The Best Ear Mite Treatment for Cats that Actually Works—Reviewed and Ranked

Written by Liz Coleman
Published: April 29, 2022

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They may be minuscule, but ear mites cause major irritation in cats. These tiny terrors feed on the oils and earwax found in your pet’s ear canal (gross) where they cause discomfort, unpleasant discharge, and crusty build-up (double gross). 

Signs of an ear mite infestation include:

  • Constant scratching, rubbing, or shaking of the head
  • Waxy or crusty discharge
  • Red rash in the ear

As the second most common parasite in cats after fleas, there’s a good chance you’ll need to purchase ear mite mediation at some point. And since these tiny critters are extremely contagious and can lead to infection, you’ll want to treat affected cats ASAP. (After getting a confirmed diagnosis from your vet, first.)

Here are 5 effective ear mite treatments for cats that really work. 

  1. Adams Medication for Ear Mites for Dogs & Cats, 0.5-oz bottle
  2. Adams Medication for Ear Mites for Dogs & Cats, 0.5-oz bottle
    • Veterinarian recommended brand
    • Kills mites on contact
    • Removes wax
    • Includes aloe and lanolin to soothe and heal
    • Safe for cats and dogs over 12 weeks old
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Revolution Topical Solution for Kittens
  4. Revolution Topical Solution for Kittens
    • Formulated for kittens and puppies under five pounds
    • Includes 3 liquid doses of selamectin, a safe topical parasitic
    • Vet script required
    • Only needs to be administered once a month
    • Treats and controls ear mites, prevents flea infestations, and heartworm disease
    Check Chewy
  5. Hartz Ear Mites Medication for Cats
  6. Hartz Ear Mites Medication for Cats
    • Includes three application tubes
    • Each tube contains enough medication to kill ear mites on contact
    • No prescription necessary
    • Contains soothing aloe
    • Also contains potentially dangerous pyrethrins, so follow directions closely
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Bio-Groom Ear Mites Medication
  8. Bio-Groom Ear Mites Medication
    • Can be used on cats, dogs, kittens, puppies, and rabbits
    • Non-oily lotion
    • Helps remove ear wax
    • Includes soothing aloe vera
    • No prescription required
    Check Chewy
  9. Arava Natural Ear Mite Treatment for Pets
  10. Arava Natural Ear Mite Treatment for Pets
    • Perfect for cats with sensitive skin
    • Safe, hypoallergenic formula
    • Made in Israel with 26 Dead Sea minerals to provide relief
    • Also includes botanical ingredients that repel pests, have antibacterial, astringent, antiseptic, and antifungal qualities, and soothe irritation
    • Not recommended for cats under 13 pounds or under a year old
    Check Amazon

#1 Best Overall Ear Mite Treatment for Cats: Adams Ear Mite Treatment

We found that the best ear mite treatment for cats is Adams Treatment. Adams is a trusted brand that has been recommended by vets for over 40 years. This all-purpose insecticide kills mites on contact and removes wax that has built up as a result of the infestation. 

This medication includes aloe and lanolin to promote healing while soothing your cat’s itching ears. Adams can be used in cats and dogs over the age of 12 weeks, and the dose is based on your pet’s weight.

To administer, give your cat the prescribed number of drops in each ear (4-5 drops for a cat under 15 pounds). If she allows it, gently massage the base of her ears to help the medication penetrate the problem area. You can follow up by drying the area gently with a cotton ball. Do this for 7-10 days, and if necessary, you can repeat the whole process after 2 weeks. 

Remember that your cat is probably uncomfortable, so it’s important to exercise caution and patience. Also worth noting: this treatment contains pyrethrins, which can be harmful if ingested or incorrectly administered. Never leave this product with your cat (or young child) unattended. 

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-use applicator
  • Super affordable (under $10)
  • No prescription required
  • Includes soothing aloe and lanolin
Best Overall
Adams Medication for Ear Mites for Dogs & Cats, 0.5-oz bottle
  • Veterinarian recommended brand
  • Kills mites on contact
  • Removes wax
  • Includes aloe and lanolin to soothe and heal
  • Safe for cats and dogs over 12 weeks old
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Kittens: Revolution Topical Solution for Kittens and Puppies

For kittens who are too young for most topical treatments, Revolution Topical can offer relief. Designed specifically for puppies and kittens under five pounds, this medication comes with three liquid doses of selamectin: a topical parasitic that is safe to use on cats and dogs.

This treatment is pricier than Adams, and you’ll need a vet’s script for it. On the upside, you’ll only need to administer Revolution once a month. Plus, this medication not only treats and controls ear mites, but also prevents flea infestations and heartworm disease. 

The company advises users to be careful with applying Revolution, as it can be irritating to human skin and eyes. If it comes in contact with your skin, wash the area immediately with soap and water to avoid a reaction. 

Key Features:

  • Safe for kittens and puppies
  • No prescription necessary 
  • prevents fleas and heartworm
Best for Kittens
Revolution Topical Solution for Kittens
  • Formulated for kittens and puppies under five pounds
  • Includes 3 liquid doses of selamectin, a safe topical parasitic
  • Vet script required
  • Only needs to be administered once a month
  • Treats and controls ear mites, prevents flea infestations, and heartworm disease
Check Chewy

3. Best Budget Option: Hartz Medication for Ear Mites

At under $5, Hartz offers pet owners the best value by a longshot. This treatment comes with three application tubes, each with roughly 100 drops of medication to kill ear mites on contact. No prescription is necessary. 

While it’s an excellent value, Hartz may not be the top choice for multi-pet households with both cats and dogs, as it’s only suitable for cats. For felines who weigh between 5 and 15 pounds, you can use 5 drops per day for 7-10 days, with at least two weeks in-between treatments.

For a soothing effect, Hartz is made with aloe. And like Adams Treatment (and many other ear mite treatments), Hartz also contains potentially dangerous pyrethrins, making it critical to use as directed.

Key Features:

  • Budget-friendly
  • No prescription required
  • Contains aloe
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Suitable for cats at least 5 pounds and 12-weeks of age 
Best Budget
Hartz Ear Mites Medication for Cats
  • Includes three application tubes
  • Each tube contains enough medication to kill ear mites on contact
  • No prescription necessary
  • Contains soothing aloe
  • Also contains potentially dangerous pyrethrins, so follow directions closely
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Natural Treatment: Arava Botanical Ear Mite Treatment

Composed of 9 all-natural ingredients, Arava is a great choice for pets with sensitive, easily irritated skin. This safe, hypoallergenic treatment is made in Israel and contains 26 Dead Sea minerals to offer your pet relief. 

Ingredients include: 

  • Lemongrass (repels pests)
  • Cinnamon (antibacterial and antifungal)
  • Peppermint (soothes irritation)
  • Eastern red cedar (antiseptic and astringent qualities) 
  • Thyme (antibacterial and antifungal) 

You can use this treatment alongside Arava wipes, which are useful for cleaning your cat’s ears before application. 

Unfortunately, Arava can only be used on larger cats (13 pounds and up) and smaller dogs. It’s also recommended for cats who are at least a year old. 

To apply, place 6 drops in each of your cat’s ears every two days. You should see results in 10 days or less. And if you’re not satisfied with the results, the company offers a 30-day guarantee that promises your money back.

Key Features:

  • Features natural active ingredients
  • Free of hazardous chemicals
  • Dye-free
  • No prescription necessary
Best Natural Treatment
Arava Natural Ear Mite Treatment for Pets
  • Perfect for cats with sensitive skin
  • Safe, hypoallergenic formula
  • Made in Israel with 26 Dead Sea minerals to provide relief
  • Also includes botanical ingredients that repel pests, have antibacterial, astringent, antiseptic, and antifungal qualities, and soothe irritation
  • Not recommended for cats under 13 pounds or under a year old
Check Amazon

5. Best for Multi-Pet Households: Bio-Groom Mite Medication

Because these pesky mites are so contagious, one affected pet is reason enough to treat ALL household pets (even if they don’t exhibit symptoms). Bio-Groom is up to the task and can be used on cats, dogs, kittens, puppies, and even rabbits. 

This non-oily lotion won’t leave a sticky mess behind. It also helps remove excess ear wax and includes aloe vera for its soothing properties. 

Key Features:

  • No prescription needed
  • Can be used on cats, dogs, and rabbits
  • Available in 1-oz and 4-oz bottles
  • All-natural and biodegradable
Best for Multi-Pet Households
Bio-Groom Ear Mites Medication
  • Can be used on cats, dogs, kittens, puppies, and rabbits
  • Non-oily lotion
  • Helps remove ear wax
  • Includes soothing aloe vera
  • No prescription required
Check Chewy

Choosing the Best Ear Mite Treatment: What to Look For

How do you choose an ear mite treatment that will work for your cat? These four factors can guide your final choice:

The right dose

In most cases, ear mite treatment is sold according to a pet’s weight and age. As such, the treatment used for a tiny kitten won’t be the same as that used for a plus-sized adult cat, so check the intended weight/age bracket carefully.  

Easy to administer

Most ear mite treatments come in the form of topical liquids. Look for plastic applicator tubes that make it easy to place in your cat’s ears (especially important for nervous felines who detest things being put in their ears!)

Soothing ingredients

Anti-inflammatory and anti-itch ingredients like lanolin and aloe offer your cat soothing relief while being treated. On the flip side, be mindful of potentially harmful ingredients like pyrethrins, which can cause a negative reaction in some cats. 

Price

The cost of ear mite mediation varies. You can find non-prescription treatments for as low as $5 and as much as $70 on the higher end of the scale. For this review, we selected treatments at various prices to accommodate all budgets.

The Different Types of Ear Mite Treatments: Pros and Cons Compared

Ear mites in cats can be treated topically or systemically. Your veterinarian will recommend one treatment over the other, based on your cat’s needs.

  • Topical Treatment: These can come in the form of gel, lotion, or ear drops. Topical treatments are readily accessible (both with and without a vet’s script), and most brands are quite affordable. Where many topical treatments fall short, however, is their inability to kill eggs. Because they only eliminate adult mites, repeat applications are often necessary.
  • Systemic Treatment: Your cat can also be treated orally or through an injection of 1-percent ivermectin. This is considered safe and effective, although it’s not yet approved by the FDA for this use. It’s also a highly potent treatment, and a convenient single dose is often all that’s needed for relief.

Verified Review: User Experience

How did fellow shoppers fare with all the various ear mite treatments? In a few cases, pet owners reported concerning reactions to the medication, with one user saying Adams Topical caused her cat’s ears to turn red and become “hot to the touch.” If your cat is new to ear mite treatment, monitor her after administering the medication and report any unusual reactions to your vet. 

Some users also found that topical treatments were a messy, sticky affair. But this is often the result of a pet shaking their heads afterward. Some applicators were reported to be easier to use than others: one customer complained that our budget pick, Hartz, was virtually impossible to use without getting liquid everywhere. 

We found the length of time it takes for treatment to kick in varied, but many saw results after the first application. One happy kitten owner said that her pet was back to her old self within one hour after using Adams.

About the Author

Liz is a freelance writer who loves putting pet owners in touch with top-rated, life-enriching pet products. She shares her home in Western New York with 2 cats, 2 zebra finches, 1 husband, and an animal-loving daughter. Visit her at Lizwritesforyou.com.

The Best Ear Mite Treatment for Cats that Actually Works—Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What kills ear mites instantly?

Topical and systemic treatments of cat-safe pyrethrin and ivermectin are highly effective at killing ear mites on contact. 

Is there an over-the-counter treatment for ear mites in cats?

Yes, ear mites can be treated with both prescription and non-prescription medications. Some good over-the-counter options include Adams, Hartz, and Revolution Ear Mite Treatment.

What kills ear mites naturally?

While the Internet is full of reports that household staples like coconut oil and apple cider vinegar can help with mites, those claims are more anecdotal than fact-based. The best thing you can do is check in with your vet: they can guide you through the options, and help you choose the best treatment plan to get your pet on the road to recovery. 

What is the best medicine for ear mites?

There are a lot of choices, but we think Adams Ear Mite Treatment hits all the right requirements: it’s affordable, effective, and safe for treating ear mites in cats and dogs. It also includes soothing aloe and lanolin, and it’s easy to administer.