How to Clean Your Cat's Ears

Many cat owners fail to realize the importance of regular ear care for their cat. A cat's ears are very delicate and have a high risk for infections or mite infestations. As a result, it is necessary to inspect your cat's ears on a weekly basis. A regular inspection and cleaning routine helps catch and prevent diseases before they occur. Unfortunately, most cat owners hesitate to take action. They are concerned about hurting or damaging their cat's delicate ears during the cleaning process. Luckily, there are several tips and tricks for good ear care without hurting your cat.

Develop a weekly ear cleaning routine

By inspecting your cat's ears on a consistent basis, he or she will become accustomed to having the ears handled. It is best to start this schedule at a young age, preferably when your cat is eight weeks old.

Hold your cat properly

Your cat must remain still during the ear care process. If you have difficulty controlling your cat, it is recommended that you get some extra help. A second set of hands can facilitate the process. Remember, you should always try to use restraint as little as possible.

Begin by holding the tip of your cat's ear between your forefinger and thumb. Slowly roll it upward until the inner ear becomes visible. He or she will naturally become uncomfortable and may try to run away. A firm hold on the loose skin behind your cat's neck should prevent this from occurring.

Inspect your cat's ears

Look for any redness or discharge coming from the ear canal. Healthy ears should be light pink in color and odorless. Brown wax is completely normal, but any black or red buildup is a reason for concern.

Clean your cat's ears

Hold the bottle of ear cleaning product between your hands for a couple of minutes to warm the solution. This will help make the cleaning more comfortable for your cat. Shake well, then squeeze five to ten drops into the ear canal. Carefully massage the cat's ear. Continue this process for approximately 20 to 25 seconds. Finally, use a cotton ball to remove any extra wax or debris. Remember not to rub too forcefully or probe too deep into the canal.

Reward your cat

A happy cat makes the cleaning process easier for everyone. Reward your cat after each cleaning. Your cat will be less resistant and will associate the task with a positive experience. Furthermore, make sure cleaning occurs at appropriate times. Don't practice ear care after nail clipping or bath times, as these activities can be negatively associated. Cleaning your cat's ears can be a daunting task, but if you follow these tips and tricks, ear care should soon become easier.

Molly's Tip

Excessive scratching around the ears, shaking of the head, and extreme sensitivity near the ear area are all common symptoms of an ear infection.