Cat is among the most adopted animals as a pet. Its considerably cute and intelligent personality makes people love to make them their companies. However, they are also prone to disease. They can catch any health problems even for the slightest cause. Some problems occur in their ear.
Cat’s ear is vulnerable to bacteria and parasite infestation. There can be various diseases manifest either in the inner or outer part of the ear.
Below are some common disorders of the outer ear in cats.
1. Ear Mites
The most common ear disorder in cat beside warning signs of heart disease is ear mites. Ear mites is a condition where mites choose to live around cat’s ear. With the size around a pin head, living mites have white color and invest themselves in warm part of cat’s body such as ear. A group of them may form a chunk on the outer part of the ear.
When your cat has ear mites, you will notice your cat keeps shaking its head and neck to get rid of mites in their ear. It will also use their paws to scratch on the ear, even until it leaves scar on it. Worst case of ear mites infestation is when your cat scratches its ear to often and eventually disfigured the ear.
2. Bacterial Infection
Cat with poor hygiene or ear that is too moist will invite bacteria to live in them. Bacteria will start spreading on the outer ear until the inside of the ear. These bacteria carry many possible disease that will endanger your cat’s life. When a cat is distressed by those bacteria, the scratches will cause infection from bacteria infestation. You may need to learn how to clean cat nail sheath.
Eventually the infection will form a wound with foul odor and disfigured your cat’s ear. In this case, bacteria has completely wrecked your cat’s ear and the infection will spread to other body parts. Be careful with this infestation as the effect can be more than just ear infection.
3. Mange Infestation
Similar to mites, mange prefer to live in cat’s skin including the ear. This creature can be very disturbing especially if they are in great mass. Your cat’s skin will detect them as strange component that needed to get rid of.
As a result, your cat will become so distressed that it keeps scratching its ear until bleeding. The more serious case is when cat starts to do self-mutilation by chopping off the ear invested by mange. As the wound open, it is vulnerable to bacteria infestation, causing even more various disorder with the worst case leading your cat to death.
4. Foreign Bodies
Cat, especially one that loves to play outside tend to have more foreign bodies stick to its ears. Foreign bodies such as grass, dirt, sand or mud. If it accumulates, they will form a sticky ball protruding from the ear. If you don’t know at least how to keep cat out from sleeping on the sand, these sticky balls may cause hearing problem if they attached on the ear for too long.
Foreign bodies penetration is not very serious, especially if you can detect them and pull them out easily. However, stray cats usually have it worse since they don’t have anyone who will look out for them.
5. Ear Abrasion
Another one of common disorders of the outer ear in cats is ear abrasion. Ear abrasion ofter occurs in a household with multi cats living inside it. When more than one cats living together, they may start to get hostile to each other by biting and scratching other cats. Eventually a cat that has their ear keep scratched will develop ear abrasion.
Ear abrasion is a shallow thinning skin caused by constant scratching. If it gets deeper, it can create bleeding wound. Bleeding wound is very vulnerable to bacteria infestation and infection. Thus, be careful of putting too many cats in your house.
6. Cat Allergies
Cat allergies, especially food allergies, can cause skin itchiness. Skin itchiness will make your cat constantly scratching their skin, including its ear. Other symptoms of allergy includes vomiting, short breath, runny nose, and watered eyes.
Similar to previous disorder, itchiness resulted from food allergy will make your cat’s ear a specific place for your cat to scratch on. Gradually it will create opened wound and worse, your cat will decide to self-mutilate the ears. You can also give vitamins to improve your cat’s skin to lessen the effect.
7. Inflamnatory Polyp
This is an indirect disorder caused by inflammatory polyp. Just like human, the throat, nose, and ear are connected to each other. Polyp is respiration supporting par that is also connected to the nose. If your cat’s nose happen to have infection that causing inflammation, the inflammation can spread to other body parts, including the ears.
Inflammation leading to infection on the outer ear can spread throughout the body. Your cat may getting feverish and having symptoms of cold flu. If it continues, it may lead for your cat tp die.
The last but not the least probable disorder of outer ear in cats is tumor. Tumor grows from malicious cells. Not all tumor cells are carcinogenic, but it is very possible for tumor to grow to be cancer. Tumor exists as lump protruding from the skin. Inflammatory tumor have their cells alive and create carcinogenic cells leading to cancer.
Small tumor may appear first like a skin tag. However, the skin tag gets bigger and eventually form tumor. Tumor is removable through surgery, however, when cancerous tumor grows, it will needs more than a surgery to get rid of it.
What to Do for Ear Disorder in Cats
There are some simple steps to check on your cat’s ear disorder.
- Check their ears regularly to see if there is any lump or abrasion
- Pull out any sticky foreign bodies using fingers or tweezers
- Avoid giving them allergic foods
- Bathe your cat regularly and ensure their hygiene
- Clean your cat’s ears regularly but do not go too deep
- Consult veterinarian if you notice lump, or self-mutilated ear
- Get your cat a shot to kill bacteria, mites, and mange in your cat’s ears.
- Learn signs that your cat is sick and needs attention.
That is all about common disorders of outer ear in cats that you need to know.