Ear Mites in Cats

Ear mites cause severe itchiness and pain in cats.

Ear mites are parasites that take up residence in a cat's ear canal, feeding on wax and skin there, laying eggs, hatching, and so on and so on.

What Are the Signs of Ear Mites in Cats?

Ear mites are itchy and painful for cats, so the signs they show when they are infected have to do with those feelings plus the debris that the mites create in the ears. You might notice these signs if your cat has ear mites:

How Do Cats Get Ear Mites?

The mite that most often affects cats' ears is Otodectes cynotis. These tiny mites can barely be seen by the naked eye; they are much easier to see under a microscope. They invade the lining of a cat's ear canal, where they go through their entire life cycle, feeding on ear wax and skin cells.

Cats get ear mites from casual contact with other cats that are infected by them. They are especially common in kittens and cats that go outside.

Can My Dog Get Ear Mites from My Cat?

Your dog can get ear mites from your cat. Dogs are affected by ear mites much more rarely than cats, though, especially if they don't live with cats that go outside.

In fact, many people whose dogs begin to scratch their ears automatically assume ear mites are involved and begin treating with an over-the-counter ear mite medication. Most of the time, the dog has an ear infection, which the medications don't help, and the problem becomes worse.

People almost never have health problems associated with catching ear mites from their pets. However, sometimes a person will develop a mild rash on their skin if they are exposed to ear mites on their cat's fur or ears.



How Are Ear Mites in Cats Treated?

Ear mites can be treated a few different ways:

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