Mites in Cats (all you need to know)

One of the biggest threats to the general well-being of our pets is the annoying mites in cats.

And, if we start to analyze, we can imagine how irritating it must be to have these small organisms spreading on your skin or inside your ears.

One of these parasites that can annoy our kittens the most are mites, these are very common ectoparasites in cats. We can even attribute more than half of the cases of ear infections in cats to these tiny animals.

Although it should be mentioned that ear infections in cats are not as common as some other diseases of cats, but, without a doubt, their conditions are mostly due to the interference of mites.

These Mites in cats can cause a lot of damage if they are not treated in time in the right way. This is why it is important that you know and have all the necessary information about this, the symptoms, treatments and prevention. So that you can give your cat good care. And this will be possible if you continue reading this post.

What are mites?

First of all, you should know what mites are. Well, mites are ectoparasites that can be found on the skin of cats, they feed on it. Some mites are responsible for tunnelling into the skin of small kittens to live and facilitate their reproduction and feeding

The reproduction of mites in cats is really fast and as if that were not enough they do it in masses, of course, if the conditions in which they are found are adequate. If so, its proliferation will be such that it will cause an immense infestation in the host of the parasite. Various types of mites can occur in cats, but the most common is that capable of causing scabies and otitis.

Among the mites that most affect cats we can find:

  • Demodex cati
  • Demodex gatoi
  • Notoedres cati
  • Cheyletiella
  • Otodectes cynotis, the latter being the most common of all the aforementioned.

The Otodectes cynotis, is a very, very tiny spider that is able to adapt to almost any environment , is able to live this mite in cats and dogs. The mite would be causing the most common external parasites among cats.

Three weeks are enough for the life cycle of the mites in the ears of cats, and their life cycle is as follows: first the mite eggs hatch inside the ear of the pussycat, the larva that hatches from these eggs feeds of the skin there, after about 21 days, the larva is already an adult capable of continuing to reproduce.

The average life of the mite is approximately 3 weeks, it is not that long, but during this time they reproduce massively. The mites that attack our kitten are white or brown, do not exceed 0.5 mm, the females are larger than the males.

They are not microscopic, this can be easily observed inside the cat’s ear with an otoscope or not necessarily with one, if your cat allows it you can observe these tiny parasites.

Naturally, these parasites lodge in the cat’s ears, however, if the infestation is massive, they can be found on the cat’s head and face. Even one or the other can be found in another area of ​​the body, of course, this is not common.

These ear mites in cats, as mentioned above, feed on the skin and the wax that is generated in the ears, and the saliva that they generate causes irritation and itching.

The cats most likely to have mites are those young with long hair. A cat having mites is like the equivalent of a child with lice.

So, if you notice that your beloved kitten is having secretions in its ears, you should take the appropriate measures and look for mites, take them to a veterinarian and put them in treatment as quickly as possible.

If this is not treated in time, it can cause a total obstruction of the ear canal , due to stenosis or widening of the canal walls.

Remember that it is normal for your cat’s ears to be pale pink, and without any substance coming out of them.

Symptoms that a cat has mites

Since I have told you what mites are, you are surely wondering how do I know that my cat has mites in the ears?

Detecting these small parasites is not that complicated, your cat will give clear signals that it is infested with mites. And maybe you don’t know exactly what those signals are, and don’t worry, we’ll mention them below:

  • You will be able to observe a kind of cerumen of a dark tone in your cat’s ears and they will also be inflamed. The presence of these mites will cause bleeding in the cat’s ears. This is due to the breakage that these cause in the blood vessels present in the ear cartilage, which is why you will find the presence of fresh or dry blood. Keep in mind that dried blood takes on the appearance of small particles of coffee. The normal thing is that your cat’s ears are pale pink and without any type of discharge. 
  • You will notice your cat much more restless than normal, in addition, it will shake and tilt its head repeatedly: this because it will surely feel a lot of itching in the ear. Mites are really annoying and if they are present in your cat, it will feel a lot of discomfort.
  • The ears flattened and your cat will also lay off an odour at all pleasant. This is because the wax produced inside your cat’s ears will take on a strong, unpleasant and characteristic odour due to the infection produced by the mites.

We also inform you that mites are highly contagious between cats, they may even be contagious to dogs, which is not so common, but it is possible.

As for contagion to humans as it is too unlikely to happen, of course it is not ruled out. Well, there are extreme cases where the proliferation is so massive that Noah’s Syndrome can occur .

Keep in mind that these symptoms may not all occur at the same time. But it is important that if you see that your cat has just one of the aforementioned symptoms, you take it quickly to your veterinarian.

To give you a diagnosis and indicate the appropriate treatment to treat mites in your cat as soon as possible.

Treatment of mites in cats

The Otodectes cynotis is a type of mite that is quite difficult to get rid. In its treatment, it is necessary to find a way to kill the parasite and at the same time ensure that it does not damage the tissues that make up the cat’s ear.

That is, the treatment must completely eliminate the mites and regenerate the epithelium.

In addition, this must be indicated by a veterinarian, who must provide you with all the necessary information and the exact procedure to follow. However, here we will indicate more or less how the treatment is:

The first thing they will tell you to do is perform a deep cleaning in the cat’s ears in order to eliminate segregations and facilitate the action of the acaricide. It is important to clean the ear and apply the acaricide.

The vet will tell you which ones to use. You must spread some special swabs or simply some cottons with the cleaning liquid , you must do it with great care and gentleness so as not to damage the area further.

If the vet can do it, it would be ideal, otherwise it should tell you how to do it correctly.

Cleaning the ears should not be done daily as it can cause tissue damage and aggravate previous injuries caused by mites. This cleaner is a solution with characteristic properties that drown the parasite.

Now the miticide is usually selamectin pipettes or a gel containing ivermectin. The vet treating the infection will tell you how often to apply them.

If the mite infestation in your cat is very serious it is usually every 4 or 5 days, now if it is milder it can be applied once a week. It is also advisable to apply an insecticide to the cat to also get rid of parasites outside the ear.

Commonly the treatment against mites usually lasts approximately 3 weeks, and after finishing it it is advisable to apply it once more after three weeks.

In order to ensure the total elimination of these annoying parasites that alter the tranquillity of your kitten.

It is important to remind yourself again that this treatment should be applied after a veterinarian tells you.

Do not do it yourself, you must have the exact indications for this, for greater effectiveness and to avoid any complications due to misapplication.

Prevention of mites

The treatment that is applied to eliminate mites is very effective and not so difficult to apply, however, it is much better to prevent the existence of these inside your cat’s ear.

Next we will give you some tips so that you can avoid the contagion of mites in your cat:

  • Make sure their diet is adequate, varied and balanced. When your kitty has a good diet, it will also have a very efficient immune system capable of fighting and avoiding any serious infection.
  • Try to take them to the vet periodically, having control over its health is very good to avoid a massive infestation and even much more serious diseases.
  • Try to keep the area where your cat walks very clean, keep the place where it lives very clean. This will prevent these pesky parasites from reaching your territory.

With these tips you can avoid a possible infestation by mites in your beloved kitten, always be very attentive to your cat’s behaviours and fill them with a lot of love, with this you will ensure that your cat leads a very happy life.

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