Tips for Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears
11 February, 2014

As with kids, it important to take a look inside your cat’s ears on a weekly basis to make sure their ears are clean.  While cats are great at grooming themselves, they are unable to get inside those pointy ears and clean them.  It’s important to keep the ear canals open and it can help with fighting some of the more common ear problems and/or infections.  And, not to worry, most cats barely notice it or are, at the very least, tolerant of cleaning their ears.

Some of the more common problems infecting cat ears include:

  • Ear mites
  • Bacterial infections
  • Yeast infections
  • Allergies
  • Fungal infections on the ear tips

While most cats actually tolerate routine cleanings very well, below are a few tips that will work on most cats.

  1. First and foremost, make regular ear cleaning part of your routine. If you inspect and clean your cat’s ears on a weekly basis from the time she is ten weeks old, it will become a routine part of life and she won’t fight you when you start handling her ears.
  2. Make it a positive experience. This sounds simple but it’s the step that most people forget. Use treats during and after the cleaning to keep the experience positive.  Make sure to have a happy voice and let your kitty know that this is fun and easy!
  3. Try to clean your kitty’s ears when your cat is in a good mood. At home, make sure to do the cleaning when your cat is in a good place, not after a bath or associated with other dreaded treatments such as nail clipping.
  4. When cleaning your kitty’s ears, get some help if your cat is hard to handle.  Cats don’t like to be held down, so try to do it quickly and painlessly… and again, pet her and assure your kitty that all is OK.

Remember to clean my ears!

  1. Hold the tip of your cat’s ear between your thumb and forefinger and gently roll it up so you can see the inner ear. If your cat tries to scoot away, you can gently grab the loose skin on the back of his or her neck.
  2. Look inside your cat’s ears for redness or discharge. Light brown wax is O.K., but black, red, or infected-looking colors (e.g. yellow or green pus) can indicate a problem. Gently wipe the inside of the ear with the tip of a q-tip or a moistened Kleenex.
  3. If your cat’s ear contains a lot of wax or debris you should squirt five to ten drops of an ear cleaner into the ear.  You can usually get a recommendation of a good ear cleaner from your Veterinarian or local pet store.
  4. If your kitty’s ears seems sensitive or infected or if your cat is shaking its head or scratching at the ear, have her examined by a veterinarian.

When it comes to ear problems, if you follow the above steps to clean your cat’s ears, it will be beneficial to you and your cat in the long run.  And, again, if you notice anything unusual while cleaning, call your veterinarian and make an appointment.

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