How do I clean cat's dirty ears?

schoolhouse_gwMarch 30, 2012

She's the feral I took in one year ago this April and is semi-tame now. She was on my lap awhile ago and I was able to look in her ears - oh my. Mites too probably. I'm afraid she's going to freak out if I try to clean her ears with say a cloth or such and I know to be careful of Q-tips. Is there a med or cleaner I can squirt in her ears (if possible!) and not have to wipe out? I suppose if I had a second person to help hold her but I don't want to terrify her.

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I use a cotton balls dipped in mineral oil. The oil cleans out the gunk and also smothers the ear mites.

It helps me to hold onto the kitty if I wrap a towel around her and hug her on my lap while I do this.

Afterward, I give her some food she likes, for a good association.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 4:20PM
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The towel idea is a good one. We are working on the presence of "the towel". When she comes in the house wet, I slowly get the towel and ease it up behind her and make about three or four quick swipes down her back. That way she doesn't get too scared. So far that's working IF she doesn't see the towel first. My older cat is used to it and will let me wrap him in the way you mention. It's the only way I can get him into his crate when we go to the vet.

Having some food on hand could work. Thanks for the suggestions. Will buy some mineral oil.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 4:49PM
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If she allows you to pet/rub/scratch her head, then take advantage of it and have a cotton ball with mineral oil on it (doesn't have to be saturated) in one of your hands. As you're rubbing her ears make the cotton ball an extension of your hands.
If she doesn't like the cotton ball, you could place a small bowl of mineral oil next to you and dip a finger in it, then see if she'll let you massage the inside of her ears with just the oil. You don't need a lot of oil, just enough to lightly coat the ear.
Hopefully over time she'll get used to the cotton ball so you can eventually clean the ears.

A lot of it may be dirt since she has lived outdoors.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Both good suggestions.

Just wanted to say I'm so glad she's come in for you & is transitioning to semi-feral!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:09PM
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jomuir, I think I will drop the feral from now on and call her tame. After all, she comes into the house often and does sleep with me on my bed at night and is becoming very loving. She meows to go outside! Likes my attention and gets along somewhat better with my older cat. She still likes to tell him who's boss with a swipe of the paw now and then, but I try to step in and shake my finger at her. Which she acknowledges. Her hearing deficit makes it a little difficult to communicate with her other than hand signals, but I talk to her anyway. However, any fast moves still frighten her and sometimes she doesn't recognize me if I approach her outside unexpectedly and she takes off running to hide in the brush pile. Eats all meals in the house too.

This afternoon I scratched behind and played with her ears, stopping to open them up and look inside briefly. She didn't seem to mind so I think I will be able to wipe some mineral oil in them.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 5:09PM
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I remember you talking about her before, but I don't remember the hearing deficit issue. You can take it to the bank she has mites and medication (unless it's systemic like revolution) will not be very effective unless it's applied to clean ear canals. I had a cat who is gone now who had very major issues with them and appear to have another cat who also has issues with recurring mites and now on revolution. Mites can set the stage for infections and what amounts to cauliflower ears and also hearing problems in cats.

I hear you about skittish and semi-feral. I have a kitty now much like you describe. Thank God, her ears are healthy. My Tom with the ear mite issues is become very good now with the cleaning and finally his mites are controlled with the revolution and cleaning is not a frequent issue. I would suggest it's time to get this kitty to a vet to have a GOOD ear cleaning and have this and any other health issue addressed. Good luck with your little gal.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 8:56PM
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I also thought a vet could do the job better than I and could administer a good med. When she was spayed and had her shots, ect. I mentioned that she appeared deaf, but I never heard from the vet whether or not he even checked her ears. I just noticed how dirty they were the other day.

I wasn't aware that Revolution even helped ear mite infestations. That stuff must be powerful. Will look into it.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 11:13AM
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