How to Treat Ear Mites in Cats at Home

Does your beloved feline have painful, itchy ears? You can relieve their discomfort with simple, safe home remedies. Learn how to treat ear mites in cats and nurture your furry friend back to health.

Quick facts: Treating Ear Mites In Cats At Home

  • ✅ Ear mite infestation is the most common cause of ear disease in cats, and can be treated with natural remedies such as eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil and aloe vera, according to (Source:
  • ✅ Approximately 70-90% of cats are affected by ear mites at some point in their lives, states (Source:
  • ✅ An effective home remedy for ear mites in cats is to mix one part white vinegar with one part rubbing alcohol and use a cotton ball to apply the solution to the affected area, notes Cat World. (Source: Cat World)
  • ✅ Over-the-counter products such as Advantage Multi, Revolution and Frontline Plus are effective in treating ear mites in cats, according to (Source:
  • ✅ Treating ear mites in cats requires patience and consistency, as some mites may remain in the ear canal even after successful treatment, states the Animal Humane Society. (Source: Animal Humane Society)

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Ear mites are small parasites that live inside a cat’s ear canal. They feed off the wax and oils in the ear, causing a great deal of discomfort for cats. Ear mites are extremely contagious, so it’s important to treat them as soon as they’re noticed. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments available to help rid your kitty of these pesky parasites.

The best way to treat ear mites in cats at home is to first identify the symptoms. Ear mites cause redness and irritation in the ears accompanied by itching and scratching behavior from your cat. You may also notice a reddish-brown discharge coming from your pet’s ears, bacteria overgrowth (which can cause an offensive odor) and extreme head shaking when part of its ear is touched or stroked.

Once you have determined that your pet has ear mite infestation, you can begin treating it with one of two simple home remedies:

  • Cleaning the ears with a cotton ball soaked warm water
  • Using any commercially available natural treatments for these parasites.

Symptoms of Ear Mites

Ear mites are small parasites that can cause various symptoms in cats. The most common signs of ear mites include

  • excessive scratching
  • shaking of the head
  • poor hearing
  • an accumulation of brown wax in the ears

Your cat may also suffer from

  • ear irritation
  • redness
  • discharge

It is important to recognize the symptoms of ear mites in order to provide your cat with prompt and appropriate treatment.

Itching and scratching

Itching and scratching of the ears is a common symptom of ear mites in cats. Cats will commonly scratch or rub their ears, shake their heads, and scratch behind their ears. This behavior can be so pronounced that it may even cause self-inflicted wounds to the ear area. The excessive itching and scratching can also lead to discomfort and pain in the cat. This is due to the presence of mites on the cat’s skin which cause inflammation, leading to itchiness.

Additionally, if left untreated for an extended period of time, it can cause permanent damage that results in hearing loss or other complications not related to the ears. Treatment for ear mites should be initiated as quickly as possible to prevent further complications from developing.

Brown or black discharge

A brown or black discharge from the ear is one of the hallmarks of an ear mite infestation in cats. The brown/black material is actually a combination of wax and mite feces that, if left untreated, can result in a bacterial infection. Because cats are prone to scratching their ears when they have ear mites, they may damage their ears and create a more serious infection, so it’s important to treat the mites as soon as possible.

Other symptoms of ear mites include:

  • An unpleasant smell from the ears
  • Head shaking or tilting
  • Redness and scabbing on the external part of the ears

If you suspect your cat has ear mites, seek veterinary care immediately.

Red, inflamed skin

One of the most common signs of ear mites in cats is red, inflamed skin inside and around the ears. When present, this skin is usually accompanied by a dry, scaly appearance. Your cat may also shake their head or scratch at their ears due to itching and irritation.

Note that ear mites often cause secondary bacterial or yeast infections, which can lead to dark-colored discharge and an unpleasant odor coming from the ears. These infections can also make a cat claw at their infected ear even more aggressively than they would if they only had ear mites. As such, it’s important to take your cat to a vet if you notice this symptom in order to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.


Proper diagnosis of ear mites in cats is essential before proper treatment can be administered. It is recommended to bring your cat to the vet for diagnosis as the vet has the proper resources and expertise to accurately diagnose ear mites in cats. However, there are some telltale signs you can look out for at home:

  • Sign 1…
  • Sign 2…
  • Sign 3…

Visiting a vet

Visiting a vet is the best way to diagnose and treat ear mites in cats. A vet will be able to inspect your cat’s ears and confirm if the cat is indeed suffering from ear mites. The vet will also be able to discuss the most suitable treatment options.

Treatment options may include the use of medicated drops to kill the parasites, or prescribed medications (oral or topical). The vet may also recommend cleaning agents (e.g. alcohol wipes), as well as follow up visits, in order to check on how your cat is responding to treatment and make any adjustments where necessary.

Visiting a vet will help ensure that your cat receives appropriate treatment for their ear mite infestation which can prevent long term complications caused by untreated ear mites in cats such as chronic pain, hearing loss or infections.

Examining the ears

Examining a cat’s ears is the first step in diagnosing ear mites. As cats with ear mites may show no visible signs of infection, it is important to closely inspect the ears. A vet can use an otoscope to look inside the ear canal for evidence of mites and debris. The vet may also pull back the pinna and examine the ear for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, scabbing or discharge.

The area around the pinna may look greasy due to a build-up of wax produced by ear mites and bacteria. If possible, take your cat to a vet for an examination if you suspect they have ear mites.


Treating ear mites in cats at home requires diligent care to ensure the mites are completely gone. A variety of treatment methods can be used to treat ear mites, including over-the-counter medications, home remedies, and medications from your veterinarian. Let’s explore the various treatment options available to help your cat:

  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Home remedies
  • Medications from your veterinarian

Cleaning the ears

Cleaning the ears of a cat with ear mites is a necessary first step in the treatment process. Before applying any medications or treatments to your cat’s ears, you should use an ear cleaner to remove excess wax, dirt, and other debris that may be present. Ear cleaners are available over-the-counter at most pet stores and can be used at home following the instructions provided with the product.

For cats with smaller amounts of wax build up, plain mineral oil can aid in softening and loosening the wax before attempting to clean it out. It can be applied directly into your cat’s ears using a cotton ball or pipe cleaner. If you do use mineral oil, make sure it is followed up with professional cleaning using an ear cleaner, as mineral oil alone is not enough to fully treat ear mites.

Administering medication

If your veterinarian prescribes topical medications to treat ear mites in cats, it will be important to administer them as directed. You will typically be given an ointment or liquid solution that you can apply with an eyedropper or syringe directly into the ear canal.

Make sure to thoroughly coat the ear and massage the base of the ears gently to ensure that the medication makes its way into all the crevices around her ear canal. Applying warm compresses prior to administering medications can help soften wax and make it easier for medication to penetrate deep within the ears.

After applying medication, keep your cat from shaking her head too much by holding a cotton ball inside her ears for a few minutes after each application. Repeat this process for as many days as recommended by your veterinarian.

Applying topical treatments

Applying topical treatments to treat ear mites in cats is one of the most common ways to provide relief. Treatments are typically applied every three or four days, and can range from over-the-counter medications to prescription solutions.

An important step when applying any type of treatment is to ensure that it reaches all affected areas, which may require the use of a cotton swab. When using an over-the-counter treatment, be sure to read the label carefully and follow instructions for use—most solutions need to be left on for 8–24 hours for effectiveness.

If your cat has a severe infestation or if symptoms do not improve after two weeks of at-home care, contact your veterinarian as your pet may need a more intensive or aggressive treatment protocol.


Preventing your cat from getting ear mites is the best way to avoid a costly vet visit. Start by regularly cleaning your cat’s ears and checking for any signs of ear mites. Make sure to use a vet-approved ear cleaner and follow up with a regular grooming routine.

Regularly inspecting your cat’s ears will help you catch any potential ear mite infestation early on and reduce the chance of costly vet treatments.

Regularly checking for mites

Regularly checking for ear mites in cats is one of the best ways to prevent or treat infestations. Carefully examine the area around your cat’s ears, especially if they scratch at their ears or appear to be in discomfort. Mites will often leave dark, scaly residue in and around the ear canal, as well as on the body and fur near the head. This residue can look like dirt and wax, so it’s important to look closely for signs of an infection.

If you find any evidence of mites, it’s important to seek veterinary care right away. There are several effective treatments available for mite infestations, including:

  • Topical medications that can be applied directly to your cat’s skin and ears.
  • Oral medications or antibiotics to help reduce inflammation and other symptoms associated with ear mites.

Keeping the cat’s environment clean

Preventing ear mites in cats involves keeping the cat’s environment clean and free of parasites. This can be done through:

  • Regular grooming
  • Washing the cat’s ears on a weekly basis
  • Vacuuming carpets and furniture frequently
  • Regular trips outdoors should also be monitored to ensure that the cat is not exposed to other cats or wild animals that may be contaminated with mites
  • Changing bedding regularly
  • Keeping up to date with flea control treatments in order to reduce the risk of infestation

These preventative measures are important for keeping your cat healthy and free of infestations.

Grooming regularly

Grooming your cat regularly is an important preventative measure to help protect against ear mites. Regular brushing or combing of the fur can help remove debris and dirt from inside the ears that may attract ear mites. Additionally, using an appropriate flea and tick control product, as approved by a veterinarian, can help reduce the risk of mites and other parasites. If your cat is on any medications for specific skin conditions, it’s important to follow the vet’s instructions for use and frequency.

Regularly cleaning out your pet’s ears with a cotton swab or cloth dampened with warm water or an over-the-counter ear cleaner will also reduce the chance of mite infestations in cats:

  • Use a cotton swab or cloth dampened with warm water.
  • Use an over-the-counter ear cleaner.

FAQs about: Treating Ear Mites In Cats At Home

Q: Is it safe to treat ear mites in cats at home?

A: It is generally not recommended to treat ear mites in cats at home since this is a medical condition that requires a veterinarian’s expertise and professional diagnosis. However, if your veterinarian has approved the use of a home remedy, it is important to follow their instructions carefully to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.

Q: What are some home remedies for treating ear mites in cats?

A: Some home remedies that may be used to treat ear mites in cats include cleaning the ears with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water, applying a few drops of mineral or olive oil to the affected area, and using a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part warm water to flush out the ear mites. Additionally, many veterinarians may recommend using a topical treatment such as Advantage Multi, Revolution, or Promeris.

Q: How long does it take for ear mites to go away in cats?

A: The amount of time it takes for ear mites to go away in cats depends on the severity of the infestation and the type of treatment used. In most cases, it can take several weeks of treatment for the ear mites to be completely eradicated. It is important to continue to treat the cat for the duration of the treatment even if the symptoms appear to have cleared up.

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