While it is possible for humans to become infected with ear mites, it is highly unlikely, as most humans are immune to ear mites, according to the ASPCA. Ear mites are eight-legged parasites that feed on the oils and wax present in a cat's or dog's ear. Producing a characteristic black, coffee ground-like discharge, ear mites cause excessive itching, hair loss, inflammation and scabbing around the ears.
Ear mites are highly contagious among cats and dogs and can be spread through direct contact with another animal, according to the Kerrville Veterinary Clinic. Impossible to see with the human eye, the ear mite lives for up to two months, during which time it can reproduce many times. Prescription and over-the-counter ear mite treatments are available to treat the infection safely and promptly. It is important to wash all bedding used by the animal during the treatment to prevent re-infection. Monthly topical preventatives are also available to help prevent re-infection and keep the mite population on a pet low. Because there are many other reasons that cause an animal's ears to itch, including bacterial and yeast infections and ear ticks, it is important to visit a veterinarian to receive an accurate diagnosis to ensure the proper treatment.