Ear mites are a very common affliction among our feline companions. These highly contagious pests can be very uncomfortable for your cuddly friend, so it is best to take measures to get rid of them so your kitty doesn’t have to suffer further.
What Is It?
The ear mites that you find on your furry little friend are a type of feline mange. Basically they are tiny, crawling critters that hang out on the skin of your cat and live off skin debris and earwax.
How Do They Get It?
Ear mites are spread by one animal coming into direct contact with another infected animal. These mites are highly contagious between feline friends. Cats and dogs can also pass them between each other. The good news is that humans can't catch them.
If you notice your feline companion shaking or leaning her head or scratching her ears excessively, or if you see ear swelling or inflammation or ear drum tears, she may have ear mites. A trip to the vet can confirm if she has ear mites or not. Your vet will take a closer look and possibly take a swab of fluid from the ear.
The toxins that these creepy, crawling pests excrete will irritate the area that they're hanging out on. Inflammation then follows. Sometimes the cat’s ear can start to get some fluid or waxy buildup that can turn into bacterial or fungal infections. Also, if she has been scratching at the affected area, it may cause further irritation, inflammation and infection to the skin, especially if she breaks the skin from scratching too much.
Cleaning the ears is a must in getting rid of ear mites. Ask your vet to demonstrate the proper technique: your kitty's ears are sensitive and you don't want to irritate them further. Your vet may also prescribe some topical medication that you will apply to the affected area. Make sure to clean your kitty’s living area well so she doesn't get reinfected and you don’t have to start all over again.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.