What is Yeast Infection in Cat’s Ears?

What is Yeast Infection in Cat’s Ears

Cat ear yeast infection is an ear infection caused by yeasts. Some yeasts are normally present in the skin and ears of domestic cats and dogs.

However, they are very opportunistic – if the conditions are favorable will overgrow and may cause damage to the ear canal, or even cause a ruptured eardrum.

If left untreated, they will keep multiplying and can cause ear pain, itching, inflammation, and swelling of the ear canal. In severe cases, the cat ear yeast infection can even result in loss of balance, facial paralysis, and deafness.

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VETNIQUE LABS Oticbliss Ear Cleaner Wipes/Flushes for Cats
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  • ALL-IN-ONE EAR CLEANING WIPES - Oticbliss Ear Wipes were designed by veterinarians for gentle, easy-to-use pet ear cleaning and drying
  • ADVANCED CLEANING FORMULA - Oticbliss Ear Wipes contain ingredients for odor, drying, and softening ear wax with Aloe Vera to soothe and nourish the ear. Simply wipe gently to clear the ear
  • SUPPORTS HEALTHY EARS - Ear care is an important part of regular pet grooming and wipes are much safer to use than cotton swabs sticks. Oticbliss makes pet ear cleaning easy with convenient, extra-large pet wipes. 

Are Yeast Infections in Cat’s Ears Contagious?

No, typically, cat ear yeast infections are not contagious but can be passed between cats that groom each other or lick each others’ ears.

What Causes a Yeast Infection in a Cat’s Ear?

A cat ear yeast infection can occur as a result of many ear problems. Here are some common causes of car ear yeast infections.

  • Ear Mite Infestations: Mites can also allow the ear canal to be favorable for the overgrowth of yeast, leading to feline ear infections.
  • Allergies: Food and/or environmental allergies can cause chronic inflammation of the skin of the ears; leading to secondary infection. 
  • Foreign Bodies: A foreign body in the ear (such as foxtails and grass awns) can create a good environment for infections.
  • Tumors or Polyps: These growths in the ear block the ear canal and prevent air circulation, thus supporting moisture and the growth of yeasts.

According to Dr. Katie Comerford, “Yeast is a common cause of periodic mild to moderate ear infections in cats. Underlying food and/or environmental allergies are a common cause of chronic/recurrent ear infections. Yeast infections are usually relatively easy to eliminate with topical antifungal agents and treatment of the underlying cause if needed.”

What Are the Symptoms of a Cat Ear Yeast Infection?

What Are the Symptoms of a Cat Ear Yeast Infection

Ear itchiness, odor, and head shaking are the most common signs of a cat ear yeast infection. Let’s take a look at the full list of ear infection symptoms in a cat’s ears.

  • Head shaking: A cat that is having an ear infection would usually shake its head constantly as it can be painful and unbearable.
  • Excessive Ear Scratching: Another symptom of an ear infection is constant scratching of the outer ears, as it can be very itchy.
  • Strong Odor: A yeast infection can cause a pungent smell in the cat’s ear canal due to bacterial or fungal growth.
  • Redness: Redness can occur because of inflammation and irritation inside the ear canal, which is caused by itching due to the presence of yeast. So, instead of pale pink, the inside of the ear will be red.
  • Ear Discharge: Along with the bad smell, there can also be dark discharge coming from the inner ears. This is due to buildup of ear wax and cellular debris that occurs secondary to inflammation and infection.

What Can I Give My Cat for an Ear Yeast Infection?

There are many products for managing cat ear yeast infections. Here we have reviewed some of them.

VETNIQUE LABS Oticbliss Ear Cleaner Wipes/Flushes for Cats: This ear medication is designed by veterinarians for regular ear cleaning and to help control odor. The wipes control the odor via chloroxylenol, dry the ear canal via salicylic acid, soften the ear wax via docusate sodium, soothe the ear via aloe vera leaf juice and nourish via vitamin E. They also have ketoconazole as a very effective antifungal. 

This product has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, along with 3,484 reviews on Amazon. Customers have reviewed that it works great to clean out dirt and wax and helps to reduce redness in their feline friends.

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Petglow Ear Mite Treatment for Cats: This is an organic and all-natural product formulated with plant-based ingredients that have been carefully selected and certified by USDA. It is gentle and perfect for cats with sensitive skin. The ear drops will not sting the ears as it has no alcohol or toxic chemicals. This product contains turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties.

This product has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars and 109 ratings. Customers have reviewed that it is gentle on the cat’s ears and effective against ear mites.

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Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Ear Therapy Medicated Ear Drops for Cats: These medicated ear drops for cats provide relief and prevent infections of the ear canal. The gentle and safe properties reduce bad odor, redness, and swelling. The drops are infused with ketoconazole, salicylic acid, and lactic acid, which will help to keep the ears clean and dry.

It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and 18,434 reviews. Through customer reviews, this product is a multipurpose solution that is best for chronic ear problems.

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Bodhi Yeast Treatment Ear Cleaner Solution for Cats: This is a premium ear cleanser that is created with a blend of botanicals. It helps to clean off excess wax buildup, prevents inflammation, and alleviates odor. It contains eucalyptus and aloe vera, which is naturally soothing.

It is safe for sensitive ears and contains no toxins. It is also eco-friendly and cruelty-free. This product has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, along with 2,319 reviews. Customers have reviewed that it works well just after the first use.

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Natrulo Gentle Cleansing Ear Wash Solution Mite Infection & Yeast Treatment for Cats: This natural product cleans and rinses dirt and excess wax. It alleviates and prevents yeast infections. It is a gentle cleanser that is safe for kittens as well. It contains a drying solution that helps to evaporate moisture from the ear canal and prevent fungal and bacterial infections.

This product has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars and 276 reviews. Customers have reviewed that it is an all-natural product that works just after the first cleaning. They say it is a great ear treatment product and supports healthy ears.

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How Do You Treat a Yeast Infection in a Cat’s Ear?

If your cat is showing symptoms of an ear infection, it is highly recommended to take it to the veterinarian for an examination. Your veterinarian will confirm whether your cat has an ear infection and identify its cause.

If the diagnosis is confirmed, the vet will provide adequate antifungal ear drops that you can use to help heal your cat’s ears. Sometimes, the drops can also contain corticosteroids. In severe cases, the vet can even prescribe oral medications.

It is also important to treat the underlying cause that triggered the yeast infection in the first place. For example, if it was ear mites, the vet will prescribe anti-parasitic ear drops, and if it was a foreign body, the vet will remove it.

What Happens if a Cat Ear Yeast Infection Goes Untreated?

What Happens if a Cat Ear Yeast Infection Goes Untreated

Cat ear yeast infection, when untreated, can be dangerous to your cat. If the yeast infection spreads further into the ear canal, it can cause permanent hearing loss.

This is because a cat ear yeast infection might spread and can cause permanent damage to the tissues of the ear canal. For example, the infection of the outer ear and ear flap (otitis externa) can develop into an infection of the middle ear (otitis media), and finally into an infection of the inner ear (otitis interna).