Imagine you wake up one morning and your ear itches uncontrollably. Not only that, but you can also hear little chomping noises as if something was eating you or your ear canal alive.
Well, that is exactly what a cat with ear mites can hear every day and all day while they have the nasty critters in their ears and are left untreated.
Do you ever see your cat itching their ears in desperation or consistently shaking their head as if they were trying to get something out of their ear? If so, then your cat may, in fact, have ear mites.
What Are Ear Mites?
Ear Mites are tiny microscopic parasites that mainly live in your cat’s ear canal or around the surface of their ears. They are so tiny that you will often need a microscope to see them.
There are many species of ear mites, but the most common type that your cat can get is called Otodectes cynotis. The life cycle of one of these mites is approximately 4 weeks. After 2 to 3 weeks, female ear mites will lay eggs, thus causing a never-ending cycle of mites in your cat’s ears if left untreated.
How Do Cats Get Ear Mites?
Your feline companion can get ear mites by coming into contact with another cat or other animals such as a dog or bunny rabbit that has ear mites. Ear Mites spread very rapidly so the sooner you get these annoying parasites stopped, the better.
Ear Mites live mainly outside, but can still be spread to indoor cats by just bringing something indoors that used to be outside, simple as that.
What Are the Symptoms of Ear Mites?
The two most common symptoms of ear mites include constant scratching of their ears and frequently shaking their heads as if they are trying to knock something loose from within the ear.
You may also notice that your cat has a dark waxy substance in their ears. This substance looks very similar to coffee grounds. Healthy ears should be pink and clean, not dark and dirty looking.
Your cat may also appear to have scabs with dried blood in their ears. This is caused by the constant scratching they do with their claws.
What To Do If You Suspect Ear Mites
If you suspect that your cat has ear mites, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. If your vet confirms that your cat does indeed have ear mites, then they will most likely give you a topical treatment that you will have to administer to your cat’s ears. Make sure your veterinarian shows you the proper way to give your cat this medicine.
Also, if you have more than one animal in the household, you should let your vet know this too, as all animals should be treated to prevent the ear mites from reoccurring.