Do Cats Have Ear Wax? (Cleaning Tips & Spotting Ear Mites)

Do Cats Have Ear Wax

Cats do have ear wax, yes. It’s completely normal to see wax in a cat’s ears, although a healthy cat will not often have a build-up of wax. If you do see a lot of wax, which is a brown to black color, then you should help by cleaning their ears and checking for other issues.

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

Cats’ ear wax isn’t a yellowish color like ours, it’s a dark brown to black color.

I will also point out that it’s not common to spot wax in a cat’s ear, especially not if you’re seeing large clumps of it. Seeing wax in a cat’s ear is often a sign that they have ear mites.

The problem with ear mites is that they’re tiny, pretty much impossible to see with the naked eye.

They feed off the wax, and they also stimulate the production of more wax from the glands inside of a cat’s ear which is why wax build-up is often a sign of mites.

So, if you can see black or brown stuff in your cat’s ears, it is almost certainly going to be ear wax. The other question you need to ask yourself is whether or not your cat has mites.

How Do You Get Wax Out of a Cat’s Ear?

Before cleaning your cat’s ears, it’s important that you know for sure they do not have mites or any other issues.

If your cat does have mites, your vet will have given you a product to use and you’ll need to follow the instructions on that product to clean and treat their ears.

If you simply want to clean your cat’s ears because they have a build-up of wax – or for some reason, you just have a cat with dirty ears – there are a number of products you can use.

If there isn’t much of a wax build-up and it’s not all sticky in their ear, you can just use a clean cloth and some warm water.

For cats with really dirty ears or for owners that want the easiest solution, I recommend using these cat-safe ear wipes from Mister Ben’s that are available on Amazon:

Click here to see the latest price and availability of these wipes on Amazon!

These wipes are formulated with some active ingredients that will not just remove wax from their ear, but also treat and protect their ears against mites and other bacteria.

They’re made from all-natural ingredients, which is always important to me and I’m using products and my pets. They also have aloe vera on them, which helps if your cat has a sore ear from scratching or crusty wax coming off, etc.

I think it’s a pretty cool product and by far the easiest and safest way to give your cat’s ears a good clean.

How Do You Tell if Your Cat Has Ear Mites or Just Dirty Ears?

If your cat frequently has a build-up of wax in their ears, you need to be sure that they do not have ear mites. Leaving ear mites untreated will cause them a lot of discomfort.

It’s incredibly difficult to see ear mites with the naked eye, some of the signs you need to look out for are:

  • Your cat is shaking her head and scratching at their ears a lot
  • You can see some redness on inflamed areas in their ears
  • Frequently have a build-up of ear wax and it has a bad odor

Mites are incredibly annoying and distracting, as you can probably imagine. It’s almost always obvious by observing a cat if there is something inside their ear bothering them.

If you spot any of these symptoms with your cat, you should always take them to the vet. Ear problems are not something you should try and self-diagnose and deal with without professional advice.

Cat’s ears are very sensitive and they rely on them to help balance, hear things (of course), and do all the other cat-related things. 

There are some other ear issues cats suffer from such as yeast infections and allergies, so you really want to get a professional opinion that you want 100% sure.

RelatedIs your cat shaking its head but you don’t think he/she has mites?

How Often Do Cats Need Their Ears Cleaned?

You should routinely take a quick look inside your cat’s ears to see whether or not they’re dirty. For healthy cats, you really shouldn’t have to clean them out very often if at all.

Cats are very good at keeping themselves clean, and typically do a good job keeping ears clean if they’re not dealing with any issues in there.

I’m sure you’ve seen your cat cleaning their ears a million times. They run their tongue across their paw and then tilt their heads and wipe across their ears.

This may not look like they’re getting inside it and giving it a good clean, but it does the job just fine.

Some cats are better at this than others though, and of course, some cats tend to roll about in dirt more than others. So you may just have a dirty cat on your hands.

Either way, you only really need to clean your cat’s ears whenever you see a buildup of wax, which just looks like some brown or black stuff.

Related Why does my cat roll around in the dirt?

In Summary

When you look inside your cat’s ear you now know what you’re looking for and what it is you can see.

Cats’ ear wax is a brown or black color. A little wax now and then is perfectly normal, however, if they need a little help you should clean their ears as directed above.

You should also keep an eye on your cat’s behavior and routinely check for the signs of ear mites or any other types of ear infections.


Image credits – Photo by Fausto García-Menéndez on Unsplash

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