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Home » How To Help Your Cat If Their Ears Are Itchy

How To Help Your Cat If Their Ears Are Itchy

January 31, 2023

We’ve all seen our cats show off their flexibility by using their feet to itch their ears. Maybe they conjured themselves into some bizarre position that you just had to take a picture of. Maybe you’re getting a bit too used to the thumping sound caused by their repetitive scratching motions. 

So your cat itches their ears a lot. Is that really a bad thing? Is it a problem for your cat, or just a problem for you? And what can we do to help them scratch that itch that they just cant seem to ever get? 

Common Causes For Cats To Have Itchy Ears

Step one in helping your cat is understanding the problem. If they just have an itch, they will get it. But if they have an infection, you’re going to need to step in with an assist for them. 


Yes, you read that right. Cats can have allergic reactions in their ears. And the most common allergy for a cat to have in their ear is from their food. The environment within a cats ear is warm and dark by default - so if your cat has an allergic reaction in there it’s easy for the ear to become more inflamed and itchier for them. And from there, it just keeps getting worse. 

If you see your cat sneezing a lot or itching their eyes, it could also be a sign they have allergies to something. Keep in mind that while food is the most common cause of allergic reaction in ears, it could be from something else in the environment as well. 

Ear Mites

The dreaded ear mites. Ears really are a cat’s weak spot. The healing powers of their tongue don’t make it into their ear canals, but ear mites certainly do. And once ear mites land, they reproduce quickly and in just a few days you can go from casual to a serious issue. And if you have a multi-pet household be extra careful and vigilant for ear mites - they spread quickly. 

Ear mites are tiny black dots that you can actually see if you peer close into your cats ears. Ear mites are one of the most common ailments of cats so don’t be too worried if you start to see them in your cats ears, just know you need to start treating it early. 

Ear Infections

Ear infections are pretty common for cats - especially ringworm.  Again, this is probably due to their inability to clean properly. Once an ear gets infected it’s important to get them treatment early. An infection will generally start in the outer ear where it’s more visible, but it can quickly enter their middle ear in which case you are running a high risk of damaging their ears. If it gets more serious your cat may end up losing their balance due to damage in their ear canals, so take infections seriously. 

How To Treat Itchy Ears In Cats

We listed allergies first as a common cause because it’s the easiest one to verify. If you’re having a hard time identifying what is causing your cat to itch their ears so much, just start off with this list and make your way down until you see an improvement in the frequency they itch their ears. 

Change Their Food

Yes, this one is very simple. Put them on a new type of cat food for a week and see if they stop itching their ears. It’s very common for cats to have allergic reactions to certain ingredients in food, and this could very well be the cause of your cats constant ear itch. Luckily it’s a very simple solution - just stop buying that old cat food and keep trying new ones until you can figure out which ingredients your cat is allergic too. 

Clean Their Ears Regularly

Cats have a hard time reaching their ears for a good cleaning, and we know how clean cats are. So make it a habit to clean their ears out for them so you don’t get a huge buildup of gunk. 

In our household Yavapai has particularly dirty ears. Yaki is constantly licking them and trying to clean them, but it’s a tough area to reach. We picked up some ear cleaner wipes and use them weekly to help keep his ears clean. 

You can also dig in and pull out some of the wax with a Q-Tip, but you really need to be careful because if you go too deep you can damage their earlobes. And cats love to squirm around with things in their ears so you really may damage their earlobes accidentally due to them trying to writhe themselves free of your grasp. 

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver is a natural mineral that has been seen to be highly effective in treating ear infections such as ear mites in cats. Administer a few drops to their ears a few days a week and watch their infections clear right up.

Bring Them To A Vet

Ultimately, if cleaning your cats ears and changing their food doesn’t help them you need to get them to see a vet as soon as possible. There could be an infection or mites in their ears that are driving them crazy. And the sooner you start treatment for it, the easier it will be on your cat. 

Infections are dangerous and can be really harmful for cats. But once you learn what’s causing the itch you will be better prepared to help them fight it off in the future. 


Cat’s ears are very vulnerable parts of their bodies, and they really need our help taking care of them. If your cat is scratching their ear it’s probably nothing to be concerned with. But if they are tilting their head sideways, or causing damage to their ear from scratching it so much, it’s time to bring them in for a vet visit. 

You can easily look in your cat's ears to see if there are any issues. If there’s some black buildup it’s time to clean those ears, but if you see black dots it means they have mites and you need to get them started on some treatments! 


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