With the scientific name Otodectes cynotis, ear mites are tiny mites that can survive in animals’ ears. Adult ear mites can feed off of ear wax. One species that is often seen in dogs is Otodectes cynotis, which is a Greek word that roughly translates to “ear biter of the dog” or “ear picker”.
Cat ear mites are very common, and about half of all cats have these parasites. The problem is that the majority of infestations often go undetected, and while not fatal, fungal or bacterial ear mite infections can lead to further infections in the external portion of the ear canal, leading to extreme discomfort and ultimately, eardrum damage, which could mean loss of hearing.
How are ear mites treated?
Luckily, there is plenty of available ear mite treatment for cats. Some of these are in antibiotic form, while others are in the form of natural remedies, oil or shampoo.
1) Shampoo – Apply shampoo to your cat’s body from the head to the tail’s tip every other day. This is best done because ear mites can actually crawl away from the ears and subsist on another part of your cat’s body. This way, you will not worry about the exacerbation of infections. Choose a gentle shampoo that is effective, scent-free and preferably herbal. For the final rinse, consider making a yellow dock tea infusion.
2) Antibiotics – Ear mite medicine for cats is available in antibiotic form as solutions or ear drops. The key is to find an ear-safe insecticide that will kill the parasite, whether the parasites are in egg form, larvae, nymph, or adult. The powerful ingredient to keep an eye out for is pyrethrin, and some recommended solutions that contain this are Selamectin, Milbemycin, Fipronil or Acarexx. For antibiotics, these are among the best ear mite medicine for cats.
3) Mineral oil – Applied onto the ear using an eye dropper, this oil aids in dissolving ear wax and leaving ear mites smothered and killed off. This oil alone is considered to be among the best ear mite treatment for cats. It is best to massage your pet’s ears right after applying the oil.
4) Homemade mixture – Another oil-based mixture that is effective in killing ear mites is a combination of oils. Try mixing a few drops of Vitamin E (400 IU), almond oil, mineral oil and corn oil, some extract of yellow dock root, plus some white vinegar and water. This mixture is effective in soothing cats. In the event that your cat has already developed any injuries or bleeding in his or her ears, consider applying and massaging this homemade treatment to your cat’s ears, in order to kill off all ear mites and provide some soothing comfort to the ears.