If you notice a dark brown waxy substance in your cat's ears, or if he torments himself by repeatedly scratching his ears, he may have ear mites. These are microscopic parasites that live in the ear canal and feed on skin and debris therein.
To make absolutely sure that ear mites are the problem, take your cat to the veterinarian for examination and treatment. Your veterinarian can recommend the application of medication to eradicate them. You may need to repeat the treatment several times as mites are persistent.
Alternatively, if you have a multiple cat household or are caring for stray or feral cats and cannot reasonably take them all to the veterinarian, you may be able to treat the mites at home. Simply dip a cotton swab into boric acid powder, and gently clean the visible part of the inside of the ear only.
The advantage of the dry powder is that it suffocates the mites and kills them without leaving a messy oil in your cat's ears that could make him even more miserable. It should also protect against other mites entering his ears.
Ticks, Mites And Mange
Ticks and mites are not often found on the indoor cat. If your indoor cat does have signs of any of these parasites, they have probably been carries in on dogs or human clothing. Outdoor and sick cats are most susceptible because they are more likely to be in contact with infected cats.
If you detect a tick on your cat, do not attempt to burn it off or pluck it out. A simple remedy is to cover it with petroleum jelly and leave it. The tick will usually die and fall off within a day or two.
Mites are parasites that are not usually seen with the naked eye. Mite infestation causes mange, which may include itchiness, dandruff and bald patches all over the cat's body. These signs may also be indicative of al allergic reaction or a hormonal change.
If your cat has these signs, you should take him to the veterinarian who can prescribe treatment. Treatment for mange usually involves medicated dips or baths at home. Although not a common problem among cats, cats from multiple cat environments often continue to be reinfected.
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