Ear Scabies in Cats: Everything You Need to Know

Ear scabies is the most common cause of itching and ear inflammation in cats. Scabies are small parasites that live in the ear canal and in the skin outside. Scabies is transmitted by close contact with other animals and can affect both dogs, cats and ferrets if they live in the same household.


Classic symptoms of ear scabies are intense itching of the ears and a lot of brownish-black, dry secretions in the ears can be seen. Some cats have tear marks and sores on the skin around the ears. Scabies is most commonly seen in young cats but can affect animals of all ages. A cat that does not receive treatment for ear scabies can develop a chronic ear infection with swollen, narrow ear canals with secretion formation. The veterinarian can detect the scabies in the ear secretion by looking under a microscope or by seeing them directly with the otoscope.


There are a number of effective treatments for scabies. The most common are a combination of so-called “spot on” preparations that are applied to the skin in the neck in combination with cleaning of the ears from all secretions. The cat is usually checked a few weeks after starting treatment to see that it has had the desired effect.

What can you do yourself?

If you have a cat with a suspected ear scab or itching against the ears, you should always consult a veterinarian.

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