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Ear Health

Cleaning Your Cat's Ears

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Should you clean your cat’s ears? Depending on your cat’s grooming habits and environment, the need for ear cleaning may vary. Some cats are better self-groomers than other cats that may require routine cleanings to keep ears healthy and help prevent ear infections. Periodic ear cleaning at home can make it easier to detect ear issues early, allowing for timelier treatment options. 

 

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Your veterinarian can determine whether ear cleaning or other treatment is needed. Timely ear cleaning can help reduce any discomfort your cat may be experiencing.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT EAR CLEANING IN CATS
  • How do I clean my cat’s ears?

    1. Always use a veterinarian-recommended cleansing solution.

    2. Be gentle! Your cat’s ear canals and flaps are sensitive, and overly aggressive cleanings may cause serious damage to the delicate structures of your cat’s inner-ear.

    3. Begin by dribbling a small amount (enough to fill the canal but not overflow) of your ear cleaning solution into the ear.

    4. Massage gently for 5 to 10 seconds at the ear base as the solution drips deep into the ear canal. You will probably hear the solution squish around as you massage, which is normal. This step should not be painful for your cat.

    5. Use a cotton ball to gentle wipe away excess fluid and clean the external ear. DO NOT USE COTTON-TIPPED APPLICATORS.

    6. Repeat the process with your cat’s other ear.

  • How often should I clean my cat’s ears?

    Most cats will need ear cleaning only when there is a noticeable build-up of wax, dirt, or debris inside the ear. Ask your veterinarian how often you should clean your cat’s ears. A proper ear cleanser will be gentle enough to use regularly, or as directed by your veterinarian.

  • Should I clean my cat's ears at home?

    Yes! Regular ear cleaning should be part of your cat's at-home grooming routine. Get step-by-step instructions on how to clean your cat's ears.

  • Why is it important to use a veterinarian-recommended ear cleanser?

    A veterinarian-recommended ear cleanser is one designed specifically for pets. It will be powerful yet gentle enough for routine use, with a neutral pH and a non-irritating formula. A professionally recommended ear cleanser will also keep ears smelling fresh, remove excessive ear wax, and will be able to be used before application of other ear products. Avoid using cleansers that contain significant amounts of alcohol, have an overly acidic or basic pH, or contain hydrogen peroxide as all of these things can irritate your cat's ears, especially if used often.

  • Why should I clean my cat’s ears?

    Although cats tend to be good groomers, it is not easy for them to clean the inside of their ears. This can cause excess wax, dirt, and debris to build up inside the ear, increasing the risk of your cat developing an ear infection. Periodic inspections and ear cleanings may help reduce the chance of ear infections and keep your cat’s ears healthy.