As its name suggests, an ear mite is a minute parasite that gulps ear wax and skin oils as food, resulting in severe irritation in most animals, especially stray cats. An appropriate solution is to check for cat mites, but how many days do you treat ear mites in cats, and is it a time-consuming process?
The parasites establish the ear canal as their home and even lay their eggs there. They live, reproduce and survive in the external ears. If not treated soon enough, the infestation can proceed to other parts of the body and create itchiness all over it.
Table of Contents
Ear Mites in Cats
Ear mites in cats are notorious for igniting otodectic mange, which rapidly spreads from one animal to another. The cases of infections are generally not life-threatening. However, your pets must be free from the parasite.
Ear mites might be present in your cat but are barely visible to naked eyes.
They appear as little dots in white, and the life cycle is relatively short, with adult mites only living two months. The thing is, they multiply numerous times while eggs require only four days to hatch and transform into adult mites within three weeks.
What causes mites on the cat’s ears?
In the present scenario, ear mites in cats have become a much bigger problem. Although not very harmful, infestations are painful to live with. Cats can also get ear mites from contaminated dogs.
Mites don’t come by themselves. Rather, transmission is the real cause. A surface mite is also known to cause ear mites where contaminated surfaces have mites that spread the infection. Cats are more liable to getting mites than other animal species due to their habits and lifestyle.
How are ear mites transmitted in cats from other animals?
The root of the issue is the ability of parasites to fly from one animal to another. The risk of getting infected doubles whenever there’s close contact between two or more cats. Therefore, checking all the pets becomes essential if you find mites in any of them.
Symptoms of mites in cats ears
Infection occurs in the external ear and can occur in either one or both sides of the ear. Figuring out whether or not your cat has infections is easy. The symptoms differ with the severity of the problem.
The most common signs and symptoms include head shaking, regular scratching of the ears, the cat’s ear drooping on one side, the brownish substance inside the ear, inflammation, pus in the cat’s ear, etc.
The ears become reddish and inflamed when enduring inflammation while scratching and shaking is an irritation. There are also cases of torn eardrums in cats that add to several other complications.
Preventing cats ear mites
Ear mites aren’t just the usual parasites. They are hard to prevent, as guessing where cats roam and who they play with is impossible. All animals have a nature to engage with other animals- be it with similar or dissimilar species.
As such, you can never know who has mites and from whom your cat is getting it. Another reason why prevention becomes tough is that they can thrive on surfaces in an infested environment.
The size of the parasite also adds another disadvantage to it. The parasites are as little as a microchip, making it hard to spot. The best prevention method is diagnosing cat mites ASAP and stopping them from meeting other outdoor animals.
Are cat and kitten ear mites dangerous?
Ear mites do not exhibit life-threatening circumstances, yet they are contagious to all animals. Only prevention and regular treatments will help to get mites away. As for humans, ear mites nor otodectes cynotis eggs can withstand their lifecycle in homo sapiens.
There are only a few circumstances where owners have been affected by mites, but such cases are very rare.
Cases where you’ll also develop a skin rash, are extremely slim as ear mites in cats vary from parasites that affect humans. You are still not in danger even after the rash, and using suitable products will heal it quickly.
Ear mites won’t cause a big threat to your pet, but that doesn’t mean you’ll let the mites live. They are extremely miserable to live with. The utmost threat with mites is when your cat’s blood vessels are torn due to harsh scratchings, needful of surgery.
How are ear mites for cats diagnosed?
An instrument named ‘otoscope’ helps the vet diagnose the ear mite. The Otoscope has an in-built flash system, helping the vet go through the ears in-depth.
Alternatively, the vet will go through your cat’s physical condition and look for clinical signs. The vet asks for an ears swab test using Q-tips and skin scraping in most cases.
Gathered samples will then be transferred to the lab for a better microscopic view, helping confirm the presence of infection. Ear mites infestation might fail to get detected post-examination also. However, the vet will still suggest medications if suspecting a possible infestation.
Apart from ear mites alone, the vet will also look for other bacterial infections to ensure added safety, such as bacterial infections – linked to allergies which aren’t a critical health concern but must be cured.
Treatment for ear mites in cats
The first step in any ear mite treatment is removing debris, if any, and cleaning the ear canal.
The prescription given for your cat may also contain treatments that aren’t associated with cat ear mites alone but infections. Veterinarians do so to restrict the cat from further exposure to bacterial and yeast infections.
The results will be great if you master the treatment steps as accurately as possible. When pet owners had deficits in what to use in the past, baby oil became the leading solution. That still works today; in fact, only a few drops are enough to cleanse the ear from mites.
Presently, there are plenty of options for ear mite treatment in cats. Some of them include spot-on, ear drops, and one-time medication.
Use Ear drops to get rid of ear mites.
The calmness of the cat plays an important role when applying ear drops in ear canals. Ear drops are easier to handle if compared to spot-on treatments. But when it comes to popularity, spot-on treatments are always the first, while ear drops are great for relieving pain and inflammation.
Use a dropper if felt necessary. Once applied, start massaging the ear base. Stop massaging if your cat is getting annoyed by it.
Spot On Ear Mite Treatment For Cats
One of the best, most commonly prescribed products for cat mite infection is spot-on treatment in liquid form. Its function is protection against all kinds of parasites, including mites. However, the medication will not be worthy if not used as per the instructions.
Spot-on treatments have a mechanism similar to insecticides applied directly to the nail tips, shoulder blades, and skin. The product contains moxidectin, which works to kill the mites. Although effective at the start, the power of spot-on treatments declines after a month and is least likely to protect further.
Applying the liquid in just one region is adequate, as the substance will distribute to all areas via the skin oil.
One-time cat ear mites medicine
One-time treatments are single-dose ear mite treatments used once every month until the issue is completely resolved. The best example is Petarmor ear mite and tick treatment for cats, a topical medication.
One-time treatments are also available in injections, e.g., ivermectin, and may be applied more than once if the vet suggests.
The process is lengthy and has several side effects, including balance instability and impaired hearing ability.
How many days do you treat ear mites in cats?
At Least three weeks of treatment is essential for mites to flee off completely. Apply whatever medication has been prescribed by the vet on their respective dates. It is also noticed that irritations start to fall after a while.
It is also possible that symptoms don’t improve even after executing everything carefully. Informing the vet in such a situation is recommended. The vet will then go through the problem and suggest higher/alternative doses.
The recovery phase is equally important as the treatments. Most pet owners tend to get lazy and fail in keeping up with routine medications. However, one should never discontinue the routine until the ear mite problem disappears or signs will start over otherwise.
How much does treatment for cat ear mites cost?
Price rate comes from three categories – veterinary visits, medications, and follow-up appointments. Ear mites are budget-friendly, with rates differing from treatment to treatment. The average treatment and Vet cost for ear mites in cats is $30, while the diagnosis test costs around $25.
When ear infections happen, a cat’s behavior tends to change. However, there are other reasons for infection apart from cat mites, such as allergic reactions. Thus, be completely sure of what your pets are suffering from.
Cat mites have turned out to be a common problem today. It is quite obvious because parasites are extremely contagious. And even if secondary problems – rupture of blood vessels in ear canals, infections, etc. – are rare, it is on the verge of becoming common soon.