Small but terrible parasites – is what perfectly depicts these dreadful tiny creatures thriving inside your cat’s ears.
Fortunately, they can easily be prevented and there are a lot of effective options in treating ear mites.
And in this article, we’ll walk you through our top picks for the best ear mite medicine for cats, so, you won’t end up wasting your precious time and money with inferior products.
What Are Ear Mites?
Ear mites, otherwise known as Otodectes cynotis, are tiny spider-like surface creatures that live on cats, dogs, rabbits, and ferrets. They are usually found inside the ear canals, though, they can also live on the skin surface.
Ear mites are barely visible to the naked eye, but they have eight legs and they look like tiny white ticks. Hence, they may appear as white dots moving against a dark background.
And since, these microscopic parasites are almost invisible, the presence of a strong odor in your cats ears is the easiest way to know that they are just there creeping inside your cat’s ear canal.
How Do Cats Get Ear Mites?
Ear mites are highly contagious, and can easily spread through direct contact between an infested feline with other cats.
Because of its mode of transmission, ear mite infection is often called “social infection.” In particular, ear mites can transfer from one cat to another through playing, mating, grooming, or sleeping together.
This also explains why indoor cats can also get ear mite problems even without going outside or having direct contact with outdoor cats.
You might ask how can indoor cats without direct contact with outside cats with ear mites be infested with these parasites?
Well, there are different possibilities. You might have brought a new cat into your home which happened to have ear mites. Or in rare cases, ear mites can also come inside your house without being carried by a host.
Although the latter is highly unusual, it can still happen. And that’s why, it is important to have regular effective treatment for ear mites, as well as regular pesticide treatment of your cat’s living environment.
Nonetheless, the risk of being infested with ear mites is higher for felines in poor living conditions, such as those that live in shelters with many cats, as well those that are stuck together inside a confined space in pet stores.
Does Your Cat Have Ear Mite Infection?
Does your cat love to shake heads and keep his ears flat against his head? If so, your gut feeling must be right – these are two classic signs of ear mite infestation.
However, head shaking can also indicate the presence of ear infections. So, it’s still better to seek veterinary advice and have your cat tested for ear mites.
Ear mites infestations are very common in young kittens, though, cats of any age can be affected, too. Early diagnosis is important because when left untreated, ear mite infestation can lead to permanent hearing loss.
And as mentioned earlier, ear mites are highly contagious. Hence, an affected cat can easily transfer the mites to other cats, especially if you have multiple pets at home.
The clinical signs of ear mite infestation can vary in severity from one cat to another, and may include the combination of the following:
- Ear irritation, which causes head shaking or scratching at the ears
- Hair loss around the ears
- Dark, waxy crust inside your cat’s ear
- Crusted rust around or in the irritated ears
- Presence of blood blister on the ear or aural hematoma caused by excessive grooming or scratching
- Foul odor coming from the ears
If you suspect any of the above symptoms, you should schedule a visit to the vet as soon as possible to rule out other ear problems, secondary infections, and accurately diagnose the presence of ear mites.
These pesky little parasites are stubbornly hard to eradicate. However, they can still be defeated with the religious implementation of the best treatment regimen, which includes cleaning your cat’s ear daily with ear cleaner, and the application of ear mite medicine for a prescribed number of days.
How Are Ear Mite Infestations Diagnosed?
The presence of the clinical signs mentioned above and a cat’s history of direct contact with an affected cat can all suggest positive ear mite infestation. However, it’s also easy to accurately identify its presence and diagnose your cat with ear mite problems.
As mentioned earlier, simply schedule your visit to the vet. Your veterinarian can perform either or both of the two diagnostic tests: he can use an otoscope to examine your cat’s ear, and he can also take a sample of the ear wax or discharge and examine it under a microscope.
Pet owners should not assume that their cats have ear mites without seeking veterinary advice. Inaccurate self-diagnosis of your cat’s ear problems can lead to inaccurate and ineffective treatment, or worse, it can just lead to severe infections.
Advantage Multi Topical Solution
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Revolution Topical Solution for Cats
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Sentry HC EARMITE Free Medication
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Arava Natural Ear Mite Treatment
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PetArmor Medication for Ear Mites
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Hartz Medication for Ear Mites
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Milbemite Otic Solution for Cats
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Adams Medication for Ear Mites
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Otomite Plus Ear Mite Treatment
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Our Top 9 Picks for Best Ear Mite Medicine For Cats
- Advantage Multi Topical Solution
- Revolution Topical Solution for Cats
- Sentry HC EARMITE Free Medication
- Arava Natural Ear Mite Treatment
- PetArmor Medication for Ear Mites
- Hartz Medication for Ear Mites
- Milbemite Otic Solution for Cats
- Adams Medication for Ear Mites
- Virbac Otomite Plus Ear Mite Treatment
1. Advantage Multi Topical Solution
This is a prescription medication, so, your cat must have a current heartworm file with your veterinarian before you can purchase this either online or in stores.
Advantage Multi Topical Solution for Cats is a broad-spectrum topical solution that can be used by pet parents as a monthly medication to control the symptoms caused by multiple parasites.
This easy-to-use topical solution is designed to kill adult fleas, treat and control ear mite infestation, roundworms, and hookworms, as well as prevent heartworm disease.
The active ingredients of this medication are Imidacloprid and Moxidectin. And this specific variant is specifically formulated for cats and ferrets weighing at least two pounds.
Before using this solution, you should first talk to your vet about any drugs your cat is taking.
And anytime after applying this topical solution, you should contact your vet if your cat experiences pruritus/scratching, wounds and inflammation at the treatment site, body weakness, and chemical odor.
2. Revolution Topical Solution for Cats
Revolution Topical Solution for Cats is another medication that requires a prescription from the veterinarian.
This spot-on treatment is definitely one of the best prescription medications, and it is specially formulated for use in cats weighing 5 to 15 pounds and 8 weeks of age and older.
Revolution Topical Solution is best used as a monthly preventative treatment for fleas and heartworm disease in cats, and the treatment and control of ear mites, hookworms, and roundworms.
The active ingredient of this solution is 45 mg Selamectin, which is an anti-parasitic medication similar to Ivermectin.
Unlike many other ear mite medications that go into your cat’s ear, Revolution Topical Solution is applied directly to the skin the same with Advantage Multi Topical Solution.
3. Sentry HC EARMITE Free Medication
The presence of ear mites can cause itchiness and irritation in most cats, which is why Sentry HC EARMITE Free Medication is a great option.
Aside from its apparent use in killing ear mites, this medication also contains a soothing aloe to provide quick relief from the itchiness caused by mites and ticks.
The active ingredients of this solution that enables it to kill ear mites and ticks quickly and effectively are pyrethrin and piperonyl butoxide.
This medication is also water-based, which is also a relief because you won’t have to let your cat feel the stickiness or oiliness, which is common in oil-based solutions.
4. Arava Natural Ear Mite Treatment
If you are looking for an all-natural ear mite medication for your feline companion, then, Arava Natural Ear Mite Treatment is your best option. This solution is free from chemical ingredients such as Ivermectin.
Arava Natural Ear Mite Treatment is packed with a concoction of 9 all-natural ingredients and 26 Dead Sea minerals that all work together to safely and effectively eliminate ear mites and keep your cat’s ear clean at all times. What’s more, it is also effective in eliminating antibiotic resistant organisms.
This all-natural solution also contains other pest-repelling ingredients like peppermint and lemongrass, as well as antifungal and antibacterial ingredients such as cinnamon, thyme, and eastern red cedar.
So, as long as your cat isn’t allergic to these ingredients, there’s a very low risk that he will develop irritation or sensitivity from using this since it is completely free from strong and irritating chemicals.
Also, it’s worth noting that the positive outcome of using this product relies on its proper use. Aruva recommends that you apply the solution to your cat’s ears every two days for at least 10 days. Many cat parents notice a difference in their cat’s behavior even before the tenth day.
While this is a natural medication, it is not formulated to be used for kittens. It is specially made only for dogs, puppies, and adult cats.
5. PetArmor Medication for Ear Mites
Fully-armed against the pesky parasites, your cat can once again enjoy an itch-free day with PetArmor Ear Mite and Tick Treatment for cats.
This easy-to-use medication can effectively kill mites and ticks with the regular application of 5 drops into your cat’s ear twice a day.
Each drop of this solution is packed with the active ingredients pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide that kill ear mites and ticks. It also contains aloe to soothe your cat’s ears and get instant relief.
Just like most ear mite medications, this solution is also not intended for use in kittens under 12 weeks. It is recommended that you do follow-up treatments to ensure that your cat’s mites won’t return and the ear mite eggs are killed once they are hatched.
6. Hartz Medication for Ear Mites
Ear mites don’t only cause great discomfort to your feline companion, but as mentioned earlier, when left untreated, these annoying minuscule creatures can also cause permanent hearing loss.
And no pet parent would want that for their furry babies. Good thing that there are easy-to-use and effective ear mite medications just like Hartz Ultra Guard Medication for Ear Mites for Cats.
This medication contains pyrethrin and piperonyl butoxide, which are two commonly-used active ingredients in ear mite medications.
Aside from these two active ingredients, this solution also contains aloe to soothe your cat’s irritated skin in the affected areas.
7. Milbemite Otic Solution for Cats
If you’ve been searching for a safe and effective ear mite medication specially formulated for adult cats and kittens four weeks of age and older, Milbemite Otic Solution is the one you are looking for.
This otic solution contains 0.1% Milbemycin Oxime, which makes it tough on ear mites, but gentle enough for cats and kittens.
It is formulated to kill 99% of ear mites with just a single application, and its effectiveness is proven to last during the entire life cycle of adult mites.
8. Adams Medication for Ear Mites
Similar to most of the medications in this list, Adams Ear Mite Treatment also contains pyrethrin and piperonyl butoxide.
However, every drop is also loaded with soothing aloe and lanolin to intensify the solution’s relieving power to reduce itchiness in the affected areas while also promoting healing.
As expected with medications that contain an insecticide, this treatment kills ear mites on contact. It also helps remove the wax that accompanies the ear mite infestation. This insecticide treatment is safe to be used for cats and dogs over 12 weeks of age.
By following the three simple steps, this medication can help clear your cat’s ear with these pesky mites. To use it, simply apply the recommended number of drops to your cat’s ear canal.
Massage the ear canals to ensure that the solution can penetrate the ear wax. Lastly, dry your cat’s ear with a cotton ball.
This treatment should be used continuously for 7 to 10 days, and it can be repeated 2 weeks after the last treatment.
9. Otomite Plus Ear Mite Treatment
Otomite Plus Ear Miticide kills ear mites without causing irritation. It contains double synergized pyrethrin in an olive oil suspension to effectively penetrate your cat’s ear.
However, for the solution to work properly, you need to clean your cat’s ear first with ear wipes followed by a gentle ear massage to distribute the solution evenly.
This otic solution is specially formulated as a treatment for ear mites in cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens.
When using the product, remember to follow the instructions carefully and continue using it even though your cat’s ear mite problem appeared to have been resolved. For best results, it is also recommended to re-treat your pet after two weeks.
How Can Ear Mite Infestation Be Prevented?
Isolation, or separating your cat from other outdoor cats and dogs is one way to prevent ear mite infestation. Another one is by using a topical treatment, such as those that contain fipronil just like Frontline topical medication.
Preventing contact with a potentially affected cat or unknown outdoor cats can help prevent your feline companion from getting ear mites. Cats can also get ear mites from dogs, so, it’s best to keep strays away from your cat.
You should also refrain from welcoming new cats and dogs inside your house without checking their ears first.
After checking their ears, and you suspect that they have ear mites, even if it’s not definitive, it’s best not to let them in your house. It’s also recommended that you have them checked by a veterinarian.
Doing so will benefit both parties, since the affected cats and dogs can be treated, and they won’t be able to transfer their mites to your cat and other animals outside of your home. So, it’s a win-win situation.
Disinfecting Your Cat’s Living Environment
Regular cleaning and disinfection of your cat’s living environment, and the areas inside your house where he usually settles is also another way to prevent ear mite infestation.
You can use a standard insecticide for this purpose, such as an Esfenvalerate insecticide. Use this to treat your windows and doors, as well as other surfaces, folds, cracks, and crevices inside your house.
Studies have shown that fipronil is an effective preventative treatment of ear mites for cats. Although this was originally made to kill termites, over the years, it has evolved to be an excellent solution to controlling ear mites, as well.
As mentioned earlier, one of the commonly used products for cats that contain fipronil is Frontline topical medication. This product can be used both in preventing ear mites, as well as in killing ear mites in case your cat already has them.
Ear Mite Treatments: How Do You Get Rid of Ear Mites?
Okay, so assuming your efforts to prevent ear mites failed, and your cat ended up having these parasites, what should you do now?
Once your vet has diagnosed the presence of these parasites, he will definitely prescribe medications to kill ear mites.
Again, proper diagnosis is important. If you simply assumed that your cat has ear mites, and you ended up treating him for this problem when you should be treating him for a fungal infection or outer ear bacterial infection, then, the medication won’t work, too.
There are several treatment options to get rid of ear mites. However, in most cases, treatment always starts with a thorough cleansing of your cat’s ears. You should not just use water or any solution to do this.
You should purchase a high-quality ear cleaner that is designed for this purpose. And of course, you should avoid products with irritating ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide and alcohol. Also, don’t forget to follow the instructions carefully for a better outcome.
Cleaning your cat’s dirty ears before using topical treatments is recommended because it removes debris or dead skin that could prevent the proper absorption of the topical medication. And it also increases the likelihood that the topical medication will reach its target – the ear mites.
Another effective treatment in getting rid of ear mites is flea or tick medication. Many of these products are effective in treating ear mites even though they are not labeled for such a purpose.
Below are our top picks for the best ear mite medicine for cats that could work both in preventing and killing ear mites.
How to Know the Difference Between Ear Mites and Ear Infection in Cats?
As a cat parent, you must first identify your cat’s ear problem before treating it; or else, you will end up wasting your money on a certain medication that won’t solve your cat’s pain and discomfort.
But, how can you tell if your cat has ear mites or has an ear infection?
Cat ear infections are relatively common in cats, and the symptoms usually involve head shaking, itching, foul odor, and the presence of discharge.
And you are right, common ear infections also share the same symptoms as ear mites and this is because the presence of these parasites is one of the usual causes of ear infections in cats.
However, your cat’s ear problems can also be caused by yeast infections, allergies, bacterial infection, and fungal infections. The good thing about yeast and bacterial ear infections is that they are not contagious, unlike ear mites.
To be sure that your cat has ear mites and not other types of infections, it is best to seek veterinary advice and have your cat’s ears checked for the presence of these parasites.
Can Ear Mites Transfer to Human Ears?
The environment inside our ears is different from that of a cat or a dog. So, it’s very unlikely that ear mites can survive in human ears.
Are There Homemade Natural Remedies for Ear Mites?
If you are like some pet owners who prefer using natural alternatives for your cat’s ear mite problem, you would be delighted to know that there are herbal remedies, as well that you can use.
However, as listed above, there are also commercially-sold ear mite medications that contain all-natural ingredients such as Arava Natural Botanical Ear Mite Treatment.
If you still want to treat your cat at home using homemade herbal remedies, you can start with apple cider vinegar. Simply mix one-part vinegar with one-part water, and apply a few drops to your cat’s ears once or twice a day.
Don’t forget to rub the base of your cat’s ear to distribute it before wiping away the excess. Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and it also contains antibacterial properties.
Another home remedy that you can try with your cat is the application of coconut oil. First, warm the coconut oil, and then add 8 to 10 drops into your cat’s ears before massaging it to evenly distribute the oil inside.
Finally, avoid using essential oils as these are toxic to cats.
Apple cider vinegar is very acidic, and strong concentrations of it can hurt the sensitive skin of your cat's ear. Consequently, you have to dilute it – and even then, it can still burn tissue or damage your cat's hair cells and follicles.
Applying small amounts of olive oil to your cat's ear to basically suffocate the ear mites, prevent them from latching onto the skin, and make it easier to remove the mites and eggs by wiping your cat's ears out with a makeup pad or soft washcloth.
The life cycle of an ear mite usually lasts three weeks which means that you should wait at least that long for your cat can be rid of the microscopic insects. The itchiness should start to subside as the medication takes effect, but you should contact your vet if your cat's symptoms don't improve.
The most common type of ear mite is Otodectes cynotis, which live in the ear canal and feed by piercing the thin skin. This causes severe itching and, if left untreated, can cause bacterial infections, swelling of the ear canal and eventually partial or total deafness.
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