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Top 5 Best Ear Mite Medicine for Cats (**2020 Review**)

Are you looking for the best ear mite medicine for cats?  Then you've come to the right place.

In this Pest Strategies product review you can expect to learn:

  • What ear mites are
  • How they are spread
  • How to prevent ear mites
  • If ear mites will spread to people
  • The best medicine to use for cats
best ear mite medicine for cats
ImageProduct
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Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment (powerful, effective treatment)
  • Works quickly
  • Washes out the gunk
  • Just one treatment a day for 7 days
  • Works quickly
  • Washes out the gunk
  • Just one treatment a day for 7 days
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Zymox Ear Solution (a half-strength version of the first one)​
  • ​Non-invasive solution
  • ​Highly effective against bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections
  • ​Eliminates the smell in the ears
  • ​Non-invasive solution
  • ​Highly effective against bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections
  • ​Eliminates the smell in the ears
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Otomite Plus Ear Mite Treatment (works without irritation)
  • Eliminates without irritation
  • ​Contains double-synergized pyrethrins
  • ​For dogs, cats, and their youngs
  • Eliminates without irritation
  • ​Contains double-synergized pyrethrins
  • ​For dogs, cats, and their youngs
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SENTRY HC EARMITE
  • ​Relieves itching
  • ​Soothes
  • ​Water based
  • ​Relieves itching
  • ​Soothes
  • ​Water based
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Frontline Gold for Cats
  • ​Triple action formula
  • ​Also works on killing fleas and ticks
  • ​Trusted by veterenirians
  • ​Triple action formula
  • ​Also works on killing fleas and ticks
  • ​Trusted by veterenirians
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated as of 10/27/2018)

  • ​Treatment for viral, bacterial, and yeast infections
  • ​Non-antibiotic
  • ​Easy to use
  • ​Eliminates antibiotic resistant organisms

Of all the ear mite medicine for cats we researched and reviewed, our top pick goes to Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment.

Why?

This is one of the few ear mite treatments that doesn't require you to wash out your cat's ears before putting the drops in them.  As far as we're concerned, the fewer steps the better.

This is the strongest, quickest, and most effective treatment you can find without going to see a veterinarian and getting a prescription for an expensive medicine.  Thousands of pets have been successfully treated with it.

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Rating: 97.50

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Rating: 95.70

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5 Best Ear Mite Medicines for Cats

Short on time or just want a quick answer?

Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about ear mite treatments and medicines.

  1. Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment (powerful, effective treatment) 
  2. Zymox Ear Solution (a half-strength version of the first one)
  3. Otomite Plus Ear Mite Treatment (works without irritation)
  4. SENTRY HC EARMITE
  5. Frontline Gold for Cats

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​What Are Ear Mites?

Ear mites are Otodectes cynotis.  They're eight-legged members of the spider family and look like tiny white ticks.  

They are so small they're nearly invisible to the naked eye so the primary way you'll know if your cat has them may be from a strong odor in their ears. Ear mite problems also come with a black or brown secretion with a waxy appearance deep inside the ears, along with inflammation of the outer ears.

Your cat may exhibit behavioral patterns of keeping their ears flat against their head, constantly shaking their head, and continually rubbing their ears.

Other signs of an ear mite infection are the presence of black specks or the appearance of “coffee grounds” in your cat's ears.  They feed on the ear wax, oils, and debris in your cat's ears in addition to living there.  

​Ear mite presence creates secondary problems with bacteria and fungus growing in the ears, leading to infections.  If left untreated, ear mite infestations can lead to a permanent loss of hearing.

ear mite medicine for cats did you know

Where Do Cats Get Ear Mites?

In every known case with cats, ear mites come from other cats.  They are contagious, spreading from one animal to another through physical contact. 

​Ear mite infection is what is known as a “socialization infection”, which means it's transmitted from one animal to another, usually through grooming behavior, playing, mating, or sleeping together for warmth.

This explains how indoor cats get ear mites without going outside.  An infected cat is brought into the house or comes in contact with them through some other means and the ear mites rapidly crawl from one cat to the other.

On rare occasions, ear mites will come into a house from the outside without being carried by its host.  It's unusual for it to happen since they're parasites and typically need a host for their survival.  

However, it can happen, in which case you'll need to think about a regular pesticide treatment (below).

How Can Cat Ear Mite Infections Be Prevented?

Isolation

The means for preventing ear mites in cats is fairly obvious from the foregoing.  You prevent ear mites from infecting your cat by isolating them from unknown cats.  They can also contract them from dogs, so keep all strays away from them as well.

If you must bring other cats or dogs into your house (because you're dog or cat-sitting, keeping them for a friend who is going on a trip) inspect the animal's ears before letting them into your house.  If you see any signs of an ear mite infection, don't let them in.

Since ear mites are a member of the spider family, treating the house inside and out with a standard insecticide for killing spiders is an excellent method of preventing an ear mite infection. 

​This technique however works best for inside cats and not for the outdoor type.  Use either an Esfenvalerate pesticide or a Bifenthrin-based insecticide.

Either one will work just fine.  Use them to treat around the windows and doors, around the cracks and crevices, along the eaves, and around any electrical or plumbing intrusions.

Topical Preventatives

Studies have found that fipronil is an excellent preventative topical treatment for cats.  Oddly enough, fipronil was originally designed to kill termites, and it's still used for that purpose today.  It's regarded as the silver bullet for killing termites and now has been adapted for controlling ear mites as well.

For treating cats, Frontline Topical Medication contains fipronil and can be used as a preventative as well as a treatment if your cat already has ear mites. 

Be aware that preventatives, intended to stop an infestation before it gets started, typically are not as strong as medicines or treatments which are intended to be used after the infestation has begun.  If you decide to use a preventative as a treatment, you'll need to increase the dosage in order for it to work effectively.

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​Can People Catch Ear Mites from Cats?

No.  

The environment inside the human ear is very different from the one inside a cat's ears. Therefore ear mites can't survive in human ears.  

The ear mites can tell the difference between us and our pets and stay away from people.  This means you don't have to worry about catching ear mites from your cats.

The video below shows ear mite infection on cats and dogs along with its natural remedies.

Cat Ear Mite Medicines We Reviewed

As a quick recap, here are the top 5 cat ear mite medicines we looked at.  

Our #1 pick goes to the Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment.  Be sure to take a look at the Zymox Ear Solution, a half-strength version that costs a little less.

  • Works quickly
  • Washes out the gunk
  • Just one treatment a day for 7 days
  • Quickly gets rid of the smell in the ears

The active ingredient in this treatment is 1%  Hydrocortisone.  Pet owners have seen improvements in their pets in as little as three days when using this, although the instructions tell you to continue to apply it for seven days.

Don't try to clean your cat's ears before using this.  Simply apply it to their ears “as is.”  The brown and black gunk in your cat's ears will begin coming out very quickly.  

Follow the instructions to re-apply this every day and it washes more out with each treatment.  Some of it will come flying out when your cat shakes his or her head after each treatment.

A word of advice; isolate your cat in a small room during the treatment – a bathroom would be perfect.  You should do this since the drops are rather oily.  

When the cat shakes it's head, the liquid will splatter.  By keeping it confined to a small room with (hopefully) tiled flooring, you'll make it easier to clean up the inevitable mess.

Pros

  • ​Works very quickly
  • ​Washes out the gunk
  • ​One treatment a day for 7 days
  • ​Gets rid of the smell in the ears
  • Tight weave keeps out dust mites

Cons

  • ​Drops are rather oily
  • ​Non-invasive solution
  • ​Highly effective against bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections

The active ingredient here is 0.5% Hydrocortisone, half the strength of the first Zymox treatment above.  

The difference is that this formulation is intended mainly for infections rather than ear mites directly.  It's a bit cheaper though and will eventually accomplish the same result as the stronger version.

To get the best results you'll need to double the number of drops you use each time, or treat your cat twice a day instead of only once a day.  

Warm it up in a cup of hot water before each use so it won't be cold when you put the drops in your cat's ears.  They accept it much better that way.

As with the stronger version, apply this in a small room that has a tiled flooring, preferably a bathroom.  This will make it easier to clean up any mess or spills that occur as these drops are pretty oily and slippery.

Pros

  • ​Works well
  • ​Washes out the gunk
  • ​Eliminates the smell in the ears

Cons

  • ​Drops are very oily
  • ​Takes a bit longer to takes its effect than the first one
  • ​Eliminates without irritation
  • ​Contains double-synergized pyrethrins
  • ​For dogs, cats, and their youngs

This treatment eliminates ear mites without causing irritation in the process.  The active ingredient is pyrethrin in an olive oil suspension that helps it penetrate all the way into the ear.

You'll need to clean your cat's ears with ear wipes before using this product, then massage their ears to work the solution in as deeply as possible.  

If you don't do the cleaning before applying the drops, they won't work nearly as well.  They may not even work at all since this product doesn't have much in the way of penetrating power.

Once your cat's ears are cleaned though, this medicine will work just fine. Follow the instructions and don't skimp on the drops.  If your cat appears to be over the ear mites before the treatment is completed, continue it anyway to make sure all of them are dead.

The instructions also recommends re-treating your cat after 14 days for best results and this is good advice.

Don't gloss over it or your pet will be the one to suffer for.  Keep a close eye on your pet after the first treatment or two, as some pets may be allergic to these drops.

Pros

  • ​Can be used on dogs as well
  • ​Very little irritation during the process

Cons

  • ​Need to re-treat after 14 days
  • Need to clean cat's ears before using
  • Possibility your cat might be allergic to it
  • ​Relieves itching
  • ​Soothes
  • ​Water based

The active ingredient here is pyrethrin, which some cats can be allergic to.  This is actually a fairly common problem.  

If your cats develop extremely red ears, or their skins starts to peel like they've got a sunburn or both, it's a sign they're allergic to pyrethrins and you should stop using it immediately.

In order to test if your cats are allergic to pyrethrins, put one drop in their ear, up toward the top, then give it a day or two to see what happens.  If they don't have any of the reactions listed above it means they're not allergic and you can safely use this medicine on them.

If they're not allergic, this will work but it takes 2-3 treatments a day for several weeks to gain control over the ear mites.  This works but it is very slow acting.  Give it time and it will eventually get rid of the ear mites.

Clean your cat's ears each time before treating them with this medicine and be sure to massage your cat's ears carefully after each treatment to help it penetrate deep down where the mites live.

Pros

  • ​Soothes while working to kill ear mites
  • ​Pyrethrin is a well-known pesticide

Cons

  • ​Takes a long time to work
  • ​Requires 2-3 treatments every day
  • Many cats can be allergic to pyrethrins
  • ​Triple action formula
  • ​Also works on killing fleas and ticks
  • ​Trusted by veterenirians

This has three active ingredients; Fipronil (9.80%), (S)-Methoprene (11.80%), and Priproxyfen (0.25%) and is the over-the-counter version of the Frontline Topical Medication for Fleas, Ticks and Ear Mites that has to come from your veterinarian.  

All three of these ingredients are well-known pesticides with proven track records of success.

Since this is a weaker version of the prescription strength treatment, be sure to use it only for ear mites.  

Fleas and ticks are more robust and harder to kill than ear mites, and it might not work on them.  Ear mites are so small that almost any amount of pesticide will prove to be fatal to them.

Continue the full course of treatment even if your cat appears to be completely healed.  Stopping halfway through and possibly leaving some ear mites still living will have the effect of inoculating them to the pesticides in this medicine.

Pros

  • ​Uses well-known pesticides
  • ​Good track record the active ingredients

Cons

  • ​Treatment needs to be fully completed
  • ​Weaker version of prescription strength medicine

Our Top Pick: ​Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment

There are a lot of ear mite treatments on the market today and are some better than others.

Unfortunately, a lot of them either don't work very well or cause severe allergic reactions in many cats.

Overall, our pick goes to Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment.

Cats aren't allergic to Hydrocortisone so there is no danger of making a bad situation worse.

It also penetrates deeply without having to clean your cat's ears before using it, and it works quickly with just one treatment a day.

A close second is the Zymox Ear Solution which has all the same ingredients (at half-strength) as our top pick but doesn't cost quite as much.

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