Vet Blog

What Does It Mean When Your Cat Is Scratching Her Ears?

September 25, 2020

Is your cat scratching her ears without stopping?

Does she shake her head from side to side or rub her ears on the furniture? Incessant scratching could indicate a serious problem. Cats have very sensitive ears and often fall victim to infections, parasites, and allergies. If your cat suffers from constantly itchy ears, bring her to Animal Care Center of Castle Pines for diagnosis and treatment.

Common Causes of Ear Scratching in Cats


Because their ears are so sensitive, ear infections are a fairly common affliction in cats. Cats with certain conditions, such as diabetes, have a higher risk of ear infections. Some breeds with small outer ears are more vulnerable as well. Pawing at the ears, rubbing the ears on the floor or furniture, tilting the head to one side, and shaking the head rapidly are all symptoms of ear infections.

If an ear infection spreads from the outer ear to the middle and inner ear, it becomes very dangerous. Inner ear infections can lead to serious problems like loss of hearing and loss of balance, so it's important to treat them as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will prescribe antibacterial or antifungal ear drops as needed to destroy the infection and prevent it from spreading.

Ear Mites

Cats with ear mites will fold their ears back onto their head and then scratch relentlessly. They will also shake their heads from side to side like they're trying to shake the water out of their ears. Other symptoms include dark, oozing ear wax and an inflamed outer ear.

Ear mites are tiny parasites that nest inside a cat's ears, breed, and multiply. They are highly contagious and will spread from cat to cat. Although ear mites are very tiny, they can be seen with the naked eye. Your veterinarian will be able to spot them right away, prescribe an oral or topical treatment, and show you how to clean your cat's ears.


Your cat might be scratching her ears because she's having an allergic reaction. Cats can be allergic to many of the same things as humans-dust, pollen, mold, grass, insect bites, food, and medication. Allergies cause ear infections, and red, inflamed, itchy ears. They also inflame and irritate other parts of the body, including the groin, armpits, face, and feet.

Animal Care Center of Castle Pines offers the highest quality allergy testing available. We will help you determine whether your cat is having an adverse reaction to something in their food or in their environment. Identifying the source of the allergen will help to minimize exposure and prevent allergic reactions.

Contact Us

If your cat keeps scratching her ears and just won't stop, talk to a vet at Animal Care Center of Castle Pines. We will give her a comprehensive examination and find the right treatment for her itchy ears. Call us at (303) 688-3660 or visit our website to schedule an appointment today.