Ear Ailments

Your cats sense of hearing is invaluable for keeping its instincts at their sharpest. Learn how to keep your cats ears healthy and detect problems with them early.

Her name was Nose-Nose, but it was her crumpled right ear that caught my attention. Something, or perhaps someone, had injured the homeless white-and-gray tabby, and her ear had healed without medical care. Now, the ear was gathered into ridges like a folded paper fan.

Fortunately, the trauma did not damage her personality. When Nose-Nose put her paws around my neck in a hug, I knew she was the cat my family would adopt.
Although the ears appearance did not matter to us, we soon realized that the ear bothered Nose-Nose. She scratched it constantly. Dark, sticky stuff spread out from the ear canal. She needed some special care.

Ear problems are more common in dogs than in the upright, well-ventilated ears of cats. But cats can and do suffer from a wide range of ear ailments. Knowing what to look for and getting speedy treatment can prevent more severe and possibly lifelong ear problems.

As you’re petting your cat, always check to make sure that there isn’t any smell or discharge and that the cats not shaking its head too much or scratching at its ears, says Raelynn Farnsworth, a veterinarian and community practice instructor at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Any of these signs should prompt a trip to the veterinarian.

Don’t try to clean out or treat the ears yourself, Farnsworth says. Cotton swabs can pack in material or rupture the eardrum. The wrong medicine can make the problem worse. [Then] we have to backtrack, Farnsworth says. We don’t know what happened first.

**For the full article, pick up the September issue of CAT FANCY**

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Cats · Lifestyle