How do cats get ear mites?

ANSWER: From another animals and that includes us, it seems. Ear mites are highly contagious and they are not host specific. This means that ear mites don't mind what animal they infest. We are a species of animal as far the ear mite is concerned. People don't like being called an animal but that is not relevant to this discussion.

Normally cats will get ear mites from other cats, rabbits, ferrets and dogs in and around the household. If they are outside/inside cats they might get them from a wild animal or stray and feral cats.

Ear mite100x magnification - Photo by Animal Kingdom Pet Hospital

I have heard that full-time indoor cats can get ear mites which begs the question: how? As the ear mite is a parasite living in the ear and on the body of an animal they could, it seems to me, transfer to us temporarily if we make contact with an animal outside the home. We then walk them inside.

Because the ear mite is highly contagious, when treating a cat for ear mites, other companion animals in the household should be treated to the same standard. Ear mites are very irritating to a cat. The signs are head shaking and scratching. The scratching may cause bleeding and loss of hair. It needs to be dealt with promptly.


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