Feline Ear Infections: Treatment and Prevention

October 9, 2015

in Cat Health

Ear infections are a common ailment for many ragdoll cats. From struggles with ear-mites, fungus, and allergies, to more serious inner ear infections, some cats seem to fight a never ending battle that has them – and their owners – constantly scratching their heads. Many common outer ear problems can be prevented with a little extra effort and vigilance.

For severe cases, veterinarians usually prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat ear infections. Common antibiotics include antibiotic/anti-fungal/anti-inflammatory medicines like Otomax or MalOtic. Recently, many people have begun turning to more holistic options before treating their pups with a drug regimen.

The first step in preventing ear infections is cleanliness. Cats with long dropped ears are more at risk than cats with pricked ears, and long haired cats have to be extra careful. If you have a long haired cat, be sure to keep the hair around the ears trimmed and clean, as the hair can not only pick up debris from the ground during playtime, but can help carry the junk into the ear canal where it can cause infection.

Some cats seem to always have stuff in their ears. For them a rinse made of a simple 1:2 solution of white vinegar and water may help stave off infections. Use the solution to rinse the ear, massaging gently with a towel, then rinse a couple more times using plain filtered water. A 1:1 hydrogen peroxide/water solution also work well. Try the Hydrogen Peroxide solution if your cats ears are tender from a lot of scratching as it will sting less than the vinegar.

Many large per stores stock several brands of commercial cleaners which may offer even more protection for your cat. Commercial ear cleaners often have ingredients specially formulated to treat common ear problems, and some of them even come with applicators which can make cleaning time much easier on both the cat and their owner.

A healthy diet is a great way to help your pup fight off infections of all kinds including ear infections. Many commercial foods use lots of fillers that add bulk to the product without providing much nutritional content. Do a web search for healthy or organic pet food options and treat your pet to a healthier lifestyle.

In spite of looking and smelling terrible, most ear infections only affect the outer ear. Keeping the ears clean and groomed will help reduce both the discomfort of common problems as well as the risk of greater infection. More serious infections to exist and you should be aware of the symptoms. If you notice your cat tilting their head more than normal, walking in circles, or showing signs of general clumsiness, it may be a sign of a more serious condition and you should schedule a trip to your local vet.

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