Good ear care is important to your cat's health, especially as she ages. Check her ears at least once a week, and clean them as needed to prevent ear mites, allergies, and bacterial, fungal and yeast infections from taking hold.
To check the inner part of your cat's ear, hold the tip between your thumb and forefinger and roll it gently toward the back of her head. The skin should be pink or flesh colored and should look healthy and clean, with no red or sore looking patches.
A little bit of light brown wax is normal, but a heavy discharge (especially black, red, or green yellow) indicates a problem. If the ears look healthy and your cat shows no signs of discomfort around her ears or head, gently wipe away any excess wax with a pad soaked in ear cleanser.
Ear problems are hard to diagnose, and treating for the wrong type of infection will not help and might make things worse, so if your cat's ears look red, sore, or dirty, or if she scratches her ears or shakes her head a lot, see your vet.
Older cats often lose some or all of their hearing, but hearing loss is not always easy for us to detect. If your cat does not react to sounds that used to attract or startle her, chance are she is hard of hearing.
Common signs of dental disease include bad breath, difficulty eating or drinking, drooling and unexplained weight loss. An aging cat may have trouble keeping her claws trimmed, so regular nail care will help to keep her feet healthy.
This is not usually a problem for a house cat, but without the ability to hear, she is vulnerable to serious injury outdoors. Indoor cat lead longer, healthier lives and keeping senior cat indoors may extend her life by many years.
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