The Mighty Mite–or–Ears to You

One of our inside cats, Culvey, has been scratching at his ears on and off lately.  That can mean only one thing:  the return of the dreaded ear mites.

He had them pretty badly when we first rescued him from the culvert on the side of our road where he’d been dropped off by some uncaring bastards people a couple of years ago.  His brother, Roadie, also was quite ill with feline rhinotracheitis, the kitty version of a bad cold or the flu.

After neutering, several rounds of immunizations, mega doses of amoxicillin and approximately $400 in vet fees, the boys were cured and had a loving home. 

This I can say assuredly:  there is no such thing as a “free cat.”

From time to time Culvey has needed to be dosed with ear drops to control the return of the ear mites.  I’ve found that the kind you can get at the supermarket from the Hartz Mountain company seem to be just as effective as the ones the vet used.  So when he started going after his ears a little too often, I knew it was time for Doctor Mom to make a house call.

Culvey is getting pretty cagey about the whole thing, though.  I’ve done it enough times for him to know my modus operandi for ear mite medicine. 

After I’ve located my reading glasses, I usually have the open ear drops tube and a tissue at the ready.   My operating table is the rug in the kitchen where the light is good and I can see what I’m doing. 

Today, when Culvey saw the tube and tissue in place on the rug, he took off running and had to be captured before I could do the deed. 

The procedure calls for me to straddle Culvey so I can hold him securely between my legs so he can’t go backward or forward very easily while I fold one ear back at a time to get the drops in.  This is being attempted while I have a vice-like grip on his head with my one free hand. 

He’s a pretty big cat now and it was a lot like Wrestle-Mania for awhile there on the kitchen rug until I could get him to hold still long enough to put the right dosage in and then massage the ear. 

No body slams or chair throwing, but a struggle just the same.

Now, here’s what the back of the medicine package looks like.  (Notice the calm, smiling cat who’s sitting upright and relaxed, allowing his owner to easily and gently put the drops in his ear.)  Uh huh.

 That cat doesn’t exist.  If anything, the cat that modeled for this illustration had been freeze-dried beforehand and can now be found gracing the top of some little old lady’s television.

I would love to hear from you if this is, indeed, how it goes in your house when you’re dosing your cat (or your dog) with medicine, be it drops, pills or liquids.  Any pet war (or horror) stories along those lines are welcome too. 

Culvey is giving me a wide berth today, post ear mite control.  I’m sure, if he could, this is what he’d be doing in retribution:

P.S.–This cat looks just like him.

16 thoughts on “The Mighty Mite–or–Ears to You

  1. Well, I have not had to put ear drops in anyone’s ears but I did discover that the Greenies pill pockets were perfect for getting oral meds down. They’re all squishy and completely cover up the pill with a tasty beef flavored gooey concoction. The dog loved it. They come in salmon flavored goo for cats. Highly recommended.


    • I’ve heard of those before, Stacy, so I guess they really must be effective.

      When our other inside cat was “inappropriately” peeing outside of her litter box, the vet wanted me to give her an antibiotic pill twice a day for 10 days. Ack! I opted for the one-time shot instead…for $50. I could have tried the pockets but since she’s a Himalayan, with that squished up face, her sense of smell isn’t so great. She’s pretty fussy. Or is that just another name for “cat?” 🙂


  2. The owner of the hair salon I frequent has a female german shepard with a chronic yeast infection. Contrary to your cat, when this old girl sees her mama getting the tube of medication out, she goes directly to the designated place, lies down with a groan, rolls over and spreds her legs. Now that’s co-operation! I don’t guess you can ever expect that from a cat. Isn’t it maddening when animals don’t understand that you are trying so hard to help them? Persevere! Michele


  3. I howled remembering my ministration trying to give pet medicine to an (always) reluctant feline.
    Yes, always be leery of a sign that says FREE cat!


  4. That cat lived in the Haight in the 60s. I remember him. We don’t have to medicate Miracle the Cat but we do occassionally have to get her stinky butt into the cat carrier to take her to the vet. As soon as she sees the carrier, she defies gravity and claws her way halfway up the nearest wall. I now wear a quilted jumpsuit, padded gloves, and helmet to get her into the carrier.


    • Cats know what we’re thinking and are way ahead of us. My parents used to take their cat, George, down to their beach house and when it was time to go back home, he always “disappeared.” On the other hand, when we visited them down there with our Chihuahua, Lolita, she would get into our open suitcase and not budge except for food and potty breaks. She wanted to be sure to make the return trip.


  5. my dog – all 100 pounds of him – doesnt like the ear meds either. i sit on him. he learned that he can’t get away… it used to take 3 of us for the evening “Dog Wrasslin’ Session”. i think he got tired of it…

    and yes, the smiling cat is on acid.


  6. We had a ten pound, long haired cat called Mooch. When he needed medication, I would spread a very large thick towel on the floor. Once I had encouraged him onto the towel with a bit of food, I’d quickly wrap the towel around him, much like I used to bundle a baby. With all four of his scratchy appendages secured, I could hold him with one arm, while my other hand delivered the medication. It was also a good way to stuff him into the cat carrier.
    He always fell for the food on the towel trick, which is why his name was Mooch…


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