How to Clean a Cat's Ears

Cats are naturally very clean animals, but there are some areas of their bodies they can't reach, such as their ears. You can give your cat a hand at home by using a damp gauze pad and an ear-spray from the vet’s office. However, you should only clean the outside of his ears because veterinarians are the only ones trained to thoroughly clean the inside of an animal’s ears.
How to Clean a Cat's Ears

Last update: 20 September, 2018

Make no mistake: when it comes to touching your cat for any reason besides showing affection, it’s most liking not going to let you. That’s why it’s so difficult to clean those hard-to-reach places on your cat. So, read this article to learn about the ins and outs of how to clean a cat’s ears easily and safely.

As you probably already know, cats are independent and self-sufficient creatures. This is especially true when it comes to their hygiene. However, a cat’s ears are a part of the body they can’t access.

That is where you come in. As a responsible cat owner, it’s important to always be aware of their needs. This is especially true when it comes to things they can’t take care of themselves.

Cleaning your cat’s ears is extremely important because their ear canals are humid, dark, and hard-to-reach that tend to be popular hideouts for bacteria and parasites. Therefore, keeping your cat’s ears clean is vital for his well-being.

 Blue-eyed cat laying on a bed

It’s a good idea to check your cat’s ears every day. The longest period you can go without checking your cat’s ears is a month, and that’s really pushing it.

Remember that you should never stick things like cotton swabs down your cat’s ears. If you do, you risk hurting him and even damaging his hearing.

How to Clean a Cat’s Ears

If you follow these tips on how to clean a cat’s ears, most likely you won’t have a single problem doing it. Here are the steps you should take:

Choose the Right Moment

As mentioned earlier, if you grab your cat and randomly start examining its ears, most likely he will run away and not let you near him for a good amount of time. A great way to prevent this from happening is by waiting for the right moment.

For example, when your cat comes up to you in hopes that you will pet him. Another good time is when your cat is really sleepy or even napping. Carefully examine his ears when the moment strikes, checking to see whether they are dirty or irritated.

However, if you’re going to clean your cat’s ears, remember that you should only clean the outside of his ears because a trusted veterinarian is the only person qualified to clean deep inside your cat’s ears.

 Cat in a veterinarian’s office


Use a Special Spray

You can get a special spray for cleaning your cat’s ears at most vet clinics. Pick out the one you consider appropriate, and apply the recommended dosage to each one of your pet’s ears. Be sure to ask the vet how often you should apply it.

When your cat feels the liquid in his ears, he will probably get up and start shaking his heat. However, there is no need to worry, because this is actually a great way for the liquid to spread around his inner-ears, allowing it to work even better.

Use a Gauze

For this next-to-last step, moisten a piece of sterile gauze at room temperature with sterilized water. Use it to gently wipe your cat’s ears, especially wipe away any dirt.

Be very careful while you handle your cat’s ears and always use your fingers. At the same time, never put any foreign objects into your cat’s ears and only clean the outside of his ears. By no means touch the inside of his ears because it’s a very delicate area.

Apply Positive Reinforcement

A lot of the articles on My Animals mention that positive reinforcement is one of the best methods to use on animals. If you are very affectionate with your pet and make him feel good prior to cleaning his ears, he most likely will be more accepting of the entire process.

Once your finished cleaning your cat’s ears, be sure to give him a treat if he behaved well by petting him and telling him how proud you are of him.

As you can see, cleaning your cat’s ears is not difficult when you follow these tips. Even though your cat will not enjoy it at first, eventually he will understand and be grateful for your help. Most importantly, your cat’s health will be a shining example that a little extra attention and dedication go a long way.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.