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Kitten with Persistent Ear Wax

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  • Kitten with Persistent Ear Wax

    Does anyone have any suggestions for me as to how to clear this up or shouldn't I worry about it?

    I have an approximately 6mos old indoor-only male kitten that I took in when his feral momma dropped him off outside of work in quite the sorry state when he was approximately 2.5 mos old. With steady vet care, he got back on his feet and has been growing like a weed ever since -- he's already about 9 pounds! His ears/earwax had mites his first visit to the vet and had three Revolution treatments to take care of them plus a good wax scoop out every time he went in for shots/check ups.

    The problem is that his ears still get loaded with wax despite being free and clear of the ear mites -- my vet told me that wax buildup in the ears is the defense mechanism. He no longer has mites, my adult cat is also indoor-only and has never had mites so why is there enough wax in his ears to make a small candle?

    As he's matured, I've noticed that his coat has gotten waxy too -- not greasy or oily, but clean and waxy like you'd expect an otter or other aquatic mammal to have. Here's a pic of the little man -- the bit of shimmer in his coat is what I'm talking about and you can see a little wax in his ear. Both of my cats get free choice Wellness Core kibble with Wellness canned as a treat twice a week so maybe its the food?

    When it gets really bad, I use a pet wipe to clean the outer structure, but I don't trust myself to clean down into the canal with a swab. I'm going to ask the vet to clean his canals again when he goes in for his neutering early December. Should I be worried about the buildup, is it just a side-effect of having ears the size of radar dishes, or is it a typical kitten/adolescent thing like pimples are to a teenager? Is this typical not-yet-neutered male cat stuff?


  • #2
    what a beautiful cat!

    Get the vet to show you how to clean them, it's not all that hard.

    I wouldn't worry about the coat, he looks completely healthy, you are a good cat mom.


    • #3
      One of my cats had this problem in one ear. The vet gave me drops for it a time or two, but it always came back. I had to clean her ear every other day and most times I would get a gob of wax the size of a kidney bean out.

      Then one day... I finally went all the way to the end of the bottle of drops even though the problem seemed cleared up. I know they say to do this anyway, but the drops seriously outlasted the wax by months. And when I stuck to it it actually worked. Never had a problem after that.


      • #4
        I adopted a white cat with gross, dark abundant wax. I would clean all the wax out, thoroughly, and in a few days we would be back where we started. B/c she was white, it was particularly unsightly & it was actually pouring out of her ears & onto her fur. I was cleaning ears at least 2x/week.

        The vet gave us cleaner that had alcohol in it, that stung & she was ear shy for a while,. I finally got this stuff


        It is oil based (not mineral oil, that will make it worse) with some clove oil & other stuff in it. I used it on cotton squares. That would clean them well, then I would put some of the lotion to powder stuff (called ear dry) in & rub it around. It definitely helped.

        Really, though I know it was diet related. After she started getting meat based diet w. no by-products the wax went away. she also had acne & 'stud tail' (over active secretions of an oil gland on tail) & everything cleared up with better diet.

        It took a long time, but now her ears are always clean, no wax at all, ever, and that has been the case for the past 10 yrs

        I had another cat with a milder wax issue, his cleared up with diet & cleaning too. But he went on a hunger strike & for a while I was bribing him with crud food. The wax came back, but after he went back on good diet it went away (slowly) again.

        the cleaner & lotion last forever. I used it on her, then on other cat & I still have some left, years later.

        good luck. Your kitten is adorable.

        ETA: I just realized product linked above says it is for dogs. I have same brand in old packaging it said for cats & dogs. I even went to manufacturer's website & they only have dog version now.

        I don't know if they changed the formula or learned something since then, so proceed with caution.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks for the suggestions! He's a bit of a one-cat wrecking ball but a total clown and more lover than fighter.

          I wonder if he has the problem because his ears are gigantic and there's very few tufts of hair protecting the entry to the canal unlike my adult cat who has lots of guard hairs in and around her ears (she's a mutt, but looks like a cross between a Norwegian Forest cat, a Himalayan, and Basement Cat's most evil minion ). Her ears have always been spotless which is good 'cause I have my hands full with keeping matts out of her coat.

          I'll ask my vet to show me how to clean his ears out -- he's a bit of a squirmer when getting fussed over so I don't want to inadvertently hurt him or wedge the stuff in deeper.

          Thanks for the tip on the non-stinging stuff, Hippolyta. Maybe the company will be able to answer whether or not it's safe on cats.


          • #6
            I actually sent an email to the company asking about the ear stuff. No response yet.

            I compared the ingredients on their site to my old bottle & they are the same.

            If you want to use something in the meantime, olive oil would work.

            good luck & keep us posted. Both of your cats are beautiful!