If you find your little kitty shaking its head and pawing at its ears out of the blue, it’s more likely than not that you might be dealing with cat ear mites. So, how common are cat ear mites, and how best to get rid of them? Here’s everything you need to know about cat ear mites in Malaysia.
What are cat ear mites?
Otodectis cynotis, sometimes referred to as otodectic mange, is the most common ear mite infecting cats. It is a parasite that thrives in moist environments. It lives in the ear canal of cats and feeds on skin cells, blood and even earwax!
Cat ear mites spread easily among cats and with dogs too. They don’t cause much direct harm, but if left untreated, the intensive scratching can cause wounds and permanently scar your poor kitty’s ears.
What are the common signs of ear mites in cats?
As mentioned above, if you find your cat incessantly headbanging and scratching its ears, it's a clear warning sign that you have an ear mite problem. You might also notice their behaviour change slightly and notice their head tilted to one side.
Check your cat's ears for little coffee grounds like granules, crust or discharge. In some cases, these ear mites might be difficult to spot with the naked eye, and you might need your vet to identify them with a magnifying lens.
How do cats get infected with ear mites?
Cat ear mites spread between animals through close physical contact. If you have other dogs and cats, they will usually need to be treated too, even if they’re asymptomatic, as chances are they will start itching soon.
Can humans get ear mites from cats?
Very rarely. They might crawl onto your skin and cause skin irritation and rashes even, but car ear mites don’t seem to find human ears habitable.
Do cat ear mites go away on their own?
Unfortunately, they don’t, and these ear mites are known to replicate quite quickly. Eggs from an adult mite take barely four days to hatch. So you might want to act swiftly before you’re dealing with a full-blown infestation.
How do you get rid of mites in cats' ears?
It’s always best to get your neighbourhood’s vet’s advice if it’s your first time dealing with this issue. You might never know. It might be something totally different your cat’s having.
The good news is that most antiparasitic medication given by vets work with a single dose, and you might solve all your kitty’s troubles instantly.
There is a broad range of antiparasitic medication available, but it’s always best to get your vets approval before purchasing anything for the first time. Active ingredients even include the much talked about Ivermectin, which has recently made the headlines as an alternative treatment option for Covid-19
What kills ear mites in cats instantly?
While many products are advertised to kill ear mites in cats instantly, it’s always prudent to check with your vet before purchasing anything for the first time. The best ear mite treatments for cats often only require a single dose, so you might be tricked into purchasing products that require multiple applications.
Most vets will recommend spot-on treatments, which is a liquid smeared on the skin behind your cat’s neck. They usually treat fleas as well and are often preferred to ear drops.
Products that require multiple applications are often milder and safer if you wish to purchase them directly online. Do follow the written instructions and contact your vet should you need further information and guidance.
Some slightly costlier products are marketed as all-in-one medications for ticks, fungus and lice. While there is every likelihood that they will work, it might be slight overkill, like killing an ant with a bazooka!
What happens if cat ear mites go untreated?
As mentioned above, cat ear mites multiply rather quickly, and the more they are, the more irritation it causes. Incessant scratching will lead to wounds and inflammation in the area. If left untreated for a while, it could get infected and cause your kitty to be really ill.
Are there any instant home remedies that can help?
While the internet might be loaded with dozens of alternative homeopathic treatments for ear mites in kittens and cats, it has been found that products like coconut oil, almond oil and olive oil have been highly ineffective. These oils might suffocate a few mites but not eradicate them entirely, and it only takes a single surviving female mite to have you back with a fully-fledged colony in a week!
So there you have it. Everything you need to know about staying ear mite free here in Malaysia. Now you’ll know exactly what to tell the kakak next door when she asks how to deal with earmite kucing.
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