Cat Ear Wax vs Mites

Cat Ear Wax vs Mites – How To Tell The Difference

Can you quickly tell whether your cat has mites or just an ear infection?

Probably not, since you may not have all the information at your fingertips concerning these two.

After noticing that your cat has ear wax, it’s imperative to try and understand the common causes of this issue.

In many instances, an ear infection is an indication that your cat has an underlying threatening condition.

Excessive ear wax can indicate a ruptured eardrum or a severe infection that can cause death.

As much as it’s essential to monitor and manage your pet’s health, ear hygiene is often overlooked.

So what’s the difference between ear wax and Ear mites in cats?

What can you do to help if your cat has ear mites?

This post has all the information you need to discern between the two and what to do in either case.

Is the cat’s ear wax Normal?

Before we proceed, you must be able to know when ear wax is normal in your cat’s ears.

Check the cat regularly, and if any of the below symptoms are present, then the ear wax is not normal, and there’s a likelihood of a life-threatening health condition.

  • Excessive ear wax
  • Decreased appetite
  • A sudden increase in cat’s ear wax
  • Difficult walking
  • Issues with balance
  • Head tilting
  • Foul odor
  • Dropping on one side of the face
  • Red or swollen ears
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Trouble hearing

The difference between an ear infection and ear mites

What looks like ear wax in your cat’s ear can be a signal of a bigger health issue.

Ear mites mainly lead to ear wax, but there are some common ways of differentiating between them.

These are tiny parasites that are visible through the naked eyes.

They usually feed on the wax in the cat’s ears and may excessively stimulate wax production from the wax-producing glands in the cat’s body.

Ear mites are prevalent in Kittens and elderly cats and can either weaken the cat’s immunity or make the cat weaker.

Ear mites are basically tiny, but they can cause inflammation and irritation, which is mainly uncomfortable.

In the case of ear mites, there is the likelihood of a discharge that looks like dry coffee grounds or black coffee grounds, and it will consist of blood, mites, and ear wax.

Although this can help discern whether your cat has ear mites or excessive wax production, it’s prudent to take the cat to a vet for a comprehensive examination.

The vet will focus the examination on the ears using a microscope, clean the cat, and propose some measures that would be effective in dealing with cat ear mites.

Ear Infection and Cat infections

Instances of excessive ear wax production may indicate a severe bacterial or fungal infection.

In this instance, the most common infection is otitis externa.

This is an infection of the outer part of the ear mainly caused by ear mites.

It can cause inflammation and pose a serious health risk to the cat.

If not treated, this infection can move to the middle and the inner parts of the ear and cause more damage.

The infections are extremely painful and irritating for your feline companion.

To discern whether your cat has an ear infection or not, take a closer examination.

A yeast infection has a nasty smell, and it’s itchy.

You will notice that ear has a brownish or a grey color on the affected areas.

There might be a brownish or grey discharge from the ear too.

Signs and Symptoms of ear Mites

How do you differentiate cat ear mites from yeast and bacterial infections?

Here are a few indications that your cat has ear mites.

  • The cat keeps scratching the ear- ear mites are itchy, and for that reason, the cat might get irritated from time to time and start scratching the ear. She might also keep on shaking the head.
  • The ear on the inside looks dirty- If the feline ears look dirty from the inside, there’s no discharge or smell, it might be feline ear mites. It usually appears like dark brown or reddish-brown debris.
  • Other pets in the house have ear mites- Feline ear mites are very contagious, and the cat can easily get them from other pets such as dogs or rabbits. If you notice that any of your pets have ear mites, it’s prudent to take the rest of them to a vet.


How can you tell for sure if your kitty has ear mites or just dirty ears?

There are a couple of symptoms that you can use to discern between ear dirt and cat ear mites.

If your cat is scratching at the itchy ears, shakes the head a lot, it might be ear mites.

The feline ear mites will look dark brown or reddish-brown.

Can Indoor cats get ear mites?

Yes, ear mites are highly contagious, and for that reason, your cat is at risk of getting ear mite infestation from infected cats, dogs, or other animals.

Why does my cat have so much earwax?

Several things can cause excessive ear wax in cats.

An ear infection is a leading reason why your cat has a lot of ear wax.

Allergies to foods are another reason.

Others include environmental causes, polyps in the cat ear’s canal, ear mites, and a ruptured eardrum.

What do ear mites look like in cats?

Ear Mites in cats are microscopic and infectious parasites that are tiny and look like white dots.

You can barely see cat ear mites with your naked eyes.

It would help if you surely had a microscope to see them.


The vet will be able to rule out the possibility of ear infections and ear mites.

Vets usually use a swab ear test to examine the debris under a microscope.

In the case of ear infections, the vet will propose antibiotics that will help your feline friend recover fast enough.

If it’s ear mites, the vet will clean the ears and use insecticides containing pyrethrins to kill the mites.


This litter box ACTUALLY cleans itselfRead More