Cat Mites

Cat Mites

Is your cat scratching at their ears more often than normal? One of the most common causes for this are microscopic parasites that are known as ear mites. Have a look below at some information on how these can affect your cat:

The most common types of mite on cats is Otodectes cynotis. They are barely visible; however, they may appear as little white dots. Usually, they need to be diagnosed using a microscope. They can get into your cat’s ear canal, where they live on skin debris and ear wax. They can lead to a lot of swelling and inflammation in the ear canal which is very itchy. All breeds are prone to them, and outdoor cats are more likely to get them.

What Are The Symptoms?

Usually, your cat will start to scratch at their ears and shake their head to try and stop the itching. The most common symptoms include:

  • Scratching their ears
  • Dark, dry discharge from the ears.
  • Shaking their heads.
  • Scratch marks on the outer ear.
  • Cat scratching just at ears.
  • Red, inflamed appearance of the ears.

Some of these symptoms could be an indication of other illnesses, so it is best to seek help from a vet in any case.

What Causes Cats To Get Mites?

Your cat may pick up mites from nearly anywhere, including other cats. In fact, coming into contact with other cats that have mites is the perfect way for them to get them, they can even move from host to host through the fur. If you also have a dog and you notice your cat as cat mites, it is best to keep them apart. Although it is less common for mites to affect fogs it is possible.

How Are Cat Mites Diagnosed?

Your vet will examine the ear canal of your cat for any signs of mites by using an otoscope. They will be looking for discharge, inflammation, and swelling. The vet will also look for other causes of the itching such as grass seeds. Your cat may find it hard to sit still if their ears are too sore, therefore, they may need to be sedated for initial diagnoses and then treatment.

Mite Treatments For Cats

Your vet will be able to advise what treatment is going to work best for your cat. They may choose to clean your cat’s ears and remove any built-up wax, especially if they have needed to be sedated. Many spot-on flea treatments are suitable for the treatment and preventions of cat mites. If your cat is finding it extremely itchy and causing damage to their ears, they may prescribe additional treatments to alleviate the itching.

Speak to your vet about whether they recommend their ears been cleaned, it is not always necessary, however, it may be appropriate if they have reoccurring ear problems. If you are not sure whether your cat needs to have their ears cleaned or checked, or they seem to be itching more than they should make sure you visit your vet.

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