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More than half of all ear infections in cats are related to ear mites. Ear mites are irritating and sometimes painful to cats. They are not dangerous but contagious, and if left untreated, ear mite infestations can lead to excessive scratching and wounds behind the ears that may become infected.
Conventional treatments involve using an oil-based pesticide to kill the mites. Natural remedies for ear mites in cats are gentler but any treatment will have to continue for some time.
Ear mites can be treated externally with oil. Keep the oil cool but gently warm it before treatment. Never put cold or hot drops into your cat's ear. To test that the oil has the right temperature you can put some on your wrist.
To create an ear mite lotion, mix 15ml of a base oil, e.g. almond oil and 15ml of lavender essential oil and add 400 international units of vitamin E. Pour 10 drops of this mix into your cat's ear morning and evening. Massage the oil thoroughly into the ear and then pour one drop of eucalyptus essential oil into the ear canal. The massaging will help to bring debris up to the outer part of the ear where it can be wiped away with a cotton ball.
After each application, clean the ear with a solution consisting of half a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar and three teaspoons of warm water. Soak a cotton wool ball in the mixture and apply to the inside of the ear. Remove as much as possible of the gritty discharge that are the ear mites and then dry off the ears with a hair dryer on low heat for three minutes.
Continue the treatment for five days. Leave a gap of three days and repeat the entire process. Alternatively, mineral oil applied once or twice a week for 3-4 weeks effectively eliminate ear mites. The oil will smother the ear mites and ensure that no new generation can develop.
If the infestation is severe, continue the treatment after the second three day break with the following recipe. Simmer four teaspoons of yellow dock root (macerated) in 150ml of water for 10 minutes. Then add four teaspoons of chopped horsetail and one tablespoon of chopped yellow dock. Take off the boil and let the mix stand for one minute, then strain the herbs and add 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Allow to cool before adding six teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.
Repeat the treatment for five days as previously but then wait for two weeks before administering the final course of medication.
The internal treatment should be accompanied by daily internal cleansing. Prepare a tisane of equal parts of stinging nettle and thyme and give two dropperfuls, three times daily until the ear mite infection has completely cleared. To make the tea, infuse one teaspoonful of herb in 150ml of water for one minute. Bring down to body temperature before administering.
If your cat's ears are very inflamed a horsetail compress with some drops of lavender essential oil will bring relief. Apply a piece of cotton wool that is big enough to cover the ear and bandage to keep it in place.
You can also feed your cat some tonic foods such as finely chopped garlic and watercress to support the healing.
These home remedies for cats with ear mites help to eliminate ear mites and build up your cat's immune system so she can fight off future infections.
Monika Ruthe is a complementary therapist and has created an online information resource on natural and home remedies for cats. To discover the best natural remedies for cats for a variety of common ailments and learn how to use them visit http://www.homeremediesforcats.com
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