How to Clean a Cat’s Ears?

By Ehtesham

Published on:

Cats are known for their fastidious grooming habits, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a little help in certain areas. One of those areas is ear cleaning.

Cleaning your cat’s ears is an essential part of their grooming routine and overall health. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to clean a cat’s ears safely and effectively.


A cat’s ears are quite sensitive and can be prone to a variety of issues, including earwax buildup, dirt, and even ear mites. Regular ear cleaning can help prevent these problems and keep your feline friend comfortable. Here are the steps to clean your cat’s ears:

Gather Your Supplies

Before you start, ensure you have all the necessary supplies:

  • Cotton balls or pads: These should be clean and soft.
  • Ear cleaning solution: You can purchase a veterinarian-recommended solution or make one at home.
  • Treats: Have some of your cat’s favorite treats on hand to reward them for good behavior during the process.
  • A towel: To secure your cat and prevent them from squirming.

Prepare Your Cat

Before you begin, make sure your cat is calm. If they are already agitated, it’s best to postpone the ear cleaning for a more relaxed time. You may want to enlist the help of a friend or family member to assist in holding the cat gently.

Examine the Ears

Take a moment to examine your cat’s ears. Look for any signs of redness, discharge, or foul odor. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian before attempting to clean the ears, as they could indicate an infection or other underlying issue.

Cleaning the Ears

To clean your cat’s ears, follow these steps:

  • Apply the solution: Gently hold your cat and apply the ear cleaning solution as recommended on the bottle.
  • Massage the base of the ear: With the solution in the ear, gently massage the base of the ear for about 20-30 seconds. This helps to loosen any debris.
  • Let your cat shake their head: After massaging, allow your cat to shake their head. This will help dislodge the loosened dirt and wax.
  • Wipe away the debris: Use a cotton ball or pad to gently wipe away the debris that has come to the surface. Be very gentle and do not insert anything into the ear canal.

Reward Your Cat

After the cleaning, reward your cat with treats and lots of praise. This positive reinforcement will make them more cooperative during future cleanings.

Regular Maintenance

Ear cleaning is not something you need to do daily, but it should be part of your cat’s regular grooming routine. The frequency depends on your cat’s individual needs and any specific instructions from your veterinarian.


Cleaning your cat’s ears is an essential part of their overall health and well-being. It helps prevent issues like earwax buildup and ear mites and ensures your cat’s ears remain clean and comfortable.

Remember to be gentle, patient, and use a veterinarian-recommended cleaning solution. If you ever notice any unusual symptoms in your cat’s ears, consult your veterinarian for professional guidance.


Can I use Q-tips to clean my cat’s ears?

It’s best to avoid using Q-tips or any objects that can go deep into the ear canal. These can push debris further in or cause injury.

What homemade solution can I use to clean my cat’s ears?

You can make a simple cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of warm water and white vinegar. However, consult your veterinarian for their recommendations.

My cat hates having their ears cleaned. What should I do?

If your cat is particularly resistant, consider seeking professional help from a veterinarian or groomer.

How do I know if my cat has ear mites?

Common signs of ear mites include excessive scratching of the ears, head shaking, and dark, crumbly discharge in the ears.

Is ear cleaning necessary for all cats?

Not all cats will require regular ear cleaning. The need for cleaning depends on individual factors and any specific recommendations from your veterinarian.