Cleaning your cat’s ears may sound like a daunting task.

Trust me; we can do this together!  

Cats are self-grooming animals, but sometimes the ear funk is just too real (and deep), so they can’t take care of it themselves. Furthermore, a lot of ear funk can sometimes indicate a medical issue. Helping your cat in the ear grooming department will keep debris, ear mites, and even infection away!  

How do I know if my cat’s ear needs to be cleaned?  

Get into the habit of looking in your cat’s ears. Doing this more frequently will help you understand what is normal for your cat. Look for wax, debris, or any kind of discharge. If you are checking often, you will begin to notice how quickly debris builds up in your individual cat’s ears and can create a timeline for keeping them clean as a whistle.  

How do I clean my cat’s ears? What tools do I need?  

This is the part that will take some desensitization. Unless you have been religiously cleaning your cat’s ears since they were a kitten, they are likely not going to be thrilled about the process. It will take some practice to get this down to an art, so don’t be discouraged if the first (or first dozen) cleanings don’t go well.  

Consult your veterinarian to find out what cleaning solution they recommend. You will also need some gauze, some yummy treats, and perhaps a friend (at least the first few times). Some cat parents use a towel to wrap up their kitty while they clean out their ears, just to make everyone more comfortable and safe.

Gently add some solution to your cat’s ear and massage at the base of the ear to break up any debris or wax. Then, use your gauze or cotton round to wipe out the inside of the ear and soak up the excess solution.  

How can I clean a finicky cat’s ear?  

As mentioned above, ear cleanings take time and desensitization to get them right. If your cat is extra defiant about the process, do not force it. Start with just touching your cat’s ears and rewarding them with treats each time. Do this for as long as it takes, and add additional steps as your cat is ready. Slow and steady wins the race. If you don’t think it’s safe for you or your cat to attempt an ear cleaning, contact your veterinarian to come up with a plan.  

Many cat owners feel intimidated by the ear cleaning process or simply don’t know that it’s necessary (since cats do enjoy grooming themselves). If you were not aware of the necessity of ear cleanings up until this point, don’t worry! You can start getting into a routine now, and it will still be beneficial to your cat’s health in the long run.

Clean ears are healthy ears, and your cat will thank you (or maybe they won’t, but they won’t be opposed to having clean ears, so still a win).