Diagnosing Ear Mites in Cats

Ear mites in cats are caused by an infection and present a great discomfort for a pet. The mites cause extreme itchiness and can be diagnosed based on symptoms and a medical examination. Ear mites are contagious to other pets, so they need to be treated as soon as diagnosed.

Symptoms of Ear Mites

Ear mites are located in the cat's ears and feed on ear wax and dead skin cells in the area. The mites thrive in warm, moist and dark places and treating mites will be difficult because the ears are ideal places for mites.

The ear mites will cause the following symptoms in a cat:


  • Scratching in the ear area; if left untreated, the constant scratching can cause physical defects and wounds that may create infections.
  • Head shaking; the cat feels the mites moving in his ears and will shake his head, trying to get rid of the mites and the discomfort. The head shaking may cause haematomas due to broken blood vessels.
  • Haematomas need to be surgically removed.
  • Flat ears and the ears are particularly sensitive
  • Foul odor; the mites cause a specific foul odor that can be felt in the proximity of the cat
  • Yeast infections may occur in cats with ear mites; the yeast infections causes extra itchiness and more discomfort


The ear mites are also visible. Take a look in your cat's ears; you may observe brown colored residues which are actually blood mixed with ear wax. The mites will be present on the debris; the mites are cream white and small, but visible. The mites may move or stay still.

If you notice these ear mites symptoms it's time to visit the vet.

Diagnosing the Ear Mites

The veterinarian will examine the cat. He will take a look in the pet's ears and will get a sample of the ear wax. The vet will use an otoscope to detect the presence of ear mites.

Mites need treatment, as they will not go away on their own. In addition, if the cat has a secondary infection, such as the yeast infection, this imbalance must also be looked after.

Treating Feline Ear Mites

The treatment of ear mites consists of daily baths and an oily insecticide. The deposits of ear wax must be removed daily, as the infection with ear mites causes the cat to produce more ear wax than usual. The oily insecticide will dissolve the ear wax and make the ears easier to clean.

Apply the insecticide and wait for a few minutes before cleaning the ears. Use cotton buds, but make sure not to injure the ear drums of your pet.

If a yeast infection is present, the vet will prescribe antibiotics and a saline solution that is meant to reestablish the bacterial balance in the ear area.

If left untreated, ear mites can lead to complications such as haematomas that need surgery and even deafness.

Ear mites may be prevented by proper ear hygiene. Use ear drops on a daily basis to clean your pet's ears.