Hi! Checking back in, after a few more weeks of trying remedies!
As of when I wrote last, I tried Diatomaceous Earth (DE) with pyretherins (chrysanthemum extract). I used it dry, applying with a cotton ball, like I had the plain DE. The plain DE worked nicely to provide the cats immediate relief from the mites sensations. But it needed re-application daily or so.
Trying the DE + pyretherins, the result stirred up sensation and symptoms at first for a couple hours, but then seemed to last longer - I was able to go up to 3-4 days without the cats scratching, shaking heads and so on. But over a couple weeks, the relief lasted shorter and shorter for the cats.
All this, plus I have still been using the vet's Revolution for them, now about every two weeks (which I read online somewhere). I think it helped, as one cat with very long hair apparently hadn't really been getting the Revolution on her skin and she had the worst case. Finally I realized this and was very careful to apply it to her skin, and immediately her condition came "up" to the level that the other 5 cats were at. So, all 6 have very little "coffee grounds" stuff and wax in their ears, yet displayed itching and head-shaking after some time with the topically applied products used, as said above.
I was discouraged and alarmed after 3 months of this - trying something which seems to give relief, then finding the relief waning in effectiveness. I had this "waning" result with alkaline mineralized water, and with the DE with pyretherins. This was while using Revolution at 4-week intervals, then at 2-week intervals. The mineral oil didn't work for us at all. The plain DE didn't have a "waning" effect but it just never got the job all done. I came back to this site and somehow read what I missed before - about Ted's Borax, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide formula. I almost went out at midnight to get the stuff but decided to wait till the next day.
The next evening after work, I was too tired to . (as I understood the procedure) clean the house with a borax/ water solution and leave it on the floors, etc.; do laundry with borax of all 6 cats' beddings; and give a Ted's borax solution bath to each of the 6 cats. (His stories and the testimonials talked about dogs and baths; I didn't find any about cats but I was prepared to bathe the cats, though I haven't ever before bathed all the cats at once.) So, tired, instead, I made up a small glass bottle of Ted's borax solution to apply to ears, paws, privates and tail's ends, just to see if I could see the effect for the cats.
Reading Ted's approach, I had begun to understand the importance of getting the biologically active material into a solution that penetrates skin somewhat. Another person had talked to me also about putting the DE into solution; when I had tried that person's suggestion which had not been tried on a pet's body but only in the garden, it clearly made their situation worse over a couple of hours, and I reversed tacts. Using Ted's formula the night before last and yesterday, I also found that it didn't do the job. Here in the Arizona desert, we may have some truly genetically deviant mites, very hardy.
However, this morning, before I could do all the cleaning steps that Ted's approach asks (not that my house wouldn't benefit from that, anyway!), I thought about what had worked the best. The best remedy was the plain DE - available at HomeDepot here, or where swimming pool supplies are sold, for use in pool filters. But DE didn't last, didn't quite get the job done. DE is known to be an effective natural pesticide, as it is fossilized, ground seashells, inert calcium carbonate, etc., and its pieces are very sharp microscopically, so it cuts the micro-bugs; it is also very drying, so it lethally dehydrates the micro-critters too. It is used here by savvy natural gardeners to get rid of garden pests. As I wrote earlier, if you use it, you'll find it is very drying to your hands and nails, so wash your hands well after touching it. (And, again, avoid the expensive brand that states it is "Flour Grade," as I found that it gets into the air and is breathed - very damaging if anyone has respiratory conditions - and is quite difficult to clean up as it only floats in air and doesn't stay on surfaces to get wiped up easily. I had to clean and clean again. One of the most challenging and dangerous experiences in this whole tough time, as one here has a respiratory problem.)
So, this morning, I added DE to my bottle of Ted's formula and again drenched my 6 cats' ears, paws, privates and tails' ends. This provides an active solution and a hopefully effective biologically active agent - DE. And the Borax is there too. I am currently delighted that I have seen no more head shaking, itching, etc., for hours. I will report in a couple days if the effect continues, and I will take steps to apply it very thoroughly to all the cats and the environment too.
Thank you for this site. It has helped me and my beloved felines. Hopefully some of this experience will help others.
Re: my earlier submission. I have found it to be vitally important that I use only regular grade DE, i.e., NOT a certain brand and kind that calls itself "flour grade" - very fine. The "very fine" was so fine that it got in the air, and I had to wash everything that I possibly could, linens, floors, tabletops, etc., over & over, because we were breathing it, and it wouldn't stay DOWN on surfaces. It was much more expensive than regular grade (about $20, 1 lb.)
I have used DE for years and never had that problem until I used this certain "flour grade" type. So, please do use DE, but please get a regular type such as at HomeDepot for swimming pools - about $15 for 25 lbs.(life time supply for our urpose here - Also can use along edge of garden to eliminate pests, etc.)
Today searching for that product that I mentioned but couldn't get a hold of, I found online that pyrethrins (from chrysanthemum flowers thus natural) can be used like I've been using DE. Local to Arizona, I found a place that sells DE with pyrethrins (about $20, 1 lb. bag). I got some and have been applying to the cats now with the cotton ball to ears, neck, paws, tail tip and privates. So far, I can see that they are scratching less. Hopefully, this will help them. The pyrethrins may actually kill all stages of the mites, and so I may have reached the end of this tough challenge. I will let you know.
After trying Revolution monthly, I am now trying it twice monthly as I read online somewhere. Still, with various cleaners from the vet and from online, my beloved cats are still shaking their heads and scratching.I have also been using DE powder whenever they display these symptoms. I grab a cotton ball and dip it in the DE powder and press it firmly into each ear, also to their paws front and back - just dust the top of the paw, to the tip of their tails - as the paws and tail tip contact the ears, and their private parts - just dust there with the DE-coated cotton ball. Plus any place else that they are scratching. These are places where the parasites, eggs and such may be, so the DE will just stop them from developing. DE microscopically is very sharp shards as well as very dehydrating, so it wipes out all kinds of parasites and pests, in the garden too, etc. However, I am tired of them having more problems with this coming up still day after day. I am glad that the DE gives them immediate relief. I will continue for a month, as one writer suggests here, though I may have already done that. DE is very drying, so wash your hands thoroughly as it will dry your nails; also floors, etc. Still I would do anything to have their suffering end. I will try Milbo-Mite, as the oil didn't work for me & wasn't manageable - oil everywhere! Thank you!
NEEM OIL is a rapid cure for ear mite infections. I used it with my cockapoo and it worked in a couple of days where three weeks of using other treatments failed (olive oil, mineral oil, olive oil with garlic, water/vinegar ALL FAILED). The effectiveness of Neem Oil was impressive and I recommend it highly.
Start by warming the Neem Oil by sitting the closed bottle in a bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes. This is important because Neem Oil becomes viscous or solid when cold and you must warm it up so that it flows easily into the ear.
Then, using a dropper, fill the ear canal with pure Neem Oil, then massage the ear canal for about a minute, then wipe off the excess with a cotton ball. Do this once a day at bedtime for a few days so the dog sleeps with the oil in its ear. Neem Oil seems to be absorbed into the tissues so do not use it for more than a few days.
Hope, Bc, Canada
Holistic Ear Mite Remedies:
I adopted two kittens in November and both were infested with fleas and ear mites. They were babies, only four weeks old, but the mother stopped producing milk, and the woman who owned the pregnant cat said she'd had enough of the constant bottle feeding.
My key goals became to rid them of the fleas and mites, but the vet I have told me to avoid any medications at their young age, especially since one of them was the runt of the litter and barely weighed 14 ounces. The other was one pound.
Anyway, he suggested I mix 1/4 cup of olive oil with 10 drops of peppermint oil and then store it in a bottle. Every day, I'd put three or four drops of this oil mixture into their ears and then massage it in. I'd follow this with a bath in warm water with baby shampoo to kill off as many fleas as possible. Then I'd use blunt-tipped tweezers to pick off fleas that climbed to the head. Wrap them in a blanket and dry them off some. Then I'd use a flea comb to remove any other fleas that escaped. I was told that by bathing them right after the oil treatment, any mites that escaped the ear were washed away by the shampoo.
After two weeks, I took them back to the vet and heard the words I was waiting for--both kittens were completely flea and ear mite free. They are eight months old and never had fleas or ear mites again. So obviously the olive oil and peppermint oil mix did the trick. Now I have my two boys who weigh 11 and 13 pounds (the runt is 13) and as I've been told they are obviously part Maine Coon, the vet's told me to expect them to be huge. Given the size of their paws, I'd already expected that!
I first rid a cat of ear mites using a mixture of olive oil and vitamin e back in 2004, following the advice in the book natural remedies for cats. Yesterday I noticed my cat had signs of mites. I cleaned the ear of debris and massaged in olive oil. Today I bought vitamin e and the yellow dock and gave him a dose of olive oil and then the yellow dock (9 drops in 1 TBS of water). We'll see if this works, but I bet it will. I treated the nonaffected ear yesterday, but not today. My cat is a little wary of me messing with his ears, so I'm focusing my efforts on his bad ear at this point!
Years ago, my Grandmother spent a majority of her summer, running her dog to the Vet's because of ear mites. Then she decided to take the pet to another Vet. who was a Man who believed in "old time" remedies. His advice to her for the ear mites was pure aloa vera gel. Just break off a small end of one of the stems and using a Q-tip, swab the ear and within a few days, the mites were gone and most importantly, the Aloa is very gentle on the pet not to mention it cures without harmful chemicals.
I remember finding kittens as a young person, new in a first apartment with a friend, we found these two kittens and took them in, they had ear mites, and we used alcohol drops in the ears, rubbed them and cleaned them out with q-tips, carefully and as the kittens shook their heads we kept cleaning and adding more after it dried. we only had to do this the one time. it went on over three hours though. a long time in a bathroom. the kittens were also bathed with dish soap. now I am hearing Olive Oil, lets be frank it has been a few years since we did this. now I have two new kittens and so far i can see the mite dirt but they do not scratch the ears or shake their heads and such to demonstrate they have them. I am going to give them both, olive oil and rubbing alcohol tx just to make sure.
Chicago, Illinois, Usa
My 10 year old half boxer, half jack russel recently started having these "spells." This is the order and characteristics of each one.
3. Mild head jerking
After each one of these 30-minute events, she would go the kitchen and clean out any left over dog or cat food. Then she would appear fine. Vet visits showed she was in good health...with her thyroid a bit low. We tried prozac, thinking it might be anxiety attacks, with no relief so we weaned her off. We started her on thyroid meds and her general overall well being improved, but the attacks came regularly throughout the day. I gave her 12.5 benedryl and it helped...but it kept her sleepy, and she was getting weaker. I was at my wits end!!! It looked like I was going to have to put my sweet Tuffie down. I noted one day, she was occasionally shaking her head...not often, but I did notice it. It occurred to me she could have ear mites.
I treated her for ear mites and she literally stopped the attacks overnight! Am I crazy? Have you all heard of such a thing?
I used 3 parts vaseline and one part sulfur on the outside of my cat's ears. The cat wiped all of it off including the scabs. When it would shake it's head blood flew. I thought there must be a better way so I'm considering a sulfur water/olive oil solution injected into the ear with an eye dropper. I'm wondering if the sulfur powder is a good idea and if so what are the ratios.... Mike
EAR MITES IN CATS: I have adopted ferral cats and have fought ear mites for the last three years, non stop. I have used all of the vet prescribed, guarenteed remedies out there. Nothing has been succesful, the whole colony could not be treated. I have learned to make friends with the animal first before attemepting TX. which has prolonged the nasty infection in my other pets.
Washing your hands or wearing gloves and changing inbetween patients is critical to prevent cross contaimination. My vet also said it was excellent to use tea tree oil for it's anti viral property. I'm glad to find this web site and am excited to go research the essential oil toxicity and the Diatmaceous earth cutting action from "glass" byproduct. Meanwhile I'll be hitting the pantry!. Jacque
I have for years used tea tree oil as a cure-all for skin ailments as well as wounds. I foolishly thought that tea tree oil would be a good preparation for my cat's ears that were scratched raw from ear mites. It seemed to help the skin, BUT I found out a few days ago (check any website!) that tea tree oil, which contains phenols (as does its neighbor, turpentine!) is very toxic to cats because they do not possess the enzymes to metabolize it, so it is stored in the liver, and can cause irreparable damage over time. I was SO shocked by this, I thought all cat guardians fond of "organic" and "natural" remedies should be made aware of the toxicity to cats of tea tree oil. Great for humans, DEADLY for cats! Thanks & best wishes.
I've been using Ted's solution on my cat's ears ...very much improved. Warning note for others: my grey fluffy cat's hair around the infected ear is turning a pale shade of orange from the peroxide.
Which leads to my question. While I haven't bathed her in the borax/peroxide/water solution yet, I'm still planning on it. She is very fluffy, looks like she might have Norwegian Forest Cat in her. My plan is to fill a mop bucket with the solution, then put her in the bucket and literally soak her. Trying to get it to the skin and then have it dry is going to be a challenge because of the under-floof in her coat. And liquid tends to run off. I figured I would then put her in a cat carrier for an hour to give the skin a chance to absorb the solution before she could dry herself. Does this sound like a reasonable plan to anyone else? Would appreciate any input anyone else has.
Hi everyone!!! I am very very very grateful for all of you, your comments, and this site. @nycandre, thank you for all the details and the follow-up on your beautiful cat, Ted, thank you for being so gracious to share and share again.
I noticed my beloved fur ball Violet had gunk around her one ear. Not really scratching at it, but also recalling last year when this happened it was ear mites, which I took her to the vet for. We did that gel, plus Revolution. Right now a $200+ vet bill is out of the question. So I googled. And y'all came up. And I started reading ... and cleaning her ear .. and reading.
I started with colloidal silver in the ear, and internally. Kept reading. Saw the olive oil/garlic. My husband is a naturopathic GP ... so we have lots of remedies around the house. Grabbed the ear drops that had the olive oil and garlic, plus something else. At this point her ear starts to look worse. She's scratching more, and the exterior in front of the ear is looking really irritated. So I keep reading, and reading, and reading. Ted's formula keeps coming up. I had to get to the store to get Borax, but I had peroxide at home. So I started cleaning her ear with straight 3% peroxide. As a rule, I don't like peroxide on an animal's ears. It's very very drying to tender skin. BUT ... I needed to get something going better. I used cotton pads (Shiseido, expensive but worth it. They don't shed, they're strong, and they are SUPER soft.) soaked but not dripping, then q-tips. It hurt. Her ear was bright red and I thought I did some real damage. I left her alone for the night and checked her the next day. Blood crusts, her ear was loaded with them. Which told me something in the right direction was happening. I bathed her using Dawn, paying attention to butt and feet. She has long hair - we think Norwegian Forest cat- so you have to work thoroughly to make sure it gets to the skin.
I got the borax, and read more. I needed to know if I could use it directly in the ear. Yay Ted!! YES I COULD. I mixed up a 1/2 batch, storing it in a glass jar in a drawer. For the last 3 nights I've soaked cotton pads and worked them inside her ear to loosen everything, then used q-tips. Violet has a "pocket" in her ear that was holding a lot of crust. The first night she wouldn't let me get anywhere near this pocket. The next night I started on the pocket with a q-tip before cleaning the ear with the pads. Success!!! She was in less pain, so I had more time to work with it. I pulled out a lot of crust. After cleaning it as thoroughly as I could, I took a dropper and put in 3 or 4 drops in the ear directly -- 2 into that pocket -- and massaged the ear then let her shake. Last night, very little crust, pocket still pretty clean. We're in the right direction.
My husband is going to fashion me a "cone of shame" so we can make sure she stays wet long enough for the solution to dry into the skin (which is what Revolution does). Then the dog will get done. I plan on keeping this up for at least a month, and treating the carpet.
I just noticed behind the ear she had matted hair "dred locks" and she's scratching behind that ear .. so it's going to be a Ted bath tonight. At least I know this is the right direction. If it happens again .. and it probably will .. I will go straight for Ted's solution. I don't think the oil etc did what was needed. So thank you one and all for all of your comments!!! Your comments gave me the direction I needed to go in!!!
I tried the peroxide-borax remedy: Day 1. Dear Ted, In desperation searching for Hartz Mt. ear mite medicine, the best over-the-counter for cats I've found, I went to 10 stores but there was a run on the stuff! I turned to the web,found your site and read about the ear mite control. Bought the stuff, mixed it up, bathed my poor old cat's ears which were hairless on the outside, bad looking with the bloody stuff inside. So far on Day 1, this treatment has brought Nicki instant relief. She has been sleeping with her ear up for some days now, unable to go into deep sleep mode due to the ear mites. Right now she's in a deep sleep, all curled up like normal. I found all ingredients quickly in my small town but could not find Hartz Mt. ear miticide in faraway larger town after 3 hr. of searching. Thank you! Will let you know as things progress but so far, Day One is going well.