Cat Ear Infection: Symptoms, Causes, and Cures


Cats make it really hard to determine when something is off with them. Their natural desire to hide any potential weaknesses makes it easy to miss signs of a problem. 


While some ailments will clear up on their own, a cat ear infection can cause significant pain and discomfort for our favorite felines. Without medical intervention, an ear infection could lead to serious side effects. Your friends at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital are here to help you determine if your cat might have an ear infection and what to do about it:


Cat Ear Infection: More Common than You Think


Most cats will have to deal with at least one ear infection in their lifetime. There are certain elements that could increase your cat’s chances of developing an ear infection, which include:

  • Diabetes
  • Immune disorders (like feline leukemia)
  • Allergies
  • Breeds that have smaller outer ears


A cat ear infection starts in the outer ear. Without medical attention, they could move farther into the middle or inner portion of the ear. If the infection reaches the inner ear, it could affect your cat’s balance, and might even lead to permanent deafness. 


Symptoms of Cat Ear Infection


Cats actively try to hide their weaknesses, but there are telltale ways to spot a potential ear infection in your cat. If you notice any of the following, it is time to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian:

  • An odor that seems to emanate from the ears
  • Swelling or redness in or near the ears
  • Fluid or discharge coming from the ears
  • Ear wax
  • Black specks in the ears
  • Your cat tilting her head in a certain direction
  • Repeated shaking of the head
  • Rubbing the ear with a paw or against another object


What Causes the Infection?


There are many potential factors that could lead to an ear infection in your cat. Some of the most common catalysts are:

  • Allergies (environmental or food)
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Tumors affecting the ear canal
  • A foreign object lodged in the ear
  • A wound or other trauma in or around the ear


Preventing some of these potential causes could help to decrease your cat’s chances of developing an ear infection. Talk to your vet about testing for allergies to help you eliminate potential causes.


Curing Cat Ear Infection


If you suspect that your cat has an ear infection, you should schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as you can. Once the vet makes an official diagnosis, you can get a prescription for antibiotics or antifungal medication, which should target the cause of the infection and clear it up. In rare instances, your veterinarian might recommend surgery to target the infection.



If you suspect that your cat is suffering from an ear infection, schedule an appointment with Union Lake Veterinary Hospital. Our veterinary team is here to offer you high-quality care when you need it. We want to partner with you to start your pets off on a lifetime of good health. Call (248) 363–1508 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.