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Cats usually do not need their ears cleaned. However, cats that are prone to wax build-up and/or ear infections may benefit from ear cleaning as part of their hygiene routine. Cats' ear canals have a complex structure that prevents material trapped within the horizontal canal from easily being expelled without cleaning. Failure to remove this material can cause itchiness and ear infections.
Good quality cat ear cleaners are highly recommended. Inflamed or ulcerated ear canals may experience irritation from cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. To prevent ear infections, some ear cleaners have antibacterial or antifungal ingredients. There are certain cat ear cleaners that are better at removing wax buildup than others. Pet owners can ask their veterinarian which ear cleaning solution is best for their pets.
No special equipment is needed to clean your cat's ears. You only need a good ear cleaning solution, cotton balls or gauze, and some treats to reward your cat. A cotton tip applicator can perforate the eardrum or cause trauma to the ear canal, so avoid using it. The use of cotton tip applicators can also push debris deeper into the canal.
Keeping your cat's ears clean is important, but over-cleaning can cause irritation in the ear canal, leading to infection. Cats typically have healthy, clean ears and do not require ear cleaning. However, cleaning your cat's ears should be done if you notice discharge or an odour. Your veterinarian can advise you on how often your cat's ears need to be cleaned. If your cat's ears are red, inflamed, or painful, talk to your veterinarian before cleaning them.
As meticulous as cats are when it comes to self-grooming, they are unable to properly clean their eyes. While it's adorable when your cat licks their paw to wipe their face, that technique won't do. Even though your independent kitty may not enjoy it, cleaning your cat's eyes is important.
If you notice any of these symptoms: Discharge, pawing at the eyes, excessive blinking, squinting, or crustiness, take them to the vet for a checkup. Even though cat eye problems are usually mild, they can also be a symptom of more serious health problems such as: Respiratory infections, conjunctivitis (aka Pink Eye) or corneal disorders. Read more about Recognizing Pet Eye Problems.
Cleaning your cat's eyes regularly will help prevent bacteria buildup, which will keep your pet healthy. Although your feline friend may not enjoy the process, they will think it's worth it once their eyes are clean, comfortable, and healthy.
There are many types of eye cleaners, including liquid rinses, medicated gels, and wipes. Choosing the right eye cleaner depends on the issue and how they will tolerate being handled when getting their eyes cleaned. Make sure you check the expiration date before administering an eye cleaner to your cat if it is a medicated topical. Before adding any new medication to your cat's routine, especially if they have other health conditions to treat, it is always advised to consult your veterinarian.
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