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Cleaning cat ears

How To Clean Your Cats Ears

Cleaning cat earsCats are tidy. They groom themselves several hours each day. Cats are grooming themselves so much that there are countless memes on the internet about their bathing. Despite all that grooming, there are some places that are difficult for them to reach. The biggest challenge is for your cat to groom the inside of their ears. This is where you come in to help them out. Let’s look at how to clean your cats’ ears.

How to Clean Your Cats Ears

Let’s start with the items you need. You will need:

  • Ear cleaning solution, you can get this at a pet supply shop. Not all ear cleaners are created the same. You want to make sure you are getting a solution that is safe for cats. Avoid hydrogen peroxide or alcohol as they can dry out the ear and cause irritation. You can get cleaners that have a specific purpose, such as antifungals, or one for removing wax build-up. It is a good idea to speak to your Albuquerque vet about what kind of cleaner would be best for your cat. DO NOT use human ear cleaners on your cat, they are not made for them and can cause irritation.
  • Gauze pads or cotton balls. Do not use cotton swabs on your cat. It will just push the debris farther down their ear canal which can cause larger problems, like compaction or ear infections.
  • A Towel
  • A helper. A lot of cats will not like you cleaning their ears, especially the first time. You may want to have someone help hold your cat to make it easier.
  • Treats. You want to reward your cat after you clean their ears so there is a positive association with the activity. This will help with future cleanings as well.

Cleaning the Ears

Step 1: Sit in a comfortable position with your cat. If your cat is struggling a lot you may want to consider making a cat burrito. This is a way to restrain your cat with a towel to make it easier to clean their ears and trim their nails while keeping you and your cat safe.

Step 2: Add a small amount of cleaner to the ear

Step 3: Massage at the base of your cat’s ear for several seconds. You do this to work the cleaning solution into their ear and help it break up any build-up that may be there. You may hear a squishing or sopping sound when you do this. This is normal.

Step 4: Wrap the gauze around your finger and wipe your finger, gently, on the inside of their ear. If you are using a cotton ball then hold the cotton ball and wipe gently. You may need to apply a little bit of pressure with the cotton ball or the gauze to get out the debris, but you don’t want to use so much pressure that you would be hurting your cat. If you are unsure about the level of pressure, ask your vet to demonstrate for you.

Step 5: Praise your cat and give them some treats

Do you want to see a cat get their ears cleaned? There are several great videos available on YouTube so that you can watch the process. If you suspect your cat has ear mites it is a good idea to contact your vet so that they can get you the proper medication to treat your cat. Ear mites make the ears itchy and uncomfortable and cleaning will not remove all the mites. You will need to give them a special ear cleaner for mites that your vet will provide you.


Cleaning ears is a vital part of your cat’s health, along with yearly vaccines, nail trims, and clean litter boxes. A healthy cat is a happy, and long-living, cat!