Cat Ear Infections: Types, Symptoms, Causes, and How to Prevent Them

Cat Ear Infections: Types, Symptoms, Causes, and How to Prevent Them

Your feline friend may develop various health problems throughout their lifetime. One of which is an ear infection. Although cat ear infections are not widely spread among cats, they exist.

Because there is a possibility that your cat may develop this condition, you have to know the causes, symptoms, and all that is related to ear infections in your cats to protect them at the exact time.

For this reason, we have sought to write this article to be your guide while dealing with ear problems in your feline friend.

1- Cat Ear Infections

Cat ear infections are not common as with dogs. However, when they occur, they may result in serious health issues. An ear infection may occur in the middle ear and then the inner ear of your cat which may lead to undesired outcomes.

In such cases, you have to immediately seek professional help, otherwise, this may result in hearing loss.

2- Causes of Infections

Direct ear infections can be caused by mites your cat has picked up from another animal. In some situations, however, ear infections can be a secondary condition. In other words, they are signs and results of some underlying health problems your cat is suffering from.

Furthermore, once the skin lining the ear canal is irritated, ear infections result in inflammation. The latter set an appropriate environment for bacteria and yeast to grow because of the excess wax production. During this stage, itchiness starts.

To make it clear, there are external ear infections, usually called otitis externa, and middle ear infections known as otitis media.

The following are some factors that contribute to the development of ear infections in your cat:

  • Wax buildup
  • Excessive growth of bacteria & yeast
  • Some Immune system diseases
  • Improper ear cleaning
  • Environmental irritants
  • Thick hair found in the ear canal
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Allergies
  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Tumors or polyps within the ear canal

Otitis externa or outer ear infections are not popular among cats as they are among dogs. Yet, if your cat develops this condition, outer ear infections can also affect the middle ear (media) or inner ear (internal).

3- Symptoms of Cat Ear Infections

If your cat is having an ear infection, it will start scratching or pawing at its ear as well as shaking its head to show discomfort. Other signs also include:

  • Loss of balance
  • Waxy buildup
  • Disorientation
  • Head tilting
  • Black or yellowish discharge
  • The odor from the ear
  • Redness in the ear canal
  • Hearing loss
  • Redness

In normal cases, your cat’s ears should be a pale pink color and have neither visible debris nor odor with just a little wax buildup.

4- How Does the Vet Diagnose Infections?

As a pet owner, you need to know the procedures your veterinarian will follow to diagnose your cat’s ear infections.

The process will start by using an otoscope so that the vet can look into your cat’s ear canal. In order to determine what exactly causes the problem be it bacteria, yeast, or ear mites, the vet will take a sample of ear debris to examine under a microscope.

Noticing the above signs later on and detecting the problem will make it easy to treat your cat’s ear infections as they are in their first stages. If not, this may lead to some serious issues resulting in ear loss.

5- How to Treat Cat Ear Infections?

Once your vet makes sure that your cat is facing an ear infection, the treatment process will start. Generally, they will use either anti-parasitic, antifungals, or antibiotics. In case the eardrum is fine but the middle ear has been affected, your vet may choose to go for oral or injectable antibiotics to clean up the infection.

To easily clean as well as dry your cat’s ear canal, the vet will recommend clipping the fur found around that part.

Moreover, you need to continue the treatment process at home as well. You have to perpetually check if your cat’s ears and canal are pink and clear. If your vet provides you with any ear drops, make sure to gently squeeze out the solution while gently lifting the ear flap of your cat.

Do not forget to massage the base of the ear so that the medicine works right.

If your cat is suffering from any chronic ear infections, the vet may provide you with some medicines to decrease the swelling of tissue in the ear canal. In some situations, surgery is requested so that the swollen tissue will be removed.

6- How to Prevent Cat Ear Infections?

Cat ear infections may be prevented by perpetually having a look at your cat’s ears to be certain that there is no odor, residue, or redness. As we have mentioned above, healthy ears must be pale pink and have no debris or ear wax.

If you suspect your cat to have ear infections and notice some of the signs we have included in this article, you have to immediately take your cat to the vet before the condition becomes worst.

Furthermore, you have to learn how to correctly clean your cat’s ears. Do not insert a cleaning device into the ear canal until you know how to do it successfully. You also have the option to take your cat to a professional groomer as they include cleaning cats’ ears in their services.

Last Words

It is true that ear infections are not common, but they are possible to develop in your cat. For this reason, you have to make sure to check your cat’s ears and see if there are any unusual signs. If so, do not waste time, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

To live happily with your feline friend, you have to pay great attention to their health.

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