Instructions for Ear Cleaning in Cats
Here is everything that you should know about the cat's ear cleaning. Read on to learn how and when you should clean the cat's ears.
Cats are incredibly clean animals. They could spend hours grooming themselves and keeping their body far from any mess. Still, they do need a little bit of help cleaning specific body parts.
Some places are simply hard to reach, as their ears. Find out what you should know about the cat’s ear cleaning practice, and how you should handle it.
Do I Need to Clean My Cat’s Ears?
The very first thing that you should know about the cat’s ear cleaning is that the need for it may vary.
Many cats are amazing self-groomers, and they rarely need ear care. On the other hand, there are cats who need help with cleaning routine.
If you notice any ear wax, any dirt, or other debris, you should help your cat by providing a nice and smooth ear cleaning.
Why Is Ear Cleaning Important?
The structure of the cat’s ear canal makes it very difficult for material trapped deep within the horizontal canal to be expelled without the assistance of cleanings.
This material can create discomfort and lead to ear infections and itchiness, which is why it’s important to remove it.
Do I Need To Use An Ear Cleaner?
It’s important to use a good quality ear cleaner. Cleaners with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol can cause irritation within the ear canal, especially if the canal is inflamed or ulcerated.
Some ear cleaners can help prevent ear infections because they have antibacterial or antifungal ingredients. And yes, some cleaners are better at removing a buildup than others.
Make sure that you talk with your veterinarian on this topic and help you find the best ear cleaning solution for your feline.
When cleaning your cat’s ears, you should check the skin for any sign of infection or disease.
Cats are very good at hiding pain, so only in rare moments, you can hear them making pain sounds. Here are the most common symptoms for cat ear infections:
- Scaly skin
- Bald patches
- Odd-smelling odor
- Excessive ear wax
- Sensitive ears to the touch
- Dark-colored debris around the ears
You should know that any display of these symptoms can be a sign of a larger problem.
As soon as you notice any unusual skin display, take your cat to the veterinarian. Seek the advice of your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Cleaning your cat’s ears doesn’t require any special equipment. You just need a good quality ear cleaning solution, cotton balls or gauze, and some treats to reward your feline.
DO NOT use cotton tip applicators (Q-tips) due to the risk of perforating the eardrum. This can cause trauma to the ear canal. Try to use cotton tip applicators that can push debris further into the canal.
How Often Should You Clean A Cat’s Ears?
You should regularly clean the cat’s ears, so you are always on the lookout for any problems or even possible infection.
It’s the best and least time-consuming way to include ear cleaning into your grooming practice.
Make sure that you look inside the cat’s ears at least once a week. Ear cleaning practice may be linked to a cat’s habits.
If you have a house cat, you may notice that you rarely need to clean their ears, opposite cats that are free to roam around the house.
Outdoor cats may pick up dirt easily. So, it is always a good idea to start doing regular checks while your cat is a kitten. This way, you will get her used to having their ears handled.
Otherwise, your feline may be nervous , and this can make cleaning a cat’s ears a difficult task.
Steps For Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears
If there is too much debris, you might think about taking your feline to the vet’s office. However, if you choose to clean your cat’s ears regularly, you might have concrete steps on how to do it.
Here are some basic and mandatory steps that will make the cat’s ear cleaning easier:
- Place your self into a comfortable seat, and hold your cat in your lap.
- You might think about wrapping your cat into a towel, to avoid any possible scratches.
- Grasp the tip of the cat’s ear flap and gently and slowly pull it back.
- Floor the ear with the solution.
- Massage the base of the ear for 5-10 seconds with your finger to allow the cleaning solution to work. Feel free to let your cat shake her head to get out any of the excess solutions.
- Wrap dry gauze around your finger and gently wipe the excess liquid out of the ear canal. The same applies to debris as well.
- Repeat the same procedure with cat’s other ear.
It may take some time to get your cat used to having their ears cleaned, but with the regular practice, the right supplies, and gentle handling, you can help your cat feel secure while working around her ears.
How To Know If Your Cat Has an Ear Infection?
As a cat owner, you know that your pet’s health should be a top priority. Still, you may do your best, clean your cat from parasites – both internal and external, and your cat can still have some infections.
Ear infections are common in cats, and they may appear for many reasons. This is why it’s important to check your cat’s ears regularly. You may see the first symptoms of any infection in your cat’s ears.
Keep an eye for following signs of infections:
- Ear discharge
- Odor around the ear
- Excess scratching, pawing or rubbing at the ears
- Redness in the ear canal
- Sensitivity or pain around the ears
- Ear swelling
- Masses around the ear area
Just like with humans, the majority of infections in cats can be prevented. Therefore, ear infections in cats can be prevented, as well.
Periodic cleaning, especially when you notice excess buildup in your cat’s eyes, is a great way to help your cat avoid a painful infection or disease.
For regular ears, choose a mild ear cleaner that’s specially designed for use on pets.
Avoid vinegar, alcohol, and even hydrogen peroxide, which can strongly irritate the skin and can lead to the painful ear canal.
How Should You Clean The Area After The Treatment?
Once you clean the cat’s ears, you should know how to handle the area after the treatment.
After cleaning, step back and let your cat shake her head to bring the softened wax up out of the ear canals.
Again, always use clean cotton balls to wipe out and up the canal, and to remove any wax or cleaning solution you see.
If your cat is smaller in size, you might want to use cotton balls that have been pulled in half.
Avoid using cotton swabs, and never place the swab into the ear canal. A cotton swab placed too deeply can harm the ear canal and lead to severe pain, and – in some cases, to complete hearing loss.
The ears are sensitive, just like in humans, so use caution when cleaning them.
Benefits of Cleaning Cat Ears
Cleaning your cat’s ear will help her be healthier. By maintaining your cat’s ears health, her ears will stay tidy, and the risk of infections will be down to a minimum.
Ear infections can be secondary symptoms of other health concerns, so it’s mandatory to contact your veterinarian as soon as you notice something unusual around your cat’s ears.
If you aren’t comfortable with handling your cat’s ears, you can always take her to your veterinarian. Plus, your veterinarian can teach you how to clean a cat’s ears and eventually build your confidence as a cat parent.
The Bottom Line
No matter how old your cat is, her health comes first. As responsible cat owners, you should know that grooming is a big part of a cat’s health and longevity.
Grooming isn’t only about brushing your cat’s coat to be shiny, but it’s much more.
It’s about knowing your cat’s needs and mandatory check-ups that will keep her obesity-free and infections-free.
Check your cat’s ears regularly so you can prevent every infection.
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