How do we know if our feline friends are having issues with their ears? Cats are limited in the ways that they can communicate to us that their ears are bothering them.
When our ears itch or bother us we simply use our hand and scratch or rub the ear. You may notice that when your cat has an itchy ear he may use his back leg to scratch and satisfy the itch. Sometimes they can scratch so intensely that they cause abrasions or wounds to the outer or inner portion of the ear. If you don’t see your cat scratching but see your feline friend has scabs around the ears that may be a good indication your cat is having issues. Another way cats tell us they have ear issues by shaking their heads.
So why might our furry friends be bothering their ears? Sometimes the ears become itchy or inflamed due to an ear infection. A common cause for this type of Otitis or inflammation of the ear is due to a bacterial infection. Ear infections happen a lot less frequently in cats than dogs but they most certainly can get them. Most of the time a bacterial ear infection is a result of an underlying issue like skin allergies. Ears are an extension of our skin and can also be affected by allergic reaction to food or environmental allergens. Once the tissue in the ears becomes inflamed it creates a perfect place for the normal bacteria and sometimes yeast to over grow and cause an infection. Ear infections are diagnosed at your veterinarians office during the examination. Your veterinary staff will take swabs from inside the ear to see what type of infection your pet has and from there provide the appropriate treatment.
Another common ear issue is ear mites. These yucky little parasites live inside your cats ear and actually feed on the wax, oils, and skin debris found inside the ear canal. Ear mites can also be diagnosed with a ear swab and seen under the lens of a microscope. These pesky guys cause the ears to have a dark granular discharge and is very itchy!! Kittens most commonly are affected by ear mites but adult cats can get them too. Ear mites can be treatment with a topical monthly application of Advantage multi!