Like the human ear, cat ears are made up of three parts: the outer, inner and middle ear. Similar to ours, the cat’s outer ear or auricle is made up of cartilage and skin. But adorable cat ears have so much more pizza in them with their furry tufts and wispy furniture!
And as seems appropriate for cats, cat ears tend to stay nice and clean. However, from time to time, cat parents may notice that gross junk builds up there. A simple cleaning might be all that is needed to get them back in order. How do you clean a cat’s ears?
Before you start cleaning, you need to be aware of the symptoms, which may indicate a problem that needs medical attention.
Symptoms of cat ear problems
If a cat’s ears are sore, you will likely notice signs of their discomfort fairly quickly. Dr. Olivia Anderson-Nathan, a veterinarian for the UK People’s Department of Sick Animals, explains, “Ear problems can be very painful for pets.”
She urges pet parents to look out for symptoms of ear problems such as:
- Shaking his head
- Excessive scratching of the ears
- Redness or swelling of the ears
- Earwax build-up
- Putrid smell
- Head tilt
- Loss of balance
If your cat experiences any of these symptoms, make an appointment with the veterinarian, as prolonged grooming can lead to hearing loss.
Dr. Anderson-Nathan also points out that some animals are more prone to ear problems, depending on factors such as “skin allergies, narrowed ear canals or slack outer ears, or those with excessive hair growth in the ear canal”.
But what can happen that can make a kitten’s ears feel bad?
The PDSA lists several issues that can affect cat ears:
- Skin allergies
- Ear infections of the outer or inner ear
- Scary crawlers like mites are generally spotted when a cat parent notices the gritty black stuff in a cat’s ears.
- Foreign body in the ear
- Cysts, tumors, and other growths
- Hematoma of the ear lobe
- Diseases that affect the balance
If your cat is fortunate enough to avoid these conditions, you may need to do an ear wash every now and then. Therefore, it is good to know how this is the case in all cases.
How to clean your cat’s ears
Before you try cleaning your cat’s ears for the first time, make sure you feel relaxed and confident as you try. Your cat will know if you are nervous and may react with fearful behavior of your own. Everyone should feel fine about this before starting.
And it’s okay if you don’t feel comfortable cleaning your cat’s ears. Better to admit than accidentally harming your kitten. If your cat’s ears are dirty and need attention, make an appointment with the veterinarian or groomer.
What you will need:
- Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on which cleaning product or ingredients are best for your cat
- Cotton balls, Never put Q-tips in your cat’s ears !!
- Towel or washcloth for every cleaning
- Patience and calm
Instructions for cleaning cat ears
- Collect your cat in your arms, in a purrito-style blanket, or on the counter. Whatever works best for you and the kitten.
- Offer treats or a snack if the food is keeping your cat calm.
- Gently fold back the ear flap to expose the inner ear. Look for signs of redness, swelling, or oozing. If you see any of this, stop cleaning your ears and call the veterinarian’s office.
- If the ear is just dirty, continue cleaning by placing the cleaning nozzle against the ear flap. Do not put the applicator tip in your ear. Let the cleaning liquid drip down the inside of the flap into the lower part of the ear.
- Place your fingers at the base of the ear opening and massage the liquid around the ear. Think of the washing machine moving gently and swirling around to loosen dirt as you go.
- Use the cotton ball to wipe any liquid and dirt off your ear. Never put cotton swabs in your cat’s ears.
- Make your cat shake his head. Caution, detergent droplets fly. A towel or washcloth could come in handy here.
- Grasp the ear flap again and wipe off any remaining parts.
- Offer love and treats for a good job.
- Repeat the process on the other ear.
And now your cat’s ears are clean … all the better to hear the cat food popping open!
H / T: www.katezenworld.co.uk