Top tips for cleaning your cat’s ears

While cats can clean themselves mostly everywhere, there’s one spot that’s hard for them to get to – their ears. Here’s how to help keep them clean.

While cats can spend up to 50% of their time grooming themselves, a spot that’s often missed is their ears. Because of this, it’s important to keep an eye on them and give them a clean if they’re starting to get dirty – whether this is from dirt, wax build-up or other debris in their ears.

Here’s how you can go about cleaning your cat’s ears:

1. Have the right tools on hand

To get your cat’s ears clean, it’s recommended to use a cleaning solution specially designed for the job. You can usually pick this up from a local pet store or ask your vet if they have a recommendation. It’s important you use one that’s safe for your cat so as to not irritate their skin and cause further problems.

Once you’ve got the right cleaning solution, you will also need cotton balls or gauze on hand to wipe away excess solution and debris. It’s also nice to have treats nearby to reward your kitty, and if they’re likely to struggle a towel to wrap them in and a helping pair of hands.

2. The technique

Once your kitty’s comfortable and under control gently pull back the ear flap to expose the ear canal. Before you put the ear cleaner in do a quick check to make sure there’s no inflammation, ear mites, or signs of infection. If there is, get this checked out by your vet first.

Next, fill the ear canal completely with the ear cleaning solution. It’s ok if some of it spills out but be careful not to put the tip of the bottle into the ear.

Once it’s filled, gently massage the base of the ear for about 30 seconds before letting your cat shake their head as much as they like. This will get any excess solution out of their ear.

Finally, using the cotton ball or gauze, gently wipe away any dirt and dry the ear. Don’t force anything into the ear canal – like a cotton swab – as this can cause damage. Repeat with the other ear.

3. Give plenty of love

While cleaning your cat’s ears shouldn’t be painful, it isn’t always a great experience, so make sure you give them plenty of cuddles and treats. If they become stressed during the procedure, give them plenty of time to settle down afterwards.

While cleaning your cat’s ears may not be their favourite pastime, it’s an important part of keeping them happy and healthy. It also allows you to make sure there are no infestations or infections in the ear that may require veterinary attention.