The Best Cat Ear Cleaners (Review) in 2021

Last Updated May 6, 2020

Cleaning your cat’s ears should be done on a daily basis. This is the current recommendation of many pet health experts who consider the ears to be especially prone to a variety of problems that regular cleaning should be done. Perhaps a more important question is the kind of cat ear cleaner to use for such a purpose. Don’t worry though since we’ve prepared a list of the best cat ear cleaners to help you provide a more effective management of your kitty’s ears.

The Best Cat Ear Cleaner


One of the best cat ear cleaners is the Virbac Epi-Otic that features an anti-adhesive formulation which helps prevent the adhesion of microorganisms in your pet’s ears. While its formula is only designed to work in cleaning the outer ear, it is nevertheless revered for its ability to prepare the external ear for other possible ear treatments. This helps maximize the potency of these otic preparations by making sure that there will be no substances, particles, microorganisms, and other debris that may impede the full therapeutic effectiveness of such formulations.

The Epi-Otic cat ear cleaning solution comes with an acidic formulation which effectively neutralizes susceptible organisms. Not to worry, though, as its salicylic acid content is just 0.2% which should be gentle enough for your kitty. It is safe for regular cleaning of your cat’s ears. Its protective formulation can also help prevent microorganisms from ever bothering your pet.

Contains salicylic acid 0.2%

 With anti-adhesive formulation

 Low-pH formula

 Contains no alcohol and chlorhexedine

  • Brand: Virbac
  • Model: 3108
  • Weight: 8 ounces


If your main concern is your cat’s acute or chronic ear inflammation, then the Zymox Otic is simple the best. The Zymox Otic is not just an ear cleaner, it is an otic anti-inflammatory. It contains the steroid hydrocortisone at a concentration of a pet-safe 1.0% helping reduce inflammation from any source. The combination of 3 lactic acid-based bioactive enzymes plus glucose oxidase also gives the Zymox Otic amazing antimicrobial properties. Even antibiotic-resistant microorganisms are rendered harmless by the formulation.

As such, one can say that Zymox Otic is not really intended for regular cleaning cats ears since it is more geared for the treatment of inflammation of the outer ear. If you need an ear wash for cats for regular ear cleaning purposes, Epi-Otic is a much better choice. But if your kitty is plagued with chronic or even acute ear inflammation, then Zymox Otic is the answer.

Contains 1.0% hydrocortisone

 With glucose oxidase, lactoferrin, lysozyme, and lactoperoxidase

 Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-yeast, anti-viral properties

 For acute and chronic otitis externa

  • Brand: Zymox
  • Model: 006ZYM02-4
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces


If you’re not convinced that dropping ear wash for cats can clean your pet’s ears, then you’ll want to use Petpost. Unlike other feline otic cleaning solutions, Petpost is actually a package full of cat ear wipes. Each wipe is soaked in a blend of coconut oil and aloe. The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil should help provide for a cleaner outer ear for your pet.

The naturally refreshing scent of coco oil should also make your pet feel a lot calmer after the cleaning. The aloe vera extract embedded into the cat ear wipes moisturizes the skin of the ears while adding to the non-irritating scent of the formulation. In a way, the Petpost is a great cat ear cleaner especially if you’re the kind of pet parent who’s not really all that convinced of her skills in putting otic drops into her pet’s ears.

Moistened wipes with coconut oil and aloe

 No harsh and toxic chemicals

 Easy-to-use wipes formulation

 100% money-back

  • Brand: Petpost
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces


Pet parents who are seeking an effective otic cleaner that doubles as an ear mite treatment for cats can find a good solution in this product by Lively Pets. It contains two powerful ingredients that not only address mites, but other microorganisms as well. Its salicylic acid content is excellent for fungal and yeast microorganisms while its chloroxylenol formulation is a great way for sanitizing and disinfecting your cat’s outer ear.

Aloe is also included in the formula to help provide immediate relief to itchy, smelly, and discharge-filled ears. This ear mite treatment doesn’t only gets rid of these pesky parasites, it also reduces populations of viruses, bacteria, and fungi so your pet will surely be happier by not having to scratch its ears all the time.

 Antifungal and antimicrobial properties

 Contains salicylic acid and chloroxylenol

 Enriched with aloe

 With fresh apple kiwi scent

  • Brand: Lively Pets
  • Weight: 8 ounces


Has your cat been scratching at their ears or acting uncomfortable and in constant pain? These are first-hand signs of an ear infection especially if they keep rubbing at their ears. Ear conditions require immediate treatment; waiting out an ear infection can lead to worse after effects. The Doggie Dailies Vet Formulated Pet Ear Cleaner is a safe solution for discomforted cats. With an active mix of aloe vera, tea tree oil, witch hazel, and echinacea be assured all irritations will be well taken care of. These ingredients gently loosen and take out wax and debris build up from the ears leaving them smelling fresh and feeling great.


They naturally reduce inflammation, fight bacteria, and repair damaged tissue while disinfecting the ear. When applied it does not hurt, sting or burn; it’s a gentle solution that won’t cause any unnecessary discomfort. Provided with the 8oz bottle is an applicator that makes application quite simple. The solution will also last longer when you’re not pouring directly from the bottle.  To assure all pet parents even more, all individual bottles are tested and certified to be safe and effective in a lab before being sent out. Grab a bottle of this effective solution to ensure your cats have the fast and soothing relief they deserve.

4 potent natural ingredients

FDA registered

Eliminates bad odors

Gently soothes and relieves without stinging or burning sensation

  • Brand: Doggie Dailies
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces


Just like in humans, the ears are better left alone until they need cleaning. Regular cleaning can cause irritation and other issues you’d rather avoid. However, in some cases where visible wax or a foul odored discharge is seen in their ears, it is time to take action. The Curaseb #1 Dog Ear Infection Treatment is an antiseptic cat ear cleaner that deals with stored up debris or infections. It’s an aloe-infused ear cleanser with a liquid consistency that gently clears out debris and gets rid of foul odors. It shows no mercy to irritating ear infections caused by bacteria, yeast or fungus. The strong yet mild-on-the-ears medication will have those parasitic fellas gone in no time.


With a formula containing ketoconazole and Tris-EDTA, it is used to fight against stubborn ear infections other prescribed cleansers struggle to get rid of. What’s even better is this fast-acting solution can be used to treat other skin infections upsetting your cat. The alcohol-free solution can be applied topically on the skin to bring speedy relief to agitations such as rashes, acne, and scaly patches. If you’ve tried several ear cleansers and they haven’t quite gotten the job done, get Curaseb for that fast-acting relief from persisting infections.

Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-yeast

Gentle ear cleanser

Medicated, water-based solution

Doubles as a topical solution for skin irritations

  • Brand: Bexley Labs
  • Weight: 10.6 ounces


Since Zymox Otic is not really indicated as a regular cat ear cleaning solution, but rather as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial otic treatment you’ll need the cleansing properties of the Zymox Ear Cleanser. It is essentially just like the Zymox Otic except that it doesn’t contain hydrocortisone. It does contain, nevertheless, a variety of enzyme systems that can help prevent the growth of germs in your pet’s ears. This is, of course, in addition to its cleansing properties making it an excellent cat ear cleaner.

Zymox is preferred when it comes to cleaning cats ears primarily for its bioactive enzyme formulation unlike other products that contain harsh chemicals like salicylic acid and the like. It’s one of those products that you can use on your pet more frequently since there’s no danger of irritating the skin in its ears. There are no side effects, too.

Bioactive enzyme formula

 Contains lactoperoxidase, lysozyme, and lactoferrin

 Enriched with glucose oxidase

 Non-toxic formulation

  • Brand: Zymox
  • Model: 006PKB-4OZ
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces


When cleaning out your cats’ ears, it is important to use a quality cleanser that won’t end up irritating their ears. Such cleansers contain hydrogen peroxide or alcohol which could be quite harsh on their soft, tender ears. The Pet MD- Ear Cleaner Wipes with Aloe and Eucalyptus is an advanced veterinary formula that can safely clean out debris from the ears. They are a 100% alcohol-free and do not contain any irritating substances that would agitate the ears. For cats that are more prone to have wax build up in their ears, this is a great and simple solution.

With a hundred pieces of these mild yet effective wipes, the ears can gently be wiped taking out debris and preventing build-up. It also effectively gets rid of disturbing odors while drying the ears and taking care of the unnecessary moisture in there. It’s quite mild on the ears and can easily be safely disposed of after use. This is a great way of preventing infections from occurring in the first place, stop bacterial, fungal and yeast infections one wipe at a time.

100 pcs of alcohol-free wipes

Prevent ear infections

Reduce wax build-up


  • Brand: Pet MD
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces


The formulation of Pet MD’s Otic Clean Ear is quite unique in that it utilizes deionized water in addition to salicylic acid and lactic acid to help remove susceptible organisms inside your pet’s ears. It is safe to use on a daily basis as it is especially designed to do 4 different things.

First, it cleanses the pinna and the external ear canal.Second it dries the outer ear so that dust, dirt, debris, and other particles won’t adhere to the surface.Third, it creates an acidic environment upon which microorganisms will not really want to stay and proliferate.Fourth, it provides a mild sweet pea scent that should help provide a better smell for your pet’s ears. It’s reasonably priced, too so you won’t feel overburdened for buying ear wash for cats.

Contains deionized water, lactic acid, salicylic acid

 Enriched with aloe vera

 Deodorizer, acidifier, cleanser, and drier functionality

 Sweet pea scent

  • Brand: Pet MD
  • Model: 840235137528
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces


Vet Solutions’ cat ear cleaner formulation is a lot similar to the Pet MD except that it doesn’t contain deionized water. It does a fairly good job at cleansing your pet’s ears, removing dirt and other particles that can lead to ear irritation and inflammation. It also comes with salicylic acid and lactic acid for acidifying the otic environment, making it highly unfavorable for microbial growth and proliferation.

The formulation is gentle enough to be used for cleaning cats ears on a daily basis. And because it comes with a much friendlier price tag, the Vet Solutions is an ideal alternative for those who want to be more practical when it comes to cleaning and deodorizing their kitty’s ears.

 Contains lactic acid and salicylic acid

 4-in-1 action: cleans, acidifies, dries, and deodorizes

 Enriched with aloe vera

 Pleasant scent

  • Brand: Vet Solutions


As its name suggests the Otomite Plus is an ear mite treatment that’s formulated especially for cats. It contains plant-based, non-synthetic pyrethrins that are known to be especially effective in the killing and removal of mites. Its acaricide function is closely related to its ability to cause seizures and death in susceptible insects without causing unnecessary harm to the host animal.

This makes Otomite Plus a good ear mite treatment for cats if this is the main issue that you have with your pet. The pyrethrins are blended in an olive oil base which can help soothe the itchiness of your cat’s ears. Unfortunately, it is not really a cat ear cleaning solution that you can use frequently. But if your main concern is ear mites, the Otomite Plus is a good choice.

Contains pyrethrins

 Olive oil base

 Formulated especially for ear mites

  • Brand: Virbac
  • Model: 601712
  • Weight: 0.64 ounces


Featuring a special blend of 7 different botanicals in an olive oil base, the NaturPet is an ear wash for cats that is especially formulated for those who wish to give their pets a more natural yet equally effective means of cleaning the ears. The good news is that the combination of a variety of botanicals provides uses other than simply cleaning. For example, echinacea is known for its antimicrobial properties while also boosting the immune system.

Lobelia, on the other hand, has analgesic properties while black and blue cohosh has anti-inflammatory activity. Blue vervain is also an anti-inflammatory substance. Skullcap is revered for its detoxification and astringent properties while garlic’s analgesic and antibiotic properties are well-documented. These are what you’re essentially giving your pet.

Made of choice natural ingredients

Contains echinachea, lobelia, black and blue Cohosh, blue Vervain, skullcap, and garlic

 Olive oil base

 Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties


  • Brand: NaturPet
  • Weight: 1.4 ounces


If your concern is excessive ear wax buildup, bad odor, chronic irritation, and itching in your cat’s ears you may want to use RUBOLD’s Natural Ear Cleaner in cleaning cats ears. The formulation features a blend of coconut oil, citrus, and palm which work synergistically to address these concerns. The other thing is that the combination of citrus and coconut oil should help keep your cat’s ears smelling fresh. It doesn’t contain any harmful or harsh and toxic chemicals as everything is all-natural.

The same formulation also provides it amazing antimicrobial properties so not only are you actually cleaning your pet’s ears, you’re also keeping it protected against microbial invasion and prevent infection.

Pure, all-natural ingredients made from coconut, citrus, and palm

 Anti-yeast, anti-mite, antifungal, and antibacterial properties

 Safe and effective formulation

 No harmful chemicals

  • Brand: RUBOLD
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces


Frequent trips to the vets’ office can get quite annoying and even more so, expensive. And as pet parents, you can’t quite prevent the occurrence of ear mites or inflammations especially if they’re outdoor cats. Expensive medical fees make a lot of people depend on natural remedies which sometimes, are not quite as effective or safe. For example, hydrogen peroxide is a famous home remedy for cleaning out hardened and stored up wax. However, it may not treat the root cause of the foul odors or wax build up. That is where the Dechra Dermapet Malacetic Otic Ear/Skin Cleanser comes in.

It’s a fast action cleanser that eliminates odors, removes wax build up and treats annoying infections. The solution is pH-balanced and contains 2% acetic acid and 2% boric acid that fight against bacteria and microbes in the ear and on the skin. This solution is free of any artificial cleansers or wax removal agents, it happens to be an all-natural, gentle on the skin active solution. It can also be used as a topical solution for scabs, rashes and the likes. Apply this topical wonder and enjoy the light apple scented smell it leaves behind.


Apple scented

All natural solution for cats

Topical solution for skin issues

  • Brand: Dechra
  • Model: DERMSKIN16
  • Weight: 1 pounds


They are mild ear cleansers that work to clean out a dirty ear and remove wax build-build up. However, sometimes the issues are more complicated than what a simple ear cleaner could handle. Inflammations and infections can cause great discomfort in the ears, and this needs to be treated quickly and effectively. The Ark Naturals Ears All Right Gentle Ear Cleaning Lotion fights against such infections while being very mild on the ears. It is a pure liquid solution that is put into the ears to clear out wax and debris build-up while treating the infected ear. It is also a safe solution for pets with botanical ingredients used on humans too.

This ear cleanser provides a non-drying and hypo-allergenic solution that gently soothes and heals both ear and skin ailments. The Ark Naturals solution will also leave the ears smelling divine with active ingredients like aloe vera gel, calendula, cinnamon leaf extract, myrrh, and rosemary extract. Effectively treat and get rid of fungal and bacterial infections with this strong but gentle solution leaving your cat feeling great and smelling fresh.

Gentle ear wash

Made with Human grade botanicals


Safe for cats

  • Brand: Ark Naturals
  • Model: 11003
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces

Best Cat Ear Cleaner Buying Guide

Things to Consider When Buying Cat Ear Cleaners

Choosing the right cat ear cleaner for your pet shouldn’t be really difficult especially if you have been guided properly by your veterinarian who has a very clear understanding of what your kitty needs. However, in instances that you want to buy a cat ear cleaning solution without consulting your vet here are a few factors you have to keep in mind.


While it is true that an ear wash for cats is formulated specifically to cleanse your kitty’s ears, you may also want to consider other purposes as well. For instance, do you need one that has a deodorizing property or perhaps an excellent antimicrobial profile? Is there inflammation in your cat’s ears that need to be addressed or do you only need a formula that cleans the ear canal?

Effectiveness of active ingredient

Depending on the purpose of the cat ear cleaner you will have to next consider the effectiveness of the active ingredient. Some products have natural formulations. While these generally work they typically require longer time to show positive results. If you need something that works fast, then you’ve got to go for other ingredients. The problem is that these products may be fast-acting and effective, but they can bring a host of side effects, too.

Safe ingredients

In line with what we mentioned above it is critical to choose a product that contains a safe yet effective ingredient. You’ve got to have both. It should be effective so that your kitty’s ear problems will go away and it should be safe, too so as not to cause additional problems for your kitty. In this regard, products with all-natural ingredients provide the best solution when it comes to safety. They are effective, too, but you’d have to wait a much longer period of time for the effects to manifest.

Ease of application

Some prefer otic drops while others would rather go with otic wipes. The good thing about otic drops is that you get to saturate areas inside your cat’s ears that may not be reached by using wipes alone. The downside is that you’d have to leave the solution inside the ear for about 10 seconds before you eventually dry it up which can be quite messy. Otic wipes offer less mess with application. The problem is that they may not reach certain areas of the inner surfaces of the external ear.

Benefits of Using Cat Ear Cleaners

Cat ear cleaners provide a host of benefits not only to pets, but also to their respective pet parents.

Allows for the periodic assessment of the pet’s ears

It’s not every day that you get to assess or examine your cat’s ears to make sure that there are no abnormal growths, swellings, or even discolorations and discharges. Using cat ear cleaners gives you the opportunity to make periodic checks on the status of your cat’s ears.

Prevents ear infections

One of the risk factors for feline ear infections is the unusual buildup of waxy substances within the auditory canal. When this is allowed to happen, bacteria and yeast organisms can actually colonize these waxy substances and start an infectious process. Cleaning your cat’s ears with an appropriate cleaning solution, preferably one with antiseptic and disinfectant properties can help prevent the incidence of ear infections. The same can be said of ear mites for which cats are notoriously famous for. Frequent cleaning of the ears can help prevent these nasty parasites from causing problems in your kitty’s ears.

Prevents hearing impairment

Impaired hearing is typically a consequence of ear infections or simply a really dirty ear. Just imagine your ear canal being blocked by a huge mass of hardened waxy substance that sound emanating from the outside simply has no access to the tympanic membrane. When this happens very few sound waves are transmitted to the middle ear which transmits fewer vibrations to the inner ear. It is this reduction of sound amplification that can cause hearing impairment in your pet cat.

Saves you from costly vet fees

Ear infections in cats typically require treatment with otic antibiotics as well as other medications for associated symptoms. These are not inexpensive medications that you will need to administer to your pet on a daily basis for up to 14 days, depending on the causative organism. The cost doesn’t count your veterinarian’s professional fees as well as expenses related to laboratory and diagnostic work done. Cleaning your cat’s ears regularly so you can prevent infections and hearing loss is actually a lot cheaper than waiting for these problems to occur.

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Causes of Ear Infections in Cats

Ear infections in cats are generally the result of another medical condition, unless your kitty was able to pick up ear mites from another pet or animal. Ear mites are one of the most common causes of feline ear infections as these parasites can be easily transmitted from cat to cat or from cat to another animal and vice versa. The point, however, is that there are many other conditions that may increase the risk of developing feline ear infections. Here are some of them.

  • Autoimmune diseases in cats
  • Excessive buildup of waxy substances in the auditory canal
  • Feline allergies like pollen and food allergies
  • Presence of foreign bodies like grass bristles
  • Unusually thick hair in the cat’s ear canal
  • Improper cleaning of the ears
  • Excessive growth of bacteria or yeast or both
  • Polyps or tumors within the auditory canal
  • Environmental irritants
  • Ruptured tympanic membrane
  • Diabetes mellitus

Best Cat Ear Cleaner FAQ:

Q:  How will I know if my cat has an ear infection?

A:  One of the signs that may tell you your cat may have an ear infection is the presence of a yellowish or even blackish discharge from your cat’s ears. The yellow discharge is typically pus that has accumulated for quite some time. Pus is composed of dead microorganisms, cells, tissues, and the immune system cells that attacked these microorganisms. Most vets actually consider pus as a good sign that the pet’s immune system cells are doing their job.

The problem with pus is that it forms over time. If you do manage to see it, it simply means that the infection has been going on for a few days already. As such, you may have to look for other signs that will indicate a possible infection in your cat’s ears. This can include redness or swelling in the pinna or even in the ear canal, although this can only mean an inflammation. If there is an abnormal accumulation of waxy substances right in the ear canal or even near the entrance, then there’s a possibility that your cat has an ear infection.

If your pet has blackish discharges that look more like coffee grounds, this is actually a manifestation of ear mite infection. Strong, offensive odor can also indicate ear infection. Infections in the inner ear can manifest as disorientation, loss of balance or coordination, and even reduced hearing acuity.

Q:  How can I help prevent ear infections?

A:  Ear infections in cats are quite easy to prevent. Routine checking of the cat’s ears should help you identify anything that might predispose your pet to infections. While it is quite impossible to prevent bacteria, fungi, and viruses from getting inside your cat’s ears especially if they are airborne, you can somehow do something about it by regularly cleaning your pet’s ears.

Frequent and regular cleaning can help you prevent infections by removing particles and debris that may serve as fuel or protection for these microorganisms. Removing these can make the environment in the ear less hospitable to microorganisms.

Regular and frequent cleaning also gives you the chance to spot or identify some of the early signs of a possible infection such as swelling, redness, and even foul odor. If these are noted you can institute measures immediately so that the infection will be instantly arrested.

Q:  How should I prepare my cat for an ear cleaning?

A:  Timing is critical whenever you’re attempting to clean your cat’s ears. As much as possible it should be relaxed and calm to help facilitate the cleaning and minimize struggling. You should always clean your cat’s ears in a room that is quiet and free from any distractions such as noise and other cats. It is also recommended to close the windows and doors so that there’s no chance for your pet to escape. It is often advisable to have another person to help you hold your cat.

The thing is to always start by giving your kitty a nice soothing massage to help it relax and be well-accustomed to your touch. Sometimes wrapping your kitty in a thick towel so that only its head is sticking out can also help. One thing you should always remember is that not all cats like to have their ears cleaned. So, know your kitty and help it relax before cleaning.

Q:  Can I use human ear drops to clean my cat’s ear?

A:  Human otic drops have very different formulations from those developed especially for pets. While there are products that can be used on both dogs and cats, under no circumstance should you use ear drops intended for humans on your kitty’s ears. You may think that they have the same ingredients, but the strength of such ingredients is different.

Q:  Can I clean my cat’s ears with Q-tips carefully?

A:  Regardless of how steely nerves you may have or how controlled you think you can manage the movements of your hand, you should never use Q-tips when cleaning your pet’s ears. Even if you do manage to block out the rest of your world so that you are only focused on using the Q-tips, the same cannot be said of your kitty. One sudden move from your cat’s head might already lead to serious injuries. The Q-tips might puncture and rupture the tympanic membrane leading to hearing loss. Worse, the Q-tips might also damage the inner ear structures creating more problems.

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Our Top Pick

Epi-Otic from Virbac narrowly edged the Zymox Ear Cleanser primarily because of its choice of active ingredient. Whereas Zymox features a unique bio-active enzyme formulation, Epi-Otic comes in with a pet-safe concentration of salicylic acid. The presence of salicylic acid helps provide the anti-adhesion properties of Epi-Otic. Its keratolytic action means it increases skin hydration to help dissolve the various substances that somehow stick onto the skin. This makes it a lot easier to remove debris or particles from the cat’s ears. Zymox’s enzymatic formulation is actually geared more towards the prevention and management of microbial growth and proliferation in the ear canal. One can look at it more like an antiseptic and disinfectant than a true-blue ear cleaner. It is for this reason that our top pick for the best cat ear cleaners is Virbac’s Epi-Otic.

Cleaning cats ears is relatively easy if you have the right cleaning tools on hand. With these cat ear cleaning solution products you’re pretty much on your way to keeping your kitty’s ears clean, rejuvenated, and healthy.

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  1. Elizabeth Xu, How to Clean a Cat’s Ears, PetMD
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