Cat Ear Wax Removal

Cat ear hygiene is an important part of every feline health regimen. Poor hygiene and warm, dark and moist environments like the ear canal can easily lead to ear infections. Keeping your cat's ears clean can help prevent bacterial and fungal ear infections and parasites like ear mites by removing ear wax and debris.

Recognizing a Healthy Cat Ear

Your cat's inner ear and ear canal should be a light pink color with little ear wax or buildup. A small amount of light brown ear wax isn't a problem but dark, bloody or discolored ear wax is a sign of a problem and should be addressed by a veterinarian. Odor, head shaking excessive itching and rubbing of the head could indicate an ear infection, allergy symptoms, parasites such as ear mites, or a blocked ear.

If your cat is in a great deal of pain your vet may have to anesthetize the cat in order to examine and clean the ears, and to make a proper diagnosis. After a trip to the vet's office you may need to apply ear drops or medication to your cat's ears and this can be done using the same method as outlined below. Allows follow veterinarian instructions first and remember to continue to use medication for as long as it has been prescribed, even if symptoms appear to have cleared.

Removing Cat Ear Wax

  1. Place your cat on a flat surface or in your lap. Keep in mind that your clothes may get dirty during the ear cleaning process. Place your arm across the cat's body to hold him still while holding his head with your hand. It may help to hold the cat by his scruff between the ears and shoulder blades to keep the cat steady.
  2. Examine the cat's ears by rolling back the ear flap and looking for redness, inflammation, discharge or excess debris.
  3. To clean your cat's ear of debris and ear wax, ask your veterinarian about a good ear cleaner. Squirt the cleaner into the cat's ear canal, making sure not to stick the bottle more than a few millimeters into the canal.
  4. Massage the base of the ear for 30 to 45 seconds to loosen ear wax.
  5. Wipe up fluid, discharge and debris with a cotton ball. Do not stick Q-tips or cotton balls into the ear canal; this could push debris further into the ear canal and cause damage.
  6. Allow your cat to shake his head as this will most likely loosen more debris. Wipe the excess fluid and discharge again with a cotton ball.
  7. Repeat the process in the opposite ear.
  8. If your cat behaves and isn't fussy, offer a treat during or after the ear cleaning routine.

This ear cleaning habit should be started when your kitten is 8 weeks old with a mild cleanser recommended by your vet's office. By starting a weekly ear routine your cat will be comfortable having his ears examined, making ear cleaning and application of medication easy and painless.