Ear mites are a fairly common parasite in both cats and dogs. The mites are microscopic and infectious organisms which are like tiny white dots in appearance, but can barely be seen with the naked eye. Detection under a microscope is normally required to confirm their presence.

Ear mites live on the skin of the ear canal and feed off ear wax and skin oils. An adult normally lives for approximately two months, but can multiply quickly with eggs taking just four days to hatch and a further three weeks to develop into an adult mite ready to breed.


An ear mite infection will cause your cat’s ears to itch, which often results in them shaking their head excessively, or scratching at their ears with their paws. Ear mites can also produce wax and irritation, so your pet’s ears may well look red and inflamed. Typically, ear mites will also cause a dry black ear discharge. There may also be an unusual odour.

But irritation in a cat’s ear can also be caused by allergies leading to infections other than ear mites, so it’s crucial that you get your pet to the vets for a proper diagnosis – especially since the parasites are so difficult to detect with the naked eye. Vets will normally confirm a diagnosis of ear mites using an otoscope to look inside the ear. Without visiting the vet, many owners are unaware that their cat is suffering from a bacterial or yeast ear infection; this can lead to weeks of inappropriate treatment and the condition worsening.

Ear mites transfer between animals – or ‘hosts’ – through close physical contact.

Yes, ear mites are contagious to other cats and dogs in the household. Even if other pets aren’t showing symptoms of ear mites, it’s essential that they are also treated at the same time. Cats are the most prone to catching ear mites due to their lifestyle habits.

Only in extremely rare cases, cat owners have been known to develop skin rashes if their pet has ear mites. The ear mites that infect cats are different from the parasite affecting humans.

Many spot on flea treatments also prevent and treat ear mites, and – if recommended by your vet – this is by far and away the easiest way to protect your pet from the parasites. One or two applications is usually enough and they are a lot less stressful for your pet – and for you – than ear drops.

Always consult a veterinarian on the best and most suitable treatment to use.

Yes. Goodcat Veterinarian Dr. Carly recommends Revolution Plus from Zoetis for her patients (as well as her own pets at home). Revolution is used with all of her patients not only because of it’s affordability, but also for its broad range of protection it offers for your kitty. 

Revolution Plus not only protects and treats your cat for Ear Mites but also protects against Fleas, Ticks, Roundworms, and Heartworms. 

Typically each individual preventative above can cost $20+ each and would average almost $100 a month to protect against them. 

Not to mention having to apply each one once a month every month. And every cat parent knows just how much your kitty loves to be held down for medicines. 

Revolution Plus is a topical liquid that you place on the back of your cats neck once a month and they usually don’t know you’re even applying it. 

The only down side to using Revolution Plus for your cats is that its Rx so you can only get it from your veterinarian. 

The upside is that you can get a full year of refills with your annual veterinary exam. 

If you’d like to protect and/or treat your cat for Ear Mites, you can schedule a Veterinary Exam using the button below and get your kitty in to see Dr. Carly.