Common Causes Of Ear Infection In Cats? Today I’m going to be talking to you about itchy mucky ears in cats. Ear problems and cats are really common and it’s something that a lot of owners tend to ignore, or perhaps not realize it’s going on. It’s a bit sad really because it is quite a painful and uncomfortable condition for them.

Today I’d like to share with you some common causes/problems that we see in cats ears and what you can do about them.

What A Healthy Cat’s Ear Looks Like?

Common Causes Of Ear infection In Cat

Firstly, I think it’s really important to understand what a healthy cat’s ear looks like? Healthy ear canals are clean, they’re pink in colour, there’s a minimal amount of wax or none at all and there’s no smell.

When your cat has an ear infection it’s all quite uncomfortable for them, so they’ll offer be pouring at their ears they’ll be sensitive to their owner’s touch and maybe shy away if you try to touch their ears.

They might be a bit smelly and have a waxy discharge which can be creamy brown or black or sometimes orange. In the severe cases, we see the loss of hearing, a slight head tilt and even imbalance and wobbliness.

Common Causes Of Ear Infection In Cats?

Common Causes Of Ear infection In Cat

The most common causes of ear infection in cats is from

  1. Mites
  2. Bacteria and
  3. Yeast
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Common Causes Of Ear infection In Cat

Ear mites tiny crab-like parasites that invade the outer ear and the ear canals. There are many types of ear mites but the most common one we see in cats is called otodectes cynotis. The above image of mites is otodectes cynotis.

These little parasites are so tiny that you usually need a microscope to see them, and they’re very irritating for your cat.

A mite infestation might be so bad that it causes your cat to scratch until they bleed. And in that case, we see little sores all over the ears. An effective anti-parasite treatment is essential in these cases.

Bacteria And Yeast

Ear infections involving bacteria and yeast are probably the next most common. If they are left untreated it can progress to deafness and surgery.

Some ear infections are resistant to common antibiotics, these are known as superbugs. And if you’re very suspicious that your cat might have one of these they will recommend a test called a culture and sensitivity.

This is a great way to make sure your treatment works the first time around.

Other Causes Of Ear Problems In Cats

There are other causes of ear problems in cats, these include things like,

  1. Allergies
  2. Polyps
  3. Cancers
  4. Immune-mediated diseases and
  5. Drug reactions

Also, read What Does It Mean When My Cat’s Ears Are Hot? | Is It Natural?


It’s important to have a vet with you every step of the way in treating ear infections because in some cases they can be a very difficult thing to get on top of.

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Common Causes Of Ear infection In Cats – YouTube Video


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