Ear problems in cats and natural remedies may the perfect solution for every ear challenge your cat may be experiencing. Ear problem is something cat owners are often familiar with. This condition is usually expensive to treat and so veterinarian bills can be high. Therefore, with everyone looking to save money, ear problems in cats and natural remedies will help cure ailing cats with little or no cost.
What Causes Ear Problems in Cats?
In general cases, except your cat has picked up mites from other animals, then ear problems in cats are often secondary. The problems can be the result of some underlying medical issues in your cat. Most ear problems are often infections that can range from mild to severe, depending on the duration of the problem in the cat.
Below are some contributing causes of external ear problems called otitis externa, and middle ear problems known as otitis media:
- An overgrowth of yeast or bacteria; can be both at the same time
- The buildup of wax in the ear canal
- Hair that has grown thick in the ear canal
- Allergies such as food or pollen
- Polyps or tumors within the ear canal
- An eardrum that has ruptured
- Wrong method of cleaning the ear
- Environmental irritants
- Immune suppressing diseases in cats, such as feline leukemia virus
- Foreign bodies such as bristle from grass
- Diabetes mellitus
Problems in the middle ear are usually the result of infections that have spread right from the outer ear canal. Ear problems in cats and natural remedies can effectively battle the condition.
What are the Symptoms of Ear Problems in Cats?
Oftentimes, cats will show their discomfort by pawing or scratching at their ear. They can also begin shaking or tilting their head in the direction of the painful ear. Other symptoms to take note of in your cat include the following:
When there is an increased residue of dirt in the cat’s ear, it might block the ability of the car to hear things. A cat suffering from this challenge may not respond to its owner regardless of how many times they are called. This problem may not be very serious and may just be corrected by simply cleaning out the dirt in the ear, but the process must be done with utmost care.
The presence of parasites in the ear is an indication that your cat is experiencing ear problems. The most common of these parasites are mites which are found in both the inner and outer parts of the ears.
Cats having ear problems may have a strong odor oozing from the ear, particularly the affected part of the ear. In most cases, the odor is accompanied by discharges.
Other signs and symptoms include:
- Black or yellowish discharge
- Disorientation or loss of balance
- Loss of hearing ability
- Discharge from the ear that resembles coffee grounds. This could be the symptom of ear mites, a serious infection in cats
- The buildup of wax near or on the ear canal
- The swelling or redness of the ear flap or ear canal
When any of these symptoms are noticed, it is a sure sign of ear problems in cats and natural remedies are ideal for its treatment.
Natural Remedies for Ear Problems in Cats
Owners have to take extreme caution when trying to treat their cats for ear problems. Do not forget that you should never insert sharp or harmful objects into your cat’s ear because that may result in a punctured eardrum. The following are good natural remedies for treating any ear problem your cat may be having.
If you discover that there are mites in your cat’s ear, then ear miticides are the ideal remedy for getting rid of them. You can find several over-the-counter ear miticides at pet stores. Most owners find the solution to their cats’ ear problems in ear miticides. It’s simply an ear drop that you just have to apply in your cat’s ear, particularly the infected part. Before application, endeavor to follow the directions on the bottle. Most ear miticides require weekly use, but you can continue to apply until you see the symptoms subside. However, if after a couple of weeks you realize that the symptoms are not going away, consult your vet.
Many cat owners do not know that olive oil is a great natural remedy for fighting ear problems in cats. However, it is advisable to speak to your vet before applying olive oil to your cat’s ear so that you will not use it wrongly. Owners can put two or three drops of the oil in the ear and then massage up from the base of the ear to the tip. The oil serves as a cleaning agent for debris and mites in the ear. After application, use a cloth to wipe anything pushed up from the tips of the ears. Remember, do not insert the cloth into the ear canal.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The mixture of 50% water and 50% apple cider vinegar can help combat ear problems such as yeast and bacterial infections. Most cat owners know that apple cider vinegar is a great natural remedy for cats’ ear problems and other health challenges in cats. Do not directly pour the apple cider vinegar in your cat’s ear. Instead, soak a cotton swab in the solution of mixed water and apple cider vinegar, then gently press the soaking swab to the tips and outer ear lobe, allowing the solution to drip down into the ear slowly. Pouring the apple cider vinegar into the ear directly may cause even further damage to the eardrum.
Yellow Dock Root
This root is highly medicinal and has been praised for decades due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Carefully follow the process of use and witness the wonders it will provide.
Dilute the extract of yellow dock root in water. The water should not be too much. Five drops or one tablespoonful is enough. Put a swap of cotton in the mixture, then apply it to the tips and upper ear, allowing the mix to slowly work its way to the inner ear. As has already been warned, never attempt to stick anything directly into the ear – do not pour the solution directly into the ear. Continue this method every other day for two weeks for maximum result.
Just like olive oil, coconut oil is another effective remedy for cleaning the ear. However, unlike olive oil, coconut oil will have to be mixed with other elements before usage. To repel parasites that cause problems in the cat’s ear, put a pinch of garlic powder in a tablespoonful of coconut oil. After doing this soak a cotton ball in the mixture and press the ball against the ear so that the solution seeps out slowly. Afterward, owners can then massage the ear upward from the base to help dislodge foreign objects in the ear or generally clean debris. The mixture of coconut oil and garlic powder has solved almost every major ear problem in cats.
Products Containing Pyrethrins
This natural insecticide can be easily bought from pet stores. After purchase, use a few drops and massage the ears of the cat and then wipe off excess fluids. The direction of use is also indicated on the packaging of the product. Make sure you follow the directions thoroughly.
Other Home Treatments for Ear Problems
If your cat is shaking its head or there is discharge coming from the ear, the following are also other methods of treatment you can employ at home for ear problems in your cat:
Always check your cat’s ears
If you notice redness, bleeding, or irritation, the best thing to do is to see your vet. Such medications like antibiotics may be prescribed in case of infection in the ear.
Restrain your cat before cleaning its ear
You can begin by wrapping the cat in a large thick towel with just the head exposed. Alternatively, you can get someone to help you by holding down your cat’s body and legs.
Clean the ear lobe
Make use of a cotton ball, paper towel, or gauze sponges moistened with water. Gently rub the dirt, debris, and wax off the ear lobe. Repeat the same process on the opposite ear.
Clean the cartilage of the ear
After removing most of the debris with the moistened cotton ball, make use of a cotton swab moistened with water to gently get rid of the pieces of debris trapped within the cartilage of the ear. Be careful not to place the swab in the ear canal because this may stimulate ear shaking which can cause serious ear trauma. Just clean only the part of the ear you can see. Do not push the swab too deep into the ear.
Offer a treat
After cleaning the ear, it is a good thing to give your cat a treat. This will relax the cat and probably make the next cleaning session a lot easier.
Use a cleaning solution. For deeper cleaning, it is advisable to use a proper cleaning solution for the ear. Flush a small amount of the solution into the cat’s ear. About a tablespoonful is enough for most cats. Then dry with a cotton ball or gauze sponges.
Treat other pets at home
Some parasites and bacteria infecting cats can travel from one host to another. If your cats at home are more than one, endeavor to treat them all; it does not matter whether the cats are showing symptoms of ear problems or not. This is the best way of totally getting rid of the spread of the parasites.
It is not enough to treat the cat. Parasites may be hiding in some parts of the house and may be transferred to your cat if they are not totally eliminated. These parasites could build temporary homes under the carpets or in the house furniture, waiting for the cat to come in contact with them again. You can address this problem by cleaning the home regularly and also keeping the enclosure of the cat clean. Vacuuming can help eliminate parasitic eggs under the carpet.
Provide ongoing treatment
Do not relax after treating your cat and seeing that the ear problem has been solved. Continue to treat the cat to avoid future occurrences of the problem. There are some bacteria and parasites that may not totally die off and will assume a comeback after treatment has stopped. So you must continue the treatment process for several weeks or even months. And while doing that, make sure you bathe your cat several times with feline treatment shampoo to get rid of those parasites that may hide in the body before going back in the ears.
Home Remedies to Avoid in Treating Cat’s Ear Problems
There are many suggested ear problems in cats and natural remedies that you will find on the Internet. These remedies may sound like a good idea but they can cause an even greater problem to your cat. You should avoid the following:
Although there are pesticides available over-the-counter for use against ear mites and general problems, ensure that you use the specifically labeled pesticides for cats. Even with that, ensure that your cat is older than 12 weeks and physically healthy before applying such pesticides on them.
Hydrogen peroxide is generally known to be a safe cleaner for wounds, but do not attempt to apply it in your cat’s ears. It can irritate your cat’s ears and therefore worsen the problem by drying out the inner skin of the ear, exposing it to more serious irritation.
Avoid Ineffective Remedies
Before beginning any home remedy or natural treatment, the best thing to do first is to clear it out with your vet. Trying the wrong remedy may actually cause more harm than good for your cat. To avoid worsening situations for your cat, ensure that you follow the right steps and effective solution methods. The ear problems in cats and natural remedies given above have proved to be highly effective.
If ear problems in cats are not given proper attention in time, the situation may either become permanent or may require cost-effective surgery to correct. Your cat’s health is your responsibility. Give your pet the proper attention they need and protect them against any infection.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.