Cats are excellent self-groomers. They spend numerous hours licking their fur clean and using their paws to groom the tops of their faces and heads. However, one of the places they cannot groom is their ears. Understanding how to clean your cat’s ears is a vital skill if you require giving a helping hand. Cleaning a cat’s ears at home enables you to identify any health problems your kitty might have, such as ear mites, buildup debris, or infection. Here is a look at how to clean your cat’s ears.
How Do You Know Your Cat’s Ears Require Cleaning?
It is essential to take a regular look at your cat’s ears. If there is redness, ear irritation, ear mites, or a discharge of any type, skip the at-home cleaning and instead take the cat to your vet for a check-up as fast as possible. Ear problems can be painful for cats; leaving it to a professional is always the best. However, if it’s only dirt, excess wax, or debris, you can go on with at-home cleaning for the cat.
What You Need to Clean Cat’s Ears
Before learning how to clean a cat’s ear, you should start by gathering the right supplies. Once you begin the process, you will want to have everything you need within your reach. The things you require include;
Ear cleaning solution
Choosing the correct cleaning solution is essential because using the wrong substance on the cat’s ears could cause balance problems, deafness, or other problems. According to the Animal Medical Center of Chicago, it’s recommendable to talk with your veterinarian before buying an ear cleaner. Astringents such as alcohol, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide can harm the delicate ears of your cat. Therefore, always ask your vet for a suitable recommendation.
You should use gauze to wipe, clean, and dry the inside of your ears. You can find gauze squares at most of the human pharmacies. Alternatively, you can use cotton makeup rounds, cotton balls, or tissue. However, you should not use cotton swabs to clean your cat’s ears as you can damage their eardrums.
Towel or blanket
You can gently wrap your cat in a towel if necessary. However, keep in mind that less is better when restraining it. A towel will also help dry surfaces when your cat shakes the solution out of the ears.
Depending on your cat’s behavior, it might be easier for a second person to hold the cat as you clean the ears.
Although not a must, giving treats throughout the process to reward the cat and help them associate ear cleanings positively.
Steps To Clean Your Cat’s Ears
- 1. Sit comfortably and hold your cat gently in your lap.
- 2. Hold the tip of their ear flap and pull it back gently. If you are alone, fold back the flap with one hand and use the other hand to hold the bottle of ear cleaner.
- 3. Hold the bottle of the ear cleaner close to the cat’s ear. However, avoid putting the bottle tip in the ear. If the container’s tip contacts the cat’s ear, use an alcohol wipe to clean the end before using it to decrease the chances of spreading yeast or bacteria, which are the common infection causes.
- 4. Put some drops of the cleaner in each ear and massage the outside of the ear gently, particularly the base, to ensure the cleaner covers the ear. The cleaner substance will loosen the debris, making it easier to remove.
- 5. When the cleaner drops in the ears, the cat will probably shake their head, splashing onto its fur. However, you don’t have to worry because it will not harm your feline friend.
- 6. Use a cotton pad to wipe the loose debris of dirt and grease from your cat’s ear. Keep in mind to never put other things, including your finger, into your cat’s ear canal.
- 7. Repeat the same process on the other ear to ensure the ears are clean.
- 8. After the procedure, reward the cat with her favorite treat or affection.
For the cleaning process to be smooth, you will want the cat to be in a relaxed state. Therefore, you should push the ear cleaning if your cat feels stressed. Also, avoid using aggressive tools, cotton swabs, or other aggressive tools when cleaning because they might cause severe injuries. Aim at cleaning both ears on the same day because it’s best for the cat if you clean the ears simultaneously, although you shouldn’t push things if your cat is not happy. You can always try to finish the following day.
Benefits Of Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears
Although cats are known to groom themselves often, it is hard for them to groom the insides of their ears. Cleaning your cat’s ears regularly helps them keep clean and decreases the risk of infections and infestation of ear mites. According to MSPCA-Angell, ear infections can be secondary to other health issues; hence you should consult a vet as fast as possible.
How Regular Should You Clean Your Cat’s Ears
It is recommended to Incorporate your cat’s ear check into your weekly routine. If you smell or see anything unusual, contact your veterinarian. Unless you see a clear sign of debris buildup, there is no need to clean your cat’s ears very often. For most cats, cleaning their ears after a few months is fine. The standard debris color is brown. According to RSPCA Pet Insurance, pay attention to redness, foul smells, and sores and consult your veterinarian. Cleaning the cat’s ears regularly will help you understand what is comfortable for your cat or not.
We hope that you now understand how to clean your cat’s ears. While it might take some time for your cat to become used to having their ears cleaned, patience, the right supplies, and tender handling can help clean their ears at home and even save you some time in the cleaning process. However, safety should always come first when caring for your pet. So, if you are uncertain or uncomfortable about cleaning your cat’s ears, contact your vet for a tutorial to build your confidence in caring for your cat.