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Caring For Ears is an Essential Part of Cat Grooming

Posted by Awesome Doggies

groomed-catWe all know that grooming is an important routine for those who are cat owned. While your kitty can groom herself, she still needs to be brushed or combed. However, there’s one part of her cute little body that she’ll need extra help with: her ears. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t think of it, many owners overlook this significant part of cat grooming. Many don’t want to clean their kitty’s ears for fear of hurting her. But it’s better to clean them on a weekly basis and you can do so safely and easily. If you don’t, you could discover she has a nasty ear infection when you’re at your veterinarian’s office for a yearly exam.

Detecting Problems in Your Fur-Baby’s Ears

Get to know your feline’s ears. If her ears are healthy and normal, they will be dry, clean, and pain-free. Be on the look-out for things such as:

  • Sores or scabs around or on her ear(s)
  • She holds her head at an angle or shakes it often
  • Swelling or redness in her ear(s)
  • Your kitty’s experiencing pain or sensitivity around her ear(s)
  • Inflammation in her ear canal(s)
  • Excessive pawing, rubbing or scratching of her ear(s)
  • A smell and/or discharge from her ear(s)

The above are sure signs to get her to your vet as soon as you can for she could have one of these issues:

  • Ear mites
  • Yeast infection
  • An ear-tip fungal infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Allergies

Make Everything Go Smoothly for Your Cat and You

There are a few tips you should consider following before you dive in to inspect and possibly clean your kitty’s ears.

  1. The younger the better! If you have an 8-week-old kitten, that’s a “purrfect” time to begin a grooming routine that includes an ear examination once a week. Eventually, it’ll be a normal process for her and she won’t put up a fight when you have to check her ears.
  2. A happy cat means a relaxed cat. Never attempt to inspect or clean her ears if she’s under stress—for example, if you just trimmed her claws or had to give her a bath.
  3. It must be a positive ordeal. That's an oxymoron, right? But you can do it! Purchase some treats like Feline Greenies and keep them at your side; give one or two to her before, during and after you examine and clean her ears. She’ll learn to associate the ear cleaning with the treats and remember it as a positive event.
  4. If you have a feline that’s difficult to handle and she doesn’t like being swaddled (most cats don’t), have someone else hold her while you groom her ears; this way neither you nor your beloved fur-baby get hurt. But remember to also follow tip 3!

Cleaning Your Kitty’s Ears

Most of the time, your furry friend’s ears won’t need that much care. However, for those times you do need to clean them, it’s critical that you know the correct procedure so that you won’t injure her eardrum and impair her hearing.

  1. With your forefinger and thumb, grasp her ear tip and carefully pull it back allowing you to view the inside of her ear. If she struggles or tries to run, and you don’t have a helper, use your other three fingers to gently grasp her by the loose skin on the back of her neck.
  2. Search her ears for discharge or redness. If you see light brown wax, that’s normal. However, red, black or green/yellow pus isn’t, and warrants a call to your veterinarian for an appointment. Use Excel Ear Cleansing Pads or some other brand of ear cleansing pads for cats. Carefully wipe out inside of her ears. If you’re unsure, you can also ask your veterinarian which OTC brand is best to use. A simple cotton ball moistened with alcohol will work in a pinch, but better yet, use an ear cleaning solution, which will be optimally formulated.
  3. If you discover a bunch of dirt or wax in her ears, 5-10 drops of an ear cleaner, such as Nutri-Vet Ear Cleaning Solution, should be squeezed into each ear. Squirt each ear one at a time and immediately begin massaging the base of each ear for 15-20 seconds.
  4. Using a new cleansing pad or a cotton ball, wipe out her ears. Never use a Q-tip to wipe the ears! You could go too far in her ear canal and cause major damage to her hearing or eardrum.
  5. If you remove a big amount of dirt or wax, then steps 3 and 4 should be repeated. And then monitor the situation because if the icky stuff comes back in a few days, you definitely want to sign up for a trip to the vet to get that checked out.
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Incorporate a weekly routine of inspecting her ears with her regular grooming session and your cherished cat will be happier—and so will you! Contact us and we’ll clean her ears for you if you’d like, as part of our Tender Loving Groom.
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