Checking & Cleaning A Cat’s Ears

Every cat carer should routinely check and have their ears cleaned when necessary. This way, problems can be found early.

Some common ear problems cats encounter include:

How to check the ears

Incorporate into your cat’s regular grooming regime. It is advised that you begin this from an early age so your cat becomes used to it. You should be looking for the following;

  • Build up of dirt and wax
  • Blood
  • Bad odour
  • Lumps
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Scratching and shaking may be an indicator of ear mites

See your veterinarian if you find any of the above.

Cleaning the ears

Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with a solution to clean your cat’s ears with. If this is the first time you’ve cleaned the ears have your veterinarian show you, if done incorrectly it is possible to damage the ear.

  • Routine ear cleaning isn’t necessary, and some wax build-up is normal. Clean the ears if there is an excessive amount of wax, dirt or debris.
  • Apply a few drops of solution to your cat’s ear
  • Massage the base of the ear to loosen dirt and wax
  • With a cotton ball, wipe away the excess solution and dirt
  • Never use a cotton bud in the ear, as this can damage it

How to avoid ear problems

  • Don’t apply any products to your cat’s ears that haven’t been approved for use by your veterinarian.
  • When bathing your cat, avoid water getting into the ears.
  • Seek veterinary advice as soon as you see any possible problems in the ears.
  • Never apply a cotton bud to the ear.


  • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

    Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio

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