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At-Home Ear Care for Cats

Although cats are great self-groomers, they can use a little help here and there. One such area is the ears. Use your Richmond veterinarian’s advice to keep your cat’s ears well-maintained at home:

Outer-Ear Exam

Every couple of weeks or so, sit down with your cat in a well-lit area. Examine each ear carefully: it should be covered with a thin layer of hair, and the inner surface of the flap should be a clean, pink color. If you see bald patches around the ears, swelling, redness, or anything else unusual, you’ll want to get a veterinarian’s opinion.

Inner-Ear Exam

Take one hand and gently fold back the ear flap you’ve just examined. Try to get a look down into the inner ear and ear canal. This area should be a healthy pink, not red or white, and should be free of debris or discharge. If you smell an unusual odor or notice brown specks, something could be wrong.

NEVER try to stick an object in the inner ear to clean it out. There’s too great a chance that you’ll do more harm than good. Allow the professionals to handle it—contact your vet’s office if you think your cat’s ears need attention.

Watch for Behavioral Signs

Have you noticed your cat pawing or scratching at the face area? Does she seem to be disoriented or off-balance recently? Head tilting and shaking is another common behavioral indicator of ear problems. If you see your cat acting unusual in these ways, it’s best to get a veterinary opinion. Call your vet to see if your cat needs an exam.

Perform a Basic Cleaning

First, visit a pet supply shop or your vet’s office to pick up a cat-specific ear cleaner. Put some on a small piece of gauze and gently wipe away excess gunk, grime, or earwax around the outer ear. Again, never try to go into the ear canal.

Don’t forget to slip your cat a treat or two as a reward for a job well done! Keep your Richmond veterinarian’s number on hand to call with any questions or concerns.

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