Did you hear? This week we’re focusing on ears! Listen up: Healthy ears make a happy kitty. Your cat can’t clean their own ears so if dirt, wax, moisture or other debris get stuck in there it can be irritating, painful and can lead to infection. Taking care of your best fur-iend means taking care of all aspects of their health and well being, including ear cleaning, which is an important part of your pet’s hygiene needs.
Frequency: Some cats rarely need their ears cleaned, while others may need to have their ears cleaned more frequently due to infections or build-up. Over-cleaning the ear can also be problematic, so consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate frequency of ear cleaning for your cat.
Before Cleaning: First determine if your kitty needs their ears cleaned. A healthy ear will appear pink and free of buildup, while a dirty ear will have excess wax, debris and dirt, indicating it’s time for an ear cleaning. If your cat’s ears are red and inflamed, or have a discharge or odor, refrain from cleaning the ear and consult with a veterinarian as it could be a sign of infection.
Supplies: Cotton balls or cotton rounds, a mild veterinarian approved ear cleaning solution for cats, a towel to wrap your kitty in and treats to reward your purr-fect pal; we recommend Ahi Tuna Freeze-Dried Treats. Do not use cotton swabs (Qtips) or anything pointed for ear cleaning, as it can push debris further into the ear and can damage the delicate structures of the ear.
How-To: If at any time you’re concerned about cleaning your cat’s ears, or if your kitty resists ear cleaning, consider asking a veterinarian or professional groomer for a demonstration. Your cat’s ears are sensitive so it’s important to be very gentle throughout the procedure and give your cat frequent treats, such as Vital Cat® Freeze-Dried Rabbit Bites, along with lots of praise, to help them feel more comfortable.
Begin by carefully folding the flap of your cat’s ear back. Pour a small amount of feline ear cleaning solution into your cat’s ear and gently massage the base of the ear with the solution still inside. Allow your cat to shake their head if they want to, and then use a cotton ball or cotton round, torn in half, to gently wipe the solution and ear wax debris out of the inner ear. After the debris and moisture is wiped from your cat’s ear, repeat the same steps with the other ear, until both ears are cleaned.
If your cat is prone to ear infections, consider switching to a raw diet. Recurring ear infections may be caused by food allergies from the yeasts and starches found in commercial kibble.
By maintaining a regular ear examination and cleaning schedule, and giving your cat lots of Vital Cat Treats & Snacks during the procedure, your kitty may eventually learn to love ear cleaning time! Best of all, you’ll be able to quickly recognize ear infections or other ear-related issues, providing your cat with the best quality of life pawsible.