indicate painless or chronic otitis media:

  • Constant tilt of the head. helps to relieve pressure in the ear.
  • Turns with the whole body. when a cat wants to look at something, it turns not only its head, but also its body. This indicates more headache than ear pain.
  • Changes in the shape or position of the ear cartilage. may indicate various types of ear diseases, including otitis media.

With the development of otitis media, usually, the clinical picture develops rapidly, the first sign of abundant sebaceous discharge and weeping ears. indicates the active work of the mucous membranes and the excitement of the immune system. You may notice that the cat’s ears are hotter than usual, the cat does not eat well, looks lethargic or irritated. At this stage, severe itching already develops. the cat sticks its hind paw directly into the auricle, releases its claws and scratches the skin. If you massage your ears, you will hear characteristic sounds indicating an abnormally high amount of moisture.

When the surface layers of the skin begin to break down, discharge from the ears begins, mixed with ichor. Further, it all depends on whether the ear canals are infected. In most cases, infection occurs as the cat scratches its ears with its hind legs, resulting in a purulent discharge. At the stage of purulent discharge, the cat’s baseline body temperature rises, appetite disappears. If the cat refuses water, this indicates severe pain and critical condition. Self-medication in this case is inappropriate, the pet needs to be urgently taken to the veterinary clinic.

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Important! Never warm your pet’s ear unless you know the cause of the inflammation. Local heating with purulent otitis media will only aggravate the situation.

In severe otitis media, the deep layers of the skin begin to collapse, which is accompanied by vascular bleeding. Purulent discharge is mixed with blood, and the cat’s ears begin to smell characteristic. If the smell has already appeared, but there is no discharge yet, we are talking about a lesion of the middle or deep ear. That is, there is already pus in the ear canal, but it is not enough for it to come out.

Inflammation of this strength leads to severe swelling and narrowing of the ear canal, which aggravates the situation even more. One of the consequences of this form of otitis media is partial or complete hearing loss.

Otitis media is distinguished by the localization of the lesion. The deeper the inflammation is, the more aggressive the treatments are. Conditionally, the ailment is divided into:

  • External. inflammation occurs in the visible part of the ear, immediately causes pain and itching.
  • Medium. itching may not appear immediately, but the pain is very strong and develops immediately. When a cat begins to itch, scratches do not appear in the ears, but behind them. Usually otitis media is preceded by profuse discharge from the ears.
  • Internal. the most dangerous, hidden form, which may not cause pain and itching at first. Usually the first symptom is a tilt of the head and headache, leading to stiff movements, attempts to hide in the dark, a sharp reaction to loud sounds.

Theoretically, the external form of otitis media can go away without treatment and consequences, for example, if the cat has strong immunity, and the disease is caused by bacteria. With an average and internal form of otitis media, the consequences cannot be avoided, even if the treatment is carried out correctly and in a timely manner.

Occasionally, the owner consults the veterinarian when the cat has a change in ear shape or noticeable hearing loss. Already at the doctor’s appointment, it turns out that the cat is suffering or has suffered from otitis media. Please note that most of the effects of otitis media and otitis media cannot be reversed.

Otitis media also differs in the intensity of the course:

  • Acute is the obvious, painful and simplest form of the disease. By detecting the disease in time and providing assistance, you will avoid all disastrous consequences. The difficulty is that acute otitis media rapidly develops and worsens. Within a few days, inflammation with external otitis media turns into a purulent form, as the cat scratches its ears. Pus deeper into the ear canal spreads the infection and aggravates the situation.
  • Sluggish is an insidious form that often leads to complications even before the final diagnosis. Usually otitis media affects the middle or inner ear, for some time it does not cause pain and itching. The owner’s attention can be distracted by the fact that in the early stages of sluggish otitis media there are no purulent discharge and an unpleasant odor from the ears.
  • Chronic otitis media. subsides and worsens in response to external factors. There can be many reasons for this form: air temperature, pressure, humidity, food allergies, reactions to treatment or prevention of parasites, etc. Usually, to confirm the diagnosis, long-term monitoring of the pet’s health is required, since it is necessary to determine the dependence of the disease on external factors. A fairly common cause of chronic otitis media is ignored external or incompletely cured otitis media.

For proper treatment, it is important to determine the form of otitis media, that is, the cause of its development. The problem is that traditional treatments will be useless where antibiotics, antiviral drugs, or surgery are needed. Carrying out symptomatic treatment, you will drag out time and aggravate the disease, although outwardly it will seem that the dynamics are positive.

Purulent otitis media is the most common form of otitis media, which is treated by veterinarians. As mentioned above, the discharge of pus is more a consequence than a cause of the disease. Yes, getting into the middle and deep ear, pus only aggravates the situation, but it is not the cause of the disease. In fact, any form, type and kind of otitis media will sooner or later lead to purulent discharge. The characteristic signs of the onset of purulent otitis media are thick crusts with a putrid odor that form in the ear canals.

Infectious otitis media is a form that can be caused by any infection. The exact type of pathogen, without a detailed examination, is difficult to identify, since the environment of the auricles is very conducive to the reproduction of any bacteria, protozoa and parasites.

Bacterial otitis media is a form that occurs when the normal microflora of the ears is replaced with an unfriendly one. The cause of the development of the disease is bacteria trapped in a nutritious and favorable environment. Again, in a healthy cat with strong immunity, the body will cope with the disease without intervention at a very early stage. The development of unfriendly bacteria may not be suppressed due to disorders of the excretory system of the skin of the ears, for example, when dry or water gets into the ear canals.

Traumatic otitis media. when a cat injures the ear, deep tissue vessels burst and hematomas form. The swelling leads to narrowing of the ear canals and congestion. Sulfur and secretions do not completely leave the ears, which leads to the active multiplication of microbes and bacteria. In fact, traumatic otitis media is always combined with bacterial, infectious and leads to a purulent form.

Parasitic otitis media can be caused by a variety of reasons, but most often the disease is a consequence of the invasion of blood-sucking parasites. A cat combing flea or tick bites as it has an allergic reaction to their saliva. The scratches become infected and inflammation begins, which leads to an increase in local temperature. The warmer the microbes, the faster they multiply, which leads to a more intense development of the disease.

Fungal otitis media is one of the complications if the cat’s skin is affected by spores of harmful fungi. The problem is that the more scratching, the wider and deeper the area affected by the fungi. Immunity reacts to damage, the temperature rises, fungal spores mature faster and inseminate new areas. This is, in fact, a vicious circle, leading to wide and deep damage to the ears and skin throughout the body.

Allergic otitis media is a very common form that occurs due to an exacerbated immune response to substances from the external environment. As you know, a cat can have two forms of allergy. food and non-food allergies. In both cases, the disease causes the excitation of the body’s defense systems and the activation of the work of all mucous membranes. With the stimulation of the cat’s immunity, the base body temperature also rises.

Verrucous or wart otitis media is a rare form in cats, but it is inherited. The disease is accompanied by the formation of warts in the ear canal. The neoplasms grow rapidly, narrowing the ear canal or blocking it completely. When the ear canal is closed, wax and natural secretions do not come out completely, which leads to the so-called congestion and the development of severe otitis media.


A very rare case, but still worth mentioning about it, is the proliferation of sebaceous and sulfur glands and bone tissue. In simple words, it is a benign tissue overgrowth. You will not be able to diagnose such a condition on your own, and even more so to decide whether it is a benign process or malignant, that is, cancerous. In this case, you need to trust the veterinarian, and then double-check the diagnosis with another doctor.


The cat can scratch its ears corny because of the fleas that jump all over the body. There is a separate article about this problem on the MURKOTIKA website.

Water in the ear

Sometimes inflammation, irritation or just physical discomfort in the ear is caused by water that has got there. In this case, the cat will shake its head to free the ear. You can help her with a cotton swab. Just don’t stick it too deeply or push it. it’s better to just gently tuck the stick inside and blot the water. But if you see that the wand in the ear caused an unhealthy reaction of the cat and it is evident that he is in great pain, then, probably, the reason is more serious and you need to go to the veterinary clinic.


Fungal lesions of the auricles also lead to inflammation and scratching. Most often, the ear canals of cats are affected by fungi of the genus Malassezia. Interestingly, in healthy cats, they can be considered part of the normal microflora and not cause pathology, but in cats with weakened immunity, they can multiply excessively and lead to disease. In this case, it will be necessary not only to carry out local treatment aimed at destroying the fungus, but also to strengthen the cat’s immunity.


Cats with food allergies can sometimes develop ear canal otitis media as a reaction to the allergen. It is removed with antihistamines, corticosteroids (they have a general anti-inflammatory effect) and, of course, the abolition of problem food.

The cat scratches its ears and shakes its head. possible causes

If you notice that the cat is shaking its head and scratching its ears or one ear, this means that it may not be all right with its health. Within the normal range, the cat should not shake its head, but scratching its ears several times a day can and there is nothing to worry about. But if you see other changes in the cat’s behavior (compulsive scratching, redness in the ear or around, baldness, and similar symptoms), this is a reason to be wary. There may be several options for what is wrong.


The reasons why a lop-eared or straight-eared kitten scratches his ear, as we have already said, may be pain. If so, you need to look for the factor that caused the pain.

The cat has ear pain: signs

Why does a cat scratch its ears and shake its head?

It is likely that such a phenomenon does not go beyond physiology, so it is worth watching the cat for a couple of days.

It is worth watching the cat for a couple of days, whether he often scratches his ears.

If there is any pathology available, it will become clear literally on the first day. The cat will repeat its actions with clear intervals more often than he usually does. There will be a clear concern for discomfort.

Atopy and allergic reactions

If a pet is prone to atopy or manifestations of allergic reactions, this state of affairs can be caused by a reaction to poor quality food and give the opportunity to develop allergies in the ear canal.

Poor quality food can cause an allergic reaction.


The formation and development of polyps in the early stages may not show pronounced symptoms, except for obvious discomfort for the cat.

Discomfort lies in the periodic partial congestion of the passage, which is why the pet constantly itches and shakes its head.

Polyps in a cat partially cover the ear canal.

Aggressive cleaning

The next possible reason is too frequent or too aggressive cleaning, as a result of which the sink or the passage itself is injured.

Irritation could result from using unsuitable ear drops.

If shortly before this, treatment with ear drops was applied to the cat. it is possible that the wrong drugs were used, irritation occurred, and there was a side effect.

Foreign object in the ear

The cat can start shaking its head if there is a foreign object in the ear.

Help a Cat Shaking or Tilting Its Head

The presence of a foreign object is capable of provoking this behavior, and often by its actions the animal pushes it further down the aisle, which makes it difficult to help at home. If there is a suspicion of the presence of a foreign object and it is impossible to get it, you should rush to deliver the cat to the clinic in order to prevent otitis media from developing.

The main factors of occurrence

The cat may scratch his ears due to an allergy.

  • anatomical features of the shell itself;
  • incorrect previous cleaning;
  • reaction to previously applied drops;
  • increased sulfur production;
  • blockage;
  • the presence of a foreign body;
  • allergy;
  • the presence of microorganisms;
  • hypoplasia or hyperplasia of the sebaceous glands;
  • autoimmune diseases;
  • presence of foreign microflora.
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Why does the cat shake its head and scratch its ears, but the ears are clean: treatment

It so happened by nature itself that cats and cats are able to take care of their own hygiene, and of the cleanliness of their ears in particular. However, there are unforeseen situations when pets need the help of their owners. Surely many have met with the phenomenon when the cat periodically shakes its head, tries to scratch its ears vigorously. Typically, the owner will check his hearing for signs of illness, but what if there are no visible symptoms? Pay attention to the behavior of the pet, to the presence of atypical signs that were not previously observed.

Why does the cat shake its head

A healthy domestic cat can scratch its ears several times a day, but if at the same time the animal begins to shake its head, then this directly indicates the development of pathological conditions in the pet. Noticing that the cat is shaking its head, an attentive owner should definitely seek help from a veterinarian.

Head tremor in cats may be associated with a desire to jump to a great height, sexual arousal, neurological diseases, damage to the vestibular apparatus, or ailments affecting the ears.

A qualified doctor will help to understand the reasons, who will be able to prescribe the correct treatment, which, as a result, will save the pet from serious complications.


Only a qualified veterinarian can determine the exact reason why a cat has itchy ears and shakes its head, based on laboratory and clinical studies. It is extremely important at the first manifestations of a pet’s ill health, to contact a veterinary clinic.

Most often, cats are diagnosed with otitis media caused by bacterial or fungal microflora. To make an accurate diagnosis, the following studies are used:

  • general blood analysis;
  • clinical examination;
  • scraping from the affected area;
  • biopsy;
  • microscopic examination of taken smears.

If you suspect a disease with an ear mite, the animal must be analyzed for the contents taken from the ear. It is worth paying attention to the fact that with otodectosis, accompanied by bacterial or fungal otitis media, diagnosis is difficult, since live ticks die during inflammation of the ears due to an acidic environment.


Noticing that the cat is shaking its head, it is necessary first of all to examine the ear canal for the presence of parasites in the ear. Involuntary twitching of the head is one of the signs of otodectosis (ear mites). In some sources, the disease is listed as ear scabies.

The disease is provoked by a microorganism. a mite that populates the ear canal. The parasite feeds on lymph, blood and particles of the epidermis in the ears of the animal. The activity of the ear mite leads to the fact that the cat often scratches its ears and shakes its head.

In the frequency of cases, this parasitic disease affects pets with low immune defenses (small kittens, elderly animals, cats with chronic diseases). The greatest activity of the ear mite is observed during the period from spring to summer.

The disease is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • increased anxiety of the animal;
  • persistent itching in the ears;
  • areas of fallen hair on the auricle;
  • the appearance of crusts on the lobes of the auricles;
  • discharge from the ear canal of a dark color with an unpleasant odor.

Feeling severe discomfort from tick bites, the cat itches and shakes its head. As a result of strong scratching, a bacterial infection is often associated with otodectosis. The pet loses appetite, becomes irritable and even aggressive.

With bacterial seeding, there is an increase in body temperature, depression and exudate from the ear canal with an unpleasant odor of dark color.

If the cat shakes its head, it may be due to otitis media developing in the middle ear. This is an inflammatory process that occurs against the background of infectious ear lesions or as a result of hypothermia.

The disease is always accompanied by severe pain in the ear area, and purulent exudate may also appear. The animal becomes restless, constantly shakes its head, twitches its earlobes.

In the absence of timely diagnosis and treatment, dangerous complications may develop, among which the leading places are occupied by complete deafness and inflammation of the meninges of the brain. Treatment of otitis media necessarily includes a course of antibiotic therapy in the form of injections.

Neurological diseases can also cause the animal to scratch body parts and shake its head. The main factors that provoke head tremors in a cat are:

Inflammation of the membranes of the brain and hemorrhages in it are more often diagnosed in old animals. In addition to the fact that the animal vigorously shakes its head, it has a number of other symptoms. So, a cat with a stroke begins to walk strangely, the gait becomes unsteady and wobbly.

With inflammation of the meninges of the brain, inappropriate behavior is observed. The pupils of the animal do not respond to a light stimulus, remaining constantly in a dilated state. The cat can make circular movements in a circle, and the paws are noticeably tangled at the same time. A sick animal may not notice obstacles, bumping into walls or doors.

Hematoma in the ear, more often occurs as a result of mechanical trauma when pathological factors affect the mucous membrane. The trauma received by the animal leads to the accumulation of blood in the lumen between the cartilaginous tissue structures and the skin. The pet becomes restless, shakes its head, tries to scratch its ear. In the absence of timely treatment, deformation of the auricle is possible.

Sulfur plug, tissue necrosis or neoplasms are another reason for the animal’s anxiety, and also leads to the cat shaking its head. Most often, tissue necrosis occurs as a secondary disease in untreated hematoma or otitis media.

The development of necrosis of the auricle is characterized by pain, the appearance of a putrid odor from the auricle, and darkening of the cartilage. Treatment of pathology consists in surgical intervention, during which the affected area is removed. In some cases, the cat has an ear amputation.

Treatment features

Treatment will differ depending on the cause of the head tremor in your cat. Only after receiving the test results, appropriate therapy is prescribed. So, if the cat shakes its head and constantly scratches its ears, and the cause is an ear mite, treatment will be aimed at eliminating the main cause.

To kill a tick, drugs with anti-acaricidal action are widely used, such as:

  • Aurikan;
  • Amitrazine;
  • Tsipam.

The course of treatment depends on the degree of infection with the ear mite, but on average it lasts from 4 to 7 days. In addition to the main treatment, symptomatic therapy is used to eliminate itching and inflammation in the ear canal caused by the vital activity of the tick.

If the cause of the appearance of scratching of the ears in a cat is otomycosis or a bacterial infection, the treatment is aimed at eliminating the pathogenic microflora. For treatment, antibiotics of broad Spectra action are used, as well as medicines for external use.

Special antifungal and antibacterial drops must be applied to the area of ​​the external ear canal, previously cleaned of dirt, crusts and sulfur.

If the cause of the appearance of characteristic symptoms. itching and discomfort in the area of ​​the external auditory canal. is an abscess, neoplasm, or tissue necrosis, it is necessary to use a complex treatment, including conservative and surgical techniques. A qualified specialist excises the affected ear tissue, prescribing appropriate treatment and proper postoperative care.

An important role in the prevention and treatment of ear diseases is played by an increase in the immune status. It has been proven that bacterial lesions of the auricle, as well as parasitic invasions, are closely related to the low immunity of the pet.

To maintain the body’s defenses, it is necessary to provide the animal with a balanced diet, vitamin supplements, and also undergo a preventive course with immunostimulants that strengthen the body.

Do not forget about regular hygiene procedures. timely clean the external auditory canal, examine the animal’s ear for damage, foreign bodies or discharge.

If there are characteristic signs of the disease, do not postpone a visit to the veterinarian.

Do you want to ask a question about the article or to clarify something? Call 79774692712, we will consult.

Neoplasms of the skin and glands of the external auditory canal

Usually seen in older cats and is always accompanied by a purulent and very foul-smelling discharge. Usually, the lesions are one-sided. Young cats also have polyps. neoplasms that can grow in the middle ear. Lesions in this case are usually unilateral.

Your cat may shake its head for other conditions not related to ear diseases. These can be diseases of the teeth and gums, viral respiratory infections, neurological diseases or chronic systemic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure, thyroid disease.

Why does a cat often shake its head??

Natalia Inyakina
veterinarian, specialization. dermatology, shelter medicine

In some diseases, there may be a symptom that pet owners usually describe as “the cat shakes its head” or “it constantly shakes its head.” They may also notice that the cat is scratching its ears and that the ears have become dirty. Indeed, the most common symptom of this kind is observed in diseases of the ears. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why a cat shakes its head.

Foreign body entering the ear canal

In this case, the cat will start shaking its head very suddenly and quite violently, and the head may be tilted towards the affected ear. Most often, parts of plants get into the ears of cats, especially cereal seeds, insects and cotton wool from ear sticks (in case the owners try to clean the cat’s ears with cotton swabs, which is completely wrong!).

Diseases of the deep parts of the ear. middle and inner

In this case, the outside of the ears may look completely normal and without discharge, but the cat may shake its head and feel bad. Impaired coordination of movements is often noted.

Inflammation of the external auditory canal, or otitis externa

The reason, again, is an ear mite infection, which leads to inflammation of the skin of the ear canal and creates conditions for the occurrence of a bacterial or fungal infection. Primary ear canal infections are rare in cats. But if the infection has already arisen, then it will not go away on its own.

Ear mite infection, or otodectosis

This disease is caused by a microscopic parasitic mite that can live in the ear canal of cats, ferrets and dogs. Ear mites are easily transmitted by contact with sick animals, and also survive for some time in the environment, which makes infection possible indirectly.

It is generally believed that when a cat is infected with an ear mite, there will certainly be brown discharge in the ears and the cat will scratch the ears a lot, but this is not always the case. Some animals have no discharge at all, and the degree of itching can vary greatly from one cat to another. Most often, domestic cats become infected with ear mites during trips to the country or if a new animal, such as a small stray kitten, is brought into the house. Both ears are always affected.

What to do if your cat starts shaking its head often?

Better make an appointment with the nearest veterinary clinic.