Cat Ears Come in Many Different Shapes and Sizes.
Large ears, small ears, folded ears, curled ears or straight ears, cat ears are like snow flakes, no two are alike. Cat ears have two functions, to detect sound and for balance.
Most cats will go through life without experiencing any problems with their ears. But owners should know that a variety of conditions—including congenital defects, infections, trauma and age-related changes—can be extremely painful and may compromise an animal’s hearing.
It’s a good practice to examine your cat’s ears on a regular basis for signs of infection or mite infestation.
Healthy outer ears will be pale pink in color, carry no debris or odor, and will have minimal or no visible earwax.
Watch for the following signs that may indicate your cat’s ears should be checked by a veterinarian:
- Bleeding from the ear
- Persistent scratching and pawing of the ear or surrounding area
- Sensitivity to touch around the ears
- Loss of balance and disorientation
- Head tilt
- Frequent shaking of the head
- Unpleasant odor
- Redness or swelling of the outer ear or ear canal
- Black or yellowish discharge
- Accumulation of dark brown wax
- Hearing loss
Depending on the problem, your cat may need a thorough ear cleaning and a course of antibiotics or other medication. You should use ear cleaners and medications only as directed by your veterinarian.