The 10 Best Cat Ear Cleaners, According to a Veterinarian
If you notice gunk in your cat's ears and even (gulp) a smelly odor, your feline friend might need a cat ear cleaner to restore and maintain her overall ear health.
Should I Be Cleaning My Cat's Ears?
Cats are independent companions who love—and prefer—to clean themselves. However, they can't clean their ears by themselves, so should we make ear cleaning a part of our regular care routine for our cats?
"Ear cleaning is not necessary for a healthy cat," says Jamie Whittenburg, DVM at Senior Tail Waggers and owner of Kingsgate Animal Hospital in Lubbock, Texas.
If you check your cat's ears and notice they're light pink and clean with a low amount of earwax, congratulations—your cat's ears are healthy!
However, "if your cat has discharge or a foul smell, your first step is to take them for a visit with their veterinarian," Whittenburg says. "Cats with 'dirty' ears may have an infection or ear mites. Cleaning the ears of a cat who does not need their ears cleaned may lead to irritation and infection."
Types of Cat Ear Cleaner
Deciding on the right type of cat ear cleaner depends on the cause of your cat's gunky ears and if the condition just needs a general cleansing solution or a medicated treatment. Your vet can help you figure out the best treatment.
"Depending on the intended use, there are general cleansing and flushing solutions as well as medicated varieties that your veterinarian may suggest if the cat has an infection," Whittenburg says.
How to Use Cat Ear Cleaner
Whittenburg advises to not clean your cat's ears aggressively or more often than your veterinarian recommends since it can lead to irritation. She also warns to not use a Q-tip—or any other instrument—as it could lead to a ruptured eardrum and push wax and debris further into your cat's ear canal. Yikes!