What Is the Black Stuff in My Cat’s Ears?

Cat Hygiene: A Guide on How to Clean Cat Ears

Cats have a lot more earwax than dogs do, and it can build up in their ears over time. So, in simple words, the black stuff inside the cat’s ears is earwax, gunk, or cerumen.

But, before we explain how to clean cat ears and get rid of the black stuff, we need to say how it forms and what it does.

Earwax is produced by glands that line the outer portion of your cat’s ear canal. As it builds up, it pushes against the lining of your cat’s ear canal, causing inflammation and irritation.

If there is too much earwax in your cat’s ears, it may shake its head frequently or scratch at the ears with its paws.

However, ear wax is not always normal. Namely, many ear health issues can result in increased ear wax (cerumen) production. Such issues include ear mites and ear infections.

If your cat shakes its head and has too much black stuff in its ears, you should see a vet.

What Are the Benefits of Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears?

Regular and proper cat ear cleaning reduces the risk of many ear health issues. Here is a closer look at some of the benefits of cleaning your cat’s ears:

  • Preventing Ear Infections. Ear infections are common due to the shape of the cat’s ear canal, which traps bacteria and debris, making it difficult for the body to fight off the infection. Cat ear infections result in pain, irritation, head-shaking, and ear discharge.
  • Removing Wax Buildup. Cleaning the cat’s ears removes the ear wax buildup, which prevents some ear problems, such as ear mites (ear mites are tiny parasites that live inside the ears and feed on ear wax).
  • No Ear Odor. The excess formation and ear wax buildup can make the cat’s ears smelly. This is not a health problem, but it is a nuisance for the owner.
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  • Advanced Formulation: Cleans, deodorizes, prevents infections caused by dirt, buildup, and wax for fresh and clean pet ears.
  • Reduces foul odor, pleasant scent, eases discomfort from infections, reduces head shake, scratching, and pawing.
  • Quick, easy, and painless ear cleaning with cat and dog ear wipes.

What Is a Safe Ear Cleaner for Cats?

There are a variety of safe ear cleaners and ear cleaning solutions for cats that can be used to clean your cat’s ear flap and the base of the ear.

Pet MD Cat Ear Cleaner Wipes. Pet MD Cat Ear Cleaner Wipes are safe for dogs and cats. They are specifically formulated to prevent things like dirt and wax buildup and ear infections.

The cucumber melon scent of the ear wipes is perfect for masking any lingering foul odors, and the aloe vera will ensure any discomfort by your cat will be minimal as it has a soothing effect. Each ear wipes pack includes 100 wipes.

Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanser for Cats. The Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanser for Cats is a highly rated ear cleanser for cats that contains gentle ingredients and a potent deodorizer. The solution can prevent wax buildup, infections, and dirt accumulation in the inner ear.

Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanser for Cats can also help provide relief from frustrating problems like itching, fungal infections, eczema, and dermatitis. The gentle formula is created by vets and soothes ear irritation in a subtle way.

Pet MD Cat Ear Cleaner Liquid. The Pet MD Cat & Dog Ear Cleaner Liquid is another cleaner that contains aloe vera. Because of that, it’s soothing and helpful for itching in the ears.

This product contains a mild sugar cookie scent that can be used on a daily basis. It’s manufactured from premium quality supplies directly from Pet MD. It’s a highly rated product by many users, and it can be used for pets above 12 weeks of age.

Yadee Finger Ear Wipes for Cats. Yadee Finger Ear Wipes for Cats are made with a high-quality cotton material that feels soft and comfortable on your cat’s ears. This product will dissolve any wax buildup on your cat’s ears, and can effectively get deep into the ear canal for a good clean.

Yadee Finger Ear Wipes for Cats are especially easy to use, and the package contains 100 wipes that can be disposed of when you’re finished with them. The company provides a money-back guarantee, so if you’re not 100% satisfied, simply return it for a full refund.

VetWELL Ear Cleaner for Cats Otic Rinse for Infections. VetWELL Ear Cleaner for Cats Otic Rinse for Infections is a product created by veterinarians and is known as a gentle cleanser that can get rid of infections, wax, and dirt inside the ear canal without stinging or burning it.

This product was manufactured directly in the United States and is regulated to ensure not only quality but safety for your pets. The product has received 4.5 out of 5 stars from nearly 13,000 customers, so you can rest assured in knowing you’re getting a premium-quality product.

Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser for Cats. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser for Cats is another product that can help reduce bacterial growth in your cat’s ears. It’s a gentle, pH-neutral formula that can combat yeast and bacterial infections.

The nice thing about this product is that it both cleans and dries your cat’s ears at the same time without irritating it.

What do I Need to Clean My Cat’s Ears?

Cat Hygiene: A Guide on How to Clean Cat Ears

To start the cat ear cleaning process, you will need a gentle cleanser, cotton balls or gauze, and a light source. You will also want to have a towel or cloth nearby to dry your cat’s ears afterward.

Here is a list of things you need on hand:

  • An ear cleaning product (ear wipes, solution)
  • Cotton swabs or some clean gauze pads
  • Light source
  • Clean towels
  • Some cat treats.

Ear cleaning should be part of your regular pet health routine. By doing it yourself, you can save money and ensure that it is done properly. Plus, your cat will appreciate the extra attention.

Can I Clean My Cat’s Ears with Peroxide?

No, hydrogen peroxide is not recommended for cleaning your cat’s ears. This is because hydrogen is too strong and can cause irritation. Vinegar is another house supply that should not be used for cat ear cleaning.

The best way to clean your cat’s ears is with an ear-cleaning solution from your vet’s office or pet store. Your vet may also prescribe antibiotics for an infection or another medication if there is some other underlying problem.

Should I Clean My Cat’s Ears with Q-Tips?

No, you should not use q-tips for cleaning your cat’s ears. Q-tips can push the ear wax deeper into the cat’s ear, instead of helping remove it.

Also, if misused, the q-tips can easily damage the eardrum. This is more likely to happen if the cat is not used to ear cleaning or if poorly handled.

How To Clean Cat Ears at Home?

Cat Hygiene: A Guide on How to Clean Cat Ears

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your cat’s ears:

  • Step 1: Locate the ear canal and use one hand to support your cat’s head and the other hand to gently pull down on the outer edge of their ear flap.
  • Step 2: Hold a cotton ball or cotton pad that’s been dabbed with one of the cleanser products mentioned above onto the inside of their ear flap.
  • Step 3: Gently rub in circular motions for approximately five minutes before removing any residue from the outside of their ear with a damp washcloth. Only clean the outer part of the ear (you do not want to go too deep and damage the eardrum).
  • Step 4: Repeat this process for both ears and then let them shake out any excess water before patting them dry with a towel or cloth.
  • Step: Continue by stroking your cat’s fur with an air of love. You can also give cat treats as a reward.

How Often Should I Clean My Cat’s Ears?

Cats typically need their ears cleaned once a month and no more than that.

It’s always a good idea to contact your veterinarian before starting any pet care regimen, especially one involving medications.

Most cats groom themselves quite often, but there are some areas they can’t reach. One of those areas is their ears. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to clean your cat’s ears regularly to prevent infection and keep them healthy.

How often you should clean your cat’s ears depends on a few factors, such as whether they have long or short hair, if they go outside, and if they have any medical conditions.

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Cat’s Ears?

Some cats can do just fine even if their ears are not cleaned. However, others are prone to ear issues, and leaving the ears dirty increases the risk of developing an ear problem.

Regular ear care is an important part of the cat’s grooming routine. However, the exact frequency of the cleaning and the product used are things you should discuss with the vet and depend on the cat itself.

For some cat owners, ear cleaning can be a complex process. In such cases, it is advisable to see a groomer. Anyway, proper care of the pet’s ears is imperative for overall health and wellness.