When a cat has itching ears and it is shaking its head, it means that its health may be not alright. A cat may scratch its ears from time to time, but it is definitely not a norm when it shakes its head. But if you see other changes in cat’s behavior (obsessive scratching, redness in the ear or around, hair loss and other symptoms), it may be a symptom of a disease.
Causes of Itching Ears in Cats
- Earwax.One of the most common reasons for this problem is the accumulation of excessive quantities of earwax. On the one hand, in the process of chewing food, earwax is moving to the exit and wax plugs should not be formed. On the other hand, in practice, sometimes the mechanism does not work as it should. Read about how to clean cat’s ears to avoid this problem.
- Otitis. The second common cause of itching ears in cats can be otitis – the inflammation of ear. It occurs if there is water in the cat’s ear or the pet caught a cold after lying in the draft, as well as from parasites getting into the ear. This condition is accompanied by a decrease of immunity and the appearance of inflammation (sometimes you can see it from the outside, but sometimes it is necessary to look inside with special instruments). Inflammation in turn leads to increased body temperature, which should be measured through the anus with a special cat thermometer. In this case, vets usually prescribe injections of antibiotics. In any case, the diagnosis “otitis” and its causes can be found only by a vet. The treatment must be started immediately, as otitis can lead to disastrous consequences, such as deafness.
- Allergy. If a cat is allergic to feed, there may appear otitis of external auditory canal as a reaction to the allergen. It is removed with antihistamines, corticosteroids (they have an overall anti-inflammatory effect). Of course, the problematic food must be avoided.
- Injury. It is rare, but it happens that the reason for the special attention of cats to their ears is an injury or a foreign object. Most often this occurs in those cats that have access to the street. But trauma and hematoma can occur at home by scratching the ear as well. If you suspect such a problem, you need to inspect an ear and pull out the foreign object. But sometimes it is difficult to do it oneself. In this case you must go to the vet. If you see a hematoma, you also need to take the cat to the vet. He can perform the puncture and remove the object.
- Water in the ear. Sometimes an inflammation, irritation or physical discomfort in the ear can be caused by water. In this case, the cat will shake its head to release the ear. You can help it by using a cotton bud. But do not insert it too deep or push; it is better to just gently insert the bud inside and dry the water. But if you see that the bud in the ear causes too much discomfort and pain, it is likely that the cause is more serious and you definitely need to go to the vet.
- Tumor. Tumor is an immensely rare case, but still it is worth noting – it is the overgrowth of the sebaceous glands and the bone tissue. In other words, it is a benign growth of tissues. Of course, you cannot diagnose this condition by yourself and make a decision about whether this is a benign process or a malignant one (that is, cancerous). In this case, you need to resort to the vet, and then to recheck the diagnosis, going to another doctor.
Prevention of Ear Problems
Prevention of ear diseases in cats involves the following activities:
- Regular inspection and cleaning of the ears. It is done about 1 time a week, sometimes 2 times a week. Before cleaning, a cat can be injected into the ears with special preventative spray that helps to remove earwax and has antiseptic and healing properties. It should be based on natural components. Do not buy to prevent the spray with antibiotics, it’s pointless and unhealthy.
- Prevention from parasites. This method does not give a 100% guarantee, but still it is very effective.
- Neat bathing. When you bathe your pet, you need to make sure that no water gets into its ears. For this purpose, the pet’s ears can be plugged with cotton wool, and you must just carefully ensure that the head of a cat is dry: it is never washed.
- No drafts. Sometimes diseases of the ear occur due to drafts. Try to avoid it.
- The strengthening of immunity.
Some diseases of the ear develop as a result of low immunity. To avoid this, it needs to be strengthened by vitamins and minerals, good physical activity, eliminating stress factors in the life of a cat with proper nutrition and, of course, your love.