Proponents of home remedies say that apple cider vinegar is a practically a miracle cure-all, with the ability to mitigate or cure everything from fleas to urinary tract infections (taken internally).
But just like with many home remedies, there haven’t been many scientific studies that prove the claims are true.
So when it comes to ear infections in cats, let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of apple cider vinegar.
What Does The Science Show?
According to Medical News Today, at this time there isn’t any research on whether apple cider vinegar can help specifically with ear infections. But there have been studies (on humans) that indicate apple cider vinegar has anti-microbial properties – i.e., its application slows or stops the growth of bacteria. Researchers have found that this may be due to its acetic acid content.
And bacteria or yeast (fungus) is the most common cause of ear infections in cats.
What Is A Cat Ear Infection?
Ear infections are often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in the cat’s outer, middle or inner ears (otitis externa, otitis media and otitis interna). You can suspect an ear infection is bothering your cat if you see:
- Your cat shaking her head or pawing/scratching her ears, face and neck
- Black or yellowish discharge in the ears
- There’s a bad odor coming from the ears
- Hair loss or scabs around the face, ears and neck
- Redness or swelling of the ear flap or ear canal
- Waxy buildup on or near the ear canal
- Your cat doesn’t hear as well
- Your cat tilts her head, loses her balance or is disoriented
However, other things like ear mites or allergies can also cause similar symptoms – so visit the vet to be sure you have the right diagnosis and get the proper treatment.
Should Apple Cider Vinegar Be Part Of The Treatment?
Because of its antimicrobial properties, many home remedy proponents say apple cider vinegar is okay to use to help treat bacterial or fungal ear infections in your cat. This is an external treatment (not ingested). They recommend adding it to homemade ear drops and/or combining it with rubbing alcohol and applying it with a cotton ball to your cat’s ears.
But there are some risks associated with apple cider vinegar that you need to consider:
- Apple cider vinegar is very acidic, and strong concentrations of it can hurt the sensitive skin of your cat’s ear. Consequently, you have to dilute it – and even then, it can still burn tissue or damage your cat’s hair cells and follicles.
- Rubbing the skin while you’re applying it to your cat’s ears can cause additional irritation and damage – possibly leading to a secondary infection, which leads to more scratching and perpetuates the cycle.
- Even those who believe it’s a good solution say you should talk to your vet first and use it sparingly.
Is There A Better Solution?
Yes! Banixx Pet Care spray is an over-the-counter (OTC) solution that’s perfect for helping your cat get rid of an ear infection:
- Its anti-microbial properties create an environment which makes it impossible for bacteria and fungus to survive or grow.
- It can be used in conjunction with any medications or treatments your vet has prescribed.
- It’s non-toxic, so you can use it regularly and frequently with no side effects.
- It is safe for use around the eye (which is important, as few cats sit still when their ears are being handled)
- Unlike apple cider vinegar, it has no smell and doesn’t burn on application, so your cat will tolerate it much more easily.
One additional (and huge) benefit: No matter what the cause of your cat’s ear problem (infection, mites, allergies, etc.), Banixx will help relieve the itch, irritation, wounds and scabs caused by scratching the ear.
Just spray Banixx onto a cotton ball until moist, and gently apply it to the affected ear(s). The inside of the ear must be well moistened with Banixx to work. Massage Banixx gently into your cats’ ear. You should see positive results within 48 hours.
In the meantime, you can learn more about how to keep your pointy-eared buddy happy and healthy through our cat blog or cat page! We hope you found this article helpful and if your cat ever gets any cuts, abrasions, ear infections or ringworm, we hope you keep Banixx Pet Care in mind.