How much scratching is too much scratching for your little furry friend?
While the love for scratching in cats is synonymous with their love for sleep, too much, frequent scratching along with head shaking signal a more severe problem, often a sign of infection. Severe scratching in cats is often caused by the presence of ear mites. The reason for this is that the ear mites increase the stimulation of wax by the wax-producing glands in the ear canal, resulting in a crusty buildup in the ears. This buildup resembles ground coffee, and in severe cases, there would be a discharge of blood, debris, wax, and even mites.
If you suspect an ear infection in your cat as a result of ear mites, you’d need to take your cat to the vet for proper treatment.
But do you have to go to the vet every time you suspect ear mites? Well, no. As a fur parent, you have to keep some treatment options available at home to make sure that you can mitigate the effects of the ear mites easily. The right treatments would also prevent ear mites.
In the next sections, we’ll look at some of the ear mite treatments for cats. But first, you should know what ear mites are.
Ear mites are white, microscopic parasites that live on the ear canal’s surface. Though microscopic and about the tiny size of a pinhead, the case could be different in case of severe infestations because you could see the little bodies moving rapidly back and forth with your naked eye. In some cases, these ear mites might migrate to other parts of the body like the neck and the head, where they may cause even more discomfort and harm.
Ear mites feed off wax, dirt, and tissue fluids in your cat’s ears. Regarding the manifestation of ear mites and the damage they cause, physical discomfort isn’t the manifestation of the ear mites. If untreated, ear mites cause unsightly infestations that could cause the inflammation of the ear, fungal or bacterial infections; for example, otitis externa or the infection of the outer ear, and the subsequent infection of the middle and the inner ear. That said, you wouldn’t want the effects of the ear mites to progress too far because severe cases of ear mites could result in nonstop, aggressive scratching that would eventually result in permanent ear damage or hearing loss. You don’t want your cat to go through that kind of pain, obviously, which is why you may want to get your hands on one of these ear mite treatments.
Best Ear Mite Treatment for Cats – Comparison Table
|Best Ear Mite Treatment for Cats||Best For||Check on Amazon
|Zymox 1% Hydrocortisone Advanced Formula Otic-Plus Enzymatic Ear Solution for Cats||Best Overall Treatment for Severe Ear Mite Infestation and Infections||Check Price|
|Four Paws Ear Mite Remedy||Best Multipurpose Treatment for Ear Mites||Check Price|
|ZYMOX Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5% Hydrocortisone||Best Hydrocortisone, antimicrobial ear solution||Check Price|
|Otomite Plus Ear Mite Treatment||Best Ear Mites Treatment for Kittens||Check Price|
|Hartz UltraGuard Ear Mite Treatment for Cats||Easy Application||Check Price|
|Petpost Pet Ear Cleaner Wipes for Cats||Best for Outer Ear Treatments||Check Price|
|Arava Pet Ear Cleaner Wipes for Cats, Puppies & Kittens||Best Wipes Treatment for Small Ears||Check Price|
Reviews of the best ear mite treatment for cats
Zymox 1% Hydrocortisone Advanced Formula Otic-Plus Enzymatic Ear Solution for Cats – Best Overall Treatment for Severe Ear Mite Infestation and Infections
If your cat has suffered a severe infestation by ear mites or if you just rescued a cat with the worst ear infection from ear mites infestation, this treatment could be exactly what you need.
Formulated with 1% hydrocortisone, this is an advanced formula that promises fast relief from pain, itchiness, redness, and inflammation. It’s an effective ear cleaner and treatment that you’d want to keep at home at all times, especially if your cat suffers recurrent ear infections.
It is also an effective relief against the most stubborn ear infections from all kinds of microorganisms, from the simplest to the most complex ones. It works by stopping the irritation because it kills the microorganisms causing the infections – in this case, the ear mites. The best part is that this gentle antimicrobial formula offers relief to painful ears caused by resistant fungi, bacteria, and yeast. The patented antimicrobial LP3 Enzyme System helps in clearing the ear exudates painlessly. The solution needs no pre-cleaning to work, and it’s safe.
LP3 enzyme system contains lactoperoxidase, lysozyme, and lactoferrin, all enzymes that give the solution is antibacterial, anti-yeast, and antifungal properties.
- Easy to use
- Works great in severe ear infections
- Antimicrobial solution will also clear out wax and other ear exudates.
- Great value for money
- Soothes ears and reduces pain, itching, and redness, thanks to the high 1% hydrocortisone concentration.
- Clears stubborn infections thanks to the biofilm-reducing complex incorporated in the advanced formula
- Some people find its consistency too thick for use in cats whose ears have too much wax.
View price on Amazon
Four Paws Ear Mite Remedy – Best Multipurpose Treatment for Ear Mites
First on our list is this ear mite remedy by Four Paws. It is regarded as one of the best remedies for ear mites thanks to its insecticidal properties from the pyrethrins known as an effective insecticidal. The pyrethrins will kill the ear mites instantly, which makes this the best remedy for ear mites.
But that is not all because this treatment also offers the soothing properties of aloe vera, meaning that your cat will feel a great, refreshing relief and calm within minutes of application.
This solution also enhances the removal of wax, offering greater relief to your cat. You may also like it because it is safe to use on dogs too. So, if your doggos caught on some of the ear mites from the cast, this would be an excellent remedy for both of your babies.
- Soothes irritated skin
- Kills ear mites
- The instructions provided are easy to use
- Works better mixed with vitamin E oil or olive oil
- Some people find it too harsh on their cats.
- It doesn’t work for all cats.
View price on Amazon
ZYMOX Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5% Hydrocortisone – Best Hydrocortisone, antimicrobial ear solution
After all the aggressive scratching and the pain the results from the inflammation of your cat’s ear, you’d need something that soothes the ear while encouraging the healing process.
Zymox offers one such treatment thanks to their Zymox enzymatic hydrocortisone ear solution. This hydrocortisone solution not only soothes the itchiness and the infection but also reduces inflammation and redness. You can use it for cats of all ages, and you will be happy to know that it is a no-sting, super-gentle formula that will ease the painful ear infections resulting from ear mites, fungi, yeast, or bacteria.
It’s also safe, which is why it’s regarded as the best natural alternatives to antibiotics. The 0.5% hydrocortisone offers instant itch relief. And if the affected area is painful, you will be happy to know that you won’t need to pre-clean the affected ear; you only need to fill the ear canal with this hydrocortisone solution then let it sit and do its magic.
Besides hydrocortisone, it also contains the patented antimicrobial LP3 enzyme solution. This enzymatic antimicrobial solution will help clear out the ear secretions, healing and promoting healthy ears.
- Highly effective patented antimicrobial enzyme solution incorporated.
- The antimicrobial system will clear out the ear secretions, clearing out infections.
- Hydrocortisone soothes the ear and eases the pain.
- THE patented LP3 enzyme system ensures its efficiency thanks to the use of the most advanced technologies in its production.
- Easy to use (apply as you would eye drops)
- Great sheerness
- Nice, subtle smell
- You could also buy the Zymox ear cleaners, topical creams, shampoos, hot spot sprays, and leave-in coat conditioners.
- Not the most effective in severe cases
- Some people find it to be very expensive.
View price on Amazon
Otomite Plus Ear Mite Treatment – Best Ear Mites Treatment for Kittens
This is the other ear mite treatment you may want to try out if your cat is struggling with ear mites. Honestly, seeing your cat scratching aggressively for days and in pain is heartbreaking, and any parent would do anything to make sure the pain all goes away. The good news is that thanks to this Otomite ear mite treatment, the pain, and the infection will clear out in a few days, and the best part is that you will notice a change and a great sense of relief in your cat in a few hours.
The effectiveness of this Otomite Plus ear mite treatment comes from the fact that this medication is made with double-synergized pyrethrins blended with olive oil. Together, these ingredients penetrate the stratum corneum, and since the formulation is miscible with sebum, the treatment will work in a short time, ending the ear mites problem once and for all. This treatment is also a good option if you have puppies besides kittens, cats, and dogs. So, if you have been looking for a solution that will nip the problem right at the bud, this Otomite treatment might be the right option for you.
- Easy to use
- Suitable for kittens and puppies
- Painless, irritation-free application
- Works fast, and relief felt almost immediately.
- Good value for money
- Nice scent
- The consistency is just right.
- It might be too strong for some cats.
View price on Amazon
Hartz UltraGuard Ear Mite Treatment for Cats – Easy Application
If the scratching or excessive rubbing by your cat is unsettling, and if you’ve noticed some head-shaking that seems more than normal, it could mean that your lovely cat has ear mites, and you’d have to take immediate action. Ear mites make cats’ ear canals their home, and these white, microscopic critters tend to breed rather fast, producing waxy, brownish debris. To get rid of the ear mites problem, it is important to find the right treatment and this Hartz mite treatment is one of the most effective treatments as it kills the mites on contact.
This treatment is formulated with aloe to soothe the irritated areas of the ear canal, offering immediate relief. The insecticidal in this treatment works fast to kill the ear mites, ending the ear mite problem. Just make sure to follow the usage instructions provided.
- Easy to use
- It works well for most cats.
- Great packaging, and it allows for easy application.
- The level of sheerness is fairly good.
- It might not work for your cats.
- Some cats get irritated from this treatment.
View price on Amazon
In addition to these treatments, you’d also need some cleaning wipes to get rid of the wax and other debris, and we recommend this ear mite treatment for cats.
Petpost Pet Ear Cleaner Wipes for Cats – Best for Outer Ear Treatments
You need these cat ear wipes to get rid of the accumulated wax and all other debris in the ear canal. These ear wipes have coconut oil, and some aloe vera added to them to reduce irritation and to soothe the ears. The other ingredients in these pre-soaked pet wipes include disodium coco glucoside citrate, Phenoxyethanol, and glycerine. These are eco-friendly ingredients that help you get rid of the ear mites problem more effectively.
View price on Amazon
Arava Pet Ear Cleaner Wipes for Cats, Puppies & Kittens – Best Wipes for Small Ears
You could also try this natural medicated cleaning deodorizer made with insecticidal ingredients, in addition to skin-safe aloe vera, chamomile, burdock, mallow, licorice, vitamins E, D, B5, as well as minerals from the Dead Sea. All these ingredients make this one of the best allergy-free ear wipes for your cats, and they will remove not only wax and dirt, but also mites and yeast. The wipes also prevent itchiness and dryness, and it’s designed for use in small ears.
View price on Amazon
Factors to Consider when buying ear mite treatments for cats
The human race might be immune to ear mites, but they are the most annoying critters to cats, with the worst trait of their critters being the fact that they are highly contagious, and your dogs may also contract ear mites from cats. Besides cats, even the briefest contact between cats would be enough to spread ear mites. These prolific pests can live for about 3 weeks in the ear canal, reproducing and laying eggs continually, resulting in the perpetuation of the infestation.
To prevent infestation and treat the ear mites problem, you’d have to find effective, efficient, and safe treatments.
Here are the important considerations you’d want to bear in mind in your search for the best treatment for ear mites in cats.
Understanding ear mites
Ear mites, also known as Otodectes cynotis, are eight-legged critters that belong to the spider family. They look like white ticks and are almost invisible to the naked eye. Even so, you can tell that your cat has ear mites from the strong odor from their ears (this is one of the first symptoms of ear mites, that and incessant scratching). Ear mites also produce a brown or black secretion that has a waxy appearance – this is often found deep in the ears. The mites also cause inflammation of the outer ear.
What are the symptoms of ear mites in cats?
The symptoms of the ear mites will depend on the severity of the infection, and though some cats would be affected more than others, the most common symptoms include:
- Frequent, aggressive itching and head shaking.
- Excessive production of wax because the ear mites stimulate the production of wax by the wax-producing glands in the ear canal. There will be a build-up of wax and debris, seen as a crusty, black build-up resembling coffee grounds. This discharge looks a lot like a repulsive mix of blood, debris, wax, and the mites themselves. In extreme cases, the crust could thicken significantly, blocking the ear canal.
- The other symptoms of ear mites would include a swollen ear from an aural hematoma, smelling ears, and red, swollen, and painful ears.
If you notice any of these symptoms and think that your cat is infected, you may want to take the cat to the vet for diagnosis. Your vet will use an otoscope which allows them to see the ear mites, either moving in the ear canal or on a slide. And though years of experience are enough for you to know when your cats have ear mites, getting a professional diagnosis is important because, in as much as the ear mites contribute to ear infections, they aren’t the only reason for the ear infections.
How to treat ear mites
First, you need to cleanse the ears. That black, waxy ear build-up and the dirt in there has to be flushed out thoroughly and cleaned from the ear canal before the application of the medication. For the initial cleansing, especially in severe cases, it’s a good idea to have a vet clean the ears. A vet would be better placed at cleaning the ears thoroughly without causing any damage to the cat’s delicate eardrum.
After the ear has been flushed properly, you can apply the medication. The vet would also do this for you, especially if it’s your first time, and it’s a more practical approach after the ears are cleaned.
The treatment options listed above are some of the best for use, and these topical drops that often contain the pyrethrin insecticide along with a delivery agent like a mineral oil will kill the ear mites that remain after the cleanse while also fighting infections. There also are cases where the vets prefer to use topical treatments like creams. You could use the pre-treated wipes as well. Just make sure to discuss your options with the vet before using some products.
After the treatment at the vet, you’d have to repeat the steps as advised, then go back to the vet after a week.
Follow the vet’s instructions or the instructions on the treatment’s label. Repeat the process after a week.
It’s important to follow the instructions and give your cat the complete treatment course, even after the symptoms disappear. This is crucial because the ear mites live out a 4-stage, 3-week lifecycle as long as they are on their hosts. So, by following this treatment protocol, you’d effectively interrupt the life cycle of the mites, preventing any mites’ development later.
If your cat has ear mites, the treatments above will offer the best level of protection/ treatment. While the treatment option is chosen depends on the severity of the infestation and the infection, Zymox Advanced Formula Otic Plus Enzymatic Ear Solution is our best recommendation as it offers the best soothing effects thanks to the 1% hydrocortisone and the antimicrobial antimicrobial LP3 Enzyme System that kills the microorganisms present. For outer ear infestations/ infections, you could use the Petpost Pet Ear Cleaner Wipes for Cats to remedy the problem.
Do ear mites affect humans?
For the most part, no, because the evolution of ear mites has allowed them to have a preference of dogs and cats to human beings. And if they find themselves in human ears, they often die out on their own after a few weeks, without any treatment. Treating and removing the mites soon after diagnosis means more comfort. However, it is worth noting that the individuals who’ve had their share of unfortunate experiences with ear mites have noted that the infection would almost drive one insane because you can hear the scratching in your head and the irritating sensation when the mites move is unbearable. The ear mites also cause intense itching, heat, and also inflammations.
Will ear mites infest hair and the surrounding environment?
Ear mites are quite contagious, especially among animals, and they pass easily from one animal to the other, regardless of the species. Ear mites could also infect your guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, and even mites, with any females passing the ear mites to their offspring rather easily. Therefore, it is a good idea to treat all the pests in your home simultaneously once one is affected. Failure to do this might result in the pets only re-infecting each other.
Is there a preventative approach for ear mites?
Yes, Fipronil is considered one of the most effective preventative ear mites topical treatments that work great for cats. Just keep in mind that this solution won’t work after the infestation begins unless the dosage is increased.