Most of us in the pet community know that cats love to get into things they shouldn’t. They like to eat plants, steal your socks, sit on your laundry and even sleep in your food! On occasion, a kitty’s favorite place to sleep will not be on your lap or in their own bed. Unfortunately, this can lead to the buildup of wax on their ears. If wax is left untreated it can lead to infection and pain for Fido.
Purchase a cat ear cleaner from your local pet store or make your own cleaner
This is a guide about cleaning your cat’s ears.
- Cats are very clean animals, but they don’t always take care of their own ears. You can help keep your cat’s ears clean by using a cotton swab or cotton ball to wipe the inside and outside of the ear.
- You may have to do this several times a week or even daily if you have an outdoor cat or one that spends time in a kennel.
- Purchase a cat ear cleaner from your local pet store or make your own cleaner. You can buy commercial cleaners at pet supply stores or online pet catalogues.
- Most are made from enzymes (enzymes are chemicals that break down organic matter) and witch hazel. Some contain alcohol, so check the label carefully before buying them for use on small children or pets who are sensitive to alcohol. A homemade cleaner can be made with water, vinegar and rubbing alcohol (isopropyl).
Gently pull your cat’s earflaps up and back to expose the inner part of their ears
- Look inside the ear. You should be able to see a small, dark opening. This is the opening to the ear canal, which leads to the eardrum.
- Gently wipe away any dirt or wax with a cotton ball or soft cloth dipped in warm water. Use gentle pressure so you don’t push anything deeper into the ear canal.
- If there’s a lot of wax in your cat’s ears, you may need to use cotton balls or gauze pads soaked in mineral oil or olive oil to loosen it up before it can be gently wiped away with a damp cloth.
Squeeze a small amount of the cleaner into the visible part of your cat’s ear canal
- If your cat has ear mites, clean the ears with a solution of 1/2 cup of vinegar to 1 quart of water. This can be done once a day for two weeks, but it is not as effective as using an anti-mite medication.
- If your cat has an ear infection, you may need to use an antibiotic ointment. A veterinarian can prescribe this ointment and show you how to apply it properly.
- You can also clean your cat’s ears with a commercial ear cleaner, available from pet stores and veterinarians’ offices. To do so:
- Make sure that you have removed any hair from around your cat’s ears before you begin cleaning them.
- Remove any excess ear wax with a cotton ball or tissue moistened with warm water. Then gently squeeze a small amount of the cleaner into the visible part of your cat’s ear canal. The cleaner will flow down into the deeper portion of the canal along with any dirt or debris that was loosened by the water.
Massage the base of the ear for 30 seconds to one minute
Massaging around the base of the ear helps loosen up any dirt or wax that may be stuck inside of your cat’s ear canal. This will make it easier to remove later on when you apply pressure with cotton swabs or gauze pads under running water during Step 2 below.
Wipe away any excess liquid with a clean cotton ball or piece of gauze
It’s important to clean your cat’s ears on a regular basis. Cats have very sensitive ears and can become quite unhappy if they are not cleaned regularly. Cats that have long hair around their ears may need regular grooming to prevent mats and tangles from forming.
To clean a cat’s ears, follow these steps:
- Gently wipe away excess liquid with a clean cotton ball or piece of gauze.
- If necessary, use a Q-tip dipped in mineral oil to remove any dirt or wax from inside the ear canal. Do not insert the tip too deeply into the ear canal; instead, gently rub it along the outside of the ear canal until all visible dirt is removed.
Gently massage the base of their ear again
- Gently massage the base of their ear again, and then wipe away any debris that comes out with a cotton ball. This will help loosen up any dirt or wax that might have accumulated inside the ear canal.
- You’ll also need some lubricant like mineral oil or petroleum jelly something that will make it easier for you to slide your fingers into the ear canal without hurting your cat too much by pushing on their sensitive skin too hard.
- Slide your finger into the ear canal until you reach the opening at the top and gently massage around there for about 10 seconds or so before pulling back out again (you’ll feel lots of little bumps along this part of the canal). Repeat this process until all the gunk has been removed from inside the canal.
Repeat this process on the other side
- If your cat’s ears are dirty, the process is simple. You can either use a cotton ball or a clean, soft cloth to wipe away the dirt and debris.
- Repeat this process on the other side. If you see any redness or inflammation in your cat’s ears, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible.
- If your cat has ear mites, you’ll need to treat him with an over-the-counter medication.
- Make sure that you follow the dosage instructions carefully and give your cat plenty of water while he’s taking the medicine.
Trying to clean your cat’s ears, only to end up cutting yourself on those pointy little ears, can be very frustrating. With these six easy steps you will be able to effectively clean your cat’s ears with relative ease. The tips we shared above should help you do that. They’re not quick fixes; they’re not magic bullets. But if you put them to work for you, they can help all areas of your workflow run more smoothly. And that’s time (and money) well spent.