How to Clean Cat Ears with Olive Oil: This is the Correct Way


Keeping up with your animal’s grooming and hygiene is essential. It’s finding the easiest and most time-saving methods of doing so that we are really looking for. Over 86 million people currently own cats in the United States. That’s over 39% of all households. That means we have 86 million cats to maintain proper hygiene for. In this post, we are going to discuss the benefits of olive oil and the role it can play in cleaning your cats’ ears.

That’s over 172 million ears that we need to focus attention on and really put this olive oil to the ultimate test. The questions and concerns I see arise most frequently on this topic are very simple in nature. How do I clean my cats’ ears with olive oil? After digging into the topic, here’s the inside scoop.

So, how do you clean your cat’s ears with olive oil? To clean a cat’s ears with olive oil you need to warm the oil to room temperature. Following this step, you will place your cat on a flat surface and use a dropper to drip a few drops of the oil into the ear. Use your hands to rub the oil around and allow to sit. Lastly, wipe away the dirt.

I’m assuming if you are anything like me and own pets that answer wasn’t nearly satisfactory enough for you. I get it. We are careful with pets and we should be, and you probably think I’m crazy for trying to make such practical uses out of olive oil. Fair enough.

Luckily, I realized that and had every intention of delivering you the entire process.

Let’s look at this process and give you the real 411 about how to get this task completed efficiently and without your cat despising of you during the process.

Olive Oil, The Secret Weapon to Filthy Cat Ears

I think it’s clear and we understand at this point that olive oil is going to be our main topic for this post and that it’s safe and efficient to use when cleaning your cat’s ears. Now it’s important to understand how to complete this process correctly. Here’s a look at the steps in more depth.

This process shouldn’t take you any longer than about 10 minutes. If it does, your either doing something wrong or your cat’s ears have some real dirt and grime built up in them. To avoid this in the future, complete these steps more often.

Step 1

In step 1, you can just put together everything you need to get the job done. That’s easy. All we need is the following items, and we are all set.

•    Olive Oil

•    A Dropper (any creative method of placing the oil in your cats’ ears will suffice)

•    Cotton balls or something similar

•    Water

•    Your Cat

•    A Flat Surface

Outside of these items, you need absolutely nothing. Although a kitty treat would go a long way.

Step 2

Like stated before, the first actual action step will require you to heat your olive oil up. We don’t need anything extreme here. Just a rough body temperature will do just fine.

Step 3

Now is when that kitty treat will come into play. We need the cat on a flat surface such as a counter. If your cat is being stubborn, use the treat to lure them in and get them prepped for surgery (kidding). We are only cleaning the ears here people.

Step 4

Now we want to use the dropper or whatever other devices you have thrown together to place a few drops of the olive oil into your cats’ ears. We aren’t trying to make the cat feel like they are drowning during this step. Don’t overdo it.

Just in the round area closest to the ear canal. No need to go any further than that.

If you do on accident, I’d recommend another cat treat to lure your cat back to the table after he or she attempts to flee from your blatant mistake.

Step 5

Take your hands and begin pushing gently into the ear canals giving your cat an ear massage essentially. The goal is to really work this into the ear as much as possible. If you feel like a real pro, you can even get both hands in action at the same time and do the double ear massage. (Not recommended for beginners).

Excellence takes time.

Step 6

Let’s see if we are making progress. Are the ears still filthy and need a quick round 2? Great, get going then. Your cat may be enjoying it, but they don’t have all day here. If they are clean and you feel you have met the eye and sniff test, then we are getting close to wrapping up this project.

Step 7

In step seven we are merely going to go back to our day either cooking or watching Netflix for roughly 5 minutes and give the oil a chance to set in.

Your cat will appear to have a bad case of the fleas in this situation and will do everything he or she can to remove the substance from their ears. Don’t worry. It’s all part of the master plan.

You see, this helps remove and shake loose a lot of the substance you were not able to get to yourself when they go through this shaking frenzy.

Relax and let nature run its course.

Step 8

Now that some time has passed, it’s time to bust out the cotton balls and clean up the rest of the filthy mess inside your cats’ ear. Try and eliminate all dirt, grime, and oil. Once you feel you have done an excellent job with this, your complete.

Reward yourself with a cold one and a nice kitty treat for the patient. Mission accomplished.

Why Do I Even Need to Clean My Cats Ears with Olive Oil?

That’s a good question. Initially, I thought the same. First, cleaning your cats’ ears is just part of being an ethical pet owner. Secondly, olive oil does a fantastic job of getting this done with ease and getting it done well.

Usually, people neglect these little things unless reminded or something triggers you to investigate your cat’s ears more intently. Items that you could look for that could indicate its olive oil time may include the following.

•    Swollen Ears

•    Your Cat Appears to Have Discomfort Around the Ears

•    Redness Inside the Actual Ear or Ear Canal

•    Stinky Ears (Ugh, I hate This)

•    The cat is Overly Scratching or Rubbing Their Ears

•    Discharge from The Ears (Yep, It Happens, Gross)

Does Olive Oil Kill Ear Mites in Cats?

This question seems to get mixed results. For the most part, it’s usually recommended that if you want to ensure to kill cat ear mites that you opt to use mineral oil over olive oil. However, it is possible that olive oil could help remedy the situation.

Keep in mind I’m also not a vet, so if you are trying to really hit the home run during the next ear cleaning session, I’d independently research the question on your own or pick up a phone to speak to a vet.

One thing I can tell you with 100% confidence is that olive oil surely cleans the ear canal and it does it very well.

Other Precautions to Keep in Mind, Keeping Your Kitty Safe

When beginning one of these olive oil cleaning sessions you want to make sure not to try using things such as q tips or other objects outside of the cotton balls. You also want to avoid too much water or oil penetrating into the actual ear. Cat’s eardrums can rupture relatively easily.

Keeping your cat calm is essential. They should enjoy the rub, but the oil substance is not something they are a major fan of. If you can get the entire job done in one session that’s ideal but if it doesn’t necessarily work out like this, no worries, do what you can and finish the rest later.

I told you earlier the double ear rub is for advanced users. Did you think I was kidding?

Use A Vet When Needed. No Need to Be A Hero

I know we would like to think that olive oil could do no wrong and this task should be a walk in the park. If you get a sense of anxiety that something outside of dirt and grime may be causing your cats ear issues, don’t hesitate to just call a vet before jumping into the cleaning process.

It’s always better safe than sorry in these situations.

How Do I tell If My Cat Has Ear Mites?

In most cases, your cat will be itching his or her ears or even shaking their head frequently. Even though ear mites are so small you need a microscope to confirm their existence and presence, doesn’t mean they can’t cause your cat severe discomfort and constant itching.

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

Cats buildup ear wax just like you or I would. With your cat, excessive build up of wax can be due to other factors such as ear mites, bacterial and yeast infections or allergies. When the ear wax is brown, it indicates that dried dirt or blood is also present in the ear canal and presently mixed within the wax.

A Quick and Easy Home Remedy Creating Healthy Clean Cat Ears

At the end of the day, we all love our cats and want the best for them. We also need to give a big shout to olive oil for another everyday use. Not only is olive oil great for cooking but can double down as an all-around hygiene product for our pets. Quite the use of our grocery budget if you ask me.

Keep it calm and collected during the ear cleaning process with your cat and don’t overdo it and you should be good to go. Once you complete this the first time, it should only get easier for future cleanings once you get into a routine and perform this routine on a more regular basis.

Recent Content