Cats can come into contact with a lot of dangers such as pointy grass, mites, ticks or other kinds of bugs and parasites which lurk day and night on outdoor grass and ground.
Some types of grass leaves, too, can be dangerous!
In the following article, we will inform you about why cat ears are susceptible to serious damage and some of the options on the market for the best cat ear cleaners.
Among the best cat ear cleaners is also our number one choice Zymox Treatment with Hydrocortisone that serves as an enzymatic solution for cat ear cleaning.
Additionally, we will guide you through a carefully explained process of how to clean a cat’s ears properly.
Furthermore, we will compare store-bought cat ear cleaners and homemade solutions.
Ultimately, we will inform you of how we chose these products to give you only the best cat ear cleaners available on the market.
IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT Zymox Treatment with Hydrocortisone TOP PROS:
- Contains hydrocortisone
- Different sizes
- Solves inflammation issues
All products featured on Cat Travel Guide are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a small affiliate commission.
- Before You Buy: 5 things to consider before buying a cat ear cleaner
- 8 Best cat ear cleaners
- How to clean a cat’s ear
- All-natural vs. pesticide-based cat ear cleaners
- How we chose cat ear cleaning products
Zymox Treatment with Hydrocortisone
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Curaseb by Bexley Lab
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EarWELL Otic Cleansing Solution with Aloe
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Pet MD Otic-Clean Ear Cleanser
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Ear Powder by Gold Medal Pets
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Vet Solutions Ear Cleansing Solution
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Arava Ear Mite Treatment
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Before You Buy: 5 things to consider before buying a cat ear cleaner
1. The importance of cleaning the ears of a cat
As your pet cat becomes older and more active, you may notice that the responsibilities related to keeping your cat healthy and fit get more tricky and demanding.
Cats are very active physically, and that can lead to all sorts of health issues and dangers.
Thus, a cat’s ears are one of the first things that come in contact with the environment. And if not protected, it can be a gateway to serious issues.
This happens because, as they run through the grass, some types of leaves or grass residue might get into their ears and get stuck, possibly causing infection as they rot.
Cats are carnivorous mammals and their hearing is impeccable. They can use their ears to navigate through the dark, too!
As such, having clean ears is a must for all cats.
Unfortunately, they can’t clean the interior of their ears by themselves and this can lead to many health problems if left untreated.
Be sure to always ask for a veterinarian’s professional help in case you are inexperienced or do not know how to approach this problem.
Cat’s ear problems
Although a cat will clean itself meticulously, when it comes to their ears, their hygienic habits can’t help.
Besides their inability to reach this place, this is exactly where ticks, lice and other types of parasites adore to hang out.
So, taking proper care of a cat’s ears should be mandatory!
The wax in cat’s ears
It comes as no surprise that cats too have ear wax which helps them keep all impurities at bay.
Medically known as cerumen, it is a defensive mechanism of nearly all mammals.
Its smell is repelling to bugs and other forms of parasites, but there are exceptions to this rule.
In cats, this substance is secreted by ear sweat glands which in contrast produces a wet, yellowish substance that protects the hearing.
2. What are some common cat ear cleaners on the market?
There are a few different ear treatment products available on the market.
They have different purposes, and they’re mostly sold by different companies who claim to have the best solution for cat ear cleaning.
We have researched these products to make a classification between them.
All-Natural cat ear cleaners
These are the most common cat ear cleaning solutions available on the market.
They are usually made with natural substances like herb oils or extracts that alleviate different symptoms of cat ear problems.
These don’t contain any sort of pesticide or other dangerous parasite removing ingredients.
These are usually sold as bottles with a narrow opening so that the product can easily be applied to a cat’s ear.
All-natural cat ear cleaners can usually be used as both medicine and prevention from other issues that strike the ears of a cat.
Parasite removing cat ear cleaners
Depending upon the types of the parasite that has found home in your cat’s ears, you may find different best cat ear cleaner solutions that serve a different purpose.
These are often not the best choice to use on your own and getting a professional veterinarian’s help would be the ideal course of action in these types of situations.
Although there are products with strong pesticides in them, you can rest assured that most cat ear cleaners are safe to use.
However, with pesticide-based ear cleaner products, you are bound to be extra careful as your cats might be sensitive to their contents.
Cat ear cleaning wipes
These are somewhat similar to the wet wipes commonly used by humans. These products are in the category of all-natural cat ear cleaning options but only come in the form of wipes.
The idea behind them is that they’re meant to avoid damaging a cat’s ears by accidentally pouring too much liquid into them.
Furthermore, with wet wipes, you are bound to get a cat’s ears completely cleaned as you can gently put pressure on different points in a cat’s ears to clean impurities.
Cat ear cleaning powders
Although these can be rare on the market, there is no real substitute when it comes to alleviating itching!
The powders are usually made to completely remove fungal activity or itching on the outer rims of the ears.
These are not to be used on the interior of a cat’s ear, however. Luckily, they are effective and can last you for a long time!
3. Common symptoms that show cat ear issues
Whether you have an indoor or an outdoor cat, there are bound to be ear issues pilling up over time. Recognizing these issues is crucial to keep a cat’s ear hygiene at an optimal level.
Usually, when the symptoms start showing, the underlying issues have already progressed, so the actual medication needs to be applied by a professional.
These symptoms usually are:
- Bad hearing or loss of hearing
- Constant scratching of the ear area
- Other cats licking your cat’s ears
- Ears being a little wet on massage or touch
- Visible blood, bloody crust or scratch marks on the head or ears
- Visible pain and irritation to the touch
4. Health issues related to poor cat ear hygiene
Among the different health problems that are related to poor cat ear hygiene, the following are some of the more common ones. Although, house cats are not as prone to these types of problems.
If your cat shows any of the symptoms we previously mentioned, be sure to pay a visit to the local veterinarian.
More often, these types of problems and health-related issues are going to last no more than a week even in some of the most severe scenarios.
After that, your cat will be satisfied, less irritated and up and about.
However, for the sake of informing you, we’ve gathered data on the most common and prevalent issues that can strike a cat’s ears and hearing ability.
Cat Ear Mites
This is the most common and most prevalent problem that all cats share, regardless of their species.
These issues are often very prominent in younger cats and kittens that are only starting to build their defensive organisms.
This is why younger cats need extra protection, but it is often hard to battle mites in kittens.
Cat ear mites are a sort of crawling parasitic creature which feeds upon animal earwax. They are quick to multiply and can be transferred from other animals, too!
If you are the owner of several animals and discover that one has ear mites, chances are that others have the same parasitic manifestation, too!
This is why treating them collectively is going to stop the problem from reappearing.
Common medicine against Ear Mites
The medicine used to treat these sorts of infections is regulated by any sort of pyrethrin-based compound. Often found in combination with piperonyl butoxide which is defined as a pesticide.
However, piperonyl butoxide isn’t a pesticide despite being treated as such.
These compounds are bound to attack the nervous system of any parasite found in cats, but most importantly in the treatment of cat ear mites!
One of the deadliest combinations is exactly any mixture based on pyrethrin and piperonyl butoxide.
These benefit each other by increasing the potency of detoxification in insects and thus prolong the effect in action.
Such action results in destroying the organism of even of the most resistant cat ear mites!
Among the most common medicines found in the pet stores is Eradimite and some cat ear cleaners use it as their base.
Bad odor from a cat’s ears
It should not come as a surprise that cat ear odor is a direct result of a serious infection. This can happen for four individual reasons, although they can combine it into one serious condition.
- Cat scratching
- Blood crust
- Ear mites
Each of these can be both a symptom and a cause that causes a bad odor that comes from a cat’s ears, which should be fairly noticeable.
Always remember that grooming your cat, which is something that you should be doing anyway, is also a time to properly inspect your cat.
Checking their ears for a massive accumulation of earwax that goes yellow or even dark can tell you if your cat requires treatment.
Be wary, however, of other cats or animals as they approach your infected cat.
The fact is that the earwax contains certain smells that are cats that are very attracted to and creates something like a sense of hunger in their neural activity.
As such, they might try to lick off an infected cat’s ears. In such a process they, too, might get infected, so if you notice anything similar be sure not to allow it!
Severe indications and results
In the most severe scenarios, which are rare but not unheard of, your cat can completely lose its hearing ability. The cat will start meowing louder since it can’t hear itself.
However, understanding that your cat’s deafness is a serious, but not a life-threatening condition, should be somewhat of a reassurance.
Although this is something that happens very rarely, cats do have other abilities to both navigate and continue with their daily lives just like any other cat.
This is because cats rely on their senses of body temperature, whiskers for navigation and senses, eyes for seeing in the dark.
Furthermore, a cat’s eyes are more prone to seeing faster moving objects rather than slow ones. So even in the case of serious conditions such as hearing loss, you still can entertain your cat with various toys that move fast.
Anything that moves fast or tries to imitate something that runs away from cats is going to tingle their hunting senses in the right way.
Just be sure to allow the cat to hunt and “kill” the prey since this is one of the biggest stress relief options for your feline.
Among other problems that might befall your cat are health issues related to dust, dirt, and debris. These can vary from a simple cobweb from a spider, up to full-on grass residue found in your cat’s ears.
Although it can be rare, if your cat is an outdoor one there is never a dull moment! Be sure to regularly check your cat for any parasitic manifestation or any sort of dirt or dust residue inside of your cat’s ears.
These can contain not only parasites and fungi, but can also reduce hearing and cause a serious inflammation that can lead to other problems if left untreated.
As you are surely well aware, some cats fear water as if it’s the end of the world!
Of course, they are simply afraid of having their fur wet due to how their bodily temperature regulation works.
Cleaning a cat’s ears, paws and tail should be mandatory by the end of their daily physical routine, as this will improve your cat’s health benefits by quite a lot!
So don’t be a stranger to examine your cat’s body if you consider yourself a responsible pet owner.
5. The price point
As usual, with various compounds and solvents on the market, you are bound to find some that work better with your cat’s issues, whilst others show no real progress.
In our experience and research, the most expensive product isn’t always the best choice for anything that you deal with.
However, as a general rule asking your veterinarian about such problems should be a good way to go!
Try to always find what your cat’s issue might be based on the symptoms. Get both professional and experienced help in these regards.
Research about different compounds and be sure to understand the matter before you make the final choice.
Also, take into account just how long the problem might be present. If you have an outdoor cat, think in advance about getting a product that can deal with ear mites as well as potential ticks or lice!
If your cat rarely goes out, try getting a preventive and protective solution instead!
Although cats deserve all the best from their owners, the point is to buy and use smart products, regardless of whether it’s all-natural or pesticide-based.
Finding the perfect balance between the price points and uses for treating cats is the definitive goal.
The 8 Best Cat Ear Cleaners
This product is used for treating acute and chronic inflammation of the external ear. If the inflammation is caused by bacterial, viral or yeast infections than this otic treatment will save your day!
If your cat is experiencing acute infection than you should use this treatment once a day for a week but if we are talking about chronic infection, then your treatment should last for two weeks.
It is not recommended to use this otic treatment in conjunction with other topical ear cleaners or medications.
This product does not contain any antibiotics and it destroys antibiotic-resistant organisms. It is very easy to use since it comes in a bottle.
This means you will be putting drops in your cat’s ears because Zymox is a liquid treatment.
Zymox Treatment contains hydrocortisone. Hydrocortisone is a hormone cortisol that is used in many medications.
This is a topical steroid that reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.
A lot of people are extremely satisfied with this product stating that they haven’t tried anything better.
Of course, have in mind that cats differ from each other so different treatments will help them. Zymox Treatment comes in several different sizes.
Zymox company sells many different cat ear cleaners, so whatever you are looking for they probably have that.
- Contains hydrocortisone
- Different sizes
- Solves inflammation issues
Overall, this product is doing wonders. It doesn’t contain antibiotics so your cat won’t be taking any heavy medication, but the treatment will still do its job.
Zymox is great if your cat has an inflammation of the external ear, but it can also help with other issues like ear mites.
Most ear infections are caused by bacteria, fungus or yeast. There is no surprise to this piece of information.
What might surprise you though is this product by Bexley Lab. Curaseb is a great medication for ear infections.
After only a week of use, you can say goodbye to all unwelcome visitors.
This product’s formula contains prescripted grade ketoconazole that has an antifungal and anti-yeast effect. It also contains tris-EDTA for antibacterial effect.
This combination does wonders when we speak about issues caused by bacteria, fungus or yeast.
Another awesome thing about Curaseb is that you can use it on your cat’s skin too.
If your cat is having trouble with rashes, scaly patches or acne then this is the perfect product for you. Aloe will help soothing and relieving the problem areas.
This water-based aloe-infused ear cleaner will help flush away debris. Curaseb comes with a cucumber melon scent.
You can purchase it in one size, but trust us, this package size will be more than enough.
Another great thing about this product is that if you purchase this product over Amazon.com and you are not satisfied with what Curaseb offers, you can return it for a full refund. Such confidence, right?
- wide range of use
- You can return the product for a full refund
- Won’t help every case
Curaseb is a great product when your cat is having problems with inflammation, skin or even debris. After only a few days the results are showing! Not only this product is doing wonders but it also smells great!
This solution is great in helping with many things. Soothing aloe vera formula will do all the good work. It will clean, deodorize, acidify and dry your beloved cat’s ears.
EarWELL is meant for daily use. This product won’t sting, burn or damage the ear canal.
Using this product daily will eliminate the issue of the wax build-up. Fluid, dirt, and debris will also be a problem from the past.
EarWELL Cleansing Solution helps in stopping itching and scratching because of various irritations.
This product relieves infections caused by yeast, itching, and mites.
This product comes in two scents: cucumber melon and sweet pea vanilla, so besides being helpful EarWELL is also going to make your cat’s ears smell really good!
- Various scents
- Helps relieve many issues
- Won’t work for every cat
This product provides your cat with exactly what you need if you are battling inflammation, ear way or just plainly dirty ears. Besides helping a lot it also smells great!
Pet Md otic ear cleanser is formulated in such a way so it helps many cat owners with different ear issues.
This product is scientifically designed to deodorize, clean, dry and acidify your cat’s ears.
Wax build-ups will no longer be your problem. This product also eliminates fluid, dirt, and debris and by doing so it stops your cat from scratching and shaking her head like a lunatic.
Soothing aloe vera won’t sting, burn or aggravate your beloved cat’s ear canals.
This product is indicated for daily use and it can be used for kittens also. Sweetpea scent will leave your cat smelling as good as she is feeling.
This product is made in federally regulated manufacturing facilities so it ensures quality and safety.
- Eliminates odor
- For daily use
- Can be used for kittens
- Some state that this product will only solve problems temporary
Overall, this product does what it says it does. Your cat won’t be having problems with itching and irritation if you use Pet MD otic solution.
Another great thing is that this product can be used for kittens too!
This Ear Powder by Gold Medal Pets can be used for many things. One of the main things this Ear Powder is great for is relieving irritated, itchy ears.
This product is special because it comes in the form of a powder rather than liquid. This is a huge plus for cats who dislike liquid and won’t cooperate.
Ear Powder can also be used for drying wet ears. Wax build-up and dirt lead to disgusting odor and this powder helps to eliminate that odor. This powder also helps inhibit bacterial growth.
One of the most interesting facts about this powder is that it grips hair for easy removal. So if you need a product to help you eliminate your cat’s ear hair, this one is amazing for those purposes.
Even though it doesn’t contain any kind of anesthetic as an ingredient it sure does feel like it contains since many cats just sit through this whole process without even blinking.
- Good for cats who dislike liquid
- Grips hair for easy removal
- Not for every cat
This ear powder is great with fighting against itchy irritations. It is a great solution for cats who dislike liquid being dropped into their ear canals.
Another useful side to this powder is its ability to grip hair for easy removal.
This solution does a thorough cleanse of cats’ ears. This product is very affordable and it’s an effective solution that is very gentle.
The gentle part indicates that you can use it every day.
Vet Solutions is effective in removing ear wax. It maintains the health of your cat’s ears.
Amazing formula made of a variety of ingredients helps to clean, dry, deodorize and acidify your beloved cat’s ears.
Cleaning your cat’s ears should be a part of your cat’s grooming routine. This product allows ear cleaning to be a part of the daily routine.
Besides health maintenance, it also prevents many diseases.
This is a product of choice for many because it can be used both for daily routine and health maintenance but it is also great in healing.
- For daily use
- Good for prevention
- Won’t really solve bigger health issues
Vet Solutions is an effective product mainly made for maintaining health and preventing diseases. Its magic lies by using it every day and not suffer from dry ear canals. Sounds wonderful, right?
Arava treatment is mainly used for ear mite infections. Besides helping with ear mites, it can also be good for maintaining healthy ears.
This premium ear mite treatment contains nine natural ingredients and over 20 Dead sea minerals. These ingredients effectively eliminate mite infections and all the trouble they were causing.
No allergic reactions should appear when using this product because its formula is base on all-natural ingredients. Results should be visible in just 10 days.
However, if the symptoms are more serious, than you will probably need to apply this treatment for a bit longer. Don’t be afraid to apply it as long as necessary.
Please note that this product is not for kittens under 12 months!
Another good thing about buying this product over Amazon website is that if you are not satisfied with your purchase, you can return the product for the full money refund.
- All-natural ingredients
- Eliminates ear mite
- Not for kittens under 12 months
Overall, this product does wonders if you are having issues with ear mites. This all-natural formula will help you in just a little bit over a week.
However, note that this product is not for kittens under 12 months!
If you are one of those cat owners who think that liquid cleaners tend to be messy, then these cat ear wipes are exactly what you need.
Petpost wipes blast away the excess wax and debris that cat ear mites are so fond of.
By using wipes you are lowering the chances of your cat developing an allergic reaction to the ear cleaner since you never know which ingredient can cause an allergic reaction.
Using wipes is easy and your cat won’t need to go through the whole liquidy process.
Petpost uses all naturally derived ingredients, recyclable packaging, and eco-friendly natural cotton pads.
Another great thing about this product is that if you purchase it over Amazon website, you can get your money returned if you are for some reason not happy with the product.
- All naturally derived ingredients
- Great for cats who dislike liquid
- Lower chances of allergic reactions
- You can’t really treat many diseases with wipes, especially otitis media
Petpost cat ear cleaning wipes are an awesome choice for the cats who dislike liquid being poured into their ear canals.
Using wipes is easy and you can wipe all the wax and the debris from the cat’s ears.
How to clean a cat’s ear
Be sure that your cat is relaxed
You will find that having your cat relaxed greatly helps with all sorts of inspection and application of medicines.
Do it in a well-lit area:
Since cat ears are difficult to properly examine, having as much light as possible should be mandatory. You can always try using a small flashlight. However, make sure you don’t hurt your cat’s eyes.
Prepare in advance and use sterile tools
Having already prepared and sterilized tools will reduce the time needed for cleaning your cat’s ears. Sterilization of the tools that you will be using reduces the chances of any infections in your cat’s sensitive ears.
Examine the condition of your cat’s ears
Place your cat on a clean surface such as a mat or gauze. Gently bend the tips of the cat’s ears. If a cat has visible marks of infection, be sure to use gloves. If you notice that your cat is in pain, stop the procedure and visit a veterinarian immediately.
Use a Q-tip or a wet wipe to remove excess dust and dirt
As you slowly bend the cat’s ears, gently start wiping away any visible dirt or dust from the very surface of the cat’s ears. Be sure not to go deeper as these are not commonly used to clean the interior of a cat’s ear.
Apply the prescribed cat ear’s medicine
When you are sure that the cat’s ears are clear of any residue, you can apply for the medicine by dropping any liquid medicine, spraying anti-fungal deodorants or adding powder-based compounds in the proposed amounts.
Gently massage your cat’s ears with the medicine
In the case of powder-based medicine, a gentle massage is strongly recommended. First, try tapping and then hold them out a part of the ear between your thumb and index finger, trying a slow but steady circular motion.
Be patient with your cat
Since this is not a common procedure, you can do this in combination with grooming. If you made a routine for your cat’s grooming since its young age, you will find it extremely easy to apply any sort of medicine.
Don’t be afraid of helping your cat
Unless you are sensitive or otherwise can’t stand the sight of blood or wounds, be sure to have someone who can help your cat like a veterinarian or experienced friends and family members. Remember, your cat depends on you!
Seek medical help for your cat’s ears
If you find it too hard to deal with any of the given helpful tips, be sure to train in front of a veterinarian or an experienced person who is a responsible cat owner. Be sure to ask for advice, too, as you can learn many tips and tricks that will help with dealing with your cat’s medical problems.
All-natural vs. pesticide-based cat ear cleaners
Many of the best cat ear cleaners are used to address certain points in a cat’s health. These points are based on the severity of the infection of your cat’s ears.
Among the different solutions available on the market, we think that these two types stand out the most.
All-Natural cat ear cleaners
Most of the all-natural cat earn cleaners are made with the ingredients that alleviate symptoms and help with reducing the pain or mitigating the dust and dirt in a cat’s ears.
These are the best for keeping the optimal hygiene levels on the outside of the ear, however, in some cases, they can be used with great efficiency even deeper down the cat’s ear lobe.
As expected, using them in this way without proper supervision is generally not a good idea.
However, most of these products are preventive and applied only on either the outer surface of the ear or the very entrance of the cat’s ear.
You should be okay using these as preventive medicine, rather than a parasite cleanser.
- Less dangerous to a cat’s health
- Can be used on a daily basis
- Somewhat inefficient against parasites
Pesticide-based cat ear cleaners
These pet ear cleaners come in variations ranging from mild to severe reactions in cats.
As such, any sort of pesticide-based compound should be considered firstly with a professional veterinarian, since these are going to be dropped directly into the cat’s ear.
They are used to destroy a parasite’s nervous system and in this regard, these are the most efficient products.
Although there are some cat-friendly versions to buy, most pet shops or apothecaries won’t have the sort that would be the most suited for your cat.
As such it is always a good idea to double-check with a professional veterinarian on what the dangers are and just for how long the effect of the pesticide-based cat ear cleaners are going to last.
- Clears parasites efficiently
- Mostly given under professional supervision
- Efficient in allowing a cat to return to its daily activities
- Dangerous if overused or used in an incorrect dosage
How we chose these cat ear cleaning products
Aside from the countless cases of cat ear infections we’ve encountered with our pets, we also gathered a lot of data from experienced and responsible cat owners.
Furthermore, we also got opinions and professional help from various veterinarians.
Our data shows which the best and most commonly used cat ear cleaners are, and it reflects in this article.
However, we think that the safety of a cat is the most important factor so we always advise you to seek professional veterinarian’s opinions before purchasing all-natural or pesticide-based cat ear cleaners on your own.
As usual with all medicines and foods, there are rare cases where a product can’t fulfill the needs of a pet owner, in which case extra measures or precautions are needed.
However, you can rest assured that these are all verified and highly praised products that helped many happy cat owners.
Take a moment to write us in the comments section as we love hearing from you. Have you ever used any of these products? What do you usually use to clean your pets’ ears? Are there any products you think should be on our list? We’d love to know!
Feel free to leave us a comment!