Getting a pet comes with a lot of responsibilities. As much as it is fun to play and cuddle with them, there is also always the concern of ensuring that they are healthy and fit. If you are a cat parent, you must have worried at some point about how to keep your cat clean and ensure it is free from all diseases.
How to Clean Cats’ Ears
One such activity is cleaning your cat’s ears. Keeping your cats clean is relatively easier because they have exceptional grooming habits, and they meticulously clean themselves without bothering you for a long time. However, it is always a good idea to check your cat’s ears every now and then for any dirt buildup. Similarly, if you adopted a cat whose ears look less than clean, you may want to clean them.
For your ease, we have shared below a step-by-step guide on how to clean a cat’s ears.
What You’ll Need
This task will be relatively simple and will only require two essentials which we have listed below.
Step 1: Make sure your cat is calm and relaxed.
The best time to perform any grooming activities on your cat is when they are in a calm and relaxed mood. This usually happens when they are sleepy or are looking for your attention. If they are in a playful mood, they’d not like to stay in one place, and you trying to hold and restrain them can result in them clawing at you.
Step 2: Inspect the cat’s ears.
Gently turn the ear flap of your cat inside out to see the interior clearly. Look into the cat’s ear canal as properly as you can – this is where you will determine if your cat’s ear needs cleaning and how bad it looks. Repeat this with the other ear and if you notice anything abnormal, consider taking your cat to the vet. Make sure to do this in a well-lit area.
Step 3: Get a liquid ear cleaner and bring it to room temperature.
Ear cleaning solutions for pets are easily available at any pet store or even Amazon. Do not be lazy and be fooled into thinking that just water will do the job; instead of cleaning your cat’s ear, you will end up giving them a yeast infection! A good ear cleaner is mildly astringent and dries up quickly.
You can make one at home too, using part vinegar and part alcohol, but we recommend buying one to avoid any complications. If you are taking the cleaner out of the fridge, make sure to bring it to room temperature before putting it in your cat’s ear. Cold drops can make them jump and run away!
Step 4: Put a few drops of the ear cleaner in the cat’s ears.
This is the part where you will need full cooperation from your cat, and given how moody cats are, yours may just not be willing to cooperate, so make sure they are in a controllable position before you put the drops in their ear. One tip is to hold them in a ‘burrito’ position where you wrap them completely in a thick towel, only leaving their head out.
Carefully administer the full dosage mentioned on the ear cleaner’s label. Cleaning your cat’s ears is a job of both gentleness and firmness. Right after putting the drops, massage the base of the ear firmly but gently for 20-45 seconds– the idea is you want to lift away the dirt and wax and not rub it in. Repeat this on the other ear.
Step 5: Wait for a while – allowing your cat to shake her ears.
Before doing anything else, wait a while and give your cat the time to properly ‘work in’ the cleaner in their ears. They will most likely vigorously shake their head which helps in further dislodging any wax and dirt buildup.
Step 6: Gently swab a moist cotton ball in the cat’s ears.
This is the last difficult step of cleaning your cat’s ears. Now that the ear cleaner has dislodged all the dirt buildup and wax, you obviously have to clean that out. Moisten a cotton ball and gently swab the cat’s ears with it. This will allow for that dirt to stick on the cotton ball. You can do this with gauze as well. Do not push the ball or gauze too deep into the horizontal part of the ear canal because instead of removing the dirt, you will be further pushing it in.
DO NOT use a Q-tip unless the vet has instructed you to do so. Just as with human ears, you can damage your cat’s eardrum if you push the cotton ball in too deep, so be extra careful while doing this. If your cat shows signs of discomfort by meowing, pawing, or wriggling – abort the mission immediately!
Step 7: Reward your cat for her patience and cooperation!
Finally, reward your cat with appreciation and a treat or two for her patience and cooperation. Even though you were the one doing them a favor, cats like to feel like queens. You know yours better so you can conveniently choose to skip this step, but then don’t blame us if your cat creates a fuss the next time you pull out the ear cleaner.
Our Final Thoughts
While cats are probably the cleanest pets you can have, occasionally grooming and cleaning them is a responsibility of every cat parent. In fact, most enjoy doing this job. However, it can sometimes get difficult if you own more than one cat or if your cat has a relatively sassier attitude. Therefore, it is important to get your cat in the right mood before you start cleaning your cat’s ears.
As long as you know how to be firm yet gentle, these seven simple steps on how to clean cats’ ears are sure to help you complete the job, all in one go. They may not like it in the beginning, but your cats will love the end feeling of nice and clean ears at the end.