Last Modified on Jul 29, 2014
Those big, sweet ears on our cats were bound to catch more than the sound of scampering mice. Cats are prone to ear issues that include ear mites, hematoma of blood vessels in the ear tissue, yeast and fungal infection, ear infections, bacterial infection, and even allergies. Fortunately, some natural pet remedies can clean up your cat's ear problems safely and naturally!
Ear problems in cats should first be addressed or prevented with appropriate cat ear care. Perform a weekly exam of your cat's inner and outer ears, looking for redness, parasites, and other markers. When necessary, wet a bit of cotton with an appropriate ear cleaner (your vet can supply, or try simple olive oil or mineral oil) and wipe at the outer ear. Don't put anything into the inner ear. Just as with people, that can hurt! Regular cleaning can prevent cat ear infections, reduce allergens, and kill off yeast or fungi.
Ear mites in cats are also a common problem for pet owners. We have other cat remedies on our Natural Remedies for Ear Mites page, but consider cleaning with mineral oil and looking into Ted's Mange Remedy.
Cure Ear Problems in Cats with Home Remedies!
Common home remedies for cat ear care include apple cider vinegar as a topical application that works as an anti-bacterial, anti-yeast, and general antibiotic. You should dilute the apple cider vinegar with equal parts water before rubbing the mixture into the affected part of your cat's ear. It can be an effective cleanser when your cat gets ear wounds from fighting with other cats, though it stings a bit.
[YEA] 04/26/2007: Nimueh from Phoenix, Arizona USA: "I haven't tried the Aloe or the hand sanitizer yet, but may try. Called vet, asked about Milbemite. Vet offered Acarexx; said same thing. I got it at $15 per cat (6 cats). Vet also had me continue the Revolution (about $8 online, per cat) but vet said - as I had read online but the vet didn't tell me this earlier - administer every 2 weeks (not monthly) during this, along with the Acarexx. Plus, expect to administer for another interim after this 2 weeks.
Don't know if the desert mites here are super-bad, or what. But this seems like a lot of treatment. I agree it seems to be needed. I hope others can solve more easily than I. Just letting you know what I have done. I appreciate the sharing, the support, the idea to find this vet solution - which I didn't hear from the vet...! I will check back. Much appreciation."
[YEA] 09/03/2013: Jibit from Ky: "My 10 year-old cat had yellow pus in his ear that led to him shaking his head and turning his head sideways. I treated him with organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother). I used a syringe to administer 1/2 ml of the ACV in his ear. He shook his head and talked to me right after I administered the ACV. He wasn't thrilled about having it placed in his ear, but within two days he stopped tilting his ear and the pus completely disappeared within 3 days. I continued to administer the ACV to his ear for a week and a half to make sure the infection stayed away. A lady I know did the same thing for her dog who was tilting his head and had pus in his ear. She said her dog is doing much better after just two administrations of the ACV. I'm not sure how much ACV she used on him. Her dog is about 45 pounds."
Please exercise caution with this remedy. Apple cider vinegar applied straight can burn and cause terrible pain to a pet. It must always be well diluted in water when applied topically -- at least 50% Water to 50% ACV.
11/15/2012: Trese from San Diego Area, Ca: "My boy kitty has lots of dark brown or blackish goop in his ears, and as much as I clean them, it's not decreasing. He's not scratching them, and I don't see any signs of rawness or inflammation. He has a weird smell and i'm not sure where that's coming from (though I can wiff it, my nose is not sensitive enough to specify).
I've used a tincture dropper to put peroxide in his ears in the evening. Sometimes following with olive oil. I have also used a diluted mix of baking soda and a few drops of tea tree oil (though I read somebody's post that tea tree oil is poison for cats. Is it?). A few times I used vinegar which has had garlic steeping in it. And I use q-tips carefully to wipe out gunk. Though he will only tolerate so much at a time, so I can never get it all at once. Though of course I won't go down the ear canal, which seems to be completely clotted up with gunk! But by the next evening, there's always just as much gunk in his ears again, as if I hadn't done anything!
I just picked up the boy a few weeks ago, to be a companion for my 7mo-old gal kitty, from an individual who got him as a rescue - neutered, shots and dewormed (though he's had gas, a few rounds of diarrea, and what seems to me to be a bit of a belly, though otherwise appears healthy with lots of feisty energy, a healthy appetite, and I have not yet seen any worms. ). They guessed he was 6mo-old.
Oh, and about his ears, the rescue paper says: "ivermectin(?) in ears repeat in 2 wks". Or that's what the sloppy handwriting looks like anyways. What does that treat? Maybe it's a clue to what it is.
My girl's ears are fine so far, so hopefully it's not something she can easily get from him. They are outdoors during the day, and in the bathroom at night. I haven't detected any fleas at all, in the 4-5 months that i've had my gal.
Any suggestions to what this could be, and how else to treat it?
The food that came with him is good quality, no wheat/corn/soy, artificial stuff, or by-products. But it is kitten food and contains colostrum, and 10% more protein than what I give my girl. Could that be causing his gas and bit-of-belly? I also supplement them with a few spoons of sardines or makerel, sometimes plain kefir, a bit of raw ground turkey a few times a week, and she loves a bit of avocado or raw egg occasionally. Any comments on those?
Thanks! I cannot afford a vet right at this moment, and my immediate area doesn't have much for options anyways, unless I drive out of town. I wouldn't have had the first kitty for this reason, except that a friend pleaded with me that she needed a home right away."Replies
01/22/2013: Om from Hope, Canada, B.c. replies: "Your baby has parasites - worms cannot always be seen. They damage body organs especially the lungs. Get him dewormed and give him natural meds to raise his immune system. The gunky ears indicate toxins in the body which leave via the orifices of the body. Gas and distended abdomen men worms and they can kill a cat. All the best OS"
09/19/2011: Nia from Nyc, Ny: "I have a feral and have done TONS of research. My feral has a damaged or "collapsed" ear due to the earmites that typically infest the ears of ferals and only get worse the longer they go untreated. My cat is the posterchild for a feral cat with his crumpled left ear; yet, he doesn't suffer from earmites anymore but, needs to have his ears cleaned at least once a week. Food grade oils like coconut or olive massaged into the ears do nicely. God bless:)"
03/28/2007: Nimueh from Phoenix, Arizona: "Diatomeceaous Earth/Cat Ear Mites: One writer refers to Milbo-Mite. I wm interested but cannot find it on the web with just that name. Please advise, if possible. Thank you!"
[YEA] 02/09/2009: Donny from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania: "My wife and I have a 3 year old bull dog that has had a serious problem with earmites in the past year. The cheapest way that I have been told to cure earmites is with Fragrence free Baby Oil... This home remedy really does work with persistant use. I would recommend twice daily for 2 weeks. Apply liberally using an ear dropper or syringe, place 3-5 drops in ear and massage for 30 seconds, then clean the excess dirt and oil using cotton balls or Q-tips... USE CAUTION WITH Q-TIPS..."Replies
07/28/2014: Scott Miller from Fl, US replies: "NEVER use Q-Tips inside a cat's ears!"
07/29/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Scott!
You can safely use Q-tips inside your cat's ears. The key is to never insert the Q-tip past where you can see. If you cannot see the end of the Q-tip, then you risk rupturing your pet's ear drum. So if you only use in areas that you can see, you can safely use Q-tips in your cat's ear."
[YEA] 12/30/2008: Mae from Elmo, Utah: "Thanks for the advice on checking for ear mite eggs around the fur around a cat's ears. My cat Taya has been diagnosed with ear mites and I've been treating her with mineral oil and I noticed that she had an infestation of eggs around the base of her ear. To say the least she got an impromptu bath and a radical assault of mineral oil squeezed into her ears with a bulbous syringe. No she wasn't happy about the impromtu bath or 'mom's' sudden zealous assault on her ears but she's feeling better and is sleeping peacefully on 'mom's'pillow. I'm also going to be instituting the ear mite med I got from walmart. Can anyone plz tell me if the adult mites die after laying eggs or do they continue living with their offspring making kitty's ears a living nightmare for some owners?"Replies
[YEA] 12/31/2008: Rosy from Orlando, Fl replies: "Mineral Oil kills all mites in cats ears, so you shouldn't have to use the mite meds from Wallmart. Just add a small dropper full of oil in ears everyday until mites are gone."
02/29/2012: Sylk from Cincinnati, Ohio replies: "Just wanted to comment: Be careful when treating your cat's ears. One of mine developed an aural hematoma, requiring draining and stitching. This may have been caused by rough handling of the ear, or too much scratching and shaking on his part. Gentle treatment only, please."
07/19/2014: Graeme from South Africa: "Hi. I'm new to this website so please bear with me.
My cat is walking around with her one ear slightly lopsided. She's constantly scratching in it and a "clicking" sound now accompanies the scratching, as if there is substantial fluid collected there. I'm not sure how much pain she is in but this is getting progressively worse over time. It seems that my other cat has this to a lesser extent, but again, becoming worse. Please help.
Kind regards, Graeme"Replies
07/19/2014: Om from Hope, Bc Canada replies: "Hello, Graeme --- though I am not disposed to see vets for a number of reasons, this time I would, if it were my kitty.
She could lose her hearing if not attended to timely. Although, to my knowledge, antibiotics for ear troubles don't work, risk it but stay away from the costly tests, etc.
You might try pure olive oil or pure sesame oil with a drop of vit. E warmed up in addition. Oil with mascerated garlic , then put through a sieve will also work as it does a lot with children who tend to have ear aches. Vit. E is healing. Later, you could try aloe vera. Let us know how it works. Namaste, Om"
07/20/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Graeme!
If you have two cats with this condition, it might be ear mites.
First read up on ear infections in pets on EC:
Also look at the ear mite page:
I also DITTO Om's advice on seeking out the vet; treatment with the wrong remedy will only prolong your cat's discomfort which makes treating the painful ear a fight and that much more difficult to cure."
09/28/2013: Samie from Lafayette La: "I have a cat named Samie with an ear issue. I went to 2 different vets and nothing they gave me worked. Have been doing half vinager and water washes on his ears. It is not working. $1200.00 later still same issue, only he's had both ears surgeried for hematomas. I am at my wits end. They thought it is mites, but it's actually midget flies that bite and use the ear as a host. They do die with oil and vinegar but it continues to reoccur it's so microscopic, can't see it. I have professionally sprayed.
Also, do have to do this for the rest of my life? Battling this for a year now. I have 4 cats so have to treat all 4. HELP PLEASE."Replies
09/28/2013: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Sammie!
I am trying to understand your situation, please bear with me.
How did you come to the diagnosis of midget flies? I have an interest in insects and cannot find 'midget' fly, but 'midge' flies is a group of flies that include mosquitoes; is it possible your cats are getting bit by mosquitoes [as opposed to midget flies]?
Do the cats have any gunk in their ears? Or are the ears clean inside in the ear canal?
My first thoughts are:
If the ears have gunk and its not due to ear mites, order some ZYMOX for ears - available online if you google.
Next, if the flies respond to oil, then a mineral oil or other oil preparation that is all natural/organic and suitable for human babies that repels mosquitoes should be applied to the external ear - make sure you slather it on the outside and inner ear flap - but don't work it deep into the ear canal. Avoid products that are not natural, that have artificial perfumes and the like as things like 'baby oil' - mineral oil with fragrance - will sting raw or chapped skin.
It may be you will have to treat the ears daily during fly season to keep the cats parasite free and comfortable."
09/28/2013: Mama To Many from Tennessee, Usa replies: "Dear Samie,
Have you tried Diatomaceous Earth? (Also known as fossil shell flour?) It is great for killing small insects. You could just take a pinch and rub it into the ears. It takes care of all sorts of parasitic creatures. You would want to repeat this daily, maybe as long as a month. But just a pound or two of DE would last you a long time and it has many applications.
Another possiblity would be garlic oil. Crush up several garlic cloves into some coconut oil. Warm it (but don't cook it) and let it sit overnight. Strain out the garlic pieces. ) Rub this into the ears. Dilute it more if it seems to irritate the ears. You might need to do whatever you do for a month to break the life cycle of the critters.
~Mama to Many~"
09/29/2013: Samie from Lafayette La replies: "Thank you Mama to Many - I will put diatomaceous earth in his ears and try it"
09/29/2013: Samie from Lafayette La replies: "theresa I have accually seen it as I cleaned him plus eggs under magnifying glass and it never ending flies keep laying eggs in his ears"
09/30/2013: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Sammie!
I have been in hot pursuit of your midget flies. The best I could track down, they are most likely sand flies causing the fly strike in your cats:
As MTM suggested, Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is one way to kill the maggots - read up for maggot cleansing protocol:
The bigger issue is the constant reinfection. Are your 4 cats indoor cats? Is there a way to screen the flies away from the cats?
You can over time kill off the maggots with DE or garlic infused oils, and you can heal the skin with varying antibiotic ointments, but unless you can keep the flies away the cycle is destined to repeat itself.
Cedar oil is a fairly effective topical pest repellant, but care must be taken in choosing products for cats as many products that contain essential oils also contain phenols which are toxic to cats. Wondercide Cedar Oil is safe for use on cats and might be a good choice for to keep the flies away from your cats."
09/30/2013: Samie from Lafayette La replies: "Yes Theresa, my 4 babies are inside and last 2 days been treating all 4 with DE. It's working! I will do it for 30 days. Also, cold air that's coming will help but I will need to get this thing completely out of my house. Also have changed their diet and putting Apple Cider Vinegar in their water to improve their health. During this past year, I have had put DE all over the house since spraying didn't work but never thought to put it in their ears, thank u very much. They are resting much better now and I am getting also rest from washing their ears out 4 times a day. What a relief!"
10/03/2013: Samie from Lafayette La replies: "Mama to Many: last night the cluster of invisible flies hit my eyelashes and attacked the cat that received 2 hemotomas because of these flies, there fighting back and still putting DE in there ears have been putting citrenalla candle in my burner since I can't burn the candle in my house, is there something else they hate that I can burn in my rival slow cooker to get them out of the house?"
10/03/2013: Mama To Many from Tennessee, Usa replies: "Hi Samie,
Wow-these flies are mean!
You could try putting any of these herbs that you have on hand in your crock pot to try to deter - sage, thyme, lavender, peppermint, garlic, rosemary.
Neem oil or garlic oil in the ears might help. (Not essential oils. ) Garlic oil you could make by warming garlic in olive oil for 45 minutes and strain out the garlic. A lot of parasites do not like garlic. You could even try garlic powder mixed with the diatomaceous earth. (I wouldn't do the oil and powder... that would be messy.)
Here is a link to a recipe for a insect repellant that people have used on cats. She sells the stuff, but gives the recipe. If you have some of the ingredients, it would be worth a try.
So sorry about his plague on you and the kitties!
Let us know what works (or not! )
~Mama to Many~"
10/03/2013: Mama To Many from Tennessee, Usa replies: "Hi again Samie,
Dave has an interesting post that you will find on "Real-Time Posts" (RE: Diatomaceous Earth for Bed Bugs. ) He highly recommends Cedarcide for bedbugs and lots of other pest insects. It sounds like something that would work on these mean little flies, and from a little research it looks like it is something that is used safely with cats.
~Mama to Many~"
10/04/2013: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Sammie! I'm still curious as to the species of your noseeum! It's curious they went after your eye lashes; did they bite you anywhere else on your body?
It appears you are dealing with Ceratopogonidae as opposed to Phlebotominae:
The only way to get these nocternal nippers out of your house is to improve your window screens with a smaller mesh size [please read up in link above.]
Midges, and flies, et al do NOT lay eggs in wounds - they lay their eggs and raise their larvae in moist swampy areas. The flies that are laying eggs in your cats wounded ears are house flies, blow flies, bottle flies, or flesh flies; these are active during the day and much bigger than the midges, and you should be able to manually remove the adult flies seeking to lay eggs in your cats' ears with a swatter, however one of those sticky strips you hang from a ceilng fixture might also work well for you.
This person has developed a repellant for midges and may have helpful products or info for you:
This link offers come home recipies for potpourri:
You can make a simmering stop top potpourri that will help with these ingredients:
- Fresh eucalyptus leaves (2 cups)
- Fresh lemon grass (1/2 cup)
- Essential oil of ginger (5 drops)
- 2 cups distilled water
- Nonstick saucepan
Fill the nonstick saucepan with the distilled water, eucalyptus leaves and lemon grass.
Set the temperature on a stove burner to its lowest setting.
Let the contents of hte pot simmer on the lowest setting for aprox 45 minutes at a time to release the aroma.
Add up to five drops of essential oil of ginger to the simmering pot to add an under-note to the potpourri scent.
10/06/2013: Sammie from Louisiana replies: "Whatever they are am not able to see them warmer not working as soon as I get it in the air a/c takes it out so I bought cedar chips put all over the house in buckets poured 1 gal of vinegar over it let it naturally leave as I continue to clean there ears and keep an eye on them also noticed they don't like menthol so as they go to itching around the neck I use foot powder since it has mental. DE clean in the ears cleans the ears then it attacks there neck so I use gold bond powder to repel it."
10/06/2013: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Sammie!
This is not sounding like a flying pest - not if they are now going after the neck. A midge/mosquitoe/flying no-see-um would go after the easy pickin's, ie the naked inside of the ear; its not like them to fight through fur to get to the skin on the neck.
Is it possible you have fleas? This time of year they sure seem to find a way to hop on MY clothing and come into the house to get at pets. I normally don't have fleas in my back yard but this has been a very bad year in some areas.
A simple test you can do to check for fleas is just to go over your cats; there will often be flea dirt on the chin, and sometimes you can find them on the belly in the groin area. If you don't see any you still need to check the environment. You will need a white plate - it doesn't have to be a plate, it can be a shallow microwave meal container - it just has to be white, fair sized and shallow. Get a desk lamp with a higher watt bulb - 75 or 100; you want the lamp to emit heat so a 15 watt bulb is out. Put the lamp in the area where the cats are being bit and put the white plate under the light - so it shines down on the white plate. Then add water and a few drops of dish soap; the kind of dish soap doesn't matter so much, just one that cuts grease and oil. *IF* you have fleas in the room they will be drawn to the heat of the lamp, and will jump onto the white plate as they tend to be attracted to white or light colored coats, and get dunked in soapy water; the soap breaks down the oil on the flea's body so they will drown quickly.
Try the flea trap and see if you get any fleas. This is probably the easiest way to rule a flea problem in or out."
10/07/2013: Mew0116 from Mi, Usa replies: "I would like to know if foot soap can be used on cats to get rid of fleas? I have read posts stating that borax is great getting rid of fleas. I also read where iodine in small doses is good for some cat ailment, I can't remember which. Johnson's foot soap and any of the generic brands have borax, iodide, baking soda, bran and something called "sodium sesquicarbonate" in it. I would like to ask Ted, or any other knowledgeable person, if these ingredients are harmful or useful in getting rid of fleas in cats?"
10/08/2013: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Mew!
There are a couple of ingredients in the foot soap that are bad for cats - I would not use this in my house to combat fleas on my cats.
You may wish to try the flea trap using the lamp and white dish of soapy water to guage the severity of your infestation before starting on the whole house de-flea process below. At the very least, a flea bath is in order if you suspect your cats have fleas - process is outlined below.
It looks like its flea season all over; when the temps start dropping at night, fleas start looking for a warm body to hop on to, and indoor/outdoor cats and dogs are their perfect vehicle to catch a ride indoors!
The first step to combat fleas in the house and on the pets is to clean, clean, clean. Start by tossing all pet bedding into the wash and wash in hot water and whatever laundry soap you use - adding borax would not hurt! Make sure you use a heavy duty cycle to ensure you drown and wash out any adult fleas and larvae in the bedding. If your pets sleep with you, this means all of your bedding also goes into the wash. Also wash any throw rugs, and any blankets and pillows that you use on your couch or chairs. Pretty much anything that is fabric that isn't nailed down should go into the wash; the idea is to remove fleas, larvae and eggs from any place they could sneak and hide in or on. If your pets are in the house and you need to undergo this task, it may be wise to crate them or contain them in one room while the bulk of the house is being cleaned to avoid fleas jumping off the pets and onto newly cleaned surfaces.
Next, vacuum. Vacuum every corner, every niche, everywhere. Take the couch apart and suck under the cushions and then vacuum eash cushion thoroughly, making sure you get the seam lines where fleas can hide. Do this will all the furniture. I have actually bagged up in big plastic leaf bags my newly vacuumed cushions and stowed them in an empty room while I cleaned to avoid any chance of fleas jumping on to the newly cleaned cushions. If you have carpet, my condolences. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly, over and over, particularly in the areas where your pets frequent. If you have wood floors its a bit easier, but you still have to vacuum the cracks in the wood floor carefully to ensure any parasites are removed.
Next, once the whole house is torn apart and the floors laid bare, its time for the powdering process. Apply your borax, or your diatomaceous earth/DE. Borax taken in large quantities and ingested by the cat will upset their stomachs; DE when airborne is an irritant to lungs and sinuses. So, if you are using DE, wear a mask, and if you are using borax be aware of where your pets may step during the powdering process. I have used DE and I dumped a couple cups on my wood floor and used a broom to work it over the floor, pushing it into corners and floor cracks. I move all furniture and swept the DE into the corners, floor boards and cracks. I then lightly swept it up, and put the furniture back into place. I took DE and put it into the couch with the cushions off and gave it a few pounds to work it in deeper. I took each cushion and pounded DE into the areas where the seams were. I then assembled the couch with cusions and awaited the next steps. If you have carpet I would not hesitate to use borax as it is likely far cheaper than DE to purchase. I would liberally spread the borax all over your carpet and use a broom to womp it in, so the borax goes deep into the carpet, to the base of the fibers and not just dusting the top of the fibers; the same applies if you are using DE, work it down to the base of the carpet fibers and not just dust the surface. Do this throughout the entire carpet, corner to corner, edge to edge and give particular emphasis to pet areas.
By this time your house may be a dust cloud inside, and your furniture covered all in white dust of one sort or another. When I did this I had one room that was spared, and I did this on the weekend so I could sleep in the untreated room with my pets while the DE had a chance to lay out for 24 hours. Besides, it is a huge undertaking and there was so much laundry, you really do need a block of time as this ideally is done in one fell swoop.
While the dust settles now its time to address the critters. I had four cats, each not happy because they knew what was coming when they heard the tub being filled! I first trimmed the sharp hooks off the claws on all four feet of each cat. I filled the tub part way and had a plastic cup on hand for wetting, and I had my fine toothed flea comb handy. But first things first; a proper flea bath starts at the head. I had no special cat shampoo, I only had Dawn dish soap on hand and that is what I used. For ONE bath only, it did not dry out the cat's skin; I do not recommend you make a habbit of washing cats in dish soap because it will dry out their skin and give you all sorts of kitty skin problems. But for my dipping purposes that was all I had at the time, so I used it. Start inthe bathroom sink - the tub comes later. Start at the nose - use a wash cloth dipped in very soapy water and use that to apply the soap in a controlled way on the face. Work the nose and especially the whisker area as the buggers will drink from the corners of the eye or mouth, so work those areas carefully; the idea is to drive any fleas on the face down the neck to the main body. Take your time, work the nose and mouth carefully and then work around the eye area and towards the ears. Make sure you work the soap down to the skin. When you get to the ears do the inside of the ear first -check for fleas who are trying to hide in the ear and work them down the neck. Once you have a cat with a completely soaped up head and neck, you can now take the kitty to the bathtub, where things will go much quicker. Or not, depending on your grasp on the cat. I set the cat in the water and apply the soap, working it down from the neck and shoulders across the back. Once the cat is soaked to the skin I pull the plub on the tub and allow it to drain. I then work up a good lather all over the cat, making sure to get the arm pits and groin area and under the tail. Let the cat sit, wet and soapy, for 10 minutes. If you have multiple cats it will help to have a crate for each, and to soap each cat up in order and crate wet while you soap the next. When all the critters are soaped then fill the tub part way and start the rinsing process. Hopefully by now the scores of laundry you have been doing has resulted in many clean towels. Take the cat and put him in the tub and start rinsing; I use a plastic cup to pour water over and over again on the cat. A mild solution of vinegar - 1 part vinegar to 30 parts water - will help cut the detergent and rinse it out of the fur. So rinse the soap off and use a wash cloth to rinse the face, and then when you think you have all the soap out use the vinegar rinse to get all the soap out and help restore the skin's PH. Bundle up kitty in a dry towel and put back in the crate, and work on the next cat. When it comes to drying, some cats will tolerate a blow dryer, and some will scratch your eyes out. If you can blow dry, great! If not, keep on toweling and toweling and change to a dry towel as needed to keep on absorbing the moisture. Now use your flea comb. Have a dish of soapy water at hand and start at the head - comb in short sections and look for any fleas caught up in the tines of the comb. You may have seen fleas in the tub - whoo ray! But some will stick in the coat and while you may have done your best to kill them some have a way of defying death, so you want to comb carefully else all your work will have been for naught. Once you have your cats fairly dried and combed out and are certain they have no more fleas, keep them crated please, as you now have the rest of the house to deal with.
Start by dust mopping wooden floors -but don't do a perfect job, allow any powder you applied to remain in cracks and in the corners and along the floor boards. Leave a film of dust under any furniture, working on making only the main traffic areas well cleaned of dust. When you vacuum, do only the surfaces that will come into contact with people or pets and for carpets, just remove the top layer of dust, leaving any dust worked down into the base of the carpet fibers to remain there - same for the furniture. So not only have you removed all the adult fleas and any obvious eggs, but by allowing the dust to remain deep in the carpet pile and deep in the crevices of your furniture you have eliminated any future outbreaks from occuring. Its also a good idea to wash pet bedding on a daily basis until you are sure you have the flea infestation nipped in the bud.
When I did this process - cleaning the whole house, doing all laundry, and dusting with DE - I nipped a bad flea outbreak in my 4 cats in the bud. I made sure after their baths that they did NOT go outside and pick up more fleas - and kept them indoors until the first hard frost. The residual DE dust deep in the carpet and floor cracks, and under the couch cushions and chair covers kept fleas away for years. My four cats passed on years ago, and I am now several generations of cats later, and no flea issues. And I am still finding DE in the floor cracks!"
05/19/2014: Sue from Indiana, US replies: "where do I buy DE or wondercide cedar oil?"
05/19/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Sue!
Go to wondercide.com for the cedar oil, and google 'food grade diatomaceous earth' for the DE - you should be able to find it close by."
11/28/2009: Alex from Cebu, Philippines: "Hi, I moved to the Philippines this year and have become father to a number of feral cats. The kittens are mostly tame now, but the feral parents are not, even though they love to be fed.
I have a question about the ears of one old male cat. Since I came in February of this year, he has been hanging around and eating fine. When I first saw him, his ears were bloody, as if in a bad fight. Well, it is 6 months later and at least one ear is half missing and a bloody stub. What can it be?"Replies
04/08/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa replies: "Alex, from Cebu; The older cat with no ear may have had a fight over food etc. Or it could be frost bite, if it gets very cold there(?) is there any way you can make a small shelter for them? maybe wood boxes?a few tarps to cover the boxes or a make shift tent? just to keep them in out of the freezing cold and/or heat, some grass or mainly hay where it will keep them warm. When you feed the older cats just ignore them and eventually they will come to you, if you show them affection too soon they will run away, then all is lost. I guess they sot you out for a godly reason, it means you have a great heart, these are animals that once had homes and lost trust in their owners because of abandoment issues. If you can try to feed them rich foods if not give them whatever you can, then of course you will have these kitties for life as a friend(s). Good luck and I hope you keep us informed(?) god bless you"
09/04/2011: Corinne from Summerfield, Florida, Usa replies: "The problem could be related to flies and gnats. If attracted to a sore spot on the ear, they will continue biting and feeding on the area, making it bloody. Eventually this can result in the loss of the tip of the ear. If you can treat the animal with a fly/flea repellent, like pyrethrin, it will help. You can also use plain vaseline to protect the area and some medicated powder like Gold Bond. (Using the cheaper generic brands is fine. ) Remember not to use citronella products on cats."
09/10/2011: Jujucats from North East, Pa Usa replies: "Diamond, he's from the Philippines--I'm sure frostbite is not the issue here. Also, feral cats exist without having once had a home--your assertion that they have abandonment issues may or may not be true-sadly, some cats are born feral and remain that way. Socializing the kittens from a very early age is a great idea and very effective; however, the adult ferals are just that: feral, wild. It's wonderful that you are feeding them-if you had a humane trap you could take them to a clinic to at least have them altered before returning them to the wild-as for the ears, he was in a fight the first time you saw a bloody ear and when he returned with part of his ear(s) missing and a bloody stub, it simply means he was in a fight again. It happens. The best you can do is continue to feed them, like I said-trap them if you can (go online to find trap-neuter-release programs, they often have traps available or can show you how to make one yourself)get them fixed and just enjoy their presence when they decide to bestow it upon you. Oh, and love their offspring. You have a good heart-thanks from one cat lover to another!"
11/01/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Usa replies: "jujucat; Thank you for your imput. I do know about wild/feral cats, I have volunteered for rescue animals for many years, animals do have their own identities/personalities, therefore they do have psychological issues with humans. I don't feel that cats were once known to have never having a home(?) maybe some kittens were not but the mother's & male cats did, and as my mother taught me, so did the mother cat to their kittens of what a home was and what it meant in trusting our human friends. When a human gets a close caption of any animal only to find they are almost as human as we are, the only thing is they cannot do as we can and thats speak. Animal's integrity goes way beyond any one's understanding, maybe too far fetched to understand.
I found and raised many a stray and feral cat colony, I found that what most of society thinks feral means vicious, rabid and/or diseased. That maybe the case with most but I took my chances and did my very best at saving these animals and giving them another chance in re-trusting humans, and that they did. The bright eyes and the expressions on these animals faces were worth a thousand words and much more. The sad stories and the happy stories are too great to share with those that have never been there to see the changes and the differences made in their lives. Life was rewarding for these pets as well as for me.Thanks...."