Ear mites cause infections and are fairly common in warm climates.  In a manner of speaking, one of the tiniest beasts that affect all cats, and can cause so much pain, itching, and suffering for them.  The ear mite is the size of a pinhead. Therefore, it takes the magnification of a hand-held veterinarian otoscope or a wireless otoscope to allow vet, and cat owner, to see the ear canal and determine the ear health.  Try searching for ear mite videos on YouTube if you care to see these little monsters.  Only if you have a strong constitution though.

“How can I tell?” you may ask.  First of all, your cat is scratching his ear or ears or just has one ear tipped downward in an uncomfortable-looking position.  Look inside his ear, which normally looks pink and healthy for dark brown or reddish debris.  That is the first sign that you need to take the kitty to the vet.  In addition, some other symptoms that would give you a clue to these creatures living off your cat’s skin and blood, breeding and laying eggs to prolong the cycle:

    • Scales on ears from scratching
    • Frequent shaking of the head
    • Rubbing of the head on carpet or furniture
    • Red, brown or black crusting in or around the ear
    • Crusting on the head and around the ear
    • Ear tipping
    • Odor
    • Meowing as if in pain while scratching the ear
    • If left for too long: hematoma
      Life cycle of Ear Mites
      Life cycle of an Ear Mite

Ear mites cause even more issues

The most common cause for a hematoma is from ear mites that have been active too long.  The shaking and scratching cause the hematoma and even though the issue is then taken care of and the hematoma goes down, the ear will most always be permanently bent and will not recover.

All in all, ear mites crawl in the ear and make your cat’s life a living hell.  The lifespan of an ear mite is about two months.  In that period of time the female, who is fertilized by adult males before she is even fully developed (in the nymph stage), lays eggs that hatch to the larva in 4 days.  The whole life stage of an ear mite growing to an adult capable of breeding or laying eggs is 3 weeks.  By this, we can understand just how quickly a few of the critters are able to overpopulate our pets and how badly they can affect them.

Treatment for the Infestation

There are many natural and not so natural treatments on the market and your veterinarian will help to guide you the best way to treat your cat or kitten’s ear mite infestation.

Any kitten can get an ear mite infestation.  A healthy kitten will always have clean ears and if they are dirty, it is usually from ear mites.  The Breeders of Savannah Cat Association want to remind you that this is just one reason for choosing a reputable breeder who will help to ensure healthy and clean kittens instead of a backyard breeder.

In case you need a reason to own a Savannah cat you will find 101 reasons here.


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