How to Clean Cat’s Ears

How to Clean Cat’s Ears in Minutes (You Need To Do It In The Right Way)

Cats are more or less clean animals who prefer staying neat and polished all the time. They even keep their ears clean including the inner and outer flaps.


However, a bit of help from your side can only keep the felines cleaner and avoid any possible health problems. Even if, you don’t have the time to take the animal to a vet there are many things that you can do to keep the creature’s ears clean. Regular ear cleaning is a great way of keeping a pet healthy and happy.

The safe methods described below are what makes how to clean cat’s ears such an interesting and useful piece to read and follow. I have a chubby cat of my own and this is how I keep her ears clean. Simply follow the instructions below and they will help you accomplish the task safely and effectively in the least possible time.

What Things Do You Need To Clean Your Cat’s Ears?

It is important to gather all the things that you will need while cleaning your cat’s ears. First, you will need a place like a small room or bathroom with good lighting where you can put your cat and can easily see inside your cat’s ears. Apart from it, you will need the following things:

  • Cotton balls or swab: Either can be used, but a cotton ball is a better option.
  • An ear cleaning solution: Cleaning liquids can be purchased from any pet shop or the local vet’s. The dosage must be used according to the instruction on the label for best results. You can also make it yourself in your home. To make the solution yourself, just mix white vinegar and water in equal quantity and it is ready.
  • Olive oil or Hydrogen peroxide: This chemical is safe for use on cats and helps in making the ear wax soft so that it can be cleaned easily. However, it should not be used if the ear has a hole or a tube. The olive oil should be brought to room temperature before being put in the ear with a dropper.
  • A clean soft towel

While you are arranging the above-mentioned things, you must know what things you should completely avoid including in your list. It is suggested to not to use q-tips if you are not a vet, as using this can be dangerous. Your cats could always have a sudden movement and the q-tips could then damage their inner ear. Using the same can also result in getting the wax pushed more inside the ear.

It is also suggested not to use alcohol as an ear cleaning solution, as it can result in the burning of the sensitive ear tissues of the cat’s ears.

Getting Started With The Cleaning Of Your Cat’s Ears

Before you start, you need to follow these:

  • You need to take the animal to a quiet room with the least sound or intervention and definitely, there should be no other animals. You should make sure that all the doors and windows are closed so that your cat cannot escape in any way.
  • You can wrap the animal lightly inside a towel to make it more comfortable and prevent any sudden movements.
  • It is extremely important to see the condition of your cat’s ears before cleaning it. You must make your cat lie under bright light to see how clean the ears are. Recognizing the dirt and any symptom of infection is an essential practice for you as the owner of the animal.
  • If you notice any kind of discharge like red, green or yellow pus, then it is abnormal and needs a consultation with the vet. Unnatural secretions can mean fungal or bacterial infection, which needs immediate attention. Redness or swelling can also be indicative of infection.
  • You will need to hold the top of your cat’s ears and turn the flap inside out to get an inside view of the ear. You must check the inside of the ears as well as the outside for dirt and infection. If for instance, the inside of the ear seems light pink in color, clean with just a little wax and if you find no bad odor, then there is no need to clean the ears. But if you can see wax and dirt in your cat’s ears, then you should continue with the below-mentioned steps that will teach you about how to clean your cat’s ears.
  • Before using, the mixture should be brought to room temperature so that it is less uncomfortable. Discuss your vet before administering the dosage. Ideally, you should clean one ear at a time and then move on to the next one.

Steps To Follow While Cleaning The Cat’s Ears

Step 1: Do not drop the medicine droplets directly into the ear because it can cause pain and discomfort. The ear cleaning agent contains a mild astringent which evaporates easily.

Step 2: After administering the medicine, the base of the ear should be massaged for at least 40 seconds to let the medicine work.

​Step 3: As the medicine takes action, your cat may shake her head to dislodge the dirt. Hold it calmly or let it free for some time.

​Step 4: Clean the ear with a moist cotton swab or ball after the dirt becomes soft. Be sure not to push the cotton into the ear’s horizontal part because that can cause discomfort and pain to your cat

​Step 5: If lots of dirt is coming out, then you will need to use the ear cleaner again and wipe with the cotton swab or ball till the ear is completely clean.

​Step 6: Be careful while cleaning the ears and don’t try to enter too deep because you may end up rupturing or scratching the eardrum. Remember, cleaning the ears of your pet is almost like cleaning that of your babies. You will not want to dig deep inside his ear and end up hurting him. The animal with a sore ear will scratch or shake its head. It may even lose its sense of balance and lie on its side if the ear drum has been affected in any way. If the animal shows any of the above signs, you need to take her to a vet immediately.

​Step 7: Complete the dosage as prescribed by the vet to avoid any kind of complication in the future. Improper usage of the ear cleaning medicine will not completely clean the hearing organ and solve the problem. Your cat will, in fact, feel more uncomfortable after the cleaning is done if the process does not serve the purpose.

Step 8: If the animal has mites, which are microscopic parasites growing in the animal’s ears, a visit to the local vet is the best option.

Alternatives To Ear Cleaning Solution

  • If you cannot buy an ear cleaning solution for whatever reason, just arrange a mixture of vinegar (white) and rubbing alcohol. Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial properties and is an excellent antiseptic. Dilute it with water or rubbing alcohol before using it. However, in case your cat has an infection or scratch this liquid might sting a little. Hold the cat properly and put a few drops of the mixture in the animal’s ear and rub gently so that the liquid goes inside the ear and eases the dirt. Apple cider vinegar can be used to clean wounds as well.
  • Baby oil is a strict no-no because it will allow the dirt to collect otherwise.
  • However, a few drops of cooking oil can be used instead. It will loosen the dirt and grime present in the ears.
  • Water is best not used because it tends to sit and can cause the growth of yeast. Even if you are using water just use enough to make the cotton moist and not more than that.
  • Using hydrogen peroxide is an alternative that can help in making the ear wax moist. You can also try olive oil.


Once the cleaning session is over you should reward the cat with a lot of cuddles so that the animal becomes calm and is enthusiastic about the next cleaning session. Starting from the time your cat is small helps because the animal is less likely to be jittery. Learning how to clean the cat’s ears is important for keeping the animal healthy.

With regular practice, you can follow the steps mentioned above and easily clean up in no time. This is how I keep my pet cat nice and clean. An occasional visit to the animal doctor keeps her ship-shaped. Do you think this article is useful to you? Then, please share it with your friends and put down what you think in the ‘comments’ column. I will be more than happy to share more such experiences and clear any queries that you may have while performing the tasks.

Sarah Keene

I’m Sarah Keene, and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I love cats so much; I consider myself a cat woman. I have 5 cats at the moment, and I am planning to grow my cat family. It is not easy to take care of these cats appropriately though I would wish to make them feel as comfortable as possible. This is why I depend on other blogging cat lovers like me to help me in providing all the necessities for my cats to have the best life possible.

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