Ear mites on an indoor-only cat?

cmshap

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Willy has never has been outside, including on a balcony or catio, for at least 8 years. There are no other cats or animals in my household.

I live in an apartment building which has a lot of other cat owners, but he has not been exposed to any other cats for several months. There is one other neighbor's cat that he has socialized with in the past (we let them out in the hallway for supervised time, and there is usually some rubbing involved). But it has been a long time since that last happened... like several months, or the better part of a year. It's been only when my neighbor's and my schedules happen to align, like when we run into each other in the hallway.

As described in this thread, I have been walking him out in the halls and common areas, but only when there is no one else out there, so he hasn't been in contact with other people or animals during these excursions.

He spends a lot of time on windowsills in front of open windows with screens. I get little bugs and gnats coming through the screens in summer months, more than I'd like, but he enjoys the open windows a lot so I keep them open most of the time when weather permits. I doubt this has any bearing on the situation, however, as I know that's not how mites spread.

No used bedding or furniture has been introduced recently. I got some used furniture from family with pets in the past, but this all happened years ago.

I am noticing Willy scratching his ears now, but it doesn't seem excessive. I don't know if he is scratching more than normal, or if I am just noticing it every single time now because I am paranoid.

However, I don't think ears should look like this. He has hair covering his ear canals so I never noticed his ears looking like this until like 30 minutes ago. They definitely haven't looked like this before. But I don't know how long they've been like this.
 

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FeebysOwner

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I am not sure that looks like ear mites, or if it is they have just very recently invaded Willy's ear(s). Usually there is debris in the ear canal, and I am not able to see any from that pic. I suppose it could be possible for your cat to get ear mites from another animal who has them and frequents the same hallways. I wouldn't necessarily rule it out entirely, although it is usually from direct contact. Or maybe getting them from any animals that have landed in those windows too.

However, yeast infections in a cat's ear can look like ear mites too, so that is another possibility. Yeast infections can be brought about by allergies, or excess wax build up, for example. You're probably going to have to get it checked out by a vet, but I guess you could send them a pic to start off with.
Ear Mites in Cats: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment - Cats.com
 

Lari

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I was dealing with dirty ears with my cat that looked similar and a swab diagnosed her with a bit of yeast. The vet said that ear mites in adult indoor cats are very rare.
 
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cmshap

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I am not sure that looks like ear mites, or if it is they have just very recently invaded Willy's ear(s). Usually there is debris in the ear canal, and I am not able to see any from that pic.
I just wanted to add a couple of additional details, for the sake of documenting this issue in case it helps anyone else.

Both ears look exactly like this, so they are affected equally. And I looked deeper in the ear canals with a flashlight and don't think I see debris like this going deeper inside. It's tough to get him to sit still long enough to get a good look, when it's just me doing both the restraining and examining at the same time.

After I see the vet, I will be updating this post, as well as a few others I started about Willy over the last few weeks.
 
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