How Often Should You Bathe A Cat
In general, you shouldnât need to bathe your cat at all. Your catâs barbed tongue does a fantastic job of cleaning dirt, debris, and dust from their coat, plus theyâre pretty fastidious about keeping themselves clean without you.
But some cats â like an older one who can no longer groom, a poor guy with fleas, or a naughty dude who got into something really gnarly â may require your humble assistance.
Still, donât bathe your cat more than once every six weeks â frequent bathing with soap and water could cause skin conditions like rashes or dryness thatâll make your sweet babe miserable.
How To Clean A Cats Ears
Cats are fascinating creatures and popular companions. Part of that popularity stems from their being self-sufficient and fairly low maintenance compared to some other animals. Yet while cats often manage all their own grooming, their ears may need some inspection and cleaning from time to time.
Whats The Black Stuff In My Cats Ears
If you spot any black or brown gunk in your cat’s ears, then it’s likely your cat has a problem with ear mites. What you’re seeing is wax that has been created as a reaction to the mites mixed with blood, debris and even the mites themselves.
So is the answer to give a cat a flea bath? Not in this instance. Yes, you need to take action, but the best way forward at this point is to visit a vet and have them assess your cat and resolve the problem. That way, you can be sure your cat is being treated appropriately.
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Inspecting Your Cat’s Ears
How To Clean Your Cats Ears Safely
Cleaning ears may look easy but it is more difficult than you think. Cats have long ear canals and improper cleaning can result in a ruptured eardrum, pain or lacerations of the canal. You can clean your cat’s ears safely if you follow these steps:
It is safest to clean only the parts of the ear you can see. If there is significant wax just inside the ear canal, you can briefly place the tip of the Q-tip into the ear canal to remove the debris. However, this is most important: You should ALWAYS be able to see the cotton tip of the Q-tip.
After cleaning ears, it is a good idea to offer a treat. This will help make the next ear cleaning session a little smoother.
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How Do I Tell If My Cat Has Ear Mites
Aside from spotting the black stuff, you should also take your cat to the vet if a cat’s ears smell bad or there is too much ear wax. This is true, too, if a cat winces when you touch their ears or if you spot any poor skin and bald areas where a cat has been trying to remove hair. Mites are certainly bad news.
They can live for about two months and they constantly lay new eggs so your cat will end up getting stuck with these tiny creatures forever unless the problem is tackled. What’s more, there’s a risk that the mites will transfer to other pets.
Keeping ears clean will reduce the risk substantially but it’s always best to seek expert advice in these circumstances. Just remember that a healthy cat’s ear should always be pale pink in color.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has An Ear Infection
âCats produce more ear wax than dogs,â says Dr. Dougherty, so itâs normal for cats to have a thin layer of yellow wax hanging around. If youâre seeing more than that, say, on the outer ear and on the fur outside the ear, you should see your vet. Cats with ear infections will shake their heads and paw at their ears. You may notice hair loss or crusty scabs around their face and neck from all the scratching.
And if you get close enough, youâll see redness and swelling, and smell a funky odor. Since the ear canal controls balance â for people and pets â an ear infection could also cause your cat to act disoriented and, well, weirder than usual.
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Cleaning Your Cats Ears
If you think your cats ears are grubby it might be tempting to clean them out with a cotton wool bud. However, most vets would advise you to not to tamper with the ears at all as the tissues lining the ear canals are very delicate and easily damaged. Ears may be dirty because there is wax but it may be caused by ear mites or a skin irritation.
Check with your vet who may give you a product to wipe out the outer ear but avoid going too deep into the ear and causing more damage. Please watch the video below for information on how to clean your cats ears.
Cat Ear Cleaning Steps
Find a comfortable area and position for you and your cat. You may find wrapping your cat in a towel helps keep her still during the cleaning.
Carefully apply a cleaner approved by your veterinarian to the ear canal, either by squeezing some from a saturated cotton ball, or by squeezing a small amount directly from the bottle into the ear canal.
Massage the base of the ear for a few seconds and then allow your cat to shake her head.
After your cat shakes out the excess cleaner, gently wipe the ear flap and visible opening of the ear canal with a cotton ball or with a finger wrapped in gauze.
Repeat with the other ear.
Reward your cat with her favorite treat or with some affection!
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How Can I Clean My Cats Ears
While thereâs no way to truly prevent an ear infection, cleaning your catâs ears once a month with an antibacterial or antifungal solution can stave off mites, yeast, and bacteria . First, swaddle your cat in a towel if you expect they are going to fight you tooth and nail. Next, squirt a little of the solution in, close your catâs ear flap, and massage it in. Then let your cat shake their head, loosening wax and anything else that shouldnât be in there. Finally, with a cotton ball, wipe up whatever came to the surface . If you need a hand, your vet or a professional groomer should be able to get the job done without a scratch.
If you thought your cat was a self-cleaning evolutionary marvel, youâre not wrong but…
Check For Ear Infections
Check your cats ears for swelling, scratching, head shaking, excessive ear wax buildup, ear discharge, or anything that might indicate an infection, ear mites, or another ear health issue. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact your veterinarian before attempting to clean your cats ears.
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Preventing Cat Ear Problems
To help your catâs ears stay perky and pest-free, check inside their ears regularly for signs of wax buildup, inflammation, or odor. If you notice a problem, itâs time to talk to your veterinarian.
Catâs ears are expressive, beautiful — and very fragile. To avoid damaging the eardrum or packing wax deep into the ear, never insert anything into your catâs ears or use over-the-counter medication unless your vet has shown you the proper way to do so.
Itâs easy to interpret a catâs ear discharge as mites when itâs something else, or to leave a mild infection untreated until it becomes serious or chronic. Donât leave your catâs comfort to guesswork — always talk to your vet when you suspect ear problems.
How To Clean Your Cat’s Ears Step By Step
- Consult your vet first. Your vet can tell you if your cats dealing with ordinary dirt and wax buildup or if she has something more serious going on inside her ear that can only be treated with prescribed topical treatments or oral medications.
- Choose the cat ear cleaner that you feel most comfortable with. If youre worried about oversaturating your cats ear with a cleaner, go for wipes. If youre more comfortable using a cotton ball, choose a liquid formula.
- NEVER use a cotton swab. Q-tips and cotton swabs can cause damage to your cats ear canal and eardrum, so make sure youre only using cleaning materials that hit the areas of your cats ears that are visible.
- Only clean areas that you can see. Wipe what you can see, Matthes told The Dodo. Not too hard. Dont go into your cats ear canal, as this may cause too much discomfort.
- Dry the spots you cleaned. Back it up with a dry cotton ball, Matthes suggested.
- If you see buildup in a shorter time, redness, frequent scratching or head shaking, I would definitely recommend a vet visit to rule out infection or ear mites, Matthes said.
As always, if you are at all hesitant about or unsure if you should take your cats ear health into your own hands, ask your vet for advice. As long as your cat isnt showing signs of discomfort, you can more than likely skip this grooming step altogether and let your cat handle ear cleaning herself.
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How To Clean Your Cats Ears
Cats are notorious self-bathers and are able to clean their fur thoroughly with their tongue in a matter of minutes. However, while cats are particularly skilled in this regard, there is one area of their body to which they are unable to give adequate attention: their ears. Your felines ears will stay pretty clean most of her life, but every once in a while, you will need to give her a helping hand.
Before you approach your pets ear with a Q-Tip and some saline solution, however, know that there is a right way and there is a wrong way to clean a cats ears. From understanding their ear structure to knowing what tools to use, this post will help you clean your pets ears in as safe and effective way as possible.
Tools For Cleaning A Cats Ears
Before we break down the steps and tricks to cleaning a cats ears, youre going to want to make sure that you have the right tools for the job. Heres a list of the things that we recommend you have on hand to clean a cats ears:
- Pet ear cleaner
- Cotton pads or makeup pads
- Pet wipes
There are many different ear cleaning options, but if you are wondering which is the best ear cleaning solution for cats, try Tropiclean Alcohol-Free Ear Wash. It is a cat-friendly ear cleaner that can loosen debris and relieves odour and itching.
Want to know how to clean cats ears naturally? Some people prefer to use natural products with recognizable, and pronounceable ingredients, like Naturvet Ear Wash. Natural ingredients like witch hazel, tea tree oil, and aloe vera help to clean, dry, and condition delicate ear skin.
Even cats who are familiar with a variety of grooming practices can be uncomfortable with the experience. Try to keep your grooming routines to a calm, quiet area of the house where there are no distractions, like other people or pets.
This will help keep you and your cat more relaxed and make the process that much easier.
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Preparing To Clean A Cats Ears
It’s best to initiate a cleaning attempt only when your cat is relaxed. A good time for this is right after youve been grooming the cat or even while the cat is napping on the sofa.
Once your cat is calm and relaxed, turn the cats ear inside out. This lets you visually access the ear canal. You can also shine a small flashlight into the canal so that you can more readily see any problems such as built-up earwax that can indicate an ear infection. Discharge and odd, foul-smelling odours are additional indicators that your cats ears are infected.
Your cats ears are healthy if they are a pale pink colour and do not have visible dirt or earwax buildup. This indicates that there is no need for ear cleaning.
If you do see dirt or excess wax inside the cats ears, giving them a good clean can help prevent problems. Most vet offices and pet stores sell cat ear cleaner. Apply the cat ear cleaner according to the package instructions, which usually involves using a warm cotton ball for application. Carefully remove the dirt or wax with the cotton ball.
Cat Ear Cleaning Products
Heres a list of the best-rated cat cleaning products
- VetWELL Ear Cleaner for Dogs and Cats Veterinarian formulated to gently clean, deodorize, acidify and dry your pets ears. Stops itching, scratching, head shaking, and irritation by removing wax, fluid, dirt, and debris.
- Petpost | Pet Ear Cleaner Wipes for Dogs and Cats GETTING TO YOUR CATS EARS IS EASY WITH LUXURIOUSLY SOFT COTTON WIPES. Bye-bye, measuring capfuls, spilled solution, low-cost pads, and grumpy kittens!
- Virbac EPIOTIC Advanced Ear Cleanser, Vet-Recommended For Dogs and Cats Microbial action is prevented by using a non-irritating solution to scrub sensitive ears regularly and remove debris extra wax from the ear canal while also drying it.
- Hzran Dog Ear Cleaner, Ear Cleaner for Small Dog and Cat Ultra-absorbent and medium size designed for the health care of dog and cat ears.
- MISTER BENS Original Big Bamboo Buds Premium long cotton buds that are perfectly sized for the care of the ears of dogs, cats, and other small pets.
Always consult your veterinarian to confirm a diagnosis and make sure youre giving your cat the best therapy possible. Keep in mind that using ear cleansing solutions or ear drops incorrectly can permanently harm your cats hearing.
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How Often Should You Clean A Cats Ears
Unlike dogs, who need more frequent grooming and maintenance, cats typically dont need their ears cleaned more often than once per month, if that. Cleaning a cats ears should be done on an as-needed basis.
The frequency of cleanings can be dependent on external factors like environment and diet even or health issues, like allergies. Even the shape of their ears and their genetics can affect how quickly gunk and bacteria build up in their ears.
Its best to check their ears weekly for dirt, wax, and irritation. This will be the best indicator as to whether they need a cleaning. Try not to clean your cat’s ears too often unless its necessary or recommended by a vet.
Here are some signs that your cat might need their ears cleaned:
- Visible dirt or wax build-up in the ear canal
- Redness of the skin
- Head shaking or tilting
- Smelly or yeasty ears
Caution: If you see open sores, bleeding, blisters, pus, or swelling, you should contact your vet immediately. These could indicate infection and need to be addressed quickly to prevent the issue from getting worse. Ear cleaning solutions can sting if used on open wounds, so ask your vet when you can clean their ears after the infection has been remedied.
Another good time to clean your cats ears is before and after a flea, tick, or mite treatment. Cleaning their ears before and after can clean out debris and bacteria left behind by pests.
Top Tips For Cleaning A Cats Ears
Its best to try to clean your cats ears when theyre feeling relaxed, such as when theyre snoozing on the sofa or after you groom them, as this will make the process much less distressing for you both. When your cat seems relaxed, gently turn their ear inside out so that you can see all the way into their ear canal its a good idea to use a small torch for this part to allow you to get a better look.
Make sure that you check both of their ears and be on the lookout for any indicators that your cat may have an ear infection such as discharge or a strange odour. If your cats ears are healthy, they wont have too much earwax or dirt and they will appear as a healthy pale pink colour. If this is the case then there is no need to clean your cats ears.
If there appears to be dirt inside their ears or too much ear wax then its a good idea to give them a clean to prevent infections and excessive wax build up. Youll need cat ear cleaner which can be purchased from your local pet store or vets, and youll also need a moist, lukewarm cotton wool ball to apply the cat ear cleaner. To clean their ears, simply apply some of the cleaner to the moist cotton wool ball and carefully wipe away any wax or dirt.
Never use any products intended for humans or that contain alcohol, as this may irritate their sensitive ears. Also make sure that you dont put anything down your cats ear canal like ear buds or liquids.
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