Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears

By: Taylor Oberkramer

Like other mammals, cats can develop ear problems that can be painful and irritating. It’s a good idea to check and clean your cat’s ears at home routinely. You should look for signs of infections, including pain, itchiness, redness, discharge, and a foul odor. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to schedule an examination with your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

What Do I Need to Clean My Cats Ears?

To clean your cat’s ears, you’ll need a cleaning solution designed specifically for cats, a towel or blanket to wrap your cat in a kitty burrito, and gauze. Don’t use cleaning products like alcohol, vinegar, or peroxide, as these can cause damage to your cat’s sensitive ears. Keeping everything within reach makes it easier to clean their ears and keeps both you and your cat happy. Do not use cotton tip applications in your cat’s ear, as this could lead to a painful injury such as a perforated eardrum.

Cleaning Your Cats Ears

Cleaning your cat’s ears doesn’t have to be stressful or cause any discomfort for you or the cat. If you can do so by yourself, you should sit in a comfortable position and hold your cat securely, but not forcefully, in your lap. If you have a cleaning solution, you should grasp the ear gently, pull it back, and squeeze in enough solution to fill the ear canal. Once the canal is full, you should massage the ear for up to 10 seconds to allow the solution to work.

Your cat may shake its head, but that’s okay. It helps them remove the excess solution to make it easier to wipe out any debris. You should do this with a piece of dry gauze wrapped around your finger. Once done, repeat with the other ear, and you’re finished.

How Often Should I Clean My Cats Ears?

There is no right time frame that you should be cleaning your cat’s ears. Over-cleaning can lead to infections or irritation to the ear canal. You should clean your cat’s ears as needed, such as if you notice them dirty or your cat scratching at them excessively. If you see any drainage, blood, or pain, we recommend contacting your vet for an evaluation.

Ear Disorders in Cats

If your cat seems to be experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may have an ear disorder that needs to be looked at by a veterinarian:

  • Relentless pawing or scratching at the ears.
  • Ears that are sensitive to the touch.
  • Frequent head shaking.
  • Redness or swelling of the ear canal or outer ear.
  • A foul odor coming from the ear.
  • Bleeding from or in the ears.
  • Noticeable hearing loss
  • Disorientation
  • Change in behavior such as irritability or depression

Some possible ear disorders in cats include ear mites, bacterial infections, yeast infections, and ear infections of the middle ear or ear canal.

Reach Out to Purple Cat Mobile Vet Clinic Today!

If you’re in the NW Wisconsin area and are looking for a vet to keep your cat happy and healthy, reach out to Purple Cat Mobile Vet Clinic today. We’re an exclusive cat vet clinic specializing in low-cost spay and neuter programs. You can visit our website to learn more about our services and schedule your appointment. We also have a helpful Facebook page to help you stay up to date on everything feline!


All cat spay/neuter appointments are made on this website. We post new clinic dates 6 weeks ahead of time. Check back often if you do not see a date that works for you.

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We are a high-volume, high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter veterinary clinic. 99% of our surgeries are done on cats. We occasionally do dog spay/neuter surgeries for our shelter partners

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