How To Properly Clean Your Pets Ears At Home
Aug 25, 2021 | Pet Health
As a responsible pet owner, your dog or cats hygiene is important to you. Its also important to them. One area often overlooked when grooming and bathing at home are the ears. While cats largely take care of their own grooming, they do need help to properly clean their ear canals. Dogs needs are greater still, especially if they have ear flaps that flop down over the opening to their ear canal. Breeds like Weimaraners, Beagles and Bassett Hounds are examples of long-eared dogs needing special attention. Without cleaning, pets ears can become itchy and infected.
While many veterinarian offices and groomers can clean your pets ears, its really quite simple to do yourself at home. With a few simple supplies, and the right cleaning solution, youll be ready to take the task on yourself!
If possible, start young by cleaning your puppy or kittens ears which will make it much easier to clean them when your pet becomes an adult. Getting them used to regular cleaning will make the process easier for both you and them.
Tips For How To Clean A Cats Ears
Even if you think your cat needs an ear cleaning, your feline friend may have a different opinion. Here are a few tips to help you through the process:
- Have a second person your hold your cat while cleaning her ears to keep her from moving.
- Never use a Q-tip in the ear canal, as Cottrell says it can damage the eardrum and push debris further inside the ear. Instead, use a Q-tip to only clean visible earflap folds.
- Before you begin the cleaning process, it can be helpful to wrap the cat in a towel to keep them still, Cottrell said.
- Remember how your cat will shake its head to get out that excess liquid? Cottrell has one last, important tip: Be sure and close your eyes and mouth before letting your cat shake its head!
What To Do Before I Clean My Cats Ears
Before you begin cleaning your cats ears, you should always perform an outer ear visual exam. The reason for this is just to see if anything looks amiss.
For instance, if you examine your cats ears and you notice any abrasion or swelling, you will want to handle that area with extra gentleness and care during the cleaning session.
You can use a small flashlight to look down into the ear canal, but never put any object into your cats ears or you risk damaging the sensitive eardrum membrane and inner workings.
Also be sure to smell your cats ears before you clean them! It will help you figure out when its time to set up your cat ear cleaner station!
The more frequently you get in the habit of doing a smell test, the more likely you will be to quickly notice when your cats ears smell off. This can signal the presence of infection, injury or other health issues.
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How Do You Know If Your Cats Ears Need Cleaning
Take a look at your cats ears. If there is ear irritation, redness, ear mites, or discharge of any sort, skip the at-home cleaning and take your cat to the veterinarian instead. Ear issues can be painful for cats, so leaving this to an expert is always best. If its just some excess wax, dirt, or debris, talk to your vet and see if they recommend at-home ear cleaning for your cat.
Cleaning Your Cats Ears At Home
Continue to administer medication at home as directed. Remember to never stick anything into your cats ear canal, such as a cotton swab, because this could push debris deeper or even rupture the eardrum.
Instead, simply administer the eardrops, rub at the base of the ear with your thumb, and gently wipe any excess moisture from the outer ear with a cotton ball. These steps should relieve itching and irritation and restore your kitty to a happy, healthy state.
Does your cat need medication for an ear infection? Contact our cat experts at Germantown Vet to schedule an appointment.
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What Is Needed To Clean Cats Ear
To clean your cats ear you are not needed to use any special tool or equipment. You just need the following things to clean your cats ear at home:
- Cotton balls
- A wonderful treat to reward after cleaning its ears properly.
Note* Please do not use Q tips, as it contains higher risks of perforating the eardrum, it can also break the ear canal. It can also push the debris further into the canal.
Is It Necessary To Clean My Cats Ears
First and foremost, you probably want to know if its even necessary to clean a felines ears. After all, they are self-bathers, as mentioned above, and wild cats managed to survive and evolve for thousands of years without our help, right? While each of those statements may be true, it is still necessary to lend your pet a helping hand every once in a while. That said, you should only clean them if you feel comfortable doing so.
If your pet is just a kitten, you can likely begin cleaning her ears now without a problem. If you make it a point to do so once a month or even more frequently, she will become used to it and sit nicely for you until you are done. However, if you adopt an adult cat, it may be more difficult for you to get in there. Adult cats who have never had their ears cleaned are generally skittish of anything coming near them. It would do them more harm than good if you were to try to wrestle a cotton swab in their ear than if you were to just leave them be. If you suspect that your cats ears need a good inspecting and cleaning, take her to your local feline vet, where she can be sedated and properly taken care of.
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S For Cat Ear Cleaning
There are a variety of cat ear cleaning methods, I recommend this one because its less time consuming and more feline-friendly:
Heavily moisten a cotton ball with the ear cleaner.
Apply the cotton ball to the base of the ear and fold the ear flap over onto the cotton ball.
Massage the base of the ear , and then allow your cat to shake his head.
Yellow Dock Root Extract
After shampooing your cat, you can follow up with a yellow dock root extract rinse for good measure. This will further prevent ear mites from reproducing because you will take away any environment they have to thrive.
Likewise, dilute about nine drops of the root extract with a tablespoon of water. Ensure that its at least room temperature and administer half a dropper of the solution into your cats ears before cleaning them with the other methods.
This will eliminate the risk of new mite hatchlings trying to grow.
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How To Clean Your Cat’s Ears
Last Updated: April 8, 2021Approved
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 22 testimonials and 91% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 373,585 times.
Most cats do a great job of keeping their own ears clean. Their grooming habits are so meticulous that they will even clean behind and in the inner flap of the ears. However, cats will sometimes need help cleaning their ears. It’s also a good idea to frequently check your cat’s ears to look for problems lurking inside the ears that could become more serious.
How To Clean A Cats Ears A Quick Guide
A cats dirty ear should be cleaned thoroughly by the vet doctor with a topical ear cleansing solution.
If you could not take the cat to the veterinary hospital more often, then you can clean your cats ears at home too. Veterinarians can guide you well about the cleaning methods and the products to be used for the same.
In general, cats do not need your help in cleaning them. As you must have observed, they keep themselves very tidy by self-grooming frequently. But those cats who have suffered from an ear health problem like blood blisters, mites or infection, need to be checked and cleaned regularly.
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Home Remedies For Ear Mites In Cats
Ear mites are one of the most common issues many cat owners have to deal with and, most of the time, one of the easiest to get rid of depending on how early you discover and treat them. If youve found these inside your cat, we have several recommended home remedies for ear mites in cats.
How Often Should You Clean A Cats Ears
Though it might be counter-intuitive, theres a chance your cat will never need an ear cleaning, though it definitely varies from cat to cat.
Owners of cats with healthy ears can evaluate the ears once a month for debris and odor, Cottrell said. If any abnormalities are noted, a thorough evaluation by a veterinarian is warranted. Additionally, theres a chance your cat will need an ear cleaning more often if theyve experienced ear inflammation, and Cottrell recommends a weekly cleaning after the inflammation is treated.
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How Often Should A Cats Ears Be Cleaned
Not every cat will need an ear-cleaning regularly. Some may never require it in their lifetime. Many on the other hand will require regular or routine cleaning if they seem prone to ear inflammation.
Your cats lifestyle and activity level can also be a deciding factor. If you have an outdoor-loving cat, he may need more ear-cleaning than an indoor cat.
So, while once every few months will be enough for most cats, some will need more frequent cleaning. You can aim for a weekly or fortnightly cleaning if you feel your cat could use it.
Ever tried cleaning your cats ears? How did it go and have any of your own tips on how to clean a kitten’s ears? Share in the comment section below. Thoughts/questions? Also, share in the comments.
Can I Use Olive Oil To Clean My Cat’s Ears
If your pet’s ears are red, have an unpleasant odor, or if he is scratching or shaking his head, you should take him to the veterinarian. Various oils, such as olive oil, mineral oil, and coconut oil, are fairly safe to use, and olive oil has been shown to kill ear mites by covering them, although the treatment takes several weeks to work.
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How To Clean A Cats Ears In 10 Simple Steps
Inspecting Your Cat’s Ears
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Fast Facts About Cats Ears:
- There are hundreds of ear cleaning and ear mite products for your cat. Most are available through your pet store or on the Web. Ask your vet to recommend a solution so that you are confident youre purchasing the most effective product.
- Dogs are more prone to ear infections than cats
- Persian cats are more prone to ear infections than other cat breed
- The external canal is where most infections occur in a cat
- Chronic ear infections are extremely serious and can close a cats ear canal. If this happens it will probably require surgery.
Why And When To Clean Your Cats Ears
The insides of a cats ears can be a breeding ground for infections. While some lucky cats have clean ears that need no attention, others seem to be prone to collecting dirt and wax. Thats especially true if your cat has a history of ear irritations or infections. If thats the case, you may have to clean your cats ears regularly. This article from PetMD details why, as well as how to approach cleaning. Fortunately, cleaning your cats ears is not difficult, especially if they are already accustomed to being groomed.
Note that If your cats ears are inflamed, bleeding, or have a bad smell or discharge, youll want to visit the vet promptly to find out whats wrong. Depending on the cause and the extent of your cats ear condition, your vet will probably recommend one or more of these four types of treatment:
Youll find a few cat ear cleaners that combine both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial medications.
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Tips For Preventing Problems When You Clean Your Kittens Ears
- Before cleaning your cats ears, you want to ensure that he is as relaxed as possible. Do not force the cleaning especially if your cat seems uncomfortable or stressed.
- Do not also use Q-Tips/cotton buds or any other invasive or aggressive tool in your cats ears. These can be painful and also cause severe damage.
- You may need to enlist the help of a second person while cleaning your cats ears. They can help you hold your cat to keep him from moving as you clean.
- If youre cleaning your cats ears alone, gently but firmly secure him on your laps to prevent injuries or discomfort if he moves. Wrapping him in a towel can also help to keep him secured and prevent any harm.
- Unless your cat seems too stressed, you should try to clean both ears on the same day. Leaving the job half-done is not only inconveniencing for you or anyone assisting but also uncomfortable for your cat.
- Because your cat will need to shake his head to let out the excess cleaning solution, ensure you close your eyes and mouth before letting him do so.
- Only clean places you can easily see in the canal. Do not try to probe as doing so can cause damage to your cats delicate ears or even cause an infection.
The Best Cat Ear Cleaners
Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial cat ear cleaners do not require a prescription, and many of them are available as wipes as well as liquids.
Youll find that most of the cat ear cleaners on the market are labeled as useful for cats and dogs. If your cat is bothered by strong scents, youll want to avoid some of the more fragrant products for dogs. Also avoid cleaners that contain essential oils, some of which can be harmful to cats, especially if ingested. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has a list of essential oils to watch forincluding lavender, citrus, and tea tree oil.
For best results, check with your vet for advice about which type of ear cleaner to use for your cats specific ear issues. Heres our list of the 10 best cat ear cleaners to clean and soothe your kittys ears.
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