Cats have a built in comb and washcloth – their tongues. It cleans and grooms at the same time, leaving them sanitary all over. Well, almost all over. Cats can’t reach their own ears to clean them out with their tongues, so they need a little help from us. A cat’s ears can be a great place for ear mites or other parasites to grow and live. Dirty cat ears can also cause ear infections. Help keep your cat’s ears clean and prevent infections and ear mites with a weekly inspection.
Inspect Your Cat’s Ear
Start with the pinna, which is the large part of the ear itself. Gently fold it back to inspect the inside of your cat’s ears. The area should be pink and healthy, free of any debris or wax. Your cat may not like being inspected, and may run away and hide until she thinks the danger is over. Ease her into this process. Play with her before you inspect her ears to get some of that energy out. When she is no longer interested in playing, she’s likely to be more relaxed, a little tired, and less likely to care about you inspecting her ears. Lie her down on your lap or couch, with your cat facing away from you.
Supplies Needed to Clean Cat’s Ears:
Cotton Balls – Never use cotton swabs as they can easily damage your cat’s fragile eardrums.
Feline Ear Cleaner – You can get this from your vet or a local pet store.
How To Clean Your Cat’s Ears
Saturate a cotton ball with the feline ear cleaner. Dab and gently wipe your cat’s ear clean, starting at the top of the ear. Avoid rubbing it. Do the same with the other ear. Clean down into the ear, but avoid trying to clean the ear canal. This is a very sensitive area and needs to be left to the vet to clean.
Praise your cat while you are cleaning her ears. Offer lots of cuddles and a treat or two when you are finished. This will help your cat equate ear cleaning time with something positive. She will learn that if she lets you inspect and clean her ears, she will get something in return. Plus, she will notice the difference in her ears, and be happier when they are cleaner. Cats are finicky, and do not like being dirty.
If you notice tiny black or brown spots in your cat’s ears that resemble coffee grinds, your cat most likely has ear mites. This will require a trip to the vet to confirm that your cat has ear mites. Your vet will then flush the mites out. Other signs to look out for include your cat shaking her head a lot, scratching and pawing at her ears, swelling and red, yellow or black discharge from the ears. If you see any of these signs, your cat needs to see a vet as soon as possible. There is a chance that your cat could lose her hearing if she has these symptoms and doesn’t see a vet. Since your cat can’t, take care of her ears by inspecting them and cleaning them regularly, keeping watch for any abnormalities that would require a visit to the vet.