Ear Mite Remedies

Black Walnut, Pau d'Arco Tinctures

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sigrid (Copenhagen, Denmark) on 12/21/2014
5 out of 5 stars

For ear mites in animals, just mix a little Black Walnut Hull tincture with a little Pau d'Arco Tincture, in a little tincture bottle, or try just one of them, squirt it into the pets ears and wait a few days and give it again. Wait and see, after a week or two, the ears are totally clean and he don't scratch any more. Maybe I also dripped a few drops of garlic/olive oil, I don't remember that, but I guess it would not hurt. I didn't even have to clean the ears, it went away by itself. I squirted several times because the cat came back to me, but then he was going around with the ears folded down looking funny and stayed away from me for some weeks, so I had no more chance to give him more. This was my neighbors cat. Very funny. They didn't do any more, only this was done. Two times, maybe three days in between. The cat shaked his head and licked the BWH from the ear, and I thought that was good too, in case he had some parasites in the stomach.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Mona (Woodstock, Va) on 09/21/2010

I tried every way to find the formula on your site. I looking for the amounts to use borax, vinegar, water. Thank you for your help.

Posted by Lady Raven (Colo. Spgs., CO) on 07/03/2009

Question on Borax & Prevention:

First I'd like to say that I'm really glad I found this site. I am a big-time advocate of natural & "alternative" healing for humans & pets alike. My young daughters & I each have a kitty that calls us "Mom." There's 2 yr.old Bubba and 6 mo.old Stormy, who are both indoor/outdoor cats. Then there's 3 mo.olds Midnight & Maddox, who are still indoor kittens, as we live off a very busy street & I don't feel comfortable letting them out unsupervised just yet. Stormy ended up bringing home ear mites & now they all have them! My question is, once I get rid of the mites in/on our babies, how do I keep them from getting reinfected, since 2 of the cats still go outside. (My yard is also somewhat overgrown, which I know doesn't help, but as I'm physically disabled, there's not much I can do about it. Also can't afford to hire anybody.) My 2nd question regards using a Borax solution around the house. Should I just make a liquid solution & spray the carpets & furniture? Maybe wash linens with a bit added to the wash water? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Feel free to email me on this or any other pet issue. Thanks! Lady Raven Silverwolf

Replied by Werknut
(Cincinnati, Oh)
5 out of 5 stars

___ ___ ___ Borax is a miracle cure for getting rid of fleas and from keeping flea eggs from hatching. You buy it in the grocery store in the laundry aisle. Just sprinkle it on your carpeting and then vacuum it up. The residue will stay in the carpet and will kill fleas and keep flea eggs from hatching. It is more effective than any bug spray or expensive flea spray from the vet. And it's cheap! One box will last a long time. It's non-toxic to pets and it will leave your house smelling fresh. I used it when I lived in Florida, where fleas are plentiful and they are so hardy, they seem to be bionic. I swear by __ ___ ___Borax, and everyone I've ever recommended it to has had the same marvelous results I had.

Replied by Froopy Dude
(Orlando, Fl)

Absolutely true. Borax was recommended by a very humane vet. He said that it is the same substance vets sell for over $50. Borax is not quick - can take up to six weeks - but it truly does kill fleas. As stated, just apply it to carpet.

Replied by Margo
(Mulberry, Fl)

why would you EVER let cats out if you live near a busy road. they WILL wander into traffic and be killed sooner or later.

Mary Ann

Agree! Cats should NOT be indoor/outdoor, indoor only. For their sake and others. Dogs are not allowed to roam freely, same should be applied to cats. Unless you live on an acreage or farm your kitty babies should not roam. If you do live on an acreage or farm please still have your pets fixed

Replied by Rastamom
(Vancouver, Wa)
5 out of 5 stars

The lady is right about Borax! Used to use it on my carpet in Calil.... Love all the questions and remedies! Very helpful, thanks.

Replied by Kirstie
(South Carolina)

I just found this site this morning and I just wanted to add that for fleas I use a few drops of apple cider vinegar in their water once a week and have had no problems since moving here...and the previous owners said they had a problem with them.I have 4 small dogs and I foster every now and then. I also use the coconut oil for ear mites and dry skin patches works great! Hope this helps.

Replied by Mandy

My kitty has ear mites. How do I use coconut oil to help him?

Boric Acid

4 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Kara (Harrisonburg, VA) on 01/06/2009
5 out of 5 stars

My Cat has suffered with ear mites forever and I have tried everything my local vet has recommended and nothing has worked. So..I recently started using a wash of boric acid & warm water swabed out with cotton ball then a few drops in each ear of sweet oil! Seems to be working so far. However, I discovered through reading everyone eles's posts that I probably should continue treatment for approximately 1 month in order to kill the mites.

I grew up with a lot of ear infections and my grandmother always treated me with a lil boric acid and in no time, I was better. My bestfriend grew up on sweet oil for ear infections; so I figured it couldn't hurt to try it.

I use about a tablespoon of warm water to an 1/4 tsp boric acid; soak a cotton ball and swab out the ear. Then I use an eye dropper and apply 4 or 5 drops of sweet oil to each ear. I usually do this every other day. The washing usually only has to be done once per treatment. Use judgement based on look of ears.

Replied by IVORY COAST


EC: Olive Oil, but we've seen small bottles of sweet oil in many pharmacies and grocery stores in the wound care section (often on the top shelf, near the spirit of turpentine and iodine).

Replied by Mparsons
(Port Richey, Fl)
1 out of 5 stars


I read one of the comments of using boric acid as part of a formula. This is frightening. Do you realize that boric acid can kill cock roaches and other pests that regular pest control won't? Please research what boric acid does to the NERVE system of the cock roach to rid it for good.

Also, another comment was that using mineral oil for a couple of days rids your problem. Not so. Ear mites RAPIDLY reproduce and this takes much longer and regular cleaning to even get ear mites under control. However, after using for 3 weeks, I still bring crust up and mites from my kittens ears, as well as the brown wax, telling me they are still there. Once, my kitten is 12 weeks old, I will be using medication and still checking with mineral oil for traces of ear mites.

Replied by Roseanne
(Bellingham, Wa)

In regards to your concern on Boric Acid. Haha, It has been used by hundreds of thousands of people as an eye wash, and as a suppository to treat yeast infections... Now if those areas are safe for boric acid I guarantee its safe for the ear! Perhaps you need to do a little more homework. As for it treating ear mites, I dunno? Couldn't hurt!

Replied by Arro
(Joy, Grace)

Mparsons said "I read one of the comments of using boric acid as part of a formula. This is frightening... "
Mparsons I don't know what exactly is frightening you? Are you frightened about the way Boric Acid kills cockroaches??? Why exactly? Mamalian biology is quite different from insect biology. But anyway... Boric acid is so very slightly toxic to mammals that it can indeed be used topically.

This from wikipedia: "Based on mammalian median lethal dose (LD50) rating of 2, 660 mg/kg body mass, boric acid is poisonous if taken internally or inhaled in large quantities. However, it is generally considered to be not much more toxic than table salt. "

With long term exposure or regular consumption it might lead to problems. But it has amazing properties as an antiseptic and insecticide that is really, all things considered very safe to apply to mammalian skins. So you can rest your fears, dear, except, of course for those poor, poor cockroaches and all their suffering!


Don't forget it's a detergent first and foremost. I also use when forging steel to forge weld metal together at over 2000°

Replied by Lady
(Milwaukee, Wi)
5 out of 5 stars

Remember the liquid soap sold in health food concerns back in the hippie days? The one w/ writting covering the entire label w/ talk about God? Dr. B's All One? Came in Pepermint, Almond, and now I have been using the excelllent LAVENDER. (Bronner). I mixed a bit w/ water and gently cleansed my cat's ears of mite debris and massaged the suds in his ears and all around his ears, really making it a good experience for him! LAVENDER is helping... He is perked up and no twiching so far. I shall continue this as needed throughout the summer and whenever he needs it!! It's GREAT!


I love that product and used it since the "hippy days" well for me post. That said Lavender and most essential oils are toxic to cats - many will get by but again why risk it as they do not have the same detox (metabolic and other) enzymes that we humans have. I think this product comes in NO fragrance.

Replied by Kmk
(New Orleans, La)
1 out of 5 stars


The recipe is for BORAX not BORIC ACID

Replied by Chris
(Birmingham, Alabama)

No, boric acid is correct, not borax. You can get pharmacy grade boric acid. It soothes and prevents itching also. I use Pro-Pet Antiseptic Medicated Spray I got at WalMart for tick removal on myself and pets because it kills them and prevents itching when you remove them. Boric acid is an ingredient in the original "Blue Power" ear infection treatment, but a vet has to check the eardrum before using Blue Power.

Replied by Melissa
(Oklahoma, US)

I would like to know if anyone remembers a remedy for earmites containing Boric acid, Genetian violet, and alcohol? I've used it for years with good success, but forgot the amounts to use. I got it off this site several years ago...


EC: Hi Melissa, did a little searching and found the recipe for you.

* 16 Oz. Isopropyl Alcohol
* 4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
* 16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%

Look under this heading for the entire treatment regimen:  Rubbing Alcohol, Violet Solution, Boric Acid


Replied by Melissa
(Oklahoma, US)

Thank you so much for the info. I've used this remedy for several years with good success for any type of ear problem. Appreciate all the info. on this site. Have found many remedies that work wonders for me and my dogs!!

Replied by Tina

Melissa how do you do that treatment for ear mites?

Replied by April

Boric acid, it's not dangerous I used it for eye wash whenever you get a fungal infection in your eye the reason it works for cockroaches is it dehydrates it's outside skeleton then anything else it will kill it. Just because it has acid in its name it is not dangerous. For instance it could also be used on baby blankets, babies pajamas as it makes it fire retardant. In a new Foster I'm using boric acid and peroxide carefully with an eyedropper to get rid of the infection and then I'm going to be using it oil to break down the wax sand to smother the mites.

It's the peroxide that can blind a cat if too much gets into this it's just like the peroxide washes for contacts if you don't give it to 12 hours to break down it burns your eyes like crazy.

Replied by Laura
(Monaca Pa)

What is sweet oil?

Replied by Jennifer
(Auroa Oregon)

I'm getting so frustrated in trying to get rid of my cats ear mites. Took her to vet in febuary and the meds and ear wash he gave did very little in getting rid of these bugs from hell. So I then set out to look for natural remedies ...olive oil, coconut oil with a few drops of oregano oil mixed in but now being told that oregano is toxic to cats. Even tried honey. And tried garlic infused olive oil. I love my rosie so much. Why wont these mites die? Help if you can. She is going on 4 months of this nightmare. I wash bedding vacuum constantly. Jenn

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Jennifer,

Oregano taken orally or applied topically is not toxic to cats. That said, if you apply oregano oil on an open wound where it can enter the bloodstream it will cause problems with the liver, and thus injecting oregano oil into the bloodstream IS toxic to cats, and likely most any other critter.

Replied by Tammy


I'm in the same boat! Ear mites from hell! We're going on 6 months of this nightmare. Hundreds of dollars. Several vet visits. What did you find that worked?I've used Tresaderm, Zymox, coconut oil, colloidal silver, garlic infused olive oil, hartz ear mite drops, Revolution, Vetercure ear drops, I might even be forgetting something I've tried. It's a nightmare! I feel so bad for our poor kitty! She hates having her ears cleaned and I have to do it nightly!

Boric Acid, Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Raquel (South Carolina) on 09/06/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I have cured my Siamese cat and 2 cats I fostered of ear mites using a mixture of a boric acid solution and ACV which I placed in a dropper bottle. I believe the amount of boric acid I used was 1/4 tsp. in 1/4 C. filtered water. I usually put the water in a heat resistant glass measuring cup and bring it to a boil in the microwave then add the boric acid and stir or put back in the microwave for several more seconds until dissolved. I then allow it to cool (or if in a hurry place the cup in the freezer for 5-7 min.) and add about 1 tbsp. of ACV.

I first clean the cat's ears with a cotton ball with coconut oil (makes it easier to remove the dirt) and then moisten a couple of cotton balls with the solution I prepared and press it on each of the cat's ears so some of it goes in the ear. The cat will shake but this mixture works fast, relief of the itching is almost immediate. It must be applied at least 2x/day, usually only 3 days are necessary but I believe the first time I did it for a whole week. Anyway, when the ears remain clear and the cat's not scratching anymore you'll know he's cured.

NOTE: Borax can be used in place of boric acid, I think it's more stable, boric acid tends to lose potency after a couple of days.

Campho Phenique

4 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (3) 

Posted by FeFe (Miller Beach, IN) on 04/17/2007
1 out of 5 stars

I appreciate the NAYS on your format. I had just bought the Campho-Phenique and given ONE treatment to my cat to cure her ears of suspected mites. Next thing you know, I am reading how this particular "cure" is TOXIC to cats in particular. If not for this NAY, I would have continued administering it to her. Thank you NAY Poster for saving Phoebe's fragile liver!

Campho Phenique
Posted by Kim (Frisco, TX) on 03/16/2007
1 out of 5 stars

Campho Phenique is toxic to cats, though I have used it successfully with rabbits. Cats do not have the necessary enzyme to break down any type of Phenol, so it builds up in the liver. Phenols, also contained in many household cleaning products, are also toxic to dogs. We used room temperature Colloidal Silver (I think 5ppm) to eliminate ear mites in our cats (half the dropper, every 24 hrs for 7 days). It didn't kill the eggs though, and the mites appear to have hatched, so must be dealt with again. Perhaps we should have continued treatment for the gestation period of the mite eggs?

Campho Phenique
Posted by Gayla (Odessa, TX)
5 out of 5 stars

I have raised rabbits and dogs for over 30 years and have to deal with ear mites each summer. I have always used Campho Phenique to kill the mites and heal the ears. I even bought a rabbit once with ear mites so bad the entire ear was nothing but a red inflamed mass of scabs. I pour in a few drops of campho Phenique and massage the base of the ear to get it in and repeat for 2 days on a really bad case and just once for a mild case. Try it, you will be amazed how well it works.

Replied by Jody
(Stowe, VT, USA)
1 out of 5 stars


Just a reminder that felines are radically different, physiologically, from both dogs and rabbits. Cats are able to absorb many things through their skin, including oils and other solutions, and even many essential oils can be harmful to them, whether by inhalation, ingestion, or absorption. Just because Campho Phenique works on a dog or rabbit does NOT mean it is safe for use with a cat ;o) Their livers are unable to process these things in the same way other species can, and it can quickly toxify their system. I am using warm water with a few drops of witch hazel, and a drop of gentle pet shampoo to cleanse my cat's ears. I gently wipe out, then use slightly warm olive oil to soothe.

Replied by Dianna
(Austin, Tx)

the VERY best thing i have found for ear mites in cats, rats, etc. is olive oil mixed with garlic oil. usually i just rub the olive/garlic mixture on their ears and then do it again a few days later.

i've also had pretty much the same results with just olive or coconut oil by itself if you are afraid to use garlic. i personally don't believe garlic is poisonous to cats but some people do. also, i had rats that had ear mites and rubbed VCO all over them ears and everywhere and did it again a few days later (it doesn't hurt them to lick it off) and the mites were gone.

Replied by Dianna
(Austin, TX)

pine tar soap also works very well on mites as well as fleas. lather it up very well and let it sit a few minutes. it will be necessary to do it a few days later. i would use this in addition to VCO or garlic oil.

Replied by Shellisha
(San Jose, Ca, Usa)

WARNING!!!!!! You should never use garlic oil or any kind of product containing garlic on your cat. Garlic is toxic to cats!!!!!! Many other types of oils can be used! Please use an acceptable substitute like olive oil, vegetable oil or almond oil.

Replied by Virgogirl333
(Manchester, Nh, Usa)

Garlic is NOT toxic to cats! In fact, I fed it to my cat in every meal for 15 years and he never had any fleas, ticks or infections. I used about a tablespoon of crushed garlic. He lived a long and happy life. Don't spread misinformation please.

Replied by Jo
(Orlando, Florida)

I too have given my cats Garlic for many, many years, for fleas... Not sure where your info came from but, it is NOT toxic 2 cats!

Replied by Rainy

Garlic is at the top of the list of well-known toxins for cats. It can cause severe life-threatening anemia (Heinz body anemia). Some cats seem to do okay with very small doses, but many have died from regular use of garlic in their diets.

Castor Oil

1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Sunny (Centerville, Iowa) on 06/04/2010
4 out of 5 stars

My dog has ear mites he caught from an infected cat. I'm an ER RN and we treated wax build-up with a name brand laxative drops... waited for the wax to soften, then used warm H2O to rinse. So I have started tonight with Castor Oil in the ears, and tomorrow will use H2O2 with the Castor Oil. I used the Castor Oil a week ago 3-4 days, and he was feeling so much better that I slacked off. I clearly didn't understand the little beasts would be so hard to get rid of, until reading some of the horror tales on here. I used the Oil an hour ago and the dog is sleeping. Anyone tried Castor Oil ? The oil should smother the mites, loosen the wax, and the H2O2 will help work wax and ear mites out. My main concern is not to cause harm. I think this treatment will be more successful than some I've read about.

I'll let you know.


Replied by Joann
(Ny, US)

My saint caught mites from a cat friend..and she is miserable..the vet and I were treating her for a fungal infection because she gets them every so often...but she now has some irritation on her butt. she is moaning and rubbing her ear on the floor and now I see the brown stuff...what is best? please as she does not tolerate fleas and certainly not these horrible mites. Thank you. I cleaned her ears thoroughly and used peroxide on a q tip then q tipped some oil in her ear and she stopped moaning. HELP

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Joann!

If this were my dog and castor oil was my option, I would FLUSH the ear with liberal amounts of oil. Really work it down into the base of the ear and all over the orifice. Dabbing with a Q-tip IMHO will not suffice to get rid of ALL of the mites. You may need to treat your dog daily for up to 30 days to eliminate all of the mites.

Replied by Om
(Hope Bc Canada)

For ear mites try neem oil. The mites disappear within days of treatment. Neem oil disrupts the breeding cycle therefore no need to go on for a full month. Except now and then use it to prevent new infections.

No need to warm the semi solid oil as the body warmth does it and also it is easier to pack the oil into the orifice. For kittens the neem oil has to be mixed with coconut oil as their skin is too delicate for neem on its own. On EC was another post on this, confirming my own observation on the shorter duration of mite treatment.

Namaste, Om

Coconut Oil

2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 

Posted by D (Tx) on 02/28/2017
0 out of 5 stars

I have been fighting a ear might issue with my very old cat, I used VCO and she was fine but when she shook her head it made that watery noise, will that go away, She is now very upset with me and is crying when I touch her, I know she was going deaf already she is 24, Will the watery sound stop soon and will her ear be able to handle a few drops every other day?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey D,

Your cat's ear infection may be so advanced you need the assistance of a veterinarian. Please let us know how it goes.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Linda (Wayn, PA) on 02/03/2009

I was just wondering if anyone has used coconut oil for ear mites instead of mineral or vegetable oil? Since coconut oil has so many healing properties, it seems like a good choice, but I haven't seen any posts about it. Does anyone have any thoughts or personal experience with this?

Thanks everybody for sharing your stories and thanks EC for bringing this wonderful site to us!!

Replied by Chi2x
(Manila, Philippines)

I'm currently using virgin coconut oil on my pup, pooch. She's like been scratching a lot especially at behind the ears and she keeps shaking her head. i also looked inside her ears and found red-black debris in there. so i think it might be ear mites. she's also been scratching her legs and biting herself which resulted in dandruff like substances in those areas she scratches. a friend of mine suggested applying virgin coconut oil on the needed areas and put some in her ears while massaging it after. im currently trying it now. hopefully it works. she has been scratching less but we'll see what happens. 1 month is it for ear mites??

this is site is great. :P i'm learning so much.

Replied by Dianna
(Austin, TX)
5 out of 5 stars

i have used both VCO and olive oil and garlic oil (from capsules - the smelly kind not the deodorized). i have pet rats and sometimes they will get ear mites. at first i tried putting VCO in their ears for several days and then also rubbing it all over their fur til it reaches their skin. while this seemed to work you have to do it again in a few days to make sure you get the new ones that hatch. i have also used olive oil for this and what i think worked the fastest was squeezing a garlic capsule in either VCO or EVOO and using the garlic flavored oil on their ears and around their ears. just don't get the garlic oil in their eyes! you must re-apply in 3 days and then in 3 more days to be sure. good luck!

Replied by Lanissa
(Arkansas, US)

I just tried using coconut oil in my cat's ears to get rid of ear mites. I placed a few drops then massaged the lower ears. He began shaking his head and pieces flew out then his ears began bleeding!! Is this common??? I'm scared now!!!

Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc Canada)

Lanissa -- I always had lots of cats and deals with ear mites. You did the right thing but long term untreated, ear mites can cause bleeding.

With my cats I use neem oil after cleaning the outer ear. Then repeat every three days or so. Because neem oil interrupts the productive cycle of these mites, there is noticeable improvement. I keep checking though. Kittens need the neem oil diluted with another oil because of their delicate skins. Coconut oil is also good for sensitive ears with a touch of turmeric powder if bleeding. Turmeric stops bleeding internally and externally.

For the bleeding I use turmeric powder in small amounts as it also is a natural antibiotic. For fluid in the ear I use turmeric powder and alum in 1 - 20 ratio to dry out the ear, later following up with coconut oil. This will prevent inflammation and provide cooling for red hot ears. Hope this helps.

Namaste, Om

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Lanissa!

What you describe is not un-common. You might try a looser oil, such as olive oil and steep a crushed clove of raw garlic in that over night - and then use that in the ear twice a day for a few days; this will help heal the broken skin. You could do only the oil for treatment but going that route will take time - 12 weeks perhaps. You could also try a tincture of Black Walnut in the ears and some have found good results with Ted's Mange Remedy used for demodectic mites when used on ear mites.

Colloidal Silver

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Sharon (Wesley Chapel, Florida) on 11/29/2011
5 out of 5 stars

l have used colloidal silver for years for ear mites in dogs. 2 drops directly into the ear and massage. Quick relief. Treat daily for a week, then once every 4 days if needed for hatching eggs. Doesn't burn. Keep in mind that the cheaper versions may not be the real deal.

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Eleruth (San Diego, CA) on 06/16/2009
5 out of 5 stars

My kittens have earmites. Has anyone used collodial silver ( sprayed) into the ear? This is a marvelous product for humjans, even better than tea tree oil.

Diatomaceous Earth

8 User Reviews
5 star (6) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Amanda (Wichita, Ks) on 09/14/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Ear mites DE treatment

I've found to use a makeup brush to apply DE to dogs ears works very well, especially with animal that doesn't cooperate. Be sure to tap off brush before applying it. Doesn't take much to be effective.

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Susan (Las Vegas, Nv) on 03/11/2014

I have 3 indoor-only cats. Somehow, my Bengal got a case of ear mites, then the Snowshoe and the Maine Coon got them at about the same time.

The Maine Coon is the one that has been affected by them with the worst symptoms-- ear scratching, ear tilting, head tilting and shaking, and looking plain miserable. Of the 3, his ears showed the least amount of the telltale coffee ground ear wax. In fact, his ears were almost free of anything at all. The other 2 had some of the brown stuff, but I've seen worse. Fortunately, he has been the easiest to treat, holding still for us when we doctor his ears. The Bengal is a whole different story!

I've treated all of them with Food Grade Diatomaceous earth. I've put it directly into their ears, onto their ears, into their fur, onto and rubbed into their bedding, I've spread it all over the house and furniture... in fact, I've followed all the things recommended on this site as well as on various Diatomaceous earth sites.

The Maine Coon seemed to get quick relief from the DE whenever he started the cycle of itching and head shaking. This all began about 6-8 weeks ago, and the battle hasn't let up.

Due to the Maine Coon showing the most irritation and been the easiest to treat, I began applying the DE to him on a daily or every-other day basis for about a week to ten days in a row. I'd put a pinch into each ear, then rub a fair amount into his fur, especially around his neck area and outer ears.

Then one day we noticed his fur suddenly appeared to be thinning on each side of his neck, below his ears. Within a couple days, they became obvious bald spots. He loses his winter coat every year, but not like this!

That started about 7-10 days ago, and now he's rapidly losing hair down to bald skin in a pattern around his neck, as if he had been wearing a 2" wide collar and it had rubbed all his fur off (except he doesn't wear a collar! ) The skin is baby-smooth, no redness, bumps, welts, or discoloration of any kind. It does itch him though! 2 weeks ago I was admiring how beautiful his coat was looking- now he's starting to look like Bill the Cat.

I brush him daily to help with the winter coat shedding, and it might be my imagination, but it seems like his coat is starting to thin in other areas too. He seems to be itchy all over, not just in the ear and neck areas, but also along his sides. His winter coat is naturally thick, shiny, long and fluffy and he still has most of that except he is going bald in that 2" wide "collar" area, and also a little in front of his ears (between his eyes and ears), and on the backs of his ears too.

I applied DE pretty heavily in these areas (except for between the eyes and ears.) Could the DE have rubbed his fur off? I can't find anything about side effects.

I stopped using the DE when I noticed the rapid balding, and increased itching. I treated his ears with an ear wash last night, followed by Vitamin E oil mixed with Olive oil to see if that would help sooth his ears. Now he's back to shaking his head and scratching at his ears and surrounding areas. I don't want to use DE in case that's the problem, so I might try a little ACV and water.

Any ideas? I am at a loss and am trying to find a way to stop this rapidly expanding balding thing before it gets worse. He is a very healthy, energetic, inquisitive, loving and playful cat. His personality, eating habits, energy level etc have remained the same.

I would love to hear any suggestion or maybe thoughts on what this might be and/or why it's happening. Thank you for any suggestions, advice or opinions!

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Susan!

The bald behind the ears/at the base of the ears sounds like it could be from scratching due to the ear mite infection. That you are still dealing with a mite infestation after treating for 8 weeks with DE tells me that the DE is not working - its not the right remedy in this case.

Read up on EC for ear mite remedies: https://www.earthclinic.com/pets/ear_mites.html

Ear mites spread from animal to animal, and do not typically spread from surfaces to animals. So while a thorough cleaning is in order - wash bedding and the like - you shouldn't have to sterilize the entire house - whew!

It may help to bathe the cats using Ted's mange remedy - scroll down as it was posted very recently.

Treat the ears with an oil remedy, use the oils to flush out particulates and debris as the gunk in the ear will cause to itch also. Keep at the ears on all cats am and pm, for at least 5 days to start. The life cycle of the mite is 21 days, so you should really plan on treating for 27 days to ensure you have eliminated all the mites.

Hair loss does seem related to the mites, but you report naked skin and not scratched up and bleeding skin. The mange baths will help determine if its another mite that is the problem. Barring external parasites diet should be considered - what are you feeding?

Many questions but do start with the ear oil remedy and see what results that brings.

Replied by Susan
(Las Vegas, Nv)

Hey Theresa! Thank you so much for replying to my post in March and helping me try to solve the problems surrounding my cat's ear/ear mite issues.

Unfortunately, I'm still fighting the war and now I'm desperate!

Any advice from anyone here is more than welcome!

This is their diet: Free-feed Orijen kibble, canned Organix grain free, fresh meats like chicken and beef, canned salmon, but they also get "junk" food like Whiskers treats, Meow-mix treats or Pounce treats. I'd created three cookie-monsters by giving them too many junk-food cat treats that the Bengal is totally obsessed with! I hate to admit I went overboard with giving them cookies too many times a day. But those sneaky little cats totally took advantage of me and trained me to their benefit! Now I have gotten a grip and although they still get cookies, it's in moderation. I've also switched their litter to Dr. Elsey's dust-free, hypoallergenic litter.

I used the oil (olive+vitamin E) in Trouble's ears (he's my Maine Coon with the hair loss around his neck) and got the last of the larger particles of "dirt" out of his ears. There might be some deep in his canals, but there's nothing visible. When I wipe out excess oil, pinhead-sized brown particles are on the cotton-ball. Of the three cats, his ears have the least amount of "dirt" and they actually look completely clean. The Snowshoe's and Bengal's ears both have a little visible dark-colored "wax" and it returns a couple days after putting the oil into their ears. Those two have intense reactions when treating their ears-- they cry and scratch their ears like crazy! Trouble does that a little, but not like the other two.

I didn't give them a bath. Trouble has had a couple "sponge" baths. Putting the oil in their ears once a day caused too many reactions that concerned me, so I didn't use oil as often as suggested.

Trouble is suffering the worst since he's still itching and shaking his head, twitching his ears, holding them sideways, and looking quite forlorn. The balding areas around his "collar" have widened, but the skin isn't red, isn't crusted, and is just regular-looking skin. If I'm not mistaken, it looks like the fur is coming back. It's peach-fuzz-like and there's only a couple dime-sized totally bald spots. The area is still itchy and I scratch it for him using my knuckle and he enters a state of nirvana! He has never had skin problems before this, ever!

I've read all the remedies on EC for ear mites, ear problems, and skin problems as well as info from other resources. I have the following products on hand: DE; pure organic Neem oil; H2O2; 100% organic pure coconut oil; Vitamin E oil; pure virgin olive oil; colloidal silver (gel) ; Borax powder; organic ACV; Dr. Bronner's baby shampoo; purified H2O.

Besides the oil, here's the remedies since the last post: I tried watered-down ACV but that stung Trouble's ears so I only tried that once (on his outer ear skin.) Then I tried Neem oil, warming it and applying it into their ears with a dropper. So, that seemed to help all of them at first: the next day their ears were considerably less itchy. Before I used it, Trouble's ears had become irritated and the inside skin on the ear-flap was almost red. Two days after applying the Neem oil his ears were almost light-pink again. I waited another day then re-applied the Neem oil to the Snowshoe and Trouble. I couldn't catch the very elusive Bengal. (Another story.)

When I applied the Neem oil the second time, both cats had bouts of crazy itching inside their ears, unlike the first time. Trouble's ears turned bright red, his ears really bothered him! Snowshoe's ears also bothered her and she sort of hid out for the day. Then I noticed two scratching-wounds on her cheek area! I applied colloidal silver to those patches and they heal up quickly, but then she scratches the scab off and we have to start over.

Since their reaction to the Neem oil was so intense, and it didn't seem to help them like it seemed to the first time, I let their ears rest for a few days. Since Neem oil is supposed to kill mites along with being an anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal oil, I don't know why they had this reaction.

I don't treat everyday with these cats due to behavioral and physical reactions -maybe I should.

So, after a couple days I went to the next concoction: coconut oil mixed with colloidal silver applied with a dropper into their ears. Again, negative reactions at first. Then it seemed as if Trouble's incessant ear twitching, tilting, scratching, head shaking and misery subsided a little, but then the next day (yesterday) he was totally miserable! I've never seen him like that! His ears were/are making him totally miserable. He couldn't sleep because his ears kept twitching and itching, and he's holding them sideways, shaking his head. His eyes were squinting. His ears turned very red and tender. He even hid under the bed which he's never done before. The other two cats are not having these issues. I am just having other difficulties with treating them which is another story.

Tonight he is in better shape: he has more energy, his ears still twitch but he's not constantly shaking his head and looking as miserable as he looked yesterday. His ears still bother him but are more upright, they itch but aren't as red and his eyes are not squinty.

Of all the treatments, the least "harsh" seemed like it'd be the coconut oil/colloidal silver mix, so I was surprised at the reaction. Both have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-mite, anti-everything properties, so I don't get it.

Maybe the treatments were too close together when I transitioned from the Neem oil to the coconut/silver one. Or do I need to treat more often?

I gave Trouble a good brushing, shedding out his winter coat, and found some tiny white particles of dandruff on his back. I looked at it under a high-powered jewelry loupe and I don't think they are bugs since they didn't move. I also saw some dandruff on the Bengal's coat but it didn't move either.

Again, the only hair loss is on Trouble and it's only on his neck. The only itchy parts are Trouble's neck, and ears on all cats. No one's ears have any bad smells coming from them.

The DE has not caused any negative reactions on the other two cats, but to be honest I have been concentrating on Trouble more than them since he's the one with the most pressing problems.

Anyone have any ideas about what's going on, or if I need to do things differently?

(Illinois, Usa)
335 posts

Are you sure it's mites?

(Stanwood, Iowa)

To Cindy from Illinois,

Yes, I was wondering also! I thought my male shorthair had mites, he was digging at his ears and shaking his head a lot, he was miserable!

Decided a trip to the vet was necessary and found out he didn't have mites, he had a nasty yeast infection in his ears! Much better now, with ear wash prescrip, and an antifungal ear med! Poor guy!


Neem oil (and most all natural oils) is toxic to cats - they do not have the liver enzyme or metabolic enzymes as we do. As well cats have systems like camels - so any dry food harms them greatly (they derived from the desert and their intestines are designed to draw water out of the food to store it. (very simply put).

I once did research on what is in many common pet foods and it will make you well disgusted... even rubber hardeners and other nasty garbage. I use Wysong products (great and low temperature as high temperature destroys enzymes and other nutritional qualities). I add this to a raw diet along with certain home grown herbs and plants chopped and slightly wilted (warm water poured over the food) I add natural sea Vegetables as well (make sure a dog or cat search on any plants that are toxic to them. Or other products).

A great book is "The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs and Cats by Diane Stein and one can search for such other great books. I have had mine for decades and resort to it frequently. Dr. Mercola (Human MD) has great books and products for cats (dogs).

My background was in research (legal and medical) and many other areas. I went holistic as a young child after reading my mothers medical books - although her Merck manual from 1953 is full of natural remedies that work. Rx for people and pet's took over.

Robert Arias
(Silver City NM)

I just started using colloidal silver to stave of herpes rhino virus and I searched if that was also good for ear mites. A spray or several drops massaged a little twice a day but I just started today so results to follow but it certainly worked to keep them rhino free as they are indoor outdoor.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Susan!


My first thought on reading your update was that it doesn't sound like you are dealing with ear mites as you certainly have done all the right things to get rid of mites and the symptoms persist.

My next thought is ZYMOX otic with 1% hydrocortizone, enzymatic ear solution. Google it, order it, its not spendy. The hydrocortizone helps calm the skin and the enzymes 'digest' the yeasts that may be in the ear. You should dose once per day, but you don't have to dig around and clean the ears so it is easy to use.

Hair loss around the neck and ears indicate itchy ears - usually. And your cats do have something going on with their ears so it would make sense to see this hair loss. But just in case its something way off the mark check out these sites and see if anything makes you go "Hmm...."



Replied by Susan
(Las Vegas)

Thanks again Theresa! I followed the links you provided, read through the info, and nothing made me go "hmmm..."! (Those are great resources, by the way). He has no crusty skin, no scales, no sores, no redness, no pustules, no oily skin, no odor: nothing but hair loss and itching. The backs of his ears have lost fur too, and they are inflamed (although better today.)

I was giving them an abundance of junk food cookies, and thought maybe that had something to do with his hair loss. But the ear thing is being passed around, and it began prior to my OD'ing them with cookies. His hair loss may just be from scratching. He doesn't use his claws when scratching, therefore his skin isn't broken/scratched or bleeding. The other two use their claws and that's why when the Bengal is scratching his ears he cries.... and that's why the Snowshoe has ripped those scabs off when she's itching.

The Big Question is: What is contagious, causes intense ear itching, head shaking, back legs thumping when I scratch their ears for them, dark brown wax, no odors, etc., that can be contracted by an indoors- only cat and passed to the other two?

Trouble is looking much less distressed this morning. Ears are still itchy but he is back to acting like himself... same shenanigans and same little troublemaker as usual. I haven't put anything into his ears since the coconut oil/colloidal silver stuff. By tomorrow I will guess he'll be miserable from itching again because that's the pattern, with one ear being worse than the other, holding it horizontally and then giving me that "meow" letting me know he's miserable.

I am so grateful for this website and the help I have received because I don't know if I'm treating this problem correctly since I've never personally dealt with an ear mite problem. The only ear problems I can remember dealing with on my own animals was a GSD's ear infection due to those big donkey ears getting stuff blowing in and another GSD had a foxtail in his ear. With all my dogs over the last 4+ decades being swimmers, not one even got a bacterial or a yeast infection! Have had lots of cats in the past and just lucked out I guess because no ear problems with any of them either!

Now it's three cats getting this thing all at the same time and each one is hard to treat in their own way so I guess my luck temporarily went on hold!

I will look up the meds and order some today. I hope it works, then I hope they never have to go through this again.

Thanks again!

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Susan!

I am just not picking up on mites. you could maybe use your jewelry lope to examine the gunk to see if there are mites, but the treatment didn't work - all the treatments didn't work, so again I rule out mites when I think on it.

The only thing that I can think of that could *appear* to be contagious to all cats/get's passed around would be inhalant /allergic reactions - be it from allergens in the breeze blowing pollens from CA over to you, or from the junk food treats you abundantly fed. I know around this time of year I see allergies in my pack; it shows up as gunky ears: best I can figure it's the molds and mildews from the spring melt that come into play and while it seems to affect all of the dogs, the way the allergic reaction is expressed in each dog varies greatly. This could be the same deal with your pride. Feeding the wrong foods will cause one of my dogs to get swollen lumps that act like abcesses and ooze and weep, while another dog might get gunky ears and another might break out in itchy hives. Feeding the wrong stuff can set up a chain reaction on the inside allowing yeast to over grow in the GI tract which often expresses as skin allergy, but might also express as gunky ears.

I would go ahead and get the Zymox; I would also try alkalizing the water by adding 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to 1 liter of pure water; if you can build it up to 1 teaspoon do so, and dose 1 teaspoon per liter for one week. In addition I would consider adding probiotics of some sort - ie DDS with FOS. As with yeast over growth, if you have too much of one flora in the GI tract the whole system fails [you see skin problem or ear problems] so rotate the probiotic flora species around - when you finish 1 bottle, replace it with a new formula, and so on.

Also consider the chemicals in your house. From what you have shared I get the idea that you likely would use green chemicals for kitty safety, but things like scented plug ins can cause all sorts of problems for cats, along with the type of laundry soap you use to wash their bedding. So have you purchased new cleaning products in the last few months?

Replied by Shala

My main coon was losing fur in spots and he had a bladder infection and a cheap diet. Some anti biotics and good food and he was all Better! Good luck

Replied by Kim
(NC, US)

Susan, Sometimes when cats have flea allergies called flea dermatitis, they can lose their fur that leaves a bald spot. My cat experiences this every summer, so I always get flea medication such as Frontline or Revolution to stop the allergy. The hair grows back normally once you kill all the fleas....

Replied by Gia

Please if your cat is losing hair and you have already attempted some home remedies fight all means, take him to a vet he needs an examination. If his hair is falling out the diatomaceous earth is probably drying out his skin and if that isn't the case he might have an internal infection or deficiency of some sort. If you truly loved your family member, your pet, you would act on it. If you yourself were scratching for months and hair was falling out eventually you would go to a doctor please if your cat is losing hair and you have already attempted home remedies, please, he needs an examination.

Replied by Cherie

Please make sure you are using (FOOD GRADE), not (POOL GRADE)....pool grade has added chemicals for the pool and will hurt your pets!!

Replied by Wanda

Food grade diatomaceous earth is great to add to food as a supplement or for worms/parasites. Externally, It is good to use for fleas, but over use can dry out the skin and that could be why the cat's fur thinned out.

Replied by Adam
(Denver, Colorado)

This is for the lady with the balding Maine Coon...... Diatomaceous earth is generally safe for use on pets, so long as it is food grade. BUT, some cat breeds are more sensitive to certain treatments, especially when they are used long term. Maine Coons, Persians and Himalayan breeds are especially sensitive. I would suggest cutting out the DE for now. Second, loss of hair to that extent and at such a rapid pace points to secondary health problems. These can include, but are not limited to ringworm infection, vitamin deficiency, diabetes, mange, or allergic reaction to something in his environment or on his skin. Take him to a vet and get him looked at to determine what exactly is going on.

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