How to Clean Cat Ears? [Tips to Maintain Ear Health]

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One of the most critical steps in cat care is ear cleaning. As such, the question of "how to clean cat ears" is very important. Ear health is essential for a good-natured, comfortable, and peaceful cat. 

Cats build a wonderful bond between their people with their sweetness. Therefore, their happiness is quite important for everyone who shares a home with a cat. Seeing our cat playing in the cat tree, running around the house, meowing sweetly, and sleeping in the cat house makes our lives better. So we should know that there are some prerequisites to give this peace to our cats, and one of them is to take a good care of their health. 

Let's learn together how to clean the ears of cats and what needs to be considered in this process.

 how to clean cat ears

How To Clean Cat Ears?

 Cleaning the ears of your cat must be done regularly to prevent impurities from getting lodged there and to prevent inflammation of the ear canal: otitis. The anatomical particularity of the ear canal of our cats, L-shaped, descending vertically before forming a right angle, favors the accumulation of earwax. Earwax is a mixture of oily sebaceous glands and sweat glands in the external auditory canal. Stagnant ear secretions in the ears promote the development of foul odors. The earwax that accumulates needs to be evacuated to avoid too extended a maceration, promoting inflammation and the growth of bacteria. One of the consequences of this accumulation of earwax is the development of a common disease in cats, the infection of the ear, ie otitis. Cleaning and treating your cat's ears, therefore, promotes good health and reduces developing certain diseases.


What Products To Use To Wash A Cat’s Ears?

 Before you know the answer to the question "how to clean cat ears": to ensure perfect hygiene of your cat's or kitten's ears and promote good health, it is essential to always use cleansing lotions and wipes, the pH of which will be adapted to your cat's skin. The texture will allow deep cleaning and elimination of earwax. The presence of antiseptics in a large number of solutions also prevents the development of bacteria that often cause excruciating ear infections. It is essential to use cleansing lotions with certain particularities in their composition:

how to clean cat ears


The pH of the ear cleaning solutions must be adapted to that of the skin of cats or kittens.

Their particular formulation should be gentle and thus avoid irritation and drying out of the ear canal.

The composition of these cleansing physiological solutions should allow an antifungal, virucidal, and bactericidal action. Many have, in fact, a proven antiseptic action.

Some ear cleaners have the property of dissolving earwax and providing hydration and suppleness to the epidermis of the ear canal in cats.

Cleansing ear lotions are an inseparable complement to medical treatment for otitis externa. 


Step by Step How To Clean Cat Ears 

Before cleaning your cat's ears, ensure your hands are perfectly clean to avoid spreading other germs to them.

 Take make-up remover compresses or discs, or even better, wipes adapted explicitly to this act of hygiene. Please note that we do not recommend using a cotton swab since the risk would be damaging your cat's eardrum with the cotton and pushing all the secretions and other dirt to the bottom of the ear canal.

 Also, prothemde yourself with an ear cleaning solution specifically adapted to the cat's skin and its earwax's particularities.

how to clean cat ears


During Cleaning

Raise the auricle with one hand and with the other take the ear lotion.

Insert the tip of the lotion into the ear canal and run a few drops of product.

Massage the base of the ear to loosen impurities. 

Let your cat shake its head to move dirt and foreign bodies from the base of the ear canal to the pinna.

Finally, wipe the duct entrance and the canopy with a wipe.

And of course, reward your cat with a hug… or with a treat!

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How Often Should I Clean A Cat’s Ears?

A question as important as "how to clean cat ears" is " how often should I clean a cat's ears”. Cats are used to groom themselves throughout their lives. Therefore, cleaning his ears can be done once a week or even every 15 days to eliminate dirt and accumulated earwax. However, regular inspection is recommended. We strongly advise you to clean your cat's ears with a specific cleaning solution from an early age so that he gets used to this care and the handling he imposes. In the case of otitis, the ears should be cleaned every day during each treatment. The veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate treatment depending on the type of to clean cat ears


What Are The Symptoms Of Otitis In Cats? 

The symptoms of a cat with otitis (one of the most common diseases in cats) are as follows: he scratches most of the time and shakes his head. His ear is also red, smells terrible, and is filled with thick, profuse earwax. The skin on the inside of the ear thickens and becomes rough. In suppurative otitis, pus is present in the external auditory canal, and the ear is painful. If there is damage to the middle or inner ear (we then speak of otitis media or otitis interna), the cat has an abnormal posture of the head and presents balance disorders with, in some cases, abnormal eye movements (nystagmus).


How To Treat An Otitis In A Cat? 

In the event of significant inflammation of your cat's ear canal, we advise you to have him consulted as soon as possible by your attending veterinarian to calm the pain and avoid the aggravation of the lesions. Veterinary care will allow a careful ear examination using a special device (otoscope).

 Local products prescribed by the veterinarian usually contain several active ingredients (corticoids, antifungals, antibacterials, antiparasitics). In the event of severe otitis in cats, it is sometimes necessary to combine local treatment with systemic treatment based on antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatories.

Your veterinarian will advise you to clean your cat's ear canal before instilling ointments or treatment solutions, using cleaning lotions or specially adapted wipes. In addition, we advise you to avoid putting drops in your cat's ear without knowing the exact origin of his otitis, as this could aggravate the damage to his ear canal and would therefore be harmful to his health. 

how to clean cat ears


What Is Ear Scabies In Cats? 

Ear mites are caused by the presence of a mite (Otodectes cynotis) in the cat's ear. This parasite lives on the skin's surface and feeds on skin debris. Very contagious, this mange is easily transmitted between dogs and cats but is not transmissible to humans (unlike cutaneous mange).

 Ear galls in cats cause severe pruritus and inflammation of the affected ear, which fills with a characteristic foul-smelling blackish-brown earwax. Examination under a microscope of these secretions makes it possible to visualize the parasites. Without treatment, the parasitic affection can be complicated by a microbial infection (bacterial otitis). When the affected ear is touched, the cat scratches frantically with the paw located on the same side as the ear: this is the characteristic oto-pedal reflex of ear mites. 

Your veterinarian can prescribe specific treatment for your cat in the form of antiparasitic ear ointments. Medical treatment requires prior cleaning of the ear canal through antiseptic cleansing lotions or clear wipes. The treatment will most often be prescribed for 2 to 3 weeks.

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