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If you are a new Devon Rex pet parent, you are likely just learning how to best care for your new, specific breed of cat. Devon Rex’s are unique felines who require specific care that may look different from the care of other cats. One particular area of health that will require your attention is the care and cleaning of your Devon Rex’s Ears.
The cleaning of Devon Rex ears should occur every 1-2 weeks and should be done so using care, high-quality cleaning solution, gauze pads or cotton balls, and the help of a friend to secure your cat during the cleaning process. This article will walk you through the ten steps to take when cleaning your Devon Rex’s ears.
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How to Clean your Devon Rex Ears
The process of cleaning your cat’s ears is quite easy. However, to make sure you feel completely confident, we’ve broken this process down into easy-to-follow and master steps. You’ll be a pro at cleaning your Devon Rex’s ears in no time!
Cover Clothes or Surfaces
Cleaning and putting medication in cat-ears can get a little messy. Be sure to clean your cat’s ears while in clothes you aren’t precious about and cover the nearby surfaces.
Procure Ear Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning your Devon Rex’s ears, fortunately, does not require any ornate tools. The following supplies will work great:
- Good quality ear cleaning solution. Try this great ear solution on Amazon (affiliate link) that has great reviews: Click To See High Rated Ear Solution On Amazon.
- Cotton balls or gauze
- Q-tips (*Only if used properly! Never insert into the canal! Only use to clean the crevices of the outer ear.)
If you have previously used the ear cleaner before, use a cotton ball with alcohol to lightly clean the tip of the bottle. While your ear solution is probably fine, it is always good practice to ensure no bacteria is near the opening of the tube so that no bacteria make their way into your Devon Rex’s ear while cleaning.
Recruit a Helper
While you might be able to restrain your cat alone, the job of cleaning and medicating cat-ears is much easier when you have someone to help. Before you attempt cleaning on your own, recruit a friend or loved one to help restrain your kitty before you start. It is a rare cat that will sit happily and allow you to mess around in their ears. Most cats will squirm and meow during this process.
Even if your helper isn’t holding your cat down, the emotional support is helpful!
Secure Devon Rex in Comfortable Position
Begin by sitting in a comfortable position. Next, settle your cat in your lap. To safely and properly secure your cat so they can’t wiggle around, wrap your non-dominant forearm across the cat’s chest/torso area to keep them secure in your lap. Gently hold your Devon Rex’s head with that same non-dominant hand and use your left thumb to press your cat’s ear flap against their head, so you have easy access to their open ear canal.
If your cat is extra squirmy, you can swaddle them in a towel or blanket to help calm and gently restrain them.
When some people grab a cat, they may worry that they are going to get shedding fur all over them. To learn more about whether the Devon Rex cat sheds, check out my article: Click Here.
Place Solution into your Devon Rex’s Ear
Now that you have your cat secured and the ear canal exposed begin cleaning your Devon Rex’s ear. Still holding your cat’s ear flap down with one hand, use the other hand to grab the ear cleaning solution. Squeeze the ear cleaning solution into your Devon Rex’s ear. You enough solution so that the ear canal looks filled. Do not worry if some of the solution spills out of the canal! That’s okay!
Gently Massage the Ear
Still holding the ear flap down, gently massage the base of your Devon Rex’s ear for 30 seconds. This will help the solution to break up any wax or debris in the ear canal. During this process, you’ll often hear a squishing sound as the ear cleaner makes its way around the ear canal.
Wipe Away Debris or Ear Gunk
Next, using a cotton ball or gauze pad, wipe away any debris, wax, or ear gunk. Also, try to dab up any remaining ear cleaner solution. Loosen your hold your cat’s ear/head and allow them to shake their head and adjust their ears.
Repeat Process with the Other Ear
Once you have successfully cleaned one of your Devon Rex’s ears, repeat this same process with the other ear!
Give Treats as a Reward
Since this can be frustrating or even traumatic even for some cats, be sure to give your Devon Rex some treats and extra snuggles after you are done cleaning their ears. Though cats are not as receptive to operant conditioning like dogs, they’ll still appreciate the reward and may be calmer in the future as you continue to give them regular ear cleanings.
Sanitize Tip of Solution
You should never insert the tip of the ear cleaning solution into the ear. However, if during the process of cleaning your solution bottle tip accidentally contacts your Devon Rex’s ear, be sure to clean the tip off with a cotton ball in alcohol to sanitize the bottle. This helps prevent bacteria or yeast from living on your cleaning solution bottle and from inadvertently getting into your Devon Rex’s ears.
Should you Clean your Cat’s ears?
Devon Rex cats are more prone than other cats to ear infections, wax buildup, or even parasites. For this reason, it is important to regularly clean their ears as a preventative measure. Due to the structure of a Devon Rex’s ear and their lack of hair, their ears are more exposed. This makes it easier to get ear mites from other animals or pets in the home.
There are many theories as to why Devon Rex specifically has excess ear wax. Some theorize it is due to the size of their ears that their ear size allows for more dirt to enter the canal. However, some believe that the excess wax and dirt buildup is due to the Devon Rex’s slightly narrower ear canal!
Another common question besides whether you should clean your Devon Rex’s ears is whether Devon Rex cats need baths. To learn more about whether Devon Rex cats need baths, check out my article: Click Here.
How Often Should You Clean your Cat’s Ears?
You should clean your Devon Rex cat’s ears no more than once a week. Do not over-clean! You will do just as much damage to your cat’s ears by cleaning too often as you can by not cleaning enough. If your cat is particularly challenging when it comes to ear cleanings, you can consult your Vet for advice and see if it is possible for you to clean every few weeks.
When Should you Take Your Cat to the Vet?
If your cat appears in pain while you are cleaning its ears, stop cleaning instantly and call your Vet to make an appointment. Your cat should never feel bad or discomfort during a cleaning. At the most, they might experience a strange sensation of tingling or fullness in their ear from the solution, but the process of cleaning itself should never cause pain.
It may also be time to take your Devon Rex to the Vet if you are unable to clean their ears yourself due to your cat’s fear or stress. In this case, your veterinarian may have to perform once a month cleaning or provide you with some sort of sedative to give your cat so that you can perform the cleanings yourself with ease and without traumatizing your cat.
Can I Use Baby Wipes to Clean my Cat’s Ears?
If you are in a pinch and need to do a quick cleaning or have run out of your high-quality ear cleaning solution, you can use baby wipes to clean up any debris or wax buildup on the outer parts of your Devon Rex’s ears.
However, baby wipes will not access the wax or debris inside the ear canal, and you should never insert anything into your cat’s ear canal. That means no Q-tips, no fingertips with baby wipes, and nothing goes in there except for liquid cleaning solution (and even then, you can never insert the tip of the bottle INTO the ear canal!)
The Key Take Away
Due to the nature of Devon Rex’s earwax buildup, you’ll need to clean your Devon Rex’s ears about once a week (but not more than that.) Be sure to use a high-quality, gentle ear solution to clean their ears and never insert anything into the ear canal. If your cat is especially wiggly, you can recruit a fruit or loved one to help, or you can swaddle them in a towel to snuggly secure them.
The process of cleaning should take no more than five minutes. Always reward your Devon Rex with a treat after cleanings, and be sure to contact your Vet if ever your cat experiences noticeable pain or discomfort during cleanings.
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