Back to Blog

How to Get Rid of Ear Mites in Cats

Although ear mites can infect both cats and dogs, they are much more common in cats and can lead to irritation, inflammation, infection, and ear obstruction. These tiny parasites feed on the wax and oils in your cat’s ears and can infect both the external and internal canals. Although an individual ear mite is barely detectable by the naked eye, the dark discharge (which can look similar to coffee grounds) that is produced by an infection is a common indicator.


If you believe your cat has ear mites, contact Germantown Vet today for a diagnosis and treatment plan—our number is (240) 252-7467.

Symptoms of Ear Mites in Cats


Ear mites are highly contagious—over 50 percent of all cat ear infections are caused by ear mites—and they can be passed from pet to pet by casual contact. Humans are generally immune to ear mites. Some general symptoms of ear mites in cats include:

  • Excessive scratching and rubbing of the ears
  • Head shaking
  • Hair loss and dermatitis
  • Dark waxy secretion (the coffee ground-like discharge)
  • Strong, foul odor
  • Inflammation of the ear
  • Obstruction of the ear canal with wax debris
  • Scratches or scabs near the ear

Not only can ear mites lead to ear and skin infections, they can sometimes lead to an aural hematoma, which is the rupturing of blood vessels inside your cat’s ear due to excessive scratching and head shaking. This often requires surgery to correct.


If you notice any of the above symptoms of ear mites in your cat, it’s very important that you bring your pet to a veterinarian right away for an accurate diagnosis because certain types of bacterial infections can mimic the symptoms of ear mites. We can take a swab of your cat’s ear and evaluate it under a microscope to determine the cause of your feline’s ear condition.

Cat Ear Mite Treatment

Once your cat’s ear mites have been diagnosed, they can be treated with prescription medication from your veterinarian, including creams and/or ear drops. Depending on the severity of the infection, your cat’s ears may need to be cleaned periodically with cotton and an ear cleanser—you can ask one of our vets for assistance with this. Your pet should begin to feel relief soon after the treatment has begun.

Prevent Ear Mites in the Future

The best way to prevent your cat from getting ear mites in the future is to routinely clean your pet’s ears and stay alert for any early warning signs. Additionally, if your pet has been recently treated for ear mites, wash all begging and check other pets for ear mites.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you believe your cat has ear mites, schedule your appointment at Germantown Vet today. We can diagnose your cat’s ear condition and start on a treatment plan right away. Contact us online or by phone at (240) 252-7467!

Our Promotions

Need Help With A New Pet?

Throw Us A Bone!

Help New Pet

Montgomery County’s

Most Trusted Animal Hospital

Bethesda | Clarksburg | Frederick | Gaithersburg | Germantown | Potomac | Rockville | Silver Spring

Bethesda | Clarksburg | Frederick
Gaithersburg | Germantown | Potomac
Rockville | Silver Spring

Learn More