Keeping Fluffy’s Ears Healthy

When your cat constantly scratches her head and/or ears, you may have a problem.  Cats don’t seem to get ear infections as often as dogs, probably because many dogs have those loppy ears that easily harbor bacteria in those ear canals. But the itching and irritation cause just as much trouble in kitties.

Cats are also prone to ear mites.  Mites are tiny parasites that attach themselves inside the ear and leave brown or blackish, coffee-ground-like debris behind.  Watch for excessive scratching of the ears and neck that usually signal that something is wrong.

One hint:  If you dog is treated for ear mites or ear infections, treat your cat as well.  Just assume that if one is affected, all are affected.

Feline ear infections are likely caused by one of three things:  Bacteria, yeast or foreign debris caught in the ear canal. (

The first time you experience such ear problems with your cat, I suggest having your veterinarian diagnose the problem and teach you how to care for your kitty’s ears.  Once you know what to look for and feel comfortable making the diagnosis yourself, check out the aspca link above for instructions on proper feline ear care.

If your cat suffers from repeated ear problems due to years infections, think about her diet.  Feline food allergies or sensitivities often display with ear infections.  Grains may be the culprit, especially corn or wheat.  Switch Fluffy to a grain-free cat food, preferably canned, and you may see a world of improvement.

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