Ear Mite Remedies

Tea Tree Oil

Posted by Jillyan (Cleveland, OH) on 09/27/2006
1 out of 5 stars


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.

Ted's Mange Cure

Posted by Beth (Austin Texas) on 03/30/2017 2 posts

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.


Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Beth!

You will need to bathe your cat in a mild shampoo to break up the oil barrier in her coat - once you do that she can be rinsed and then dipped in the mange remedy. You might also consider following up with a good dusting of food grade diatomaceous earth; I will put some in a pillow case, put the cat in the bag with the head out, and then manipulate the dust in the bag to penetrate the fur. Some folks use DE in the ear for mites so you might consider that also, however IMO the liquid remedy is more effective at penetrating all areas of the ear. Do keep in mind that treatment [bathing/dusting, treating both ears, treating all animals in the house, daily washing of bedding] needs to be continued for 3 weeks to eradicate the mites.

Replied by Barbie Koopa

I know this article is from some years ago, but just in case someone like myself click here looking for some advice on a cat issue & thanks bathing their animal in peroxide would be a good idea, STOP! Aside from using hydrogen peroxide from helping a dog induce vomit, it is never safe for your animals. And cats are especially sensitive to it it can cause bleeding of the stomach or at the least irritation and is known to be FATAL! Do not use witch-hazel or alcohol either. I'm not going to make any suggestions, but I would probably go with something from the vet or at least go to an affordable site like chewys.com. They have a variety of baths for cats and dogs, you can find something safe for a bath instead of home remedies for the situation. I'm all for home remedies but just make you do your homework thoroughly first. Our animals rely totally upon us and it's our job to make sure they're safe in everyway.

EC: Hi Barbie, the poster is referring to Ted's Mange Cure, a combination of borax and peroxide highly diluted in water. It has been tested on thousands of dogs and cats worldwide since 2004 when it was first posted on this site. It is indeed a safe remedy.

Posted by Beth (Austin, Texas) on 03/21/2017 2 posts
5 out of 5 stars

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!!!

Replied by Sazure

Soaps such as "Dawn" and any other synthetic fragrance products (made from petroleum) are toxic to cats.

Dont' use q-tips - most cause the infection to go deeper into the canal. The skin tissue in the ear is thin, delicate and easily damaged. Use cotton balls soaked with what ever you use, then soft tissue to wipe out the ear (or cotton balls).

Please don't fashion a "cone of shame" - just watch for scratching - like YOU having something in your eye or eat and you can't get at it. Their symptoms of scratching means something is wrong - terribly wrong. A product should soothe this reaction, not aggravate it.

I wrap my cat in a towel while treating then let him bask in the sun (window). It's pretty traumatic for them. He does not scratch after his treatment.

Ted's Mange Cure

Posted by Betsy (Litchfield, CT) on 01/05/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Missy
Toronto, Ontario

Please, I have searched and searched and I still cannot find Ted's ear mite formula using the borax & H2o2 method.
I have read this lengthly mange cure on another site that was written by Ted, but I just can't understand it.

Why? Because it's for mange and you have to bath the dog/cat in it.


I have spent a fortune at the vet using Milbemite and Revolution over the past year. My poor little cat still has those nasty bugs.....I just had the vet put her 5th application of Milbemite in her ears last week and she still scratches and shakes her head. So please, I beg you, would you please post an easy to follow formula for the ear mites rather than the lengthly mange formula for bathing.

|Thank you.

Replied by Missy
Toronto, Ontario

Please, I have searched and searched and I still cannot find Ted's ear mite formula using the borax & H2o2 method.
I have read this lengthly mange cure on another site that was written by Ted, but I just can't understand it.

Why? Because it's for mange and you have to bath the dog/cat in it.


I have spent a fortune at the vet using Milbemite and Revolution over the past year. My poor little cat still has those nasty bugs.....I just had the vet put her 5th application of Milbemite in her ears last week and she still scratches and shakes her head. So please, I beg you, would you please post an easy to follow formula for the ear mites rather than the lengthly mange formula for bathing.

|Thank you.

Replied by Missy
Toronto, Ontario

I found the answer on another site for the Ear Mites simple formula.

One part 3% Hydrogen Peroxide and 2 parts water equals a 1% solution.
The 2 parts water dilutes the 3% H2o2 solution to a 1% H2o2 solution.
Store in a sealed glass container. Pour out enough of the 1% H2o2 solution for
one treatment into a separate shot glass.
Now put add in a little borax until it won't dissolve any more and you're done.
Use an eye dropper to pour into Kitty's or Dogs ears. Throw the contents of the
shot glass away. If you need to re-administer, use the stored 1% H2o2 in the
same manner as above. Keep in mind, if it's more than a mth old, throw it out
and make a fresh batch of 1% H2o2.

Posted by Andre (New York, USA) on 10/23/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Update: two weeks later. Kal romps around now without his collar, the mites are still there, as I see a small amount of residue, but clearly they are on the way out. Many thanks to Ted at earthclinic.com for his latest suggestions on using a more concentrated dose of H2O2 (hydrogen Peroxide) for the finish. .. Are there any other suggestions esp. re: diet to finish the ear mites? Maybe the drier air helped ..

Posted by Andre (New York, USA) on 09/29/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I tried the oil based treatments, actually using coconut oil since I heard it has antiseptic properties, and hdrogen peroxide. This only slowed down the ear mites. After a couple of weeks of this, I started with a mix of Borax (20 Mule Team), hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and a little Dr Bronner soap. After just two days the mites are disappearing. To prevent my cat from lcking off his wet fur, that I allow to dry naturally as indicated, I got him a collar. See his picture on Fickr, tag: ear.mite.cure.for.cats, or go directly to the page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycandre/1459080973/

Thanks a lot, Ted and everyone else here! nycandre

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
384 posts

Thanks for the information! The Dr. Bronner soap has the lavender and tea tree oil that I always like. So its great you use it. The house should lightly be sprayed with some borax solution or sprinkled borax powder if possible to prevent reinfection. You can also use a small amount of borax, and sprinkle it like a talcum powder on the localized area. Not only the borax kills them, the powder also cause the insects to be suffocated. Those are optional.

Replied by Kathryn
Pasadena, Ca


Replied by Sherry
New Florence, Pa

Hey, what about dogs? I keep reading about cats but what about dogs?

EC: Please see Ted's mange cure for dogs here: http://www.earthclinic.com/pets/dog_mange_cure.html

Posted by Suzy (St. Paul, Minnesota) on 03/16/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I really appreciate all the great advice I've gathered from reading your site. But, if I had used the remedies that are recommended specifically for ear mites, I would have severely annoyed my cat and myself and she would still be scratching. Thank goodness I made the association between ear mites in cats and mange in dogs and used Ted's wonderful mange cure. (My mixture was 2 parts apple cider vinegar, to 1 part hydrogen peroxide, and 1 part Borax; diluted in a gallon or so of water) And it worked like an absolute charm. Bathing a cat is never fun, but the next day her incessant scratching had stopped and has not returned. What a wonderful gift this man has given to animal lovers and caretakers around the world! Thank you so much Ted, for sharing and proliferating your extremely useful knowledge in the way that you have. And I'm sure there are millions of small four-legged creatures who no longer have itchy and infectious skin that are singing your praises as well. Thanks again.

Replied by NYCandre
New York, USA
5 out of 5 stars

Remedy for ear mites in cats: Borax and Peroxide -- YES! Just thinking in gratitude to Suzy whose reading got me started trying her remedy (and variations of, after many unsuccessful other attempts). My cat is now still mite free, though at times I have done a quick clean-up, especially when I see him scratch. From Suzy's post: (search for borax and hydrogen peroxide) "Thank goodness I made the association between ear mites in cats and mange in dogs and used Ted's wonderful mange cure. (My mixture was 2 parts apple cider vinegar, to 1 part hydrogen peroxide, and 1 part Borax; diluted in a gallon or so of water) And it worked like an absolute charm."

Replied by Julie
Coventry, England

I run a canine hydrotherapy pool and have come into contact with thousands of dogs over many years.Every dog who has suffered ear mites i recommend Thornit Powder.I first discovered its miraculous powers when my dog Monty (SADLY NO LONGER ALIVE)had ear mites. I spent a fortune at the vets and still he woke me at night crying and scratching at his ear.I had previously heard of Thornit powder from a client and out of desperation, i tryed it. A tiny amount placed in the ear for 5 days and hey presto no more ear mites.It works like magic. Monty gained relief from the 1st application and when asked if he wanted Thornit would lie down of his own free will. Dogs are so clever at knowing what heals them. I have recommended this wonderful cure to hundreds of clients, who like myself, had wasted their money at the vets, and everyone has found blessed relief. Thornit also works for wet eczema,itching of the body and one of my clients even cured her rabbits mange. I don't know if this product is available in u.s.a.if your pet shop does not stock it, i may be able to help. I thank God for this ancient and miraculous cure.

Replied by Diane
Roosevelt, Utah

You say two Parts Apple Cider Vinegar, one part peroxide, one part borax mixed in a Gallon of water, but what size part are you using, 1/2 cup 1/4 cup or just tablespoons? I don't know what measurement to start with

Replied by Darlene
Armstrong, BC, Canada

When you say 2 parts apple cider vinegar and 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 1 part borax to a gallon of water. How much is 1 part?


Posted by Katie on 11/30/2006
1 out of 5 stars

Well I first started with the suggestion of using drops of Vegetable oil to loosen up the infection in my cats ears. Massaged it in, let her shake, then used cotton swabs and balls to clean the ear. After that I proceeded with rubbing the vaseline in her ear with my finger and not really down into the upper canal. I let her be and now her ears hurt even more and she's really groggy and miserable. I don't know where I went wrong, if she has an allergy to any of the products, or something else. Her ears are really really pink and she's just now in alot of pain. Should I wait it out or bring her to the vet immediately? I've never seen her more miserable in my life, it really saddens me... I need help!

Replied by Rosie7
Seattle, Washington

Take your pet to the vet! Really, if your child were sick or crying with an ear infection would you be sitting here debating on online forum whether or not to go to the doctor? Honestly, I cannot believe the responses on this board. As a temporary measure to ease the pain and swelling, pick up a some ear drops (i.e. anything with vegetable glycerine, mullein, or plantain) until your vet's office opens and then GO DIRECTLY TO YOUR VET!!! Many veterinarians use homeopathic and herbal remedies as a complement to their year's of study, expertise and knowledge and scientifically founded treatments. You people are not qualified to gamble with your pet's health and wellbeing.

Replied by Ruthann
Butternut, Wisconsin

Lady I don't know what you are talking about I have 14 cats Yes 14 used to be 10 until I found four abandoned little kittens that were loaded with mites so thick it was so hard it was like little rocks in there and when I put vegtable oil in there and loosened it they shook there heads and it sounded like gravel hitting the counter I had them on..... Now for the last 2 days with the vegetable oil its not as itchy and there a lot more relieved with there ears. If your the kind that run to the doctor every time your kid is sick you or your husband must have HUGE BILLS!!!! You try home remedies first they do work if you know what you are doing!!!

Replied by Sazure

In reply to Ruthann - regarding "rushing" to a vet. Ear mites can eventually kill your pet. At some point - "the body does not lie" one does need to see a professional.

Posted by Lee (Boone, NC) on 09/21/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I have a cat that will not allow me to put any kind of liquid into his ears. Even if somebody holds him down for me, he's too strong and goes nuts when the liquid hits his ears. I've found the best way is to rub vaseline inside his ears while petting him. He doesn't seem to notice, and even when he does, he doesn't mind too much. It seems to work almost instantly suffocating the mites. After one application, he stops scratching, but I do it each day for a week until I'm sure they're gone.

Replied by Heather
Springfield, Va

Wow, that's a great idea; since Vaseline IS essentially mineral oil, only in a jelly form and thus would seem to stay in better than a liquid oil. I wonder why I have not heard this before? The only thing is that an oil would probably go down into the canal -where the mites hide- better. Once they get way down in the inner ear, they are impossible to treat. I have tried Acarexx, yellowdock, mineral oil and none are working. Strangely, my oldest cat, who is isolated in one room by himself, has the worst case. He has no contact with other cats or the outdoors, so clearly he got it from me (my clothing or hands-- yuck!!). He has renal disease and is not reacting well to the Acarexx- will not eat and balance is way off (likely from the mites being pushed deeper into the ear). If no improvement tomorrow, I will have to take him to the vet. I am on my way to the store for tuna and/or chicken in the hopes that he will eat that. Anyone else have a cat who reacts this way to Acarexx?? All my other cats are fine and ears seem to be improving.

Vegetable Oil

Posted by Debby (Elko, Nevada) on 09/15/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Hi! I have two cats and my daughter has one. She didn't know her cat had ear mites when she moved into our home. Now I have to deal with all 3 of them having ear mites. I tried cat mite medicine from a store, plus the one called Adams. All it did was make my cats very sick and their ears heated up, and became irritated!! I was at my wits end when I thought I would look up about ear mites on-line. I was so happy to hear about your natural remedies!! I have been using vegetable oil,' for the past 3 days and it seems to be working!! If it doesn't clear them all the way up, I am going to try some of your other remedies. I like the vegetable oil, because it doesn't irritate their ears, and doesn't make them vomit. (the other remedies from the store made them vomit and run fevers.) They don't seem to be scratching as much with the vegetable oil either. It is a battle though putting it into two of the cats ears, as they don't like anything in their ears. Thank you so much for helping me deal with these pesky mites who seem never to leave!! Now maybe my cats and me can get some rest!! Thanks again. I will write more to let you know how they're doing. Thanks again!!

Vegetable Oil and Iodine

Posted by Crystal (Spokane, WA) on 10/19/2008
4 out of 5 stars

I used to raise rabbits. For ear mites I used a solution of quarter cup vegetable oil and teaspoon of iodine. The solution needed to be shaken before I applied it with an eyedropper and rubbed it into the rabbits ears. Each day I would clean the waxy build up from the ear and reapply the oil until the infestation was gone. Is this remedy safe for dogs?

Vicks Vapor Rub

Posted by Khayes (Portsmouth, Virginia) on 09/14/2009
5 out of 5 stars

My 5 year old Collie has had ear mites for as long as I can remember. I tried cleaners and treatments nothing worked. I put ambesol ( baby ambesol for teething) to numb her ears but that was just temparary relief. One night I thought about what would sufficate those pesky things and as I reached for the cleaner I saw the vicks. She has been ear mite free ever since!!! I just swabed it on with a cotton ball once a day for 3weeks and cleaned it out after 24 hours then reapplied. I don't know if it will work for everyone but it worked on her! Smells good too!!!

Vinegar, Oil

Posted by Christy (Dallas, TX) on 10/01/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My bull terrier picked up a nasty case of ear mites from an encounter with an especially filthy ferral cat. Because she's vet-shy here's the cure our vet had us do at home with ordinary earth-friendly products.

First we irrigated the ears with vinegar, which changes the pH and kills adult mites. Then we put 5 drops of heavy oil (olive would have been okay but we used jojoba) in each ear and gently massaged the base of the ear before allowing her to shake it out again. The jojoba really did wonders to stop itching and speed up healing.

The vinegar changes the pH in the ear, killing the eggs and the oil drowns live mites and soothes the ear. We irrigated and bathed weekly and oiled every other day.

Irrigations took place in the tub to restrict mess and so I could immediately bathe her in a pyrethium-based flea/tick soap; treating only the ears and not the entire body allows mites to flee the ear during treatment, then move back in. Our other dogs had their ears swabbed with hydrogen peroxide daily to prevent transmission.

We continued treatment for 5 weeks to be extra safe, but things noticably improved after the first treatment.

Replied by Liz

Do you dilute the vinegar to put in their ears will it burn them?

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Liz,

Always dilute vinegar for use on a dogs fur or in his ears. No more than 50% vinegar. If the skin is broken, dilute it more. I wouldn't use more than 1 tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of water if skin is broken.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Suseeq
Sydney, Australia

Liz, I have always used a couple of drops olive oil for ear mites massage into ear canal.

Vitamin E, Hand Sanitizer

Posted by KashkaMama (Boston, MA) on 08/14/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Wanted to say thanks for all the great advice here - I noticed one of my guys shaking his head at the beginning of last week and thought he'd gotten into a fight with his brother. When he was still doing it the next day, I looked and there they were. Looks like they have not been 'moved in' for too long, thankfully. After reading the comments here I decided to try using a mixture of about 80% Vitamin E oil (cutting open the gelcaps and squeezing the oil out) mixed with 20% Purell with aloe. I used cotton balls to wipe his ears out and then a clean one to 'drizzle' the mixture further down the canal. He was not happy at first but was not in pain at all. Afterwards, he glared at me for an hour but then came over to knock his face into my hand. It's a few days later now and while they have not gone completely (because of the breeding cycle, of course) his ears are much cleaner and when he sees me starting to make his 'mix' up he comes over to me and waits. Wanted to also remind everyone that the eggs can live on the fur around their ears so you want to pay attention to keeping that whole area cleaned, too.

Replied by Melinda
Tucson, Arizona
5 out of 5 stars

We recently adopted a heeler puppy, he is 3 1/2 years old, at first I thought he had a ear infection, I came to your site, and started reading up on things, come to find out, he had ear mites. First I tried the hand sanitizer-rubbing that and massaging it into his ears, he cried bad from that, I waited a bit, then put pure vitamin E oil in next, massaged his ears, and now he is doing WAY better. I think I will have to add the vitamin E oil at least 1 more time, but he is not crying, relaxed, playful, etc. now, thank you! I LOVE your site.

Yellow Dock

Posted by Bill (Aurora, Colorado) on 09/04/2014

I am very sure my cats have ear mites; one seems to be worse then the others and has them on his body as well. I purchased the yellow dock root extract. Can I use this on his skin too? Please let me know, thanks.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Bill!

You can use the mixture for the ears on the skin, however if your cats lick it there could be complications if they have an undiagnosed underlying liver or kidney disease.

It doesn't sound right for the ear mites to be migrating all over your cat's body; it it just affecting the back of his ears?

Replied by Sigrid Aronsson

I used Black Walnut Hull Tincture mixed with Pau D'arco tincture, just twice splashed into the ears three days or so inbetween - gone a week after.