Mites are, along with fleas, the most recurrent ectoparasites in cats. In fact, more than half of feline ear infections are caused by mites.
If you want to know more about how to prevent them, identify them and, above all, how to treat them in case your cat already has them, from SoyUnGato we explain everything.
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These tiny spiders resemble little whitish or brown spots that are barely 0.5 mm. However, if your cat is calm you will be able to observe how they move inside his ear. They feed on the wax accumulated in your pussy’s ear canal.
Cats are more likely than dogs to suffer from its infestation and within cats those with long hair and little age constitute the main risk group.
We could say that mites in young cats are comparable to lice in children. Despite the existence of more than 50,000 varieties, Otodectes cynotis are the most persistent in cats.
More than 90% of otitis in cats are due to this type of mite. In the remaining 10%, the cati notoedres, responsible for feline scabies , demodex gatoi or cheyletiella stand out.
Its life cycle lasts 3 weeks. At 4 days the eggs hatch and at 21 the larva becomes an adult and is therefore ready for reproduction.
Its saliva causes irritation and itching in the cat’s ear, triggering an infection by hypersecreting the auditory glands. If the infestation is severe, the mites can spread to the head, face and tip of the tail, due to their habit of sleeping curled up.
Remember that your cat’s ears should be pink and without any discharge. If the infestation is not treated, it can lead to complete obstruction of the ear canal due to stenosis or thickening of the walls.
How do I know if my cat has mites?
Among the symptoms that should alarm you about the presence of mites are the following:
- A dark wax and / or inflammation is visible in the ear. It is the dry and coagulated blood, the result of the rupture of the capillary vessels of the auricular cartilage.
- Your cat is restless and won’t stop shaking his head because his ear itches.
- Wounds or scabs are seen behind the ears, on the cheeks, in the upper area of the eyes or on the neck.
- Your pussycat tilts its head. This symptom indicates that it hurts.
- The ear gives off an unpleasant odor.
- The cat scratches a lot , with intensity, even causing injuries.
In the most severe cases, when the infestation is long-lasting, it may overlap with a secondary infection by fungi or bacteria that will require antifungals or antibiotics, apart from acaricides.
You should know that contagion to humans is quite unlikely . We should be facing a Noah syndrome with a heavy overcrowding of infested cats. Contagion by contact with objects is also unlikely.
Treatment for cats with mite infection
The curative procedure should kill the mites while pursuing the regeneration of the epithelium. It should be noted that you must first clean the ears to get rid of the exudate and thus facilitate the action of the antiparasitic.
Both cleaning and administration of the acaricide must be done at the same time. Your veterinarian will indicate the most suitable cleanser, which you should apply twice a day, as well as the ideal acaricide.
The cleaner is usually an oily solution that kills the mite by drowning it . Regarding the acaricide, selamectin pipettes are usually chosen, also effective against heartworms and other external parasites , or an ivermectin-based gel. In turn, the vet should show you how to administer it and how often.
Once the treatment is finished, you must repeat it after 3 weeks to ensure its full effectiveness. Since this way we will ensure that we completely eliminate the life cycle of the mite (from the egg to the adult).
If your cat is infested and you have a dog, do not hesitate to apply a preventive treatment . Remember to protect the area where you are going to apply the treatment with a towel and massage the ear to promote penetration.
Tips to prevent mites in your kitten
Curative treatment is effective and simple, but prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, following these guidelines will help you keep your best friend’s ear mites away:
- Provide him with a varied and balanced diet . In this way, your immune system will be in the best condition to fight infections and infestations.
- Visit the vet periodically to promote early detection.
- Extreme cleanliness of your cat’s habitat. Using non-harmful environmental insecticides on cats is a good practice.
As you can see, by following some simple cleaning and medical supervision routines, mites in cats have a short life . With the love and care that only you know how to provide, your cat will remain happy and free of parasites.
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