How to Clean Cats Ears – Detailed Guide

By nature, cats are almost always clean. They do an incredible job of grooming themselves and don’t require our intervention much. Sometimes though, they might need a little bit of help, mainly in terms of the places in their body they can’t reach easily. 

And what part of their body that is harder for them to reach than their ears? So, this is where you come in. You need to know how to clean cat ears because it’s not just not a matter of hygiene, but it also protects your cat from infections or other health problems. It has to be done a certain way, though, since cats aren’t the easiest creature to get a hold of. 

Well, today is as good a time as any to learn how!

What Items Should You Have Ready For Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears?

You don’t have to get special, expensive equipment for cleaning your cat’s ears. As long as you have an ear cleaning solution, which is of high quality, and a gauze or cotton ball to do the actual cleaning, you should be good to go. 

In the case of ear cleaners, you can’t buy one that has alcohol or hydrogen peroxide in it. For cats, it can feel itchy if it is poured inside their ear and reaches the canals. Instead, you should be on the lookout for ear cleaning solutions with antibacterial ingredients. These are specially added to prevent any chance of ear infections. 

There are ear solutions that are better suited to remove wax build-up than others, so you have to find the best one. Your veterinarian might be able to provide a more in-depth insight into which one would suit your pet the most. 

Another thing you shouldn’t do is use Q-tips. There is a high chance you can cause damage to your cat’s eardrum. Q-tips are also more likely to push the debris deeper into the ear canal of your cat rather than getting it out of them. 

What Should You Check For Cleaning When Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears?

First and foremost, it is essential to see whether your cat has an ear infection before you start cleaning it. How do you know if it’s an ear infection? There could be bald patches around the ears. The odor coming from the area could also be particularly foul. 

You will also notice your cat tends to shake their head a lot, or maybe they have this habit of scratching their ears. These are all signs of irritation caused due to the infection. You might also see dark substance around the ears of your cat. If the ear wax is overwhelming in amount, then that is another sign. Another sign would be particularly sensitive ears. If you touch your cat ears and they seem disturbed by it, an ear infection could be the cause. 

In the case of an ear infection, you should immediately call the veterinarian, as this isn’t something you are equipped to deal with. 

Should A Cat’s Ear Be Cleaned Often? How Often?

Make it a point to check the inside of your cat’s ears as often as you can. You should be particularly cautious about them getting any kind of infection. At least once a week, you should try to see if your cat suffers from any problems with their ears. 

Cleaning your cat’s ears is dependent on the habits of your cat. If you have a cat that isn’t particularly inclined towards leaving the house, they might need to have their ears cleaned quite rarely. If it’s an active cat that tends to roll around in the dirt a lot, ear cleaning must be more regularly scheduled. 

In general, once a week, you should at least check whether there is a wax build-up. This will get your cat used to the idea of having their ears touched. Otherwise, they might feel nervous at the sudden task, which would make the actual cleaning task more difficult than it should be. 

How To Clean Cat Ears?

The perfect time for cleaning your cat’s ears is when they have their guard down. Maybe they are taking a little nap or have just been groomed, so they are in a more relaxed state of mind. If both of you are in a good mood, the process will be much smoother. 

First, get into a comfortable position yourself. Get your cat nestled in your lap. Then, if possible, wrap a towel around them, as this will help them relax further. 

Gently pull back the very tip of their ear flap. This will help you get a good look at their ear canal to see what is inside. It will also widen the ear canal to get you better access. 

Keeping a hold on your cat’s ear flap, get the ear cleaning solution out on your other hand. Now, squeeze some of the liquid into your cat’s ear. Ensure that the entire canal of your cat’s ear is filled with the solution. It is better for the solution to almost spill from the canal rather than using less of it. 

While dropping the solution, make sure to keep a considerable distance between your cat’s ear and the cleaning bottle. The tip shouldn’t touch your cat’s ear. If it does, you have to immediately wipe the tip with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. This will prevent any bacterial action.  

Then, as you continue to keep a hold on the ear flap, start massaging the base of your cat’s ear. You should do this exactly where the opening of your cat’s ear canal is. Do this for about 30 seconds at the least. This gentle massage will let the cleaning solution work better and help break the debris. A plop-like-sound is guaranteed as the cleaning solution starts moving inside the ear.

Now, using a cotton ball, start removing the softer debris from your cat’s ear. All this while, you should never lose your hold on the ear flap. Remove the cleaning solution with the cotton ball. You should only go as far as your hands will allow into the ear canal. The moment you face resistance, you should let it be and focus on cleaning the area you can reach. 

Then, once you are done, you can move on to the other ear. Again, the same process has to be repeated. 

How To Take Care Of Your Cat In Between The Cleaning? 

Well, you have already cleaned one of your cat’s ears. Now would be the perfect time to provide them with a little treat. This will make them much more pliant and happy to have their ears cleaned. They will also be less put upon having their ear handled like this. 

Then, you can clean your cat’s other ear. Once you do this, you should provide them treats again to signal them for a job well done. This first time experience cleaning your cat’s ears will also prepare them for the second time. Your cat will know that after you are done fiddling with their ears, you will provide them with treats for their troubles, and that’s something they would look forward to. 

Final Thoughts

If you are trying to clean your cat’s ears and they seem to get distressed more and more with each attempt, it might be time to back off. Trying to clean their ears forcefully could cause damage to their ear canal. Instead, take them to a vet, who is much more equipped in dealing with nervous cats. 

Your cat could also be agitated due to an infection. In this case, it really is for the best that a vet deals with the situation. 

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