Reasons Why Cats Scratch Their Ears

Does your cat scratch its ear frequently, sometimes even with blood? Then it’s time to take a closer look at their eavesdroppers. The cat ear is a highly sensitive sensory organ in which itching can often occur due to its unique anatomy. Because health problems develop unnoticed for a long time in the moist and warm folds of the ears. If the cat has itchy ears, there may be several related causes.

Itchy Wax in the Cat’s Ear

Some cats have too much wax in their ear canal. That is why cat owners should regularly check the inside of their velvet paw’s ears and clean them if necessary. Use a cat ear cleaner and rub the outer ear with a soft cloth.

Cotton swabs have no place in a cat’s ear – they can lead to injuries.

Since the cat’s ears are very sensitive, it is best to get the kitten used for the inspection of the ears. This makes it easier to check and clean the adult cats’ ears.

It is rare to find too much wax in the ears of healthy cats. If the cat’s ear produces a lot of secretion, there is always a cause. It could be ear mites, an allergy, or an inflammation. That is why it makes sense to have this symptom clarified by the veterinarian. He can also give you tips on the best way to clean your cat’s ear. This is important because ear wax is an optimal breeding ground for inflammation or parasites in the ear.

Infestation With Ear Mites

Parasites are often the reason cats scratch their ears. These are ear mites, e.g. the autumn grass mite. The tiny little animals irritate the ear canal, which leads to an increase in ear wax, which in turn triggers itching. While regular ear wax is mainly yellowish, brownish, sometimes whitish spots and bloodred crusts can be seen in the case of parasite infestation.

If the diagnosis is not immediately apparent, the vet will examine the ear secretions under a microscope. If there are mites in the ear, we refer to the clinical picture as “ear mange”. If you suspect your cat may have ear mites, check out our tips on all about ear mites in cats.

Inflammation Causes Severe Itching in the Ear

Inflammation can occur individually or in parallel in all areas of the cat’s ear. Experts differentiate between inflammation in the outer, middle, and inner ear.

Scratching your ear is one of the possible symptoms of an itchy ear infection. Often a bad smell is noticed from the ears of the velvet paw. Sometimes bloodred crusts can be seen, which can indicate a mite infestation. Depending on which area of the ear is inflamed, nerve damage can also occur.

Since the ear is not only responsible for hearing but also for the cat’s balance, inflammation can negatively affect it. The cat is tilting its head or moving in a circle. Horner’s syndrome, a misalignment of the eye, can also be traced back to an ear infection.

The inflammation is often associated with too much ear wax, a mite infestation – or both.

In fact, ear mites are a common cause of infection in a cat’s ear. Other causes include skin fungus or skin problems, for example, due to allergies or infections that spread in the cat’s body. Here, too, the following applies: Only the veterinarian can make the exact diagnosis and get to the bottom of the cause of the scratching on the inflamed cat’s ear.

Judy Taylor

Written by Judy Taylor

Judy Taylor combines her love of science and writing to educate pet owners. Her articles on pet wellness, published on a variety of platforms, reveal a deep passion for animals. With a teaching background and shelter volunteer experience, Judy brings expertise to the fields of writing and compassionate pet care.

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