What To Do When Your Cat Has Bloody Ears

Posted on: 10 August 2016

Seeing your cat stroll into the room with blood-encrusted ears can be an alarming experience, but the last thing you should do for your furry friend is panic. In many cases, you may be more stressed out about the situation than your cat itself. By acting quickly to get your cat medical attention and understanding the possible causes behind bloody ears, you can prevent an emergency and help treat the underlying condition making your cat so uncomfortable. 

Assessing the Situation

Whenever you notice that your cat is bleeding, you should take a moment to assess the rate of blood flow as well as where the wound seems to be. This can be difficult through a mess of bloody fur, particularly if your cat is distressed. If the ear does not look like it's bleeding actively, place your cat safely in a carrier and prepare to head to your local animal hospital. If, on the other hand, blood is still coming from the wound, it may be better to wrap your pet firmly in a towel to limit its movement and apply gentle pressure to the area before leaving. When possible, another person can hold your cat like this during the drive. 

Heading to the Animal Hospital

Any time your cat is bleeding or otherwise injured, you should make a trip to the local animal hospital your first priority. Besides the injury itself, your cat will later be at risk for infection as the wound heals, and there is often another condition that actually caused the bleeding to begin with. An emergency veterinarian will be able to quickly assess the problem, manage the wound and begin treating whatever triggered it to begin with. 

Checking for Injury

Sometimes, cats simply get hurt. Whether they get into a fight with another cat, make a poorly planned run for the door or have a close encounter with a larger predator, cats have always had a knack for finding trouble. Ears are a frequent area of injury because of their delicacy and prominent position. Thankfully, most of these injuries need a few stitches at the most and will heal up normally with a bout of antibiotics for good measure. 

Clearing up Mite Infestations 

One of the most common causes of bloody ears in cats is self-inflicted injury in response to ear mites. Ear mites are tiny parasites that make their homes deep inside your cat's ears. As they move around and feed, they cause an unbearable itching that can drive your cat crazy if left for too long. You may have noticed your cat scratching and shaking its head recently, two of the most visible signs of an ear mite infestation. The scratching is what eventually opens up veins and causes the bleeding. Once ear mites have been identified in your pet, they are relatively easy to get rid of, allowing your pet to relax in comfort once more.