How To Clean Cats Ears? – A Guide To Cleaning Your Cats Ears

Russell Cargill

Sure a Veterinarian knows how to clean cats ears but, what if you wanted to do it at home yourself? Is it safe for you to clean your cat’s ears and how do you do it? 

While cats keep an impeccable cleaning routine there are times where they could do with a helping hand. At times some cats can develop ear problems and it’s up to us to help them out.

In this article, I’ll run you through how to clean cats ears safely and tell you how to perform routine checks to maintain your cat’s health.

How Do You Clean A Cat’s Ears?

Below are the steps you need to clean your cat’s ears. Ear cleaning will take about 10 – 12 minutes, depending on how well behaved your cat is.

  • Warm some ear cleaning solution to body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • You may need some cotton swabs close by. to use with the ear cleaning solution.
  • Cleaning your cat can be a little tricky so take your time. Bring them up onto a table.
  • Start by gently pulling back the ear flap, then use a drop or two of the cleaner into the cat’s ear around the opening of the ear canal.
  • Gently massage their ear flap and the base of the ear for at least a minute. This will let the liquid work its way into the cat’s ear.
  • Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the other ear, don’t forget to massage the ear flap letting the liquid soak into the canal.
  • Expect them do shake their head a lot, this will help get rid of any debris or dirt deep within the ear canal. Leave them be for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, use clean cotton balls or swabs to wipe away dirt from the ear.
  • You may need to give them their favorite treat for being so good.

How Does A Cat Get Ear Mites?

Ear mites in cats come from their environment or another animal. Outdoor cats are far more likely to get ear mites or ear infections.

Ear mites are spread through direct contact and easily passed on from animal to animal.

If you didn’t already know most flea treatments also help prevent and treat ear mites, if your vet gives you this recommendation it’s by far the easiest. Just one or two applications is usually enough for treatment.

How To Clean Cat’s Ears – Tips

Here are some extra tips on how to clean cats ears.

  • Having a second person to hold your cat in place is always a good idea.
  • Never use a Q-tip in the ear canal. Just like humans shouldn’t as it can damage their ear canal and cause more problems.
  • If you know your kitty doesn’t like to be held, before you begin to clean their ears it’s a good idea to wrap them in a towel to hold your cat place.
  • Watch those head shakes. Their head shaking can cause some of the liquid to get into your mouth or eyes if you are close enough.

What to Look for During Cleaning

When cleaning your cat’s ears keep an eye out for any of the following signs:

  • Ear discharge
  • Odor
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Sensitive to touch spots

The above can be a sign that something is not quite right and you should look into it further or visit your vet.

A great way to help your cat stay on top of their hygiene is that any time you find yourself grooming them, give them a once over checking for anything out of the ordinary.

Over time you’ll get to know your cat’s body language and get a sense of when something is not quite right.

How Often Should You Clean a Cat’s Ear?

Hopefully not that often, as they generally maintain good hygiene. It really varies between individuals.

If your cat is healthy and showing no signs of infections all that’s required is that you monitor and evaluate their ears once a month.

You should be looking for any signs of infection or abnormalities such as cuts or what looks like coffee grains in their ears.

If you spot anything abnormal, consult with your vet right away and they will give you the best course of action. Otherwise, a routine check-up is all that’s typically required.

Why Should You Clean A Cat’s Ear?

If for some reason your cat is prone to dirty ears or dirty habits and environments you may need to clean your cat’s ears regularly.

If you have a couple of cats, you might notice they often groom each others ears. Have you ever wondered why do cats groom each other?

Most of them will have the grooming skills required to take care of this themselves, while some breeds and cats aren’t so skilled and will need our help. Stay on top of cleaning as this will prevent any infections from setting in.

Looking for the best cat brush for grooming? Read the article linked here.

What Is The Black Stuff In My Cat’s Ears?

That coffee looking stuff in their ear is caused by ear mites. Ear mites stimulate the wax producing glands inside the ear canal and cause this side effect.

It’s a discharge made of wax, blood, mites and, dirt. Gross, I know.

Other symptoms are:

  • Frequent scratching and head shaking
  • Bleeding
  • Sore to touch ears

How Do You Tell If Your Cat Has Ear Mites Or Just Dirty Ears?

You’ll need to take a close look inside their ear and ear canal, if you see what looks like coffee grinds then you can suspect ear mites.

Can you guess how many bones a cat has? Find out more information on the amazing cats skeleton in this article.

Check to see if there are any tiny white dots that are moving if so, those are also ear mites. Sometimes they’re so small that you’ll need to remove some of the debris to take a closer look with a magnifying glass.

Ear mites can spread to other areas other than the ear so, if you notice your cat scratching a spot excessively your cat may have mites.

Can I Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean My Cat’s Ears?

It’s best to use ear cleaning solutions when cleaning your cat’s ears. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide, alcohol or vinegar when cleaning their ears. Any ear issues or ear infections should be treated carefully and if you are unsure on what to do, always consult with your vet.

Conclusion On How To Clean A Cats Ears

Now you know how to clean cats ears, the real challenge is getting them to sit still for long enough, right?

You can wait until they have eaten their dinner for the day and are at their most relaxed. I know some cats can get quite frustrated if you go poking inside their ear.

So, if you are finding this too difficult to do yourself, I suggest a visit to your local vet. Your vet will determine if your cat has ear mites, offer any suggestions on how to fix and of course, clean them for you.

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