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How to Take Care of Your Cat’s Ears

Although cats are consummate professionals when it comes to cleaning themselves, the ears could sometimes use a little help. Make sure your cat’s ears stay healthy by following these basic steps from an Aurora vet.

Keep an Eye Out for Symptoms

Remember to keep a watchful eye on your cat’s behavior. If there’s any issues with the ears, your cat’s responses may clue you in. Scratching and pawing at the ears, redness, swelling, discharge, tilting of the head, unpleasant odor, and disorientation are common signs that something might be wrong with the ears. If you witness any of these symptoms in your cat, call your veterinarian’s office right away for further instructions.

Outer-Ear Exam

Every few weeks or so, give your cat’s ears a quick exam. The outer ear flap should be covered in a thin layer of fur, without any bald areas. The inner part of the flap should be a healthy pink color. If anything looks amiss, it’s best to get a professional’s opinion, so call your vet to make sure.

Inner-Ear Exam

After you’ve examined the outer ear, fold back the ear flap and examine the inner ear canal. It might work best to wait until your cat is sleepy and calm. The inner ear should look pale pink and not be clogged with excessive wax, dirt, or debris. Again, call your vet if you see anything that you think could present a problem.

Never try to clean the inner ear canal with an instrument of any kind—you’ll risk damaging the ear canal, leading to possible infections and other issues. If the inner ear needs veterinary attention, let a professional take care of it.

Basic Cleaning

You can clean your cat’s ears yourself every so often at home. Purchase a specially-formulated ear cleaner that is safe for cats. Your vet can offer a recommendation. Put a small amount of the cleaner on a cotton ball or piece of gauze, and wipe away debris or wax you see on the outer ear. Again, don’t try to go into the ear canal.

After your cat’s ear exams are finished, offer a treat or two for a job well done. Ask your vet for more help on keeping your cat’s ears clean and healthy.

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