ear cleaning? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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ear cleaning?

Do we need to clean their ears occasionally, if so how often, and with what?, thanks.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 11:23 AM
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Usually no, unless you notice an excessive amount of wax or a funny smell. If so, you may want to take them in to be looked at. In general though, cat ears are very clean.

Mine recently has had some issues with his ears and they'd get really dirty the day after I cleaned them, so I got some medication that seemed to work (for now... its only been a week). You can pick up some cleaner that's safe for cats. Cleaners containing chlorhexidine type chemicals can not be used safely.

If they aren't really dirty, I'd just get a cottom ball soaked with cleaner and wipe them out. If they are really dirty, pour some of the cleaner in the ear and massage it around then let kitty shake it out... then wipe with a cottom ball.


"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 12:01 PM
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Agree with OsnobunnieO, normally there is no reason to clean the ears of an indoor kitty.

If you ever try to do something like that anyway, please, please, please, be extremely careful, because if you go in too deep, you can puncture the eardrum.

Since even indoor kitties can get an ear infection, watch for head shaking and kitty holding one ear in a funny way, even flat, the tip pointing to the side. With that kind of thing a vet visit is necessary.

Food allergy can cause dark stuff collecting in the ears, pretty much what you would normally see with ear mites. A cat may not necessarily have an ear infection when that happens, but at that point adjusting the diet becomes absolutely necessary.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 12:54 PM
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I have one cat that gets excessive ear wax...that dark icky stuff in the crevices of the outer-ear. His vet said that some cats just produce more ear wax than others, and as long as there is no pain or odor, it isn't a problem.

He cleans his ears himself (lick paw, run across ear, repeat...) but I wonder if it still gets a bit "itchy".

I sometimes use a q-tip to clean the area where he has thick ear hair (I will moisten the q-tip with a little warm water if needed, but usually a dry one is fine). The important thing to be careful of is not to get too close to the ear canal, as this could damage the ear. I massage his ears when I do this and he loves it. He sits in my lap while I do it and purrs. When I stop, he paws for the q-tips, as if he wants more.

Maybe I am just a "clean freak", but as long as I am gentle and very careful to avoid the ear canal, I don't see a problem with it. If others disagree, I welcome feedback.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 05:33 PM
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As long as you don't put anything down the ear canal, theres no problem in cleaning the external part of the ear. I've never had to clean my cats ears, though I do clean a lot of ears at work. We would only clean down a ear canal in an anaesthetised patient.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 08:33 PM
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I have one word of caution about using QTips. A friend at another board had used them for several years to clean her kitty's ears. No problems, until unfortunately, one day, he did something he had never done - shook his head really hard, and she punctured his eardrum. It was horrible, and she was absolutely guilt-ridden.

I usually advise against QTips, and recommend a squished-up cotton ball instead if the ears must be cleaned, or go to a professional like emma_pen. I've never had to clean my kitties' ears.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 09:18 PM
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Thanks, superkitties

I understand what you are saying and it makes alot of sense. I had only used the Q-tip around the upper tip of his ear, where he has a batch of thick ear fur that seems to collect gunk...never down to where the crevices are, and certainly not near the ear canal. I never even thought about using cotton balls... You are absolutely right...better to be cautious! From now on, I will use cotton balls. (Now, if I can only prevent the other cat from stealing the Q-tips out of my cabinet and scattering them all over the kitchen floor...)
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2005, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice, i think i'll just clean the outside part.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2005, 06:54 PM
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If you get another cat, they'll clean each other's ears.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2005, 07:05 PM
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Hey, Tim?
Will you tell my cats that? The only time they make physical contact is when one gets mad and chomps a mouthful of fur from another cat's back.
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