Cats are known for their fastidious grooming habits, and their ears are no exception. However, as a cat owner, it’s important to understand when and how you are supposed to properly clean your cat’s ears. While cats are generally able to keep their ears clean on their own, certain circumstances may require a little extra care and attention.
Are you supposed to Clean your Cat Ears?
In most cases, cats do not need to have their ears cleaned unless there is an excessive build-up of wax or debris. Manual intervention should only be done when necessary (if your cat is not doing a good enough job). For reference, your cat’s ears should be clean, pink, and fleshy normally.
So the answer is no. You are not “normally” supposed to clean your cat’s ears.
It is important to note, however, that there are possible medical conditions and hereditary issues which can lead to an increased rate of ear wax production. In such cases, it would be recommended to regularly clean your cat’s ears.
Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears
If necessary, here is the recommended way of cleaning your cat’s ears.
First, try and make sure your cat is feeling relaxed and is in a comfortable and familiar environment. Try picking a time after a playing session or grooming session (when they feel most relaxed).
Your cat’s ears can be cleaned in many ways. You can either use ear drops or cotton balls (soaked in a cleaning solution). Never use cotton swabs or any other objects that could potentially damage the ear canal. Fold back the outer ear, and begin cleaning.
If you are using cotton balls or something similar, do not rub too hard, instead try gently dabbing (patting) within the ear.
Clean only the visible parts of the ear, as attempting to clean too deep into the ear can cause injury. Also, make sure to dry your cat’s ears out afterward to avoid any complications.
Frequency of Cleaning
The frequency of cleaning your cat’s ears depends on the individual cat and its specific needs. Some cats may only need their ears cleaned occasionally, while others may need more frequent cleanings. This is generally due to hereditary conditions or other medical issues which can lead to a build-up of ear wax.
In general, it’s a good idea to check your cat’s ears regularly. This also helps you identify early on, any other possible issues your cat might be suffering from.
Ear Problems in Cats
If you notice that your cat’s ears are dirty, or smelly, or if they are scratching their ears excessively, it may be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Unfortunately, there is a whole list of possible medical issues behind ear discharges in cats, which we have covered in a separate article.
If you suspect that your cat is suffering from some sort of medical issue, head to the Veterinarian asap. They will be able to examine your cat’s ears and recommend the appropriate course of action, whether it’s cleaning, medication, or other treatment.
Common symptoms of such issues include:
- Dark or brown waxy buildup in the ears
- Odor coming from the ears
- Itching or scratching at the ears
- Head shaking or tilting
- Redness or swelling in the ears
- Discharge or bleeding from the ears
- Loss of balance or hearing
Hopefully, this article helps you understand whether or not you are supposed to clean your cat’s ears. For more information on cat grooming tips be sure to check out Cat Care.