My Cat Has Dirty Ears

Causes and remedies for discharge in cat ears

If your feline is acting odd lately, shaking her head a lot or scratching at the ears, then you might be looking at a discharge or dirty ear problem. It is quite common for cats to get ear problems and its also easily misdiagnosed. 

Why does my cat have ear discharge?

There are a number of reasons why a cat may have dirty ears and have discharge coming from the cat’s ears. Some are more serious than others and some require immediate attention while others require time for healing. Here are a few common reasons why your cat may have ear discharge: 


  • Ear Mites:

     Ear mites are tiny, and usually require a microscope to see them. This can be very irritating for your cat and along with head shaking and scratching, it can create bloody sores which turn into infections. 

  • Ear infection or inflammation: 

    Ear infections are not only extremely uncomfortable for your cat, but if left untreated can lead to permanent deafness or a need for surgery. Ear infections in cats can be caused by many things, including bacteria, yeast, even a piece of debris caught in her ear canal.

  • Other issues: 

     Ear discharge and dirty ears may result from other problems, including allergies, wax buildup, tumors, drug reactions, a hereditary condition, or immune system issues.

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Preventative care for your cat’s ear discharge

You don’t really have a serious problem yet, but you wanna take measures to prevent future major health problems for your cat. You can do the following: 

  • Regularly Checking: 

    The best policy is to check their ears regularly for signs of wax buildup, inflammation and odour. If you do this, you are likely able to identify a problem before it becomes too serious.

  • Fragile Ears and Insertion:

    Cats have beautiful, yet fragile ears. Do not insert anything in them without proper methods and vet approval.

How do I treat my cat’s ear problem?

If your cat has ear problems, it is not time to stress out yet. There are many readily available solutions. We will look at them per diagnosis.

Ear Mites: 

Step 1, clean the ears (do it carefully or have a vet do it). Secondly, apply medication which usually comes in the form of drops and then massage the ear area. Over the counter solutions are available.

Treating ear infection: 

Depending on what type it is, you may need prescription or over the counter medication


Treatment options for other problems that may lead to ear discharge, such as allergies, polyps, or drug reactions, is wide-ranging and may include supplements, drops, immunotherapy shots, a change to their food or medications, or surgery.

Purpose of this article is to provide information. To ensure the health and well-being of your pet, always consult any question or concerns with your veterinarian.

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