Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Teaching kitten to clean behind ears?

Poe
April 16th, 2006, 04:34 PM
My kitten was taken from her Mom at a young age, six weeks, and doesn't know how to clean behind her ears. She's still young--fifteen weeks now (I got her a couple weeks ago). Is there anything I can do to imitate what a mother might have taught her, or is she doomed to have those dirty tangled spots behind her ears like so many other cats I know?

badger
April 16th, 2006, 05:05 PM
Why don't you do it for her, with a soft brush. She'll get the message.

tenderfoot
April 16th, 2006, 08:00 PM
If the inside of her ears are dirty you need to do that for her. Normally another cat would do it. The tangled bits are worse if she is longed haired - long haried cats are not in a natural state - we created them. So the matting is a fact of YOUR life (sorry) and you will need to de-tangled for her.
I always tell my persians who tend to complain when they are getting a deep grooming - "hey, you wanted to be born a persian, this is what comes with having that gorgeous coat".:p

Lucky Rescue
April 16th, 2006, 08:08 PM
or is she doomed to have those dirty tangled spots behind her ears like so many other cats I know

Probably. The fur behind the ears of long haired cats is extemely fine and soft and tends to tangle and mat easily, even in the most fastidious cats. You'll have to groom it for her.

Poe
April 17th, 2006, 10:15 AM
She's not a longhair and I don't know how long her hair will grow, but it is extremely soft and downy. She gets brushed with a wire brush every day but it does absolutely nothing for the gunky spots behind her ears. What do people do to clean that area?

Lucky Rescue
April 17th, 2006, 10:57 AM
"Gunky"? The fur might get matted but shouldn't be gunky...what do you mean?

Poe
April 17th, 2006, 11:14 AM
"Gunky"? The fur might get matted but shouldn't be gunky...what do you mean?

Like she's used a brown-tinted gel behind her ears.

Poe
April 17th, 2006, 11:22 AM
It's not a great picture, but this is "gunk":

Lucky Rescue
April 17th, 2006, 11:50 AM
Oh, well some cats (like Maine Coons for example) can have "greasy" coats and since the back of the ears is hard for any cats to reach, they need some help.

Just give it a wipe with a cotton ball moistened with warm water.

badger
April 17th, 2006, 12:19 PM
Looks like she has a pretty thick coat, if she's not long-haired. I love how the hair sprouts from her ears.
Doing these little tasks for your cat are a great way to bond. Badger needs his ears cleaned occasionally and his back end brushed (because he's too fat to reach it) and although he's not crazy about having it done, he knows that he'll get plenty of cuddles and maybe a treat after too, so it's OK.

Poe
April 17th, 2006, 05:47 PM
Looks like she has a pretty thick coat, if she's not long-haired. I love how the hair sprouts from her ears.

Thanks for the compliment. She has a beautiful coat--I can't wait to see her all grown up. She might be part Norwegian Forest Cat which would explain the fur.

The cottonball thing helped but there's still some "gunk." That stuff is stubborn!

We have no problems with grooming, though--except she gets so excited she starts eating the metal bristles.

Lucky Rescue
April 17th, 2006, 06:04 PM
She might be part Norwegian Forest Cat which would explain the fur.


More likely part Maine Coon - MCs being much more common than NFCs - which might explain the oily fur.

t.pettet
April 17th, 2006, 09:37 PM
Get a bottle of cat or puppy shampoo (hypo-allergenic), moisten a wash cloth (warm water) with just a dab of shampoo on it and wash away the dirt, comb out when still wet and allow to air dry. She might be more inclined to wip her own ears when they're feeling wet.

Poe
April 18th, 2006, 09:07 AM
It's working!

I saw her do the wipe lick wipe this morning--she wasn't very thorough about it, but the idea was there. :)

She also started sleeping in the same room as Poe, my fastidious older furbaby, a couple nights ago, so he might have taught her something. At any rate, there's hope for her yet. :fingerscr