how to clean cat's ears with wet pet wipes

How to Clean a Cat’s Ears with Wipes?

You notice some dirt in your cat’s ear, so you reach for some wipes you have at home. But you may be wondering: can I clean my cat’s ear with wipes? The answer is simply: NO. Human wet wipes and  baby wipes, typically the ones we have on hand, are not suitable for use on pets. In fact, Human wipes can be up to 200 times too acidic for your pet's skin. This is because the pH balance of your pet's skin is very different to that of a human's. Especially in their ears.

Ready to meet a total game changer? The SWIPE by PRIDE+GROOM is safe for cats (and dogs!) Freshening up a face, a paw, or a patch of muddy fur is easy with  THE SWIPE, a must-have item to have on hand. It's nourishing like our shampoos and conditioner and loaded with our unique smell. Made with only organic ingredients.

Most pet owners are used to giving their dogs a bath, but let their feline friends clean themselves. While this is normally fine, there are a few key areas where your cat may need a little assistance to help them stay clean. Cats are capable of cleaning most of their fur by themselves, but they can’t reach certain sections like their ears or necks. That’s why any responsible cat owner should make a habit of periodically cleaning their cat’s unreachable areas. After all, they accrue wax and dirt over time just like our own ears and necks do.

Although they'd never admit it, cats occasionally miss a spot. You just have to watch out for the cattitude when trying to help them obtain a clean, wonderful-smelling coat. But how exactly do you clean your cat without making them uncomfortable or hurting them? Are you wondering how you can safely and effectively clean your cat with wipes? Keep reading.

cat on the sofa, cat paws

First thing’s first: be sure to wash your own hands before you get started.

Any cat owner already knows the truth; our feline friends don’t really like to be cleaned by anyone, especially when they probably feel that they do a perfectly good job of it themselves. However, cats are also limited by their physiology and can’t capably clean certain areas, like behind their necks and inside or outside their ears (though they do try).

The responsibility falls on us, their owners, to take care of these cleaning tasks for them as best as we can. 

cat in shock, shocked white cat 

But how can you tell if your cat’s ears need to be cleaned?

It’s pretty simple. To start, take a look at your cat’s ears and check for the following:

  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Ear mites
  • Discharge, which may appear off-white or yellowish

If you see any of these signs, you should take your cat to the veterinarian instead of trying to clean things yourself. Those signs may be indicative of wider issues. The same is true if your cat shows any signs of pain or discomfort. Talking to an expert is always the best choice in these situations.

white cat, how to clean cat's ears

However, if you check your cat’s ears and all you see is a little wax, debris, or dirt, you can take care of cleaning their ears for them. Feel free to shine a light at them if you need to, as well – it may make any wax or dirt a little easier to see.

Also Read - The Ultimate Guide to Doodles

Essentials for cleaning cat’s ears 

Make sure you have all of the materials you’ll need to clean your cat’s ears. This includes:

  • Cleansing wipes (like our selection, THE SWIPE)
  • A dry towel or blanket – some people like to wrap their cats up in towels to keep them snug and secure as they clean their heads
  • Treats – you may need these to keep your cat occupied or content as you clean their ears
  • Gauze – this is what you’ll use to dry your cat’s ears

Step One: Hold Your Cat and Make Them Feel Comfortable

The best way to start is to make things comfortable from the get-go. Depending on your cat’s personality and temperament, they may be quite the content lap cat, or they may be more fidgety and difficult to keep still. Regardless, begin by positioning your cat in your lap and giving them a good pet. This calms them down and prepares them for a bit of grooming.

sleepy white cat

If necessary, don’t hesitate to have another person with you to keep your cat in place or distracted using a toy or treat.

Step Two: Wipe Both the Outside and Inside of Your Cat’s Ears

Once your kitty is comfortable and secure, you can start by using your cleansing wipes. Take your wipe and begin by wiping down the outside of your cat's ears. Do this thoroughly so you can get rid of any surface-level dirt and debris, as well as stray hairs. Your cat likely probably does a decent job of this by themselves already, but it's still a good idea to go over it again.

Next, use a fresh wipe (never use the same wipe that you have already used on the outside of their body since it’s probably become lined with dirt and fur by now) and gently rub the inside of your cat’s ears.

cat in hospital, cleaning cat's ear

Do not go too far or too deep inside the ear while doing this. You only need to scrape away wax and dirt on the easily visible surface of their ears’ interior. Your cat’s ears may twitch as you do this, but don’t rush things. Instead, just do light motions and scrapes again and again. The wipe should come away with dirt and wax. 

Step Three: Dry Your Cat’s Ears if Necessary With Gauze

After cleaning both of your cat’s ears, you should take some gauze pads or cotton balls and dry the insides of their ears. This will happen normally on its own, but you’ll make things more comfortable for your kitty if you help dry them right away. Cats generally don’t like feeling wet anywhere on themselves.

Step Four: Give Them a Treat!

cat eating treat

We always recommend giving your cat one or more treats, at least after cleaning their ears thoroughly. You can also give them treats periodically throughout the cleaning session in order to keep them still and content.

There's a more long-term reason for this strategy as well: it connects receiving a treat with sitting and getting their ears cleaned. If you do this enough times, your cat will start to associate getting their ears cleaned with receiving a treat, making it more likely that your kitty will sit still and be pleased to get its ears cleaned.

This creates a positive cycle and allows you to stay on top of your cat’s ear cleanliness without having to struggle or convince your cat to sit still and let you clean them every time.

Both dog and cat skin is sensitive and requires special formulas that are made specifically for them, using pet-safe fragrances and ingredients. 

Pet wipes for cats and dogs should be made without:

  • Harsh chemicals
  • Alcohols
  • Parabens
  • Sulfates
pet wipes, the swipe wipes

You want to ensure that your dog wipes and cat wipes do not contain irritant compounds that may disrupt your pet’s skin’s pH levels and cause skin issues. Pet wipes should not contain any substances that may be harmful to your pet when they lick the area that was wiped.

Pet wipes for cats (and dogs) are a great help in keeping your furbaby fresh and clean all the time, especially if they have an aversion to water!

Also Read - Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?


PRIDE+GROOM was born because 4 New York City dog lovers wanted the same level of grooming products for their dogs that they themselves enjoyed. They looked (hard) but nothing was up to snuff. Or sniff. Like so many, we love our families and take pride in our homes, and we consider our pets to be integral parts of those entities. That said, we could not find an effective way to coif them that was on par with the way we tended to our children, our homes, or ourselves. These beloved pets are allowed on the furniture and in our beds, and yet even when fresh from the groomer, we knew they did not smell or feel as good as they could.

With the development of our coat-specific shampoos, conditioner and deodorizing spray, we think we found just the way to say thanks for being the best and the sweetest MVP of the house.

PRIDE+GROOM is the first dog grooming brand launched under a beauty platform, with formulas made in a clean beauty and scent lab. We know beauty is not only skin deep. We did a ton of research to create the entire line. Each product is formulated with its own unique blend of essential oils sourced from around the world.


Shop our entire line: