Will Rubbing Alcohol Kill Ear Mites In Cats

Ear mites are a common problem for most pets. This is especially true for both cats and kittens, depending on where you live. What’s a safe way to kill the ear mites? Will rubbing alcohol kill ear mites in cats? And can it do so safely? 

The good news is that ear mites can be treated with a variety of products, including rubbing alcohol. But before you start using rubbing alcohol on your cat’s ears, learn about the side effects and risks associated with this treatment option.

When you’re done here, and since we’re on the topic of ears, check out why cats like earwax so much

Ear mites are tiny insects that live in the ears of cats and kittens. Ear mites are not worms, but rather arachnids that look similar to ticks. They feed on the wax produced by your cat’s skin glands, called ceruminous glands. To ear mites, your cat is a walking smorgasbord. 

Some people refer to ear mites as “ear bugs,” “ear insects” or even “ear lice.” While these names are technically correct, they can be confusing because they don’t refer specifically to what type of insect is causing problems with your pet’s ears — namely ear mites.

Does My Cat Have Ear Mites

Sadly, most pet owners will have to deal with ear mites at one point in their pets’ lives. What’s crazy is that after years and years of studies, scientists still don’t know how ear mites spread. Even indoor-only cats can get ear mites and spread them throughout the household. 

The good news is that it’s fairly easy to spot whether or not your cat has ear mites. The bad news is that your kitty is likely having a really bad time. Ear mites live in the ear canal and feed by piercing through the thin skin in your cat’s ears. 

The symptoms of ear mites in cats includes incessant scratching, violent head shaking, redness around the ears, waxy buildup in the ears, and a dry crumbly substance that resembles coffee grounds. 

If you suspect your cat has ear mites then it’s always best to get an official diagnosis from your veterinarian. Other issues can give symptoms similar to those caused by ear mites, such as a yeast infection of the ears. 

Whenever an official diagnosis of ear mites is given by a professional, you’ll likely want to treat all cats in the house. It’s likely that the ear mites have already spread without you knowing. 

Cats Normally Don't Breathe Through Their Mouths

You Need To Fully Treat Ear Mites ASAP

The best way to control ear mites is by eradicating them from your household completely. You don’t want to treat one pet and not the other. This is a great way to ensure the ear mites keep spreading. 

Ear mites multiply quickly, so if your cat has one or two mites, it’s likely that there are hundreds of them in her ears by the time you see them.

Ear mites are usually spread from one cat to another when they rub their heads together or groom each other. It can also be spread through direct contact with an infected item like bedding, toys or even a grooming brush used on an infested animal.

A kitten can be infected with ear mites at birth if its mother has them at the time of delivery (which is why some vets will recommend keeping newborn kittens away from other cats until they are old enough to get their first vaccinations).

Soap And Water Isn’t Enough To Kill Ear mites

Simply using soap and water isn’t enough to kill ear mites. Sure, it will clear any “gunk” out of your cat’s ears, but it won’t actually kill all of the ear mites. 

Remember, one or two ear mites can turn into hundreds in a relatively short time. You’ll just be left spinning your wheels by using soap and water. Also, soap and water can dry your cat’s skin out and make them even more itchy than they were before!

NO! Rubbing Alcohol Will NOT Kill Ear Mites In Cats

Your first line of defense should always be your vet. A veterinarian will likely suggest a product like Acarexx®, which is a topical version of ivermectin, and Milbemite®, a topical version of milbemycin oxime.

No, rubbing alcohol will not kill ear mites in cats. In fact, rubbing alcohol can actually make things worse. The alcohol can dry out the skin in your cat’s ears. This leads to further irritation and itchiness. 

A 70% isopropyl alcohol solution should only be used to clean your cats ears before applying any medicine to get rid of ear mites. 

ear mites home remedies for cats

Home Remedies For Treating Ear Mites In Cats

There are currently no known home remedies for treating ear mites in cats. Anybody that says otherwise is either lying or grossly misinformed. 

Let me just say this again, there are no known home remedies for treating ear mites in cats!

How To Get Rid Of Ear Mites In Cats

We can’t stress this enough, but you need to check with your local vet if you feel your cat has ear mites. If your cat does have ear mites then they are likely itchy and miserable, so it’s important to get this treated as soon as possible. 

There are also a number of over-the-counter topical medicines available to kill ear mites in cats. We don’t like to recommend or mention specific name brands on this blog. Again, and you’re probably tired of reading this, but check with your vet for a proper ear-mite treatment plan. 

Featured Image by Francesco Ungaro via Pexels