What Mite Help?
What Mite Help?
My kitty's an ear mite magnet. It seems like I'm always putting ear mite drops into poor Sheba's ears, but I worry about too much medicine. Are there any natural remedies for ear mites that work? - B.G., Wauna, Washington
If your cat has dirt in her ears that looks like coffee grounds and she's shaking her head or rubbing at her ears, it could be mites. Best to have your vet check her, though, because wax or dirt buildup can look like a mite problem.
Richard and Susan Pitcairn, in their book Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, say that an improved diet can help to both prevent and cure ear mites, and they suggest adding garlic and brewer's yeast to kitty's food.
They also recommend a mixture of one-half ounce almond or olive oil and 400 IU vitamin E (from a capsule) to cleanse and soothe the ears. Put about half a dropperful into the ear and massage Sheba's ears. Let her shake her head if she wants, and then gently clean the debris and excess oil with a cotton ball or swab. Repeat the treatment every other day for six days.
You can also make an herbal treatment to kill the mites that you apply the same way as the oil treatment. Bring one cup of water to boil and add one rounded teaspoon of dried yellow dock (Rumex crispus). Steep for 15 minutes and then strain through a sieve. Let cool to lukewarm. Treat Sheba's ears with this once every three days, for up to three or four weeks. If this natural treatment doesn't clear the problem, please take Sheba to her vet.