Cats are great at cleaning their ears, however on occasion they may need a little helping hand. While cleaning your cat’s ears might be an infrequent occurrence, inspecting their ears should be done on a weekly basis.
This will help you identify problems early on such as: - Ear mites, flea and tick infestations - Bacterial, fungal or yeast infections
Choose the right time We all know that cats can be a little moody at times, so choosing the right time is important for you and your cat. Start the inspection when they are relaxed, sleepy or looking for attention, cleaning a playful or energetic cat’s ears will be very tricky. Use treats to reinforce the inspection as a positive experience.
Get prepared and have all the necessary equipment ready such as ear cleaner, cotton wool balls or ear wipes and lukewarm water. Place your cat on your lap, or other suitable surfaces. If you have a feisty cat who does not like their ears cleaned, then you may wish to have a helping hand and use a towel hold your cat in position.
Examine Holding the tip of the ear between your forefinger and thumb, gently fold back their ear so that you can see the inner part of the ear. Check for discharge and redness. Your cat’s ear should be light pink and you may notice your cat has some light brown wax which is perfectly normal. Redness, black or red discharge or green / yellow pus suggests your cat has an ear infection or mite infestation. If this is the case, then you should seek veterinarian advice to confirm the diagnosis and treatment.
Clean Gently clean the inside of your cat’s ear using ear wipes or a damp cotton wool ball. Our preference is to use wipes over cotton wall balls as this minimises the risk of dropping any cotton down your cat’s ear. Avoid using cotton earbuds unless instructed by your vet.
If your cat has a waxy build-up, use ear cleaner and gently massage the base of your cat’s ear to help the medication reach the lower parts of their ears. Finally, use a cotton wool ball to wipe your cat’s ear clean of any excess ear cleaner.
Be Careful Your cat’s ears are very fragile, always read and follow the instructions on ear cleaners or medication. Inappropriate use of ear cleaners can permanently damage your cats hearing. Furthermore, you should avoid leaning the ear canal and probing inside your cat’s ear as this can cause infection and damage to the ears.