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How to Clean Your Cat’s Ears

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
General Care Guide:


Cats are generally very proficient at cleaning themselves, ears included. However in some cases, a cat may need a helping hand at maintaining clean ears. Outside cats, older cats, cats living in moist humid environments, and cats that suffer from allergies may all benefit from an occasional ear cleaning. Unfortunately many cats do not appreciate our helpful hands, and they may react by biting, scratching, and running away as fast as they can. In order to clean your cat’s ears properly, and with as little trauma to the cat and yourself as possible, follow these helpful hints below.

Before you begin to clean your cat’s ears, have your cat examined by a veterinarian to ensure that your cat does not have dirty ears due to mites or any other type of ear condition. Once you’ve been given the go ahead by your veterinarian, you can begin to clean your cat’s ears on a regular basis.

What You Will Need

Gather everything you will need first, and choose a small room like a bathroom or lighted closet. Cotton balls or tissue should always be used to clean your cat’s ears; never use q-tips as these products can damage the inside of your cat’s ears and push wax even further into the ear canal. An ear cleaning solution can either be purchased or you can make one yourself. A good home cleaning ear solution for cats is 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water. Never use alcohol to clean a cat’s ears; alcohol will dry out the sensitive ear tissues, and it can burn.

The Procedure

Once you have gathered all your tools, close all escape routs, bring your cat into the room, and shut the door. Try to calm your cat by speaking softly and gently petting the cat. Very gently straddle your cat with your legs on the floor. Use your legs to hold the cat while you keep your hands free for cleaning the ears. Pour a small amount of cleaning solution into the ear, massage the base of the ear, and wipe the ear out with the tissue or cotton ball.

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