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How to clean and give medication to my cat's ears

Photo of a cat getting his ear cleaned

Maintaining your cat's ear health is crucial for its overall well-being. Not all cats require regular ear cleaning, but certain breeds or individuals may benefit from routine care. Here’s a step-by-step guide on properly cleaning and medicating your cat's ears.

Which cats need their ears cleaned?

Certain breeds and cats with specific conditions are more prone to ear problems. Breeds like Maine Coons, Scottish Folds and Persians often have unique ear anatomy that requires regular attention. Additionally, if your cat has excessive earwax production or a history of ear infections, you should also conduct routine ear cleaning. Ask your veterinarian if your cat falls into these categories.

What you’ll need

Before you begin the cleaning and medicating process, gather the following materials:

1. An ear-cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian

2. Soft cotton balls or gauze pads for cleaning

3. Tempting treats for positive reinforcement

4. A towel or blanket to gently restrain your cat and protect yourself, if necessary

Step-by-step guide: How to clean your cat's ears

Follows these steps to gently clean your cat’s ears:

1. Prepare a quiet and comfortable environment where you can easily access your cat's ears.

2. Approach your cat calmly and speak softly. Offer treats to create a positive association.

3. Gently inspect the ears for redness, swelling, discharge or excessive wax buildup.

4. Apply a few drops of the vet-approved ear-cleaning solution to the ear canal.

5. Massage the base of the ear gently to distribute the solution.

6. Use a soft cotton ball or gauze pad to carefully wipe away any debris, wax or excess solution from the visible part of the ear.

Repeat steps four through six on the other ear.

Step-by-step guide: How to apply medication to your cat’s ears

If your cat needs ear medication, here’s how to apply it after the cleaning:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly.

2. Prepare the prescribed medication as directed by your veterinarian.

3. Gently wrap your cat in a towel or blanket to prevent scratching or escape. Leave its head exposed.

4. Lift the ear flap and administer the prescribed amount of medication into the ear canal, following your veterinarian's instructions.

5. Massage the base of the ear gently to help the medication spread inside the ear.

6. Allow the medication to sit for the recommended time advised by your veterinarian.

After you apply the medication, reward your cat with treats to reinforce positive behaviour.

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Visit our cat clinic page to discover our comprehensive feline health services, including flea and tick control, vaccinations and spaying and neutering. Contact us today to book an appointment. We serve pets and their owners in Scarborough, Toronto, Markham and North York.

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