Petsmart Ear Mite Treatments for Cats – What You Need to Know

Petsmart Ear Mite Treatments for Cats

Petsmart Ear Mite Treatments for Cats: Ear mites are tiny parasites that can infest your cat’s ears and cause a lot of irritation. The most common symptoms are scratching, head shaking, and dark wax in the ears.

Ear mites spread easily between animals, so if you have other pets, you’ll want to treat them too.

The good news is, ear mites are very treatable. You have a few options for getting rid of them, including ear drops, sprays, and oral medication. The most common treatments are ear drops containing drugs like fipronil, moxidectin, or selamectin. You’ll need to apply the drops as directed for 7-10 days to kill the mites and their eggs. Be very careful not to get any in your cat’s eyes.

It’s also important to thoroughly clean your cat’s ears to remove wax and debris before applying the medication. Your vet can show you how to properly and safely clean infected ears. They may also prescribe corticosteroids to help with inflammation.

For severe infestations, your vet may recommend antibiotics to prevent secondary infections. In rare cases, ear mites can travel to other parts of the body, so let your vet know right away if your cat is scratching excessively or has skin lesions.

The key to getting rid of ear mites is diligent treatment and follow-up. Even after the infestation clears up, you’ll need to re-treat about 2-4 weeks later to kill any newly hatched mites. Your vet can also recommend the best ways to prevent re-infestation and keep those pesky mites away for good!

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Petsmart Ear Mite Treatments for Cats

Ear Mite Symptoms to Look Out For

If your cat is scratching their ears more than usual or shaking their head a lot, it could be a sign of ear mites. These pesky parasites are common in cats and can cause inflammation and irritation.

Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Excessive ear scratching or head shaking. If your cat’s ears seem really itchy or they can’t stop scratching, it’s worth investigating. Ear mites can make ears feel very irritating.
  • Dark, crumbly earwax. Ear mites feed on earwax and skin oils, so you may notice darker, dirtier wax in the ears. It can look crumbly or coffee ground-like.
  • Redness or swelling. Ear mite infestations often lead to red, swollen ears. The ears may look inflamed or swollen, especially at the ear canal opening.
  • Head tilting or loss of balance. If ear mites have been present for a while, they can potentially lead to ear infections or inner ear problems. This may cause your cat to tilt their head to one side or lose their balance.
  • Visible ear mites or eggs. In some cases, you may actually see the tiny ear mites crawling around or their white eggs in the earwax. They will look like tiny dots moving around or small white specks attached to wax or skin.

The good news is ear mites are very treatable. Products like Revolution and Advantage Multi specifically target ear mites and can kill the infestation within a few weeks of treatment. Be sure to also thoroughly clean your cat’s ears to remove wax and debris. With the proper treatment and care, your feline friend will be back to normal in no time.

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Petsmart Ear Mite Treatments for Cats

1. Topical Ear Drops

The most common treatment for ear mites in cats are topical ear drop medications that you apply directly into the ears. Popular over-the-counter options available at PetSmart include Advantage Multi, Revolution, and Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment. These drops will typically contain medication to kill the mites, like ivermectin, as well as hydrocortisone to reduce inflammation. You’ll need to apply the drops for at least 30 days to fully eliminate an ear mite infestation. Be very careful not to overdose these medications. Always follow the directions and never use ear drops meant for dogs on cats.

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2. Oral Medication

For severe infestations, your vet may prescribe oral medication to treat the ear mites in addition to ear drops. Milbemycin oxime, like Interceptor or Sentinel, is commonly used. These oral meds will treat the mites from the inside out. Oral meds may cause side effects like vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy in some cats. Use only as directed by your vet.

3. Ear Cleaning

In addition to medication, it’s important to thoroughly clean your cat’s ears to remove built up debris and wax. PetSmart sells ear cleaners and miticide pads that are safe for use on cats. Gently wipe out and clean the outer ear area with a cotton ball soaked in ear cleaner. Never insert anything into the ear canal. Cleaning the ears will allow the medication to fully contact the mites. It also provides relief from inflammation and irritation for your cat.

4. Re-Treatment

Since ear mites can survive in the environment for several weeks, retreating your cat 7-10 days after the initial treatment is often needed to kill any newly hatched mites. It’s also a good idea to treat any other pets in the household to avoid re-infestation. With proper treatment and care, ear mites can be fully eliminated from your cat and home.

FAQ

What are ear mites in cats?

Ear mites, known as Otodectes cynotis, are microscopic parasites that can infest your cat’s ears. Ear mites feed on ear wax and oils, and can cause inflammation, irritation, and infection. Ear mites are highly contagious between cats, and sometimes to dogs. The most common symptoms are excessive head shaking, ear scratching, and crusty or waxy debris in the ears.

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How do I know if my cat has ear mites?

If your cat is shaking their head, scratching their ears frequently, or has dark wax or crust in their ears, they may have ear mites. You may see the ear mites, which look like tiny white or yellow dots, moving around. Your vet can examine your cat’s ears with an otoscope to check for mites, eggs, and skin irritation. They may take a sample of the ear wax or debris to view under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

What products does PetSmart offer to treat ear mites in cats?

PetSmart offers several over-the-counter and prescription ear mite treatments for cats:

  • Advantage Multi Topical Solution: Apply this topical medication once a month. It kills ear mites and provides ongoing protection.
  • Revolution: This topical medication needs to be applied once a month. It’s fast-acting and kills ear mites, fleas, and some intestinal parasites.
  • Milbemite: These ear drops contain milbemycin oxime to kill ear mites. They are applied once a week for 3-4 weeks.
  • Acarexx: This medication contains ivermectin to kill ear mites. It’s applied topically in the ears once a week for 2-4 weeks.
  • Prescription ear mite treatments: Your vet may prescribe oral or topical medication like ivermectin, milbemycin, or selamectin. These are very effective but need to be obtained from your vet.

To fully eliminate an ear mite infestation in cats, it’s best to treat all cats in the household and also treat the environment to prevent re-infestation. With prompt and proper treatment, ear mites can be eliminated and your cat can heal from associated inflammation and irritation. Be sure to follow up with your vet as directed to ensure the infestation has cleared.