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10 Best Cat Ear Cleaners – 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

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By Nicole Cosgrove

cat's ear is being cleaned with ear cleaner wipes

Many cat owners are not strangers to how difficult it can be to administer ear cleaners to their cat’s ears. It’s not a pleasant experience for cats, and in turn, it’s often not a pleasant experience for cat owners.

However, establishing a consistent ear cleaning routine is important because it can prevent ear infections and many serious ear conditions.

Cats will have different reactions to different types of ear cleaners. Some may prefer wipes over liquid cleansers. Others may have an aversion to strong smells, so they might do best with a mild cleanser.

Most likely, it will take some time for your cat to get used to ear cleaners. Therefore, we’ve created a list of reviews of some of the best cat ear cleaners to help ear cleaning be an easy process for you and your cat.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats
  • Mild citrus smell
  • Works well against chronic otitis externa
  • Doesn’t interfere with other ear medications
  • Best Value
    Second place
    PetArmor Ear Rinse For Dogs & Cats PetArmor Ear Rinse For Dogs & Cats
  • Fast-acting relief
  • Good for routine use
  • Easy-to-squeeze bottle
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Zymox Plus Advanced Formula Zymox Plus Advanced Formula
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Soothes inflammation
  • Good for repeated ear infections
  • Best for Kittens
    Ark Naturals Ears All Right Dog & Cat Gentle Cleaning Lotion Ark Naturals Ears All Right Dog & Cat Gentle Cleaning Lotion
  • Gentle formula
  • Easy to administer
  • Natural ingredients
  • Vetnique Labs Oticbliss Advanced Cleaning Cat & Dog Ear Wipes Vetnique Labs Oticbliss Advanced Cleaning Cat & Dog Ear Wipes
  • Odor-free
  • Safe for cats of all ages
  • Nourishes skin around ears
  • The 10 Best Cat Ear Cleaners

    1. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats – Best Overall

    Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats

    Solution Type: Liquid
    Treats: Ear canal odor, chronic otitis externa
    Active Ingredient: Salicylic acid

    We chose Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats as the overall best cat ear cleaner because of its gentle formula with great results. This ear cleaner uses anti-adhesive glycotechnology, which prevents microbial attachment in the ear canal. It also removes excessive earwax and works to keep the ear canal dry.

    It also has patented anti-odor technology, and it leaves a pleasantly mild citrus smell when you administer it. It can be used several times a week or daily, depending on the condition of your cat’s ear.

    Veterinarians recommend this ear cleaner for cats with chronic otitis externa. It’s also a great option if your cat uses other types of ear products, such as medicated ear drops. It has a low pH, so it doesn’t interfere or affect these other products.

    Some pets with sensitive skin may have an allergic reaction to this cleaner. So, if you have a pet with skin sensitivities, make sure to spot-check or consult with your vet if you’re trying this product for the first time.

    • Works well against chronic otitis externa
    • Doesn’t interfere with other ear medications
    • Mild citrus smell
    • May not be good for cats with skin sensitivities

    2. PetArmor Ear Rinse For Dogs & Cats – Best Value

    PetArmor Ear Rinse For Dogs & Cats

    Solution Type: Liquid
    Treats: Yeast, odor, rinse out debris
    Active Ingredient: Ketoconazole, salicylic acid

    PetArmor Ear Rinse for Dogs & Cats is one of the best cat ear cleaners for the money you pay because it tackles a lot of ear issues at a relatively affordable price. This cleaner kills and prevents bacteria and yeast growth. It also prevents odor and protects cats’ ears from inflammation, and you can expect to see results within 48 hours.

    Along with destroying bacteria, you can use this cleaner as a rinse to remove dirt, wax, and damaged tissue in the ear. Just make sure to massage the base of the ear after administering this cleanser so that it reaches the deeper parts of the ear canal.

    The bottle itself has a design that makes it easy to squeeze the formula into your cat’s ear. When it comes to cleaning pet ears, it’s best to have a convenient bottle design because it can already be such a challenge to have cats cooperate with ear cleanings.

    This ear rinse has a great formula for daily and regular use. However, it’s not as effective on cats that have chronic ear infections or inflammation. The formula isn’t powerful enough to address more extreme cases.

    • Fast-acting relief
    • Easy-to-squeeze bottle
    • Good for routine use
    • Don’t use on severely irritated skin
    • Doesn’t treat serious conditions

    3. Zymox Plus Advanced Formula – Premium Choice

    Zymox Plus Advanced Formula

    Solution Type: Liquid
    Treats: Bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections
    Active Ingredient: Hydrocortisone

    This premium ear cleaner is one of the best options for cats with chronic or repeated ear infections. The active ingredient is hydrocortisone, which helps soothe inflammation. This inclusion of hydrocortisone makes this ear cleaner a viable option for cats with sensitive skin.

    The formula also includes naturally occurring enzymes, which fight against bacterial, fungal, and yeast ear infections. Its LP3 Enzyme System works to penetrate and destroy the layer of biofilm slime that blocks ear cleaners from reaching the source of ear infections.

    Overall, the balance of hydrocortisone and enzymes makes this formula soothing to the ears and effective in fighting against infections.

    This formula does come in a small bottle for a relatively expensive price. However, it has great reviews and a high volume of success. So, if you’ve yet to find an ear cleaner that works against repeated ear infections, this ear cleaner may work well for your cat. Just keep in mind that you can’t use it simultaneously with other cat ear products.

    • Good for repeated ear infections
    • Soothes inflammation
    • Safe for sensitive skin
    • Can’t use with other ear products
    • Relatively expensive

    4. Ark Naturals Ears All Right Dog & Cat Gentle Cleaning Lotion – Best for Kittens

    Ark Naturals Ears All Right Dog & Cat Gentle Cleaning Lotion

    Solution Type: Lotion
    Treats: Ear mites, inflammation, earwax buildup, odor
    Active Ingredient: Aloe vera gel, isopropanol USP

    This is a great ear cleaner to add to your cat’s routine. It’s a good formula for preventative care as it addresses ear odor and wax buildup. It can also help treat ear mite infestations and help the healing process of insect bites.

    The formula contains natural ingredients, so it’s safe for kittens. Most kittens also strongly dislike liquid ear cleaners entering their ears. Therefore, this lotion formula can be a great way to introduce ear cleaners to your kitten.

    All you have to do is dab a small amount of the lotion onto a cotton ball and wipe it in and around your kitten’s ears. The gentle formula doesn’t cause any discomfort, and it’s also hypoallergenic. However, it does have a strong smell, so you’ll be able to smell it for a couple of days after you’ve administered it onto your kitten.

    • Natural ingredients
    • Easy to administer
    • Gentle formula
    • Strong smell
    • Not good for fighting ear infections

    5. Vetnique Labs Oticbliss Advanced Cleaning Cat & Dog Ear Wipes

    Vetnique Labs Oticbliss Advanced Cleaning Cat & Dog Ear Wipes

    Solution Type: Wipes
    Treats: Odor, earwax buildup
    Active Ingredient: Chloroxylenol, salicylic acid, docusate sodium

    If you have a cat that absolutely hates liquid ear cleaners, ear wipes can be a great alternative. These ear wipes effectively remove excess earwax and keep ears dry. All you have to do is gently massage your cat’s ears with these wipes.

    The wipes are also odor-free and include nourishing ingredients, such as aloe vera and vitamin E. They’re also very saturated in the container. So, you can expect to have wipes that have enough formula to thoroughly clean your cat’s ears.

    Just be gentle when using these wipes. They tend to be thin, so they can tear easily.

    • Odor-free
    • Nourishes skin around ears
    • Safe for cats of all ages
    • Tear easily

    6. Pet MD Advanced Dog & Cat Ear Cleaner Wipes

    Pet MD Advanced Dog & Cat Ear Cleaner Wipes

    Solution Type: Wipes
    Treats: Odor, yeast and bacteria infections, dirt and earwax buildup
    Active Ingredient: Chloroxylenol, salicylic acid

    These wipes work well against yeast and bacterial infections. They also do a great job of clearing up buildup and fighting against odor.

    The wipes contain an alcohol-free formula, so they’re gentle on cats and kittens and don’t have a burning sensation. Therefore, this specific wipe is great for cats that are learning to get their ears cleaned.

    The wipes have a refreshing cucumber melon scent, but the smell can be strong and may not be pleasing to some people and cats. So, your cat can have an aversion to the smell, which can make using these wipes a more difficult process if your cat reacts with resistance.

    • Alcohol-free formula
    • Effective alternative for liquid cleaners
    • Effective against ear infections
    • Strong scent

    7. Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone

    Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone

    Solution Type: Liquid
    Treats: Bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections, inflammation, staphylococcus
    Active Ingredient: Hydrocortisone

    This ear cleaner works as both a daily cleanser and a treatment against various ailments. It addresses infections caused by bacteria, fungus, and yeast. It also has a three-enzyme system that’s antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. The formula also works great for breaking down and eliminating earwax buildup.

    The formula also contains hydrocortisone, so you can use it if your cat has irritated or inflamed ears. It can also soothe itchy skin to help your cat stop scratching its ears. Routine use of this formula provides a great preventative barrier for your cat so that it has a lower risk of experiencing chronic ear infections.

    This formula does contain alcohol, which can cause a burning sensation for your cats if they have raw, infected skin. So, make sure to check your cat’s ears for any exposed or open wounds before administering.

    • Powerful three-enzyme system
    • Reliable preventative treatment
    • Breaks down earwax
    • Alcohol can cause burning sensation

    8. Miracle Care R-7 Series

    Miracle Care R-7 Series

    Solution Type: Powder
    Treats: Bacterial infection, excess moisture, earwax buildup
    Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide, silicon dioxide, methyl salicylate

    Since this formula comes in powder form, it can be a great alternative for cats that are strongly resistant to liquid ear cleaner. Just keep in mind that this product is the first step for a thorough multi-step ear-cleaning regimen.

    The powder works well for basic ear cleaning and healthy hygiene. It does a great job of keeping ears dry. If your cat takes a bath, it’s a great immediate solution to apply to the ears if water got inside.

    Some cats just really hate liquid ear cleaners, so this powder can work as a last resort so that your cat has some form of a basic ear cleaning routine. If you end up liking this product, you can also opt to use the other products in this series for a thorough ear cleaning regimen.

    • Good alternative to liquid cleansers
    • Keeps ears dry
    • Odor-free
    • Only for basic cleaning

    9. Earth Vibes Pet Ear Cleaner

    Earth Vibes Pet Ear Cleaner

    Solution Type: Liquid
    Treats: Odor, yeast, itching, inflammation
    Active Ingredient: Eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera

    Earth Vibes Pet Ear Cleaner is a fast-acting natural ear cleaner that shows results within 48 hours. It’s best to use it as a daily part of your cat’s hygiene routine to prevent dirt and earwax buildup and odor.

    The formula also has a balanced pH so that it’s gentle on sensitive skin, and you can use it in conjunction with other ear applications. The formula is gentle enough for other pets, including dogs, ferrets, and rabbits. Therefore, you can conveniently have just one ear cleaner product instead of multiple different types taking space in your storage cabinets.

    Since this cleaner is very gentle, it’s not meant to address severe cases of ear infections. It provides basic care and is for routine maintenance to promote and protect your cat’s ear health.

    • Use on different kinds of pets
    • Natural ingredients
    • Fast-acting
    • pH balanced
    • Not effective against repeated ear infections
    • Only provides basic care

    10. Petpost Pet Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats

    Petpost Pet Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats

    Solution Type: Liquid
    Treats: Earwax and dirt buildup, odor, itching
    Active Ingredient: Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate, aloe leaf juice, coconut oil

    This ear cleaner is a safe option for your cats because it uses natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. The manufacturer also uses environmentally conscious methods to make and pack the formula and prioritizes reducing its carbon footprint.

    You can use this ear cleaner intensively to remove ear wax buildup. It contains coconut oil, which works to break down ear wax. The formula also contains aloe to soothe your cat’s ears. This ear cleaner is also gentle enough to use weekly to keep your cat’s ears clean and healthy.

    Just be wary that although this product is supposed to work against ear mites, many customers left reviews stating that it was ineffective against these pests. It also has a strong smell that might cause an adverse reaction from your cat.

    • Natural ingredients
    • Effective against earwax buildup
    • Easy application
    • Environmentally conscious company
    • Strong smell
    • Not very effective against ear mites

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Cat Ear Cleaner

    There are different types of cat ear cleaners that work well for various conditions. Make sure you have a well-identified purpose for purchasing a cat ear cleaner so that you can buy one that effectively targets your cat’s specific needs.

    Types of Cat Ear Cleaners

    There are three main forms of cat ear cleaners:
    • Liquid
    • Wipes
    • Powder

    Liquid cleaners are typically the most effective because they can reach the deepest part of your cat’s ear canals. They also do a great job of flushing out debris and ear wax. However, cats don’t usually tolerate liquid cleaners very well, and it’s going to take a lot of time and patience to help them to be still while you administer the cleaner.

    Wipes are a convenient option and work great for basic and routine ear care. You can have better luck with them than liquid cleaners because you can make ear cleaning more pleasant by massaging your cat ears while you wipe. They’re also a great option to use when you’re traveling with your cat because they’re convenient to carry and dispose of.

    Just keep in mind that wipes won’t work well to address issues found deeply in your cat’s ear canal.

    Powdered ear cleaners are another alternative that cats may prefer over liquid cleaners. However, they’re mostly used to draw moisture out of your cat’s ears and keep them dry. They should be used as a last resort if your cat completely resists liquid cleaners and wipes.

    Common Active Ingredients

    There are several common active ingredients that you can find in most ear cleaners:
    • Salicylic acid
    • Chloroxylenol
    • Zinc oxide
    • Aloe vera
    • Hydrocortisone

    Salicylic acid is an antimicrobial, so it works to address mild bacterial infections. It can also work to reduce yeast in the ear and dissolve ear wax.

    Chloroxylenol is also an antimicrobial, and its uses include treating cuts, bites, and abrasions. It can also help with odor control.

    Zinc oxide mainly absorbs excess moisture, so it helps keep your cat’s ears dry. Its drying properties can help prevent ear infections and rashes.

    Aloe vera and hydrocortisone have soothing effects, so they work effectively in healing inflammation and itching. They’re often used as alternatives to antibiotics.



    Our researched reviews conclude that the best overall cat ear cleaner is Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats because of its versatility. It removes excess earwax and fights infections, and you can also use it as a routine preventative treatment.

    We also love Ark Naturals Ears All Right Dog & Cat Gentle Cleaning Lotion. It contains natural ingredients, and it’s easier to administer than liquid cleaners.

    It may take some time for your cat to get used to ear cleaning, so try out these different types of ear cleaners to see which one works best for your cat.

    Featured Image Credit: NONGASIMO, Shutterstock

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