My big boy, Jackie has been scratching his ears and shaking his head a bit since we got him from the shelter. Something is definitely irritating his ears but they look pretty clean from what I can see, so regular cleaning should help eliminate his itching.
There are many possiblities why cats are feeling irritation in their ears. It could be a bacteria infection, yeast infection, ear mites, a tumor or others.
Ear mite infestation is the most common ear discomfort and is extremely contagious to not only cats, but also other animals such as dogs or even humans. If one of your cats is infected with ear mites, it is wise to have all the pets in your house checked out by a vet.
There are usually several signs that indicate a cat may be infected with ear mites. Some cats are more sensitive, thus may show more or all of the symptoms whereas others may differ.
- scratching and itching around the ear area
- a strong, noticeable odor from the ears
- frequent head shaking
- excessive ear wax
- ear wax is dark in color
The best way to prevent any sort of ear infection is to clean the ears routinely. If you are not sure whether your cat is having ear mites, it is better to have your cat seen by a vet. A vet will determine the cause of the scratching or itching and give the proper treatment for the cat.
Here is a great reference about how to identify and treat feline ear mites:
Below is an excellent video that shows how to clean a cat's ears: