Your cat needs ear medication. No Problem? If you let us help, it will be easier than you might imagine. I like to reward cats both before and after the treatment. The reward at the beginning prevents the hide and seek game each time you pull out the bottle. Next, be patient and loving. This will relax both you and your cat. You may consider wrapping your cat in a towel (burrito kitty). This will prevent unwanted scratches and it also provides comfort to your cat. When you are done, another treat, play with a favorite toy or just some "me time" for your cat. This will make it a positive experience for both of you.

Applying Ear Drops to Cats

Author: Ernest Ward, DVM

Topical ear medications are often necessary to treat inflammatory or infectious ear conditions properly. Some cats will tolerate the administration of liquids or ointments in their ears while others may become fractious. Remember that your cat's ears may be painful and that even a gentle and passive cat may respond by struggling, biting or scratching. Until the medication begins to control the problem and ease the discomfort, you may need to wrap your cat securely in a towel or blanket in order to apply the medication.

Make sure you have carefully read the label and understand the prescription instructions, including the amount of medication you should apply, and then follow the step-by-step procedure below:

  • If the medication is refrigerated, you may be able to warm it up by placing the container in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. Be sure to ask your veterinarian if this is acceptable before warming any medication. DO NOT MICROWAVE IT.
  • Hold the cat securely in your lap. It may be advisable to restrain the cat by wrapping it in a blanket or towel with only its head exposed. The first few times, it may be helpful to have someone else hold the wrapped cat while you apply the drops.
  • Draw up the liquid into the dropper, if necessary. Hold the applicator or bottle between the thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand.
  • Use the last two fingers of the hand holding the dropper or bottle to hold the tip of the ear.
  • Place your remaining hand under the cat's jaw to support the head.
  • Apply the prescribed dose of medication into the ear canal.
  • Gently massage the base of the ear in a circular motion. Be cautious and gentle. The cat may not allow you to do this. You should hear a "squishing" sound as you massage the medication deep into the ear canal.
  • Release the ear and let your cat shake its head. If the medication contains a wax solvent, it will dissolve the debris, which your pet will shake out of the ear. You may gently wipe out any accumulated debris from the ear flap with a tissue or ball of cotton.


If at any time you have any difficulties or questions about medicating the ears, give us a call. The drops in the ears are your ticket back to good health and we can make it easier for you. If needed, we are happy to medicate the ears for or with you until you are more comfortable. Give us a call.