A Cat Has Dirt in Its Ears – What Could the Symptom Mean?


Clean habits o cats are something to be envied. They lick their own body several times a day, even in the most hard-to-reach spots. But the inside areas of ears remain unreachable even for these lithesome animals and therefore the task naturally falls into the guardian’s hands. But sometimes despite all the cleaning dirt still remains in cat’s ears. The question is whether this is a symptom or a common occurrence. And the answer will have to be sought not only in pet’s behavior, but also in its general well-being.


Dirt in cat’s ears is sometimes a clear manifestation of an ear mite. This microscopic parasite lives in ears of various species of animals.


There are various possible infection sources:

  • dirt in cat’s ears treatmentclose contact with infected individuals;
  • when contacting with things that were contaminated by a sick dog or cat;
  • at home, if the owner inadvertently ‘brought in’ a tick on his clothes or things.

The tick, when it gets attached to the body of a cat, moves toward the auditory organ. In the auricles, the parasite begins its activity. It feeds on the animal’s epidermis, excretes metabolic products and proliferates rapidly. On the auricles in the places of the lesion liquid accumulates. When it stiffens, it turns brown, dirt-like.


Proper treatment can only be prescribed by a specialist. Pre-established diagnosis is determined based on scraping from the ears. In prescribing a treatment regimen the veterinarian takes into account the concomitant condition of a pet, excluding the harmful effects of some medications, if there are any contraindications.

Insecticidal sprays are often used as an effective remedy against tick. The solution is to be applied on the affected area, the ears. If the parasites have moved onto the cat’s body, the liquid is sprayed onto the withers so that the animal cannot lick the medicine. Ointments or drops are also applicable. When it comes to purchasing this or that type of medication, the choice should be based on the recommendations of the veterinarian.


Black dirt in cat’s ears may have a different origin. Otitis often occurs in an animal when there is a concomitant condition of viral or fungal nature. The inflammatory reaction may be triggered by a foreign object stuck in the ear canal, or even by a head injury.


The pathological progression of a disease is accompanied by the release of sulfur, pus, and sometimes even blood from the ear canal. Fluids with heavy odor get accumulated on the inner surface of the ear. The droplets of pus and blood, upon drying, have a dirty brown color. Concomitant symptoms of otitis in a cat are:

  1. black dirt in cat’s earsRedness and irritation of the inner surface of the ear;
  2. Restlessness of the animal;
  3. The pet looks apathetic, shows no signs of appetite;
  4. Adverse neuromuscular effect in the cat’s face;
  5. Increased body temperature up to 41⁰C.

Among other things, the cat can meow loudly, which is a sign of severe pain.


Yet again, proper treatment can only be prescribed by a specialist. However, first of all you need to distinguish the type of pathogen, as well as determine the severity of the disease. As a rule, comprehensive treatment is prescribed. For purulent discharge, the specialist may even suggest surgical cleaning.

Other Causes

Dirt in cat’s ears can be the result of various factors that are not threatening to life and health of a pet:

  • dark dirt in cat’s earstoo large ear pavilions accumulate more dust than smaller auditory organs;
  • woolless ears are not protected by hairs, like those of fluffy animals. Therefore, the dust quickly accumulates on the pink skin surface of the ears;
  • naked breeds naturally have increased earwax production.

Curing System

The frequency of routinely pet care should be determined individually. Woolless animals require more thorough and frequent hygiene than cats with thick coat.

Lap-eared cats are completely protected from dust entering the auditory canal. However, it is still necessary to inspect the inner surface of the auricle periodically even in lap-eared pets – in order to avoid the development of bacterial or purulent infections, the infestation of parasites.

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