The Dos and Don’ts of Cat Ear Cleaning


Cats are pretty independent creatures, but you still want to keep your kitty healthy and happy. One way to do this is by checking his ears periodically, just like you would a dog’s ears.

Your cat might not enjoy this process if he doesn’t like getting his ears touched, so make sure he’s comfortable before you get started. You can even reward him with treats afterward to make it easier the next time!

Check out these dos and don’ts of safely cleaning cat ears for some tips on how to clean out your cat’s ears without making him uncomfortable or unhappy about the experience!


DO keep your cat calm

This is very important. Any change in your cat’s routine can be stressful, which will make it difficult to clean its ears. The best thing you can do is leave it alone and let it get comfortable with its surroundings.

When you do begin cleaning its ears, try to keep everything as calm as possible. Try not to move too quickly or talk loudly—this may scare your cat and cause it to struggle.

If you have more than one cat, separate them so they don’t become stressed by each other’s presence. Also, if there are children around, ask them not to pet or play with your cats until after you have finished cleaning their ears.

Bend down to meet your cat at eye level: Once you have started working on your cat’s ears, sit down next to it so that you are both at eye level. Some people find that sitting cross-legged at a table works well for them; others prefer to kneel beside their cat.

Whatever position works best for you, be sure that you can see what you are doing clearly before starting.


Don’t do anything if the ear looks damaged

Your cat’s ears may be irritated for a variety of reasons including infection, ear mites, or allergies. These situations will require additional treatment by your veterinarian, so don’t try to clean your cat’s ears if you believe it is infected or has other health issues.

If your cat’s ears are healthy, proceed with these steps: DO give them plenty of fresh water: It can be difficult to get your cat to drink enough water, but it’s important that they do.

A common cause of ear infections in cats is dehydration. This can also lead to kidney disease in cats. If you suspect that your cat isn’t drinking enough water, consult with your vet on how best to encourage more fluid intake—it could make all the difference!


DO use proper cleaning supplies

Using a veterinarian-approved ear cleaner is an important part of properly cleaning your cat’s ears. If you don’t have one on hand, it can be tempting to just grab a cotton swab, but this could be extremely harmful to your cat.

Be sure to speak with your vet or search online for information about which ear cleaners are best suited for cats before proceeding with any type of treatment.

It’s also worth noting that there are different types of ear cleaners made specifically for dogs; make sure you know what kind you need before purchasing anything. Your local pet store should carry these items, but if not you can always find them online.

Always consult your veterinarian before using any new products on your cat!


DO follow your vet’s instructions

If your vet told you to do something, do it. Your vet has a long-term relationship with your pet and likely knows what’s best for her. But don’t be afraid to ask why—vets are happy to explain when asked.

And if your vet didn’t give you any instructions, ask for them. It never hurts to get an expert opinion from someone who knows more than you about your pet’s care. Just remember that they can only offer advice; ultimately, you’re responsible for making decisions about your cat’s health.

So if you have any doubts or questions, talk to your vet. You may even want to consider keeping a journal so you can track your cat’s behavior over time and consult it whenever necessary.


DON’T clean inside your cat’s ears if you don’t have experience

It’s very easy to injure your cat by poking around in its ears. If you’ve never done it before, ask a veterinarian or vet tech to show you how. Once you know what you’re doing, be sure to have plenty of cotton balls on hand—you’ll go through them quickly.

Also, be sure that whatever products you use are made for cleaning cats’ ears (no Q-tips!). DO clean your cat’s ears regularly: Cats can get ear mites, which cause itching and irritation.

You might notice your kitty shaking his head or scratching at his ears frequently if he has these parasites; if so, make an appointment with a vet as soon as possible.

Your cat should also get annual checkups with his doctor just like humans do; during these visits, she’ll probably clean out his ears herself. When you bring home a new kitten, you may want to take him to see a vet within 24 hours.

He’ll need his first round of shots, and you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any problems with his ears.

In addition, while some people wait until their pets are older before taking them in for regular veterinary care, many vets recommend getting kittens spayed or neutered early on—before six months old—to prevent certain types of cancer from developing later in life.


DON’T wait until it gets bad

People often put off cat ear cleaning because they think it’s no big deal or they don’t want to hurt their kitty. In fact, if you wait until your cat’s ears are dirty, you could be giving them a bacterial infection or fungus.

The best way to keep your cat’s ears clean is regular checkups every month or two with a veterinarian who can give them a proper cleaning. If you notice any redness, discharge, odor, or irritation in your cat’s ears—or if they start shaking their head frequently—take them in for an examination right away.

You should also get professional help when dealing with mites, ear mites, and other parasites that live inside your cat’s ears. If left untreated, these conditions can cause serious health problems like deafness or brain damage.


DON’T put Q-tips into your cat’s ears

More than a third of cats have suffered ear problems that were traced back to improper cleaning. Q-tips can cause damage to your cat’s ears, which may be painful for them. If you use Q-tips for cat ear cleaning, you risk pushing dirt further into their ears.

Instead, use a cotton ball or gauze pad when wiping out their ears. The best time to clean your cat’s ears is after they’ve been through a bath. This allows any excess moisture from bathing to dry before you clean their ears.

To clean their ears, wipe around inside with a cotton ball or gauze pad until it comes out relatively clean. Then pour some warm water into each ear and let it sit for five minutes before draining it out again with a paper towel.

Use a blow dryer on low heat to help evaporate any remaining moisture. You should also keep an eye on your cat’s ears for signs of infection such as inflammation, redness, discharge, or odor.


DO get them checked regularly

We know how much you love your cat, but it’s important to get your cat checked regularly by a veterinarian to make sure their ears are free from infection or irritation. If you see something unusual about your kitty’s ears, don’t hesitate to call your vet.

Remember that it is always safer to be safe than sorry!

The best way to keep your cat’s ears healthy is to follow these tips:

1. Make sure they have regular checkups with a veterinarian

2. Keep them away from harsh chemicals

3. Remove any dirt and debris regularly

4. Make sure they have regular checkups with a veterinarian

5. Keep them away from harsh chemicals

6. Remove any dirt and debris regularly

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