In this article we will help you to find an answer to the question about how to clean a cat’s ears. We will give you a complete guide to cat ear care, step by step, beginning from understanding their ear structure and finishing by the best tips on how to clean a cat’s ears naturally and safely.
Cat ear development
All the cats from birth are deaf, and only after three weeks can young kittens begin to use their ears. From this moment cat’s ears become really sensitive. Cats can hear much better than dogs, and of course, much better than humans.
Cat ear structure
Certainly you don’t want to hurt your favorite cat while cleaning his ears. And you can easily avoid it with our cleaning cat ear anatomy lesson. There are three basic sections in cat’s ear:
- the outer ear,
- the middle ear,
- the inner ear.
There are two parts in the outer ear: the pinna and the ear canal. The pinna is the part we can probably call the “ear”, it is covered with fur. Also the pinna stands up straight when a cat is curious about something. The ear canal is the road to the sensitive protected inner parts.
The middle ear has much more complicated structure. It has more parts. Some of them are quite important, for example there is a tube that brings air from the nose to the ears. There is also an eardrum and three tiny bones that help in hearing.
And the most sensitive parts of cat’s ear are placed in the inner ear. The inner ear is not only responsible for a cat’ ability to hear, but also it is responsible for maintaining his balance. So, when your cat is doing some wonderful acrobatic stunts, this is all due to the perfect work of his inner ear.
Should I clean my cat’s ears
We can definitely answer this question «Yes, you should». But also we must add «only if you can do so safely for your pet».
It is very important to begin cleaning your kitten’s ears from a young age, so she will get used to this procedure. Also you can encourage your cat by providing a post-cleaning treat, so maybe your cat even begin to enjoy the process.
However some cats, especially if they are already an adult and have spent their life on street before being rescued, may be quite nervous about touching, inspecting or cleaning their ears. This is the reason why veterinarians sometimes give sedatives to their fur patient in order to examine and clean their ears.
So if your cat opposes against cleaning his ears, you may need professional veterinarian help to do this, for safety of your cat.
Why do cat ears get dirty sometimes
All cats are very intelligent animals and love to be clean, but sometimes even they can become dirty like other pets. So even if your cat is truly «an indoor one», and never walks outside of your home, he probably still finds mischief to cook up indoors that can result in dirty ears.
What to do before I clean my cat’s ears
Before you begin this procedure of cleaning your cat’s ears, you should perform an outer ear visual exam. Just to be sure if anything looks amiss. For instance, if you notice any abrasion or swelling on the cat’s ear, you’ll have to handle that area with extra gentleness while cleaning session.
Use a small flashlight in order to look down into the ear canal but never put anything inside the cat’s ear, because you may damage the sensitive eardrum membrane.
Also you should smell your cat’s ear before cleaning. The more often you be do this «smell test» the more likely you will notice when your cat’s ears smell no so good and this may be a sign about the presence of infection, injury or other health issues.
What to look for when examining cat’s ears
You should pay attentions if some of this warning signs are present, you may need veterinary care:
- Odd or bad odor coming from the cat’s ear canals.
- Patches of “bald” skin on outer ears.
- Head shaking, excessive yawning, or ear scratching motions.
- Dry, scaly, crumbly or dark-colored debris (that is not dirt) in ears.
- Excessive amounts of earwax, which can suggest about a more serious medical issue such as feline otitis.
- Visible discomfort on your cat’s part when you touch your cat’s ears.
If anything from mentioned below is present then you should take your cat to veterinary as soon as possible.
What can I use to clean my cat’s ears
For the cleaning session of your cat’s ear you’ll need these things:
- Warm distilled or purified water.
- Olive oil.
- Hydrogen peroxide.
- Any liquid solution your veterinarian specifically recommends to clean a cat’s ears.
As well you may use a soft clean rag or clean cotton ball, but be sure never use alcohol, it will sting and irritate the sensitive skin of your cat’s ears.
How to clean cats ears at home
Take your cat to a quiet, enclosed place in your home. Be sure that no other pets (especially dogs) are present. Also you should close all the doors and windows in order to prevent a possible escape. Also check that you have all needed supplies.
It would be good idea to ask some of your friend or maybe a family member to help you holding your cat during this procedure. One of you can hold the cat and the other can do the cleaning.
How to clean cats ears
First of all take a clean cotton ball and get it moist (but not sopping wet) with your preferred cleaning solution. Gently fold back your cat’s outer ear and use the moistened cotton ball in order to wipe out any visible dirt, debris or earwax.
Then use a second clean, moistened cotton ball, do the same with your cat’s other ear.
As you are learning how to clean cat’s ears at home, be sure you never clean further inside the ear than your first finger joint can reach. Also, be sure to never pour any liquid into your cat’s ears.
How to clean kittens ears
Pay attention how a mama cat cleans her babies, so you can perform a similar cleaning procedure. Stroke his fur lengthwise and then begin to clean him with a soft, damp wash towel. Actually this is the similar method to how his mother washed him when he was still nursing.
For kittens you should follow the same instructions for adult cat, but use half of a cotton ball instead of a whole one
Cat ear cleaning schedule
Cat ear cleaning schedule will depends from daily hobbits of your cat. It is obvious that «indoor» lazy cats need ear cleaning procedure less frequently than tomcat who heads out nightly to patrol his yard. But at least once a week you should check your cat’s ears for dirtiness, unpleasant smells and so on, just to be sure that there are no healthy issues with your pet.