Learn how to detect whether your cat’s ears need cleaning and how to do so with the least amount of stress—for both you and your cat.
Cats spend numerous hours cleaning their fur clean and grooming the tops of their heads and cheeks with their paws (so adorable!). However, one location they are unable to get is within their ears. While some cats’ ears are naturally clean, others’ ears tend to get a touch gunky. If your cat’s ears grow unclean, he or she will want assistance in removing the debris. A veterinary specialist can clean your cat’s ears, or you can learn how to do it yourself.
Is It Necessary to Clean Your Cat’s Ears at Home?
If you’re comfortable and your cat isn’t displaying any indications of something more serious, cleaning your cat’s ears yourself is totally acceptable.
“If you discover muck in your cat’s ear, it’s a good idea to remove it for the cat’s comfort and to prevent illness,” advises Jessica Sewell, LVT, a regional technician and assistant director at VCA Animal Hospitals. “It might be wax, dirt, ear mites, or ear infection discharge.” Indeed, if your cat suffers from allergies or persistent ear infections, your veterinarian may prescribe that you regularly clean your cat’s ears.
However, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that you avoid self-medicating and instead visit a veterinarian if you notice the following signs:
- Your cat’s ears are regularly scratched.
- Your cat is squeezing his temples.
- Ears that are red, swollen, or discharged.
- You notice an excessive amount of wax or an unpleasant odor.
What Is the Best Method for Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears?
You will only need a few products to properly clean your cat’s ears, most notably a feline-specific washing solution. “Cats are extremely sensitive to a variety of items that may look harmless, but are actually deadly and life-threatening,” Sewell explains.
For instance, many individuals keep hydrogen peroxide in their medical cabinets to heal skin abrasions. However, it is extremely irritating to feline skin. Never, ever use it to wipe your cat’s ears. Additionally, avoid using cotton swabs since they are more likely to penetrate too far into your cat’s ear canal, causing pain and harm.
“I recommend contacting your veterinarian to inquire about the best ear cleaning for your cat,” Sewell advises. “Additionally, always consult your veterinarian before attempting to use any natural cure. Your veterinarian will gladly direct you.”
Along with recommendations on an ear-cleaning solution, you may ask your veterinarian for fear-free medicine to assist your kitten remain quiet during the ear cleaning procedure. Another product that aids with this is Feliway, which replicates natural pheromones to help cats cope with stress. It is available in two forms: spray bottle and room diffuser. The final item you’ll need is a large towel to secure your kitty’s paws (and claws) while you wipe his ears.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears
Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary equipment, cleaning your cat’s ears is a straightforward three-step procedure.
1. Get Your Cat Ready
Give your cat fear-free prescription medicine in advance if you have it. Then spritz or diffuse Feliway on the towel you’re using. Wrap the towel around your cat to create a “kitty burrito” with only your cat’s head protruding.
2. Establish a Tranquil Setting
“The best course of action is to enter a tiny room,” Sewell advises. “Reduce loud noises and decrease the lights to the point where you can see but are not blinded by them. Slowly walk and speak gently. It truly helps.”
3. Lather Up With Cleanser
Soak a cotton pad with feline ear cleanser and carefully rub over the inside and outside of the ear. Not to fear; if you’re only using a circular cotton disc, Sewell notes that you won’t be able to go very deep down.
How Often Should Your Cat’s Ears Be Cleaned?
Your cat’s ears should be cleaned on an as-needed basis. Ears that are healthy and clean are pale pink with very little ear wax visible. Check your beloved friend’s ears on a regular basis to see if they require cleaning.
According to Sewell, the most prevalent color of debris is brown. This might be wax or a more severe matter. Ear mites, for example, generate detritus that resembles coffee grounds or potting soil. If you see this, your pet need veterinarian care. Additionally, foul odors, redness, and sores are indications to consult your veterinarian.
Cats have some of the most sensitive ears of any mammal, and they use them to keep an eye on you. Cleaning your cat’s ears, whether infrequently or on a regular basis, is another approach to ensure that your four-legged pet is comfortable.
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