Cat ear mite treatment used to be a long and unhappy process for both the feline and the owner. But new products on the market today have changed this previously prolonged, drawn-out process into a fast, one-step procedure. Here’s a look at how ear mite treatment for cats has evolved over the years.
Old-Fashioned Treatments for Pet Ear Mites
A feline ear mite diagnosis used to cause great unhappiness among cat owners. Why was this? Because treatment was prolonged and unpleasant for both cat and owner.
Every day, for up to a month, the pet owner had to corral the poor kitty, clean out her ears with mineral oil and a cotton swab, and apply insecticidal ear drops. After the first day or two, Kitty would see the owner coming, and hide out in some inaccessible location. When the owner finally succeeded in capturing the cat, often the only alternative to being clawed was to wrap the unhappy feline securely in a towel before treating her.
After the drops were finally in the kitty’s ears, the cat’s first action upon being released was always to shake her head vigorously, taking vengeance upon her owner by showering him or her with a wonderful combination of oily ear drops and ear crud. After several days of this battle, most cat owners were ready to cry uncle.
The problem was that the older products didn’t kill the ear mite eggs. It was necessary to reapply the insecticide on a daily basis to kill mites as they hatched out. If even one day of the treatment was skipped, it was often impossible to get rid of ear mites permanently.
The Next Step in Ear Mite Treatment for Cats
Since many cat owners understandably had a lot of problems with the then-current treatments for pet ear mites, many vets offered ivermectin injections as an alternative. Ivermectin is a well-known parasite treatment that’s very effective for feline ear mites. Injections were given either once a week, or once every two weeks, with two to four treatments needed to eradicate ear mites in cats.
However, ivermectin was not approved by the FDA for treating cat ear mites, so it was an off-label treatment. Nevertheless, it was a good alternative for use on a cat who wouldn’t allow her owner to mess with her ears anymore.
Finally, a Single-Use Ear Mite Treatment for Cats
Today, there are several prescription products available at the vet’s office that will get rid of ear mites with a single treatment. Bear in mind that the vet still needs to clean out the kitty’s ears to remove the waxy discharge that will block the medication from reaching and killing ear mites. It may be also necessary to visit the vet again in a month so that any dried blood or other discharge that remains can be removed from the kitty’s ears.
Both Revolution for cats and Advantage Multi for cats are applied between the kitty’s shoulders. Both of these products contain drugs that are related to the old stand-by, ivermectin. Revolution for cats is used mostly for feline flea control, but it’s also approved for treating cat ear mites as well. Advantage Multi, on the other hand, is only approved for cat ear mite treatment, not for flea control.
Acarexx and Milbemite are applied directly to the kitty’s ears. These products should only be used on cats, and are available by prescription from veterinarians. One treatment is all that’s needed to kill ear mites and their eggs.
Today, pet owners no longer need to endure a daily rodeo while treating ear mites in cats. Cat ear mite treatment is much less traumatic, and a lot more effective and pleasant, for both Kitty and her owner.