Cats love to groom themselves. Cat owners usually don't have to worry about that aspect of their pet cats. But not all pet cats are diligent in grooming their ears, requiring their owner to step in and do it for them. Knowing how to take care of your cat's ears is an essential part of caretaking as a cat owner.
Some cat owners find it difficult to clean their cat's ears, instead of relying on professional groomers or a veterinarian to do it. But what if we tell you that you can expertly clean your cat's ears right at your home? With just the right home remedies and a little bit of patience, you don't have to rely on anyone to take care of your cat's ears! Also, read Cat abscess treatment at home or How to clip cat's nails at home or Tips to stimulate hair growth in cat or How to Take care of your Cat's Teeth
- Why are cleaning cat's ears so important?
Not all cats can efficiently groom themselves. If your cat is one of them then you have to keep a check on their ears regularly. Just like human ears, if they are not cleaned regularly they can catch an infection. Regularly cleaning cat ears also helps you detect any ear problems early on, allowing you to get your cat treated for it at the earliest.
- Cats can get ear infections?
Cat ears while able to hear way more than any normal human ears are as vulnerable to ear infections. And it's not just the threat of ear infections that should worry you. Cats can also get a variety of other ear issues that can warrant immediate attention from a veterinarian.
- Ear mites are a common ear problem found in cats. They are tiny parasites that can be found in and around your cat's ears. If your cat likes to be around other cats, it's possible they got it from them as these parasites are easily transferred among cats. Dark brownish discharge from your cat's ears is a prominent symptom of your cat having ear mites. Take your cat to a veterinarian immediately for a checkup if you see it.
- Ear infections are another common ear problem your cat can get, especially if you don't keep their ears clean. It is caused due to bacteria or yeast in your cat's ears. Symptoms of an ear infection include (1) swelling of your cat's ear; (2) any kind of discharge; (3) bad smell coming from your cat's ears. If you catch any of these
Symptoms in your cat, immediately take them to a veterinarian.
- Ear polyps are not commonly found in cats and are relatively rare. But it's still something you should be cautious about. They can be caused due to an ear infection that has gone untreated. Keeping your cats clean in the first place will go a long way in avoiding both ear polyps and ear infections.
- Things you need at home
Now that you know how important it is to keep your cats clean, you must be wondering how to clean them. Before we get to that, you must first have the necessary things needed for cleaning your cat's ears at home. Don't worry, they aren't anything very expensive and should be readily available at your home or nearby veterinarian.
- There is a specific ear cleaner liquid for cats that is available at a veterinarian. Or you can use olive oil as well. But we recommend using the former product for more effectiveness.
- A dropper that you can use to apply the cleaning solution to your cat's ears.
- Soft cotton balls to wipe away the moisture and for cleaning the outer regions of your cat's ears.
- You should also have treats in your hand's reach to keep your cat calm while you're cleaning your cat's ears and to reward your cat after you're done with the cleaning.
- Let's begin cleaning your cat's ears.
With your ear-cleaning items ready, you're now prepared to clean your cat's ears. But you cannot straight away go for the inside of your cat's ears. You need to first start from the outside and eventually make your way to the inner region of your cat's ears.
- Clean away the outside regions of your cat's ears. Make sure to smoothen the fur around your cat's ear canal and ear flap. If the cat hair is matted in this region you have to make sure to undo it as this can block the way of debris and wax from your cat's ears.
- If you find too much hair inside your cat's ear canal then they have to be removed very carefully. We recommend taking your cat to a groomer or a veterinarian for this as this task requires professional attention for the safety of your cat's ears.
- Cleaning your cat's ears.
After cleaning the external regions of your cat's ears, you're finally ready to pay attention to your cat's inner ear canal. It requires no poking around with an earbud inside your cat's ears as you might imagine. Instead, it is a fairly simple cleaning ritual that should take just ten minutes at the maximum.
- Warm your cleaning solution for cats to an appropriate temperature that is comfortable for your pet cat.
- Take your cat and place them in your lap. Make sure they are coddled up in a towel to keep them in place and also to keep them comfortable.
- Take your dropper and use it to apply a few drops of your warm cleaning solution into the opening of your cat's ears. The opening is round in shape and underneath their ear flaps.
- After you have dropped the cleaning solution in your cat's ear canals, make sure to massage the base of your cat's ears for a minute or two. This will work around the cleaning liquid inside your cat's ears, making it easy to get all the debris and ear lodged inside your cat's ears out.
- Repeat the above two steps to your cat's other ear. Or alternatively, for more efficiency, you can apply the cleaning solution to both the ears and then give your pet cat a double ear massage.
- Now leave your cat alone for a while. If you notice that your cat is shaking their head around a lot, do not panic. This is normal and also beneficial to get the debris and ear wax outside the ear canal to the external surface of the ear.
- After around five minutes take your cotton ball and thoroughly wipe away the cleaning solution and all the dirt and debris from your cat's outer ear.
- Don't forget to give your cat a treat as a reward for being a good kitty!
- Be alert while cleaning the cat's ears!
When you clean your cat's ears you also get the opportunity to take a close look at them. Use this chance to assess the state of your cat's ears and to catch any suspicious symptoms that can indicate a serious ear problem.
- Look for any sort of ear discharge. This can include (1) blood; (2) pus; (3)other liquid like the brownish fluid from the ear mites.
- Check if you smell any bad odor from your cat's ears.
- Look for any redness and swelling in your cat's ears.
- Make sure to feel around your cat's ears for any excess mass like ear polyps. ● You should also observe your cat's behavior. If your cat is scratching or pawing at their ears repeatedly, it might be something to do with their ears.
Cleaning your cat's ears regularly can save your precious pet from future problems and prevent visits to a veterinarian. Learning how to clean your cat's ears at home will also save your expensive bills of a groomer and also bring you close to your pet cat. But don't feel disheartened if your first few attempts are not successful. Like all things with a pet cat, cleaning their ears requires both practice and patience. If your cat makes a fuss the first time, you can always try the next time. Eventually, your pet cat will become comfortable with you and come to you by themselves if they feel like they need to get their ears cleaned!