Click here to learn more.
Ear scratching is one of the more common reasons cats see veterinarians. When the head starts shaking and claws start digging, it’s a safe bet that a cat has itchy ears. But the cause is not always clear.
Is it mites? Fleas? Something scarier and more insidious? Maybe, maybe, and maybe. Here are the most common possibilities.
1. Allergic skin disease. It’s the most common cause of itchy ears in pets. Allergies can result from foods, seasonal responses, fleas, and sometimes direct contact with an allergen.
2. Yeast infections. Yeast infections are typically secondary to allergies. They add extra itch (and smelly brown debris) to the mix.
3. Ear mites. These spidery microscopic parasites go by the scientific name Otodectes cynotis. They are wickedly itchy, but they are not as common as people think. Fortunately, ear mites are very treatable once a diagnosis can be confirmed.
4. Fleas. Though fleas usually cause an all-over itch, cats that are allergic to fleas may be itchier around the neck and rump.
5. Foreign bodies. Sometimes things end up in ears, which can cause pain, pawing, and sometimes itchy infections.
6. Ear masses. Masses in the ear canal — as with foreign bodies — can cause pain, pawing, and itchy infections.
7. Bacterial infections. As with yeast, most bacterial infections of ear canals are secondary to other processes. But they can itch.
8. Mange mites. Notoedric mange is caused by a parasite that can infest cats. It appears as a crusty scaling of the face, ear tips, and feet before progressing to a whole-body infestation. Cats with mange are miserably itchy. Luckily, the condition is treatable.
The best thing to do in the case of itchy ears is see a veterinarian.
This article has been written by a Veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
A Golden Retriever stepped in to nurse
a litter of African wild dogs after their
mother showed a lack of maternal…
Tune in to NBC on Thanksgiving to watch
more than 1,500 canines compete for the
coveted Best in Show title.
As you brine the turkey or cheer for your
favorite football team, take time to be
thankful for your furry family…
From "drop it" to "wait at the door," Mikkel
Becker shares commands you should
teach your pup…
Decorate your home for the holidays
without compromising your cat's safety
with tips from a cat style expert.
We’re sharing our favorite budget-friendly
gifts, from a custom smartphone cover to
the perfect dog treats for…
The plus-size Maine Coon has an adorable chirping voice and gets along with everyone, even the family dog.
Thank you for subscribing.