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Spotting ear issues in cats can be difficult. It’s not clearly visible always, and when undetected, it can cause your feline friend some serious discomfort. To ensure early detection of ear infections and other ear problems, let’s take a look at some tell-tale signs of ear issues to keep a lookout for in the future!
In general, healthy cat ears are clean and pink in colour. If the area in and around your cat’s ears are an angry shade of red, it could be inflamed due to an ear infection. The appearance may also look hard and sore.
2. Change in behaviour
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Cats with ear issues will most certainly be in some degree of discomfort, whether it’s an irritating itch or agonising pain. You may notice your furry friend scratching its ears aggressively and excessively, or constantly shaking its head and rubbing it against walls, carpets, and furniture.
In extreme cases, your cat might even start meowing in a high-pitched yowl, which often indicates pain. It won’t be uncommon for your feline friend to become irritable, too. If it starts hissing whenever you approach its head, it might be in a lot of pain and feeling vulnerable.
It’s normal for ears to produce a limited amount of wax, but when your cat’s ears produce more wax than usual, there could be an underlying health issue. For example, yellow or black liquid discharge from your cat’s ear canal is a visible sign of infection.
A thick wax buildup on the ear flaps or within the ear canal also indicates an infection. If you notice a black-brown discharge that resembles sand, it could be a case of ear mites.
4. Odd smell
Cats are very clean creatures by nature. The minute your feline smells a little funnier than usual — there might be something very wrong. If the foul odour is coming from your cat’s ears, it could be a sign that there’s discharge or wax buildup that you should be alarmed about.
5. Loss of balance
As unusual as it sounds, the ear is an organ of balance. The semicircular canals found within the inner ear are filled with fluid and extremely important for maintaining balance, so if you notice your cat being slightly disorientated and unable to maintain its balance, it might be a sign that there is an ear infection.
If you notice any one or a combination of these symptoms in your cat, we recommend making a trip to one of the trusted vets in Singapore for a proper diagnosis. The vet should be able to pinpoint the exact problem and recommend the necessary medication or treatment to help your feline relieve its discomfort!
Main causes of ear infections
There are many reasons why your cat has an ear infection, which includes:
● Wax and thick hair buildup
● Ruptured eardrums
● Allergies towards foods or plants
● Medical conditions like autoimmune diseases and diabetes
● Tumour growths within the ear canal
● Ear mites.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
Treatment and prevention
If you’re unfamiliar with treating an ear infection, it’s best that you leave it to the hands of a professional. Usually, the treatment process will involve swabbing so that the vet can search for any abnormal bacteria, cells, or yeast with a microscope.
This will inform the vet if your feline has more than one ear infection and what possible causes there are. It’ll also give them an idea of whether to prescribe an antibiotic treatment or use other treatment methods instead.
What you can do on your end as a pet owner is to clean your cat’s ears regularly. The necessary ear cleaning tools can be easily found at pet shops, which includes cotton balls, commercial feline ear cleaner, and a dropper (for dropping a small amount of liquid into your feline ears).