If you’re a long-time cat owner, chances are you’ve had a run-in or two with cat ear mites. Ear mites are very common in cats, and they’re usually accompanied by itching and scratching, clear discomfort or inflammation around your cat’s ears, and a powdery, brown debris resembling coffee grounds building up in your cat’s inner ears.
While taking your cat to the vet and getting proper medication is always a very safe option, you may be looking to implement a more natural home remedy for getting rid of the ear mites. We have six such solutions for you, and they’re safe and effective for getting rid of ear mites in your cat for good! Simply choose one of these remedies and implement it after cleaning any debris out of your cat’s inner ears.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is touted for its cleaning and healing properties, and for good reason! It’s highly acidic and can kill unwanted and harmful bacteria naturally.
To use this remedy, create a mixture consisting of one part apple cider vinegar and one part tap water. Pour this into a spray bottle, and gently spray your cat’s inner ears one or two times a day. Always be careful not to get this mixture in your cat’s eyes. You should also not use this remedy if your cat’s scratching has caused cuts or open sores in their ears, as the acidity of apple cider vinegar — even when mixed with water — can cause burning.
Healthline.com explains that apple cider vinegar can naturally reduce itchiness, which will help keep your cat from making the problem worse. The acidity can also kill the mites and larvae that may be hiding in your cat’s ears, so this solution will help get rid of the problem and provide some comfort for your kitty in the meantime.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a naturally healing plant that we humans use on all kinds of cuts, burns, and skin abrasions. Its soothing properties can also help your cat ditch those ear mites!
Aloe vera can be purchased in a gel form from just about any pharmacy, or you can get the juices from a piece of an aloe vera plant if you have one in your home. Either way, place some aloe vera on a cotton ball and apply a thin coat to the inside of your cat’s ears after wiping out any debris. Never use a cotton swab for this, as they can cause damage if you slip or your cat moves unexpectedly.
Additionally, if you are going to use aloe vera gel that you purchase from a store, make sure you get a 100% aloe vera product and not one that has alcohol added into it. Alcohol can dry out the sensitive skin on your cat’s inner ears and make itching even worse.
According to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, aloe vera naturally contains several different compounds that act as antiseptics and can kill bacteria and fungus. This will also help rid of ear mites and dissuade them from returning.
Maybe you don’t have aloe vera in your home to treat your cat’s ear mites, but chances are you do have Vaseline or some other petroleum jelly.
According to health experts at UCI Health, petroleum jelly is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic that’s perfect for topical use. It will likely reduce redness and swelling, and it’s able to ease itching as well and make your cat less likely to continue to scratch their inner ears.
To let Vaseline go to work for you, clean any debris out of your kitty’s ears and then apply a small amount. Massage the Vaseline in gently, and repeat once or twice a day until symptoms and inner ear debris go away.
It’s important to note here that Vaseline isn’t a good remedy if your cat has cuts or sores on their inner ear. Vaseline should strictly be used topically.
You may have heard that garlic and other members of the allium family like onions and chives are toxic to cats. While this is true, it can sometimes be safely used as a topical treatment, especially for ear mites!
That’s right, while garlic isn’t safe for your cat to ingest, it is safe as a skin treatment for areas your cat won’t be able to lick. To use this remedy, chop up two or three cloves of garlic and let it sit in a few tablespoons of olive oil overnight. Strain the pieces of garlic out, and then rub a very small amount of the oil on your cat’s inner ears. Repeat once a day for as long as needed to get rid of your cat’s ear mites.
This article published in PubMed notes that a compound in garlic called “allicin” has antimicrobial properties. Allicin, in combination with the ability of oil to soothe naturally, can help get rid of ear mites and associated itching over a few weeks of regular application.
- You might also be interested in: 9 Natural Home Remedies for Itchy Skin in Cats
5. Yellow Dock Root
Yellow dock is an herb that is often used in salads, but the oil from the root of the plant can be used to treat your cat’s ear mite problem.
To put yellow dock root oil to work for you, add five to ten drops of the concentrated oil to about a tablespoon of warm water. Soak a cotton ball (never a cotton swab) in the mixture, and press gently against your cat’s recently cleaned inner ears to apply evenly. This process can be repeated once or twice a day until your cat’s ear mite issue is a thing of the past.
According to health experts at WebMD, yellow dock root is a natural anti-inflammatory that can reduce swelling and itching naturally. It’s also commonly used to treat bacterial and fungal infections, so it can be useful for curing your cat of ear mites.
6. Essential Oils
Lastly, essential oils, which many health aficionados may already have at home based on their recent popularity, can be used to help treat ear mites in your cat.
Essential oils like tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and lavender can be combined with a base oil — like argan oil — and rubbed gently into your cat’s inner ears after a thorough cleaning. These oils naturally have anti-inflammatory potential and cant soothe your cat’s skin while deterring ear mites from sticking around.
Cat lovers tend to care for their feline friends as they would for children, so it’s probably heart-breaking to see your cat in such discomfort over ear mites and the associated itching. While a trip to the vet may be in order to confirm there isn’t a larger issue at hand, these home remedies can also work wonders for your cat’s ear mite problem.
Choose your favorite or most convenient home remedy and apply gently to your cat’s inner ears after a thorough cleaning. Of course, if the ear mite problem persists for several weeks, you should visit your vet for guidance, but these natural home remedies have been proven to help deter ear mites and soothe any discomfort your cat may experience in the meantime.
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