How To Clean Cat Ears
Hold your fur baby in your lap and gently hold them in place. Is your kitty a reluctant cuddler? If so, this is when the towel comes in handy. Safely pick up your cat and wrap them securely in a towel before putting them on your lap. If you have a human helper, they can hold your cat while you clean the ears or vice versa.
Olive And Vegetable Oils
Oils, such as olive or other vegetable oils are excellent choices when cleaning your cats ears because they mix with the dirt and debris, dissolving these, freeing up your cats ear canals, improving itching, hearing, and appearance at the same time.
In most cases, oils are probably your best bet to use as all-purpose cat ear cleaners.
How To Clean Your Cat’s Ears If They’re Getting Gunky
jeerapong / Adobe Stock
Cats spend countless hours licking their fur clean and using their paws to groom the tops of their heads and faces . But one place they can’t reach is inside their ears. Some cats’ ears naturally stay clean, while others have ears that tend to get a little gunky. If your kitty’s ears become dirty, your cat needs a little help with sweeping the debris out. A veterinary professional can do it or you can learn how to clean your cat’s ears at home.
Recommended Reading: Teach Myself Sign Language
What Does A Sanitary Trim Include
A sanitary trim includes trim or cut near the genitals part of cats.
Sanitary trims, sometimes known as potty cuts, maintain unkempt hair free of tangles, mats, and odour-attracting urine, faeces, dirt, germs, and smells.
Aside from the ick element, these items not only spread throughout your surroundings but also put your cat in danger of irritation and illness if left unattended. Fortunately, giving your cat a hygienic haircut at home is simple and safe.
Remember that grooming should be a pleasurable and pain-free experience for your closest furry companion, so go slowly and carefully. The rump and belly of your cat are very delicate areas that should only be washed, brushed, and clipped with extreme caution.
If your cat isnt used to regular grooming or hygienic cuts, enlisting the aid of a friend or using a reward dispenser to give a diversion and positive reinforcement may be beneficial.
How To Keep Your Cats Ears Healthy
Cleaning is a great way to keep your cats ears healthy and is extremely important because any dirt, debris, or wax can clog the ears and cause infections. Because the ears are one of the few parts that cats cannot reach themselves, they need a little help from a loving owner. Regular ear cleaning at home augments your cats own natural grooming habits.
Read Also: Ringing Ears Spiritual Meaning
Benefit Of Cleaning Cat Ears
Cleaning your cat’s ears helps them stay tidy and reduces the risk of infection. MSPCA-Angell notes that ear infections can be secondary symptoms of other health concerns, so don’t hesitate to call your vet.
The golden rule for pet care is safety first! If you’re uncomfortable or uncertain about cleaning your cat’s ears, contact your vet. They’ll be happy to give you a tutorial and build your confidence as a cat parent.
The Anatomy Of A Cats Ears
If you feel comfortable with the process, study up on the anatomy of a cats ears. A felines canals are intricate and vastly different from those of a humans, and if you attempt to stick anything in their ears without knowing how their canal is constructed, you could end up hurting them. Fortunately, harm can be avoided with a brief anatomy lesson.
A felines ear is composed of three basic sections: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear.
The outer ear consists of two parts: the canal and the pinna . The ear canal is the gateway to the middle ear, which is much more complex than the outer ear.
The middle ear is composed of the eardrum, three miniscule bones and a tube that brings oxygen from the nose to the ears. The middle ear is highly sensitive, and if you proceed with the cleaning process in the wrong way, you may end up puncturing an eardrum or breaking one of those small bones, two problems that would result in hearing loss.
The inner ear is the most complex part of the ear, and also the most sensitive. Believe it or not, but the inner ear is what is responsible for your pets ability to maintain her exceptional balance, and is the reason for her ability to land on her feet no matter from how high she jumps or what acrobatic tricks she pulls. If the inner ear becomes injured, so does your pets personality.
Now that youre familiar with your cats ears and why each section is important, lets move on to the process of cleaning.
Also Check: Asl Im Sorry
Do Cats Need To Be Groomed
All cats groom themselves on a regular basis, but some cats need to be groomed more thoroughly at home or by a professional to maintain a healthy coat and skin. This is especially true for long-haired cats, as their coats are often more tricky to keep tangle-free, and hairless cats, who may need regular bathing since their skin can get dirty or oily more quickly than their furry counterparts.
There are a large number of cats that require grooming, although for some it may not seem like a necessity until they get older, Lynn Paolillo, a certified feline master groomer and owner of Cat Naps Cattery, told The Dodo. Too often I see cats where they arent seeing a groomer until after theres already a problem, like matting, knots, excessive shedding, hairball blockages, etc.
If youre noticing your cat is experiencing matting, itchy or flaky skin, sores, or isnt able to groom herself, then taking charge of her grooming is definitely necessary. You can also consult your vet to get advice on which grooming steps you should take to keep your cat happy and healthy.
Should You Clean Your Cat’s Ears At Home
If you’re comfortable and your cat isn’t exhibiting any signs of something more serious, it’s perfectly fine to clean your cat’s ears yourself.
“If you notice gunk in your cat’s ear, it’s a good idea to remove it for the cat’s comfort and to reduce the chance of infection,” says Jessica Sewell, LVT, a regional technician and assistant director for VCA Animal Hospitals. “It could be wax, debris, ear mites, or discharge from an ear infection.” In fact, if your kitty has allergies or chronic ear infections, your veterinarian may recommend that you clean your cat’s ears on a regular basis.
However you should skip doing it yourself, says the American Veterinary Medical Association , and head to the vet if you see the following signs:
- Your cat is frequently scratching at his ears.
- Your cat is shaking his head.
- The ears are red, swollen, or have discharge.
- You notice a large amount of wax or a bad smell.
Don’t Miss: Signs That Say Merry Christmas
What Can You Use For Ear Mites In Cats
According to Miller, more and more common herbs can act as treatments, but baby oil a simple old-time remedy makes the job easy. The mites will usually be smothered when an affected ear is frequently soaked in some drops for several days or weeks. As part of our ongoing maintenance of the ears and subsequent treatment of mites we maintain the ears and also our mite treatments.
Trimming Your Cat’s Nails
nail trims can be done at home, especially if starting as young as possible with the cat, Paolillo said. I prefer small dog nail trimmers, but there are several different nail trimmer styles, so you can choose what feels the most comfortable.
There are guillotine-style nail trimmers, scissor-style trimmers and some cat parents even prefer human fingernail clippers.
Dr. Megan Conrad, a veterinarian who works with telehealth pet care company Hello Ralphie, said she likes the scissor style as theyre the easiest to use, especially for those who are just starting out with at-home nail trimming.
Having styptic powder or cornstarch on hand, too, is important just in case you clip your cats quick and she starts bleeding.
If you’ve never trimmed your cat’s nails before, the key thing to remember is to start slowly, and start while your cat’s mood is calm, Dr. Conrad told The Dodo, adding that you should let your cat get used to the feeling of having her toes touched first. Try gently squeezing a toe to extend the nail, then quickly release it. Do this for a few toes, take a break for a while and do another session later.
Then, when its time to trim, extend the claw and only cut the curved, pointed tip above the pink quick line Your goal is to cut only the pointed end of the nail, without cutting into the area of the quick, to avoid bleeding, Dr. Conrad said.
Also Check: Guinea Pig Ear Wax
How Do You Tell If Your Cat Has Ear Mites Or Just Dirty Ears
Your cat may scratch at his itchy ears or start shaking his head a lot. While the mites are microscopic, they can be quite pesky. Just imagine feeling hundreds of little crawly things in your ears! Feline ear mites on the insides of the ears will look dirty, usually with a dark brown or reddish-brown debris.
How To Clean A Cats’ Ears
Recommended Reading: How To Say Take In Sign Language
Inspecting Your Cat’s Ears
How Can I Keep My Cats Ears Clean
While thereâs no way to truly prevent an ear infection, cleaning your catâs ears once a month with an antibacterial or antifungal solution can stave off mites, yeast, and bacteria . First, swaddle your cat in a towel if you expect they are going to fight you tooth and nail. Next, squirt a little of the solution in, close your catâs ear flap, and massage it in. Then let your cat shake their head, loosening wax and anything else that shouldnât be in there. Finally, with a cotton ball, wipe up whatever came to the surface . If you need a hand, your vet or a professional groomer should be able to get the job done without a scratch.
Read Also: Abc Alphabet In Sign Language
How Often Should You Clean Your Cats Ears
Ear cleaning sessions are excellent opportunities to check your cats ears for any signs that indicate a potential ear issue that should be brought to your vets attention. The earlier that an ear problem can be diagnosed and treated, the better will be the chance of a better prognosis. Nipping problems in the bud can reduce the possibility of chronic ear problems and hearing loss. It could also alleviate the pain and discomfort that your cat is suffering from.
When cleaning your cats ears, be alert for red flags of ear infection or any potential problems. These signs include:
- Ear discharge
- Strong odor from the ear
- Redness and swelling in the ear canal
- Excess scratching or pawing of the ears
- Pain around the ears
- Abnormal growths in and around the ears
How often ear cleaning should be done will depend on several factors including your cats grooming habits, health issues affecting the ears, and the immediate environment.
If you notice there is a buildup of ear wax and/or debris, its time to clean your pets ears. But if these are accompanied by other signs of infection, it is best to forego cleaning your pets ears and have your pet checked by your veterinarian.
Schedule A Recheck Exam
Recheck examinations are one of the most vital steps in successful cat ear infection treatment. Most ear infections are treated for a minimum of two to three weeks, but this can be extended, especially if there are any underlying or predisposing factors such as allergies.
During this visit, another sample will likely be taken from the ear canal and examined under a microscope. For this diagnostic to be successful, do NOT clean or medicate your cats ears at least 24 hours prior to the exam.
Your veterinarian can check to see whether the infection has resolved, particularly if your cat has had ear infections in the past. If its not, additional testing and treatment may be required.
Remember, even if your cat stops scratching or their ears look better, the infection may not have fully resolved. Since a cats ear canal is shaped like the letter L, debris such as hair, impacted wax, or residual infection can be hidden despite a normal, healthy-appearing ear.
Once the issue is resolved, speak to your veterinarian about ways to prevent reoccurring cat ear infections and other ear issues, and how often to clean your cats ears going forward.
Also Check: Baby Sign For Hungry
Tips For Cleaning Your Cats Ears
Prepare everything that youll need and arrange each item where you can easily reach it. You will need the following:
- Cotton or gauze pads
- An ear cleaning solution thats formulated specifically for cats
- Towel or blanket
- Your cats favorite treats
It is highly recommended that you speak with your vet about an ear cleaner that is safe for your cat. Avoid using alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar as these can only irritate the delicate tissues of your cats ears. Applying the wrong ear solution into your cats ears could lead to balance problems, hearing loss, and a variety of other issues.
If there is excess hair inside your cats ear canal, it is a good idea to have a professional groomer or your vet remove the hair. The hair should be removed gently to avoid pain and discomfort, or your cat wont allow you to touch her ears again. Light sedation may be needed to remove excessive hair.
- Start by cleaning the external part of the ear called the ear flap. Any matted hair in the ear flap and around the opening of the ear canal must be detangled or removed. Matted hair on a cats ear flap or excessive hair within the ear canal can block the normal airflow that helps keep the ear passages dry. It could also prevent the movement of ear wax and debris toward the external part of the ear, which could pave the way for an infection.
- Clean any excess liquid using a cotton ball or gauze wrapped around your fingers. Never put anything, even your finger, into your cats ear canal.