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Old September 10th, 2009, 08:55 PM
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Dirty Kitty Ears

Just wondering if it is normal for kittens to have a medium brown colored buildup in the ears? (Not deep, just inside.) Teeka has a little bit, but I've really noticed that our new kitten Raisins has it badly. Both kittens were at the vets for various reasons, but nothing was ever said - nor was it cleaned.

What is this? Should we clean it, or take them to the vet to have it done?

Our older cat Moo doesn't have this, and I don't recall ever dealing or seeing this with her.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 09:51 PM
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Although mites are usually black i would not rule that out, especiall because both have it. A kitten indoors should have sparkly clean ears, so i would have it looked at, could be an infection, or yeast, does it smell funky? You can usually tell with ears by the smell. . It is safe to gently wipe the outer ear with something soft like gauze, but dont use qtips or go in the ear, you will just shove it down more. Are they itchy?
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Old September 10th, 2009, 10:03 PM
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It's kind of like a paste, more noticeable with Raisins, and they don't seem itchy. Check out their pictures in this thread: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=65503, and you can see it if you look closely at their inner ear.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 10:48 PM
Jim Hall Jim Hall is offline
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some kits ears get like that its probaly wax and then some dirt gets on them a soft clothe with a warm dilute sulotion of green tea helps
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Old September 10th, 2009, 11:49 PM
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Looks like a bit of wax, if it were mites you would notice what looks like black coffee grounds & the ears would be quite itchy
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Old September 11th, 2009, 07:47 AM
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When I first got Vlad his ears were kind of like that. He had a combination of mites and waxy build up. It took me a couple of months to get them all cleaned up after some medication and a few visits to the vet to have her clean them properly, but after the he was fine.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 09:23 AM
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Hmmm I vote for earmites Are the little ones still seperated from your adult? If they are I would clean out the ears and give it a few days to see if dirt returns. It does look similar to ground coffee. You can also try massaging around the base of their ear, and if that makes them shake their heads or scratch alot, it's probably mites.
Teeka must be excited to have a lil buddy!
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Old September 11th, 2009, 09:45 AM
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Thanks everyone! We've made an appointment to have all pet ears cleaned because the little kittens have been among our other animals already. I don't think it looks like coffee grounds, so I'm leaning towards wax buildup, but just to be on the safe side.

Thanks all for your advice!!
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Old September 11th, 2009, 12:56 PM
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From your picture, it looks like wax build-up to me, but better to have the vet check to make sure, as mites can cause a lot of aggravation and spread to your other cats and can lead to an excess of wax.
It's difficult for cats to clean their own ears very well, especially kittens, until they learn to wet their forepaw and rub it in their ear. Mom cats clean their ears for them. Some cats don't seem to learn to do it themselves, or rely on their cat friends to wash out their ears for them. My neuter never cleans his half-sister's ears, so I have to do it for her as she doesn't do it for herself, whereas she always cleans his ears.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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Interesting CL, thanks! Up until now we've always been a one-cat household, and in one summer we now have three!
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Old September 21st, 2009, 11:44 AM
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Update

It dawned on me that I hadn't told everyone what happened at the vetcheck with our 'dirty kitty ear' situation.

Teeka had wax build up, Moo was fine, and Raisins had earmites!!!!!! Very surprising to me because she had been at the vet clinic before we brought her home, but they apologized and because we caught it (thanks to all of you) early enough it didn't have a chance to spread to our other animals.

Thanks again everyone!!
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  #12  
Old September 21st, 2009, 02:58 PM
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That's good! That is what I thought.. a kitten should have pretty sparkly ears if inside, keep an eye on the others those little buggers spread like wildfire! hope kitty is back to normal soon!
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Old September 21st, 2009, 10:13 PM
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Sometimes cats will get a residual build up of wax and gunk. My cat Maxwell had earmites when he was a wee baby and we treated them and got him all fixed up, but to this day, 3 years later, the poor cat still gets the extra ear wax and dirt build up for no reason. I have to regularly 'scoop' it out.. it takes about 5 q-tips to each ear to scoop all the muck out. It's pretty gross too. We've retested him so many times and no mites! All my other cats have normal kitty ears. Poor Maxwell though
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