Is your cat scratching its ears? How can you tell if your cat has ear mites?

Cats are adorable animals loved by many. They are playful, loyal and lovely creatures to have around. As a cat owner, it is important to keep an eye on your cat’s health and well-being. One health issue that many cat owners have to deal with is ear mites.

What are ear mites?

Ear mites are tiny parasites that can attach themselves to a cat’s ears. They are like small white dots that are occasionally visible in the ear canal. They feed on the wax and oils in the cat’s ear canal, and this can cause irritation and inflammation. Ear mites are a common infection in cats, and they can quickly and easily spread from cat to cat by direct contact.

What are the signs of ear mites in cats?

There are several signs that your cat may have ear mites. These include:

  • Scratching or rubbing their ears with their paws excessively
  • Shaking their head frequently
  • Dark brown or black wax and discharge in the ear canal
  • Odor coming from the ear
  • Bald patches around the ear from scratching too much

How can you tell if your cat has ear mites?

If your cat shows any of the above signs, then there is a possibility that they have ear mites. You can be sure by taking your cat to see the vet. The vet will examine your cat to determine if they have ear mites by using an otoscope. This is a tool that allows the vet to look deep into the ear canal to see if there is any inflammation, discharge, or parasites.

What causes ear mites in cats?

Ear mites in cats are caused by a parasite known as Otodectes cynotis. This parasite is highly infectious, and it can spread easily from cat to cat, especially in households with multiple cats. Outdoor cats are also more susceptible to ear mites than indoor cats.

How can you prevent ear mites in cats?

The best way to prevent ear mites in cats is to keep their ears clean and healthy. This can be done by regularly cleaning your cat’s ears using a gentle ear cleaner recommended by your vet or with warm water and a clean cloth. It is also essential to maintain good hygiene for your cat, keeping the litter box clean and keeping the cat indoors, which reduces the risk of coming into contact with other infected cats.

How can you treat ear mites in cats?

If your cat has an ear mite infestation, your vet will prescribe ear drops or an oral medication. These medications kill the ear mites and soothe the inflammation and irritation caused by the infestation.

Can you treat ear mites at home?

There are several safe and effective home remedies that you can use to treat ear mites in cats, such as using a mixture of water and vinegar, tea tree oil or rubbing alcohol. However, if the symptoms persist, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian for appropriate medication.


Ear mites are a common infection in cats, but they can be easily prevented and treated. As a cat owner, it is essential to keep your cat healthy and maintain regular check-ups with your vet. With proper care, your cat can continue to be a healthy, happy, and active companion for many years.


  • Q: Can ear mites be transmitted to humans?
  • A: Ear mites can rarely be transmitted to humans, but they do not cause any significant health effects.
  • Q: How often should I clean my cat’s ears?
  • A: You should clean your cat’s ears periodically, especially if they are predisposed to ear infections.
  • Q: Can cats recover from ear mites on their own?
  • A: Although ear mites can go away on their own, it is not recommended to leave the condition untreated as this can lead to severe itching and pain.
  • Q: How long does it take to treat ear mites in cats?
  • A: The treatment length depends on the severity of the ear mite infestation. In most cases, it takes two to four weeks of treatment to eliminate the mites.


  1. Ear Mites in Cats. (n.d.). VCA Hospitals. Retrieved January 14, 2022, from
  2. Brunt, J. (2017, January 2). Ear Mites in Cats: All You Need to Know. The Happy Cat Site.
  3. Ear Mites. (n.d.). ASPCA. Retrieved January 14, 2022, from

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