Preventing Ear Mites in Kittens

Kittens ear mites prove troublesome to both pet and owner. Most kittens are too young for medications, but owners can't stand watching their cat itching ears until they are bleeding. Rest assured, there are treatments you can use on kitten ears that kill the mites and keep eggs from hatching.

Facts about Kittens' Ear Mites

Ear mites affect nine out of ten cats during their lifetime. They are more common in outdoor cats, but that doesn't mean indoor cats are safe. Many kittens get ear mites from their mother shortly after birth.

Tiny ear mites resemble crabs and thrive in a feline's ear canals eating ear wax and dead skin tissue. Generally, kitten's ear mites do not cause major health issues, but they do cause itching. In some cases, ear mite infestations may lead to ear infections and skin rashes.

The key sign of ear mite infestations involves seeing a cat itching his ears incessantly, as well as a crumbly, black build up of discharge inside the ear. The discharge resembles coffee grounds.

Ear mites are hard to fight because they will leave the ear canal and travel as far as the tip of a kitten's tail, especially if the kitten tends to curl his tail around him while sleeping. If you use ear drops, the mites may be on other areas of the body. They return to the ear canal after the medication loses potency. For this reason, you may want to look at other medications and treatment options.

Popular Medications for a Kitten's Ear Mites

Miticide ear drops remain the most popular treatment for ear mites because they are available over the counter. Before using any miticide, make sure a veterinarian confirms the diagnosis of kitten's ear mites and that there is no underlying allergy or infection.

Most kitten ear drops require repeat doses over the spell of a month. Make sure you continue treatments to kill newly hatching mites. Never use ear mite medications meant for dogs on kitten ears. This could lead to a serious overdose.

Ear mite medications are not safe for all ages. Young kittens should not be given miticide ear drops until they've passed 12 weeks of age. Prescription medications like Interceptor and Revolution must be given to kittens older than six weeks.

Injections of ivermectin is used by vets to kill kittens' ear mites. It does require a series of three injections to kill off all ear mites, but it is one of the most extremely effective methods to date. There is also a topical version known as Acarexx that is approved for kittens four weeks of age.

Prevention Tips for Kitten's Ear Mites

If you suspect your kitten has ear mites, wash the area surrounding the kitten's ears with a gentle soap or baby shampoo, also wash the tip of your kitten's tail and all bedding.

Many pet owners find warmed olive oil drops used on a kitten's itchy ears ends ear mite infestations and soothes the itching. This is especially useful if you've taken in numerous kittens at the same time and are hesitant to let them groom each other after using miticides. Olive oil is completely safe.