I'm new here. I have 5 older strictly-indoor cats. I've had them for years, all were strays I rescued in the past. They range in age from about 9 yrs old to 16 yrs old. As I said, they never go outside and they don't ever have contact with other animals, or even with people who have pets.
I'm concerned that they have Ear Mites but I can't for the life of me understand how indoor cats could get ear mites. I'm finding a bit of info online that says it's not impossible for indoor cats to get them but the info never seems to provide any explanation as to HOW an indoor cat could get them.
Here's the history...
About a week ago I noticed my cat Fuzzy was scratching a fair bit, around her ears, her neck, beneath her chin. Now she did this about 2 yrs ago and I took her to the Vet at that time and couldn't find anything. He suspected it was maybe something in the environment and told me to give her some Benadryl and if things didn't settle to bring her back and we'd pursue further investigations. Well things did clear up. To note, he did check her ears and no signs of anything funny. So a week ago she starts this again. I suspected that perhaps it was a new type of cat litter I'm using (scented)....or maybe it's the scented baking soda stuff I sprinkle in their litterboxes..........or maybe it's the Febreze I spray on the blankets, drapes, etc. So I vacuum real good, stop with the powder stuff. I feel bad for her so give her some Benadryl for a couple of days but with no relief! then my other cat Spookie starts with the scratching.
I've looked in their ears, I don't see what you'd typically see if ear mites were present; i don't see any dark brown/black discharge or gunk or grit. There's no odor to their ears.
Yesterday they barely scratched at all. today they're back at it and now my oldest cat Tigger, I've seen her scratch a few times (this is new)....to the ear area. I've checked her ears out, see nothing amiss. Today is a holiday so I can't get any of them into the Vet but will go tomorrow.
I plan to take 2 of the worst ones, Fuzzy and Spookie. I don't think I should have to take all 5 of them (god forbid!). If it's ear mites, which I know is very contagious to other cats/animals, surely one or both would be positive and then we'd just take steps to treat them all.
I can't think what else this could be? I've been washing all of their bedding and such, just to rule out this being some kind of allergic reaction to fabric softener I use on blankets, pillows, etc.
Sadly, my 2nd oldest cat Taco has a malignant tumor to the scruff of his neck (despite 2 previous surgeries to remove it, it returned back in September). If this is Ear Mites, I would want to use one of the 'one time" medications that you apply to their neck (eg: Revolution or Advantage) but with him, I'm leary about putting any kind of chemicals into his body (he's very healthy, despite his tumor)..........but I'd have to treat them all.
Does anyone have any thoughts? It's driving me nuts that I can't get them to the Vet today. I'll call first thing in the morning to get 2 of them in and checked out.
Has anyone ever had any "strictly indoor" cats get ear mites? how on earth would they get it?
And does anyone recommend one type of treatment over the other, in terms of safety? I've read some scary stories about Revolution causing seizures in some cats.............which would be best/safest - Revolution or Advantage? I don't want to use a product that you have to put directly into their ears. If it is ear mites, it would seem to me that it's beyond jsut their ears, judging by the fact that 3 of them are scratching under their chins and their necks so to me they need something more 'systemic" (like the topical application as opposed to the drops you put into the ears).
Many thanks for info you can provide.
Lisa and crew in Calgary!
PS - even though it would impossible, I did comb them all just to check for fleas and definitely no fleas or flea dirt.