7 Best Home Remedies for Getting Rid of Ear Mites in Cats

Cat Being Treated for Ear Mites

Cats love to spend time cleaning and grooming their bodies. But some areas are tough to reach, like the ears, which can get infested with ear mites.

Ear mites are tiny parasites that infest the ears and cause the buildup of earwax, and can lead to severe ear infections. A cat that suffers from ear mites will be feeling extremely uncomfortable, always shaking its head because it’s trying to get rid of these tiny microorganisms. There are several potent home remedies for ear mites in cats, and we’ll talk about them in this article, so keep on reading.

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Why Do Cats Get Ear Mites?

Several types of ear mites can infest your cat’s ears, but the most common ones are the Otodectes, which feed on the earwax in the ear canal. Cats can catch ear mites from other pets or from the environment, especially if they spend a lot of time outside the house.

Ear mites have eight legs, and their bodies are covered in tiny hairs. When they move, they cause severe itchiness and agonizing discomfort that can deprive your feline of sleeping comfortably or enjoying its time in peace.

These parasites don’t only infest cats but also infest dogs, rabbits, and even ferrets in your backyard. The parasite itself has a life cycle of three weeks, but the eggs can last for months, and this makes them pretty challenging to get rid of. Moreover, they can be passed on from one animal to another quickly.

You can tell that your cat is suffering from ear mites by paying attention to some of the common symptoms.

  • Shaking of the head due to the discomfort and itchiness.
  • Having smelly ears as the mites feed on the earwax and any buildup inside the ears.
  • Having red and swollen ears, especially if the infestation is left untreated.
  • Rubbing the head and ears because of the itchiness.
  • Cats will have too much earwax buildup, which is usually darker than usual.

How Dangerous Can Ear Mites Be?

When the infestation starts, ear mites can cause skin irritation and redness. The discomfort can be too severe, so the cat might try to scratch its ear. When left untreated, the ears can be swollen, and the ear canal might get clogged.

Ear mites increase the earwax buildup inside the ears and will eventually cause a dark and smelly discharge that is very easy to notice. By the time you see this discharge, the internal ear canal will be severely inflamed. Unless treated, continuous inflammation can eventually lead to hearing loss.

If you have a cat that suffers from ear mites, you should promptly address the problem, as this parasite can be passed on to other pets in your household. However, ear mites can’t be passed on from cats to humans and vice versa, so you and everyone in the house won’t get infected with ear mites, even if your cat is heavily infested.

Home Remedies For Ear Mites in Cats

The sooner you detect and deal with the problem of ear mites, the better the results will be. If you can detect the infestation early, you can use one of the following home remedies to get rid of ear mites and keep your feline in perfect health. However, you should always ask your vet before trying any of the following methods to make sure that it’s suitable for your cat and won’t cause any adverse effects.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can effectively get rid of mild ear mites infestation, thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve the pain, so your cat can feel a little relaxed. In case of a swollen ear canal, the apple cider vinegar will help reduce the swelling, allowing your cat to hear properly.

You can prepare a solution made of equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar and spray it every day around the ears and inside the ear canal to make sure that it gets in touch with all the ear mites. You should apply this solution twice a day for at least a week and see if the nasty smell and the dark discharge disappear or not.

Using apple cider vinegar in a diluted form is safe and won’t affect your cat’s health. However, if you see that the condition doesn’t improve, you should take your cat to the vet to have it adequately checked, so they can prescribe an adequate medication.

Olive Oil

Olive oil contains phenolic compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties that can help manage and treat ear mites’ infestation. It’s rich in linoleic acid, which also reduces the itchiness caused by the movement of the ear mites around and inside your feline’s ear.

The best way to apply olive oil is to soak a cotton ball in warm oil and rub it around and inside the ears without pushing too hard, making sure that you’re covering the skin inside and outside the ear canal. The thick consistency of the oil will suffocate the ear mites while conditioning the inflamed and itchy skin.

You can also use a dropper to apply a few drops of warm olive oil inside the ear and repeat the process twice a day for a week. After a week, you should examine the ears to see if the infestation has subsided or the condition of the skin has improved. You should make sure that the oil is warm and not hot, so It doesn’t burn the already inflamed skin.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another potent remedy against ear mites and other microorganisms and parasites that can infect your feline because it has antimicrobial and antiprotozoal properties that help get rid of these harmful parasites. It also helps condition the skin if there are scabs due to excessive inflammation, in case your cat is heavily infested with ear mites.

You can warm the coconut oil and test it on your hand to ensure that it’s not too hot before applying it to your cat’s skin. Soak a cotton ball in the oil and clean the outside and inside of the ear with it, making sure that you’re not pushing it too hard. The thick oil will suffocate the mites and guarantee that they don’t spread to the skin around the ears and on the head.

Organic Honey

Organic honey has always been used as a topical antibacterial, antibiotic, and antimicrobial treatment due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide. This chemical compound is efficient at getting rid of ear mites and other parasites that can infect your feline’s skin.

You can massage the outside of the ear and the surrounding skin using organic honey as it will effectively kill the ear mites and help with the itchiness and discomfort. If the skin is inflamed or swollen, applying honey will help calm it down, so your cat will feel better.

After applying honey, you can wait for an hour or so to wash it off and clean the skin, especially if the cat is going to play outside because it might attract bugs. You should also make sure that you’re using organic honey without any additives for the best results.

Soaked Garlic in Olive Oil

This remedy combines two potent ingredients; garlic and olive oil. Garlic is rich in allicin, which is a strong compound that has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. Allicin is used by humans to treat skin problems like acne and can also be used to get rid of ear mites.

You can soak garlic cloves in olive oil for a couple of days to help release all the potent chemical compounds. Then, you can rub the cloves on the skin while covering the ear canal in the oil. The garlic’s pungent odor will drive the ear mites away, while the olive oil will suffocate them.

You can follow this treatment plan once or twice a day for a week to see what happens. Make sure that your cat doesn’t swallow the garlic because it’s toxic to felines.


Vaseline has a thick consistency that deprives the ear mites of air. At the same time, it conditions the inflamed skin and helps it heal.

The occlusive nature of Vaseline or petroleum jelly is what makes it an excellent remedy for inflamed skin, helping your cat feel more comfortable. You should smear a good amount around the ears and in the visible part of the ear canal until the skin heals and the ear mites die.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, so it will help relieve the itchiness, treat the swollen skin, and also kill the ear mites. Aloe vera also helps remove the brown discharge that your cat will suffer from if it has been infested with ear mites.

Make sure that you have organic aloe vera and smear it on and inside the ear without pushing too deep. The gel will kill the ear mites and prevent them from returning while conditioning the surrounding skin.

What If I Don’t Want to Use a Home Remedy?

If you don’t feel comfortable using a home remedy, you do have other options. Here are 3 of our favorite products that will help rid your cat of ear mites.

If you don’t feel comfortable administering ear mite treatment to your cat, your vet can help get your cat’s infected ears on the mend. 

Final Thoughts

Ear mites are nasty parasites that can turn your cat’s life to hell, but they’re not difficult to get rid of, especially if you detect them early. If you can detect an early infestation, you can use one of the home remedies mentioned in this article to eliminate the parasites. However, in severe cases, you should always ask the vet, so they can prescribe adequate medication.