Do you see your cat scratching their ears or shaking its head? It might be mites, a natural parasite that resides on the surface of their skin. Here's how to tell if your cat has ear mites and how to treat and prevent them from spreading.
Ears are scratched by cats for a number of reasons. Ear mites are to a fault when scratching becomes a problem rather than an annoyance. Mites are microscopic parasites that spend the majority of their life in the ear canal and can cause severe itching and inflammation. The most common ear mite found in cats is Otodectes cynotis. Although they are scarcely visible to the human eye, they can be distinguished as extremely little white spots. Ear mites reside on the skin of the ear canal and feed on ear wax and skin oils.
Ear mites are most commonly seen in the ears, but they can also migrate to other parts of the body, causing discomfort and itching. Because these parasites can be difficult to detect and aren't always the cause of ear infections or damage in cats, it's best to have your cat evaluated by a veterinarian for a thorough examination.
Ear mites can be acquired almost anywhere, including other cats. Contact with other pet-carrying mites gives an excellent opportunity for mites to change hosts and enter the cat's hair. From there, they make their way to the ears.
Ear mites can also live in the environment for a short amount of time, during which time they can infect any cat that comes into contact with them. This is why outdoor cats are more likely to develop this parasite illness.
Ear mites can be easily identified based on your pet's behavior and appearance. In contrast, the mites themselves are generally too tiny to be seen with the human eye. The most prevalent ear mite symptoms in cats are as follows:
Mites are contagious to other cats; even if other kitties do not show indications of mites, they must be handled together. Cats are the most vulnerable to ear mites due to their lifestyle.
There are several ear mite treatment alternatives, and your veterinarian in Broward & Surrounding Counties will prescribe the best one for your pet. It is essential to maintain your cat's indoor surroundings as clean as possible, especially if they have been treated for mites in the past.
A mite grows from an egg to an adult in just three weeks, passing through five stages in total, so you can expect your cat to be free of the microscopic insects for at least that long. Adults have a two-month lifetime, however, they may reproduce quickly. In four days, the eggs hatch, and in three weeks, the adult mite is ready to breed. When the medicine takes action, the itching should diminish, but if your cat's symptoms do not improve, you should see your veterinarian.
If you believe your pet has ear mites, please contact Meows & Purrs Feline Hospital to schedule an appointment; we will assist you in getting rid of these pesky parasites.