Think you need to run to the vet for expensive meds to treat your cat’s ear mites? Think again.
Let’s say your cat comes down with ear mites, a fairly common occurrence. That means you have to visit the veterinarian for some medication to pour in her ears, right?
Actually, no. It’s not hard to create an organic ear mite solution that’ll knock that infection right out. It’s cheap, too, which makes it ideal for the savvy consumer and the green living advocate alike. It’s up to you to figure out how to hold down your cat while you apply it… but then, that’s always a problem.
Here, Kitty Kitty Kitty
Any knowledgeable vet will readily admit that feline ear mites cause about half of all ear infections in cats. What they might not tell you (even if they know) is that the mites will respond to any persistently applied oil-based medication.
So instead of paying for a chemical treatment, consider turning to Mother Nature first. For example, the herb mullein — a.k.a. flannel plant, velvet plant, and Juniper’s Dock — makes an excellent basis for an organic ear mite medication.
I can guess your next question: “But Savvy Consumer, where can I find this rare herb of which you speak?” First of all, while mullein may be poorly known, it’s hardly rare. In fact, if you want to get technical, it’s a weed.
While some people grow mullein deliberately in their gardens due to the lovely flowers, you’re more likely to find it growing in abandoned lots, along the roadside, and beside the railroad track. It’s actually considered invasive, having originated in the Old World.
If you’re uncertain what it looks like, a mature mullein plant is about as tall as you are, featuring a thick stalk with a cluster of leaves from about halfway down to the ground.
Boil and Bubble
Here’s what you do once you have mullein in hand. Start with a bunch of flowers if you can find them and some leaves if you can’t; you may be able to find the flowers in a health food store if not in the wild. Put them in a crock pot, covered with olive oil. Then cook on low for 6-8 hours.
After the mixture has cooled, strain it through cheesecloth and pour the oil into a glass jar, which you can store in your refrigerator for up to a month. To treat the kitty, apply several drops to each ear — after you heat the oil up to body temperature, unless you consider cat scratches a viable form of body art.
Within a week or so, those pesky ear mites should be gone!