How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Cher Your Own Question

Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 18870
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
1470369
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Cher is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is the brown stuff in my cats ears

Customer Question

When I adopted my cats they were getting over ear mites. I was told to clean their ears with Qtips soaked in Epi-otic. Then I was to put in prescribed medicated drops in their ears. At their re-check the ears were healthy. It's been awhile since I have been able to get them to a vet because of low funds. They are indoor cats so I feel safe. They are just over 3 years old. I notice at times that my cats ears seem dirty on the inside, so I clean them with the epi-otic. This brown gunk comes out on the Q-tip. I am wondering what this could be, if it is mites?? They never go outside. I am planning to make them an appointment at a vet this week. I am just curious how mites could damage a cats ears? Also, how far should i put the Q-tip in. I never put it in the ear canal, but the cats ear has some knobby things in it that I work around. Also, can mites get in the nose or eyes. I notice at times one of my cats had black stuff in her nose and they both get eye gook?
Thanks,
Kimberly
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 7 years ago.
Hi,

The brownish stuff you see coming out on the q-tip may just be normal ear wax. Ear mite 'debris' resembles brownish black coffee grounds, so if what you're seeing on the q-tip is just brownish and not three dimensional, I believe it's ear wax.

The cat's ear canal is 'L' shaped, so technically, the q-tip would have to 'turn a corner', in order to reach/touch/damage the eardrum. However, it's not advisable to go in that far, when you're cleaning your cats' ears. The way you describe it, you're doing it absolutely the correct thing, in how you're cleaning your cats' ears. The little 'knobby' protrusions, or as I like to call them, the 'nooks and crannies' inside the cat's ears, can be cleaned around, gently, with the q-tips as you've been doing.

Mites would cause intense itching, and if your cats are not exhibiting this symptom, plus, the brownish stuff is NOT like coffee grounds, I would think that your cats do not have ear mites at this time.

The organizations below, might enable you to find a lower-cost vet or one who might see your cats free of charge, if you have extenuating circumstances:

http://www.uan.org/lifeline/guidelines.html
http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/
http://www.hsus.org/ace/11875
http://www.vvma.org/finast.htm

http://www.carecredit.com/   ---this is a credit card for veterinary visits and medications and might be of use for you at this time, as it enables you to pay out the vet's fee in installments, but the vet gets paid up front by the company.

Mites can't really get into the eyes or nose, and what you're seeing is probably just 'normal' debris that accumulates in some cats' eyes and noses. Some cats are more prone to develop eye and/or nose 'dirt'. As long as the dried up discharge is brown and not greenish or yellow and is not accompanied by sneezing, swelling of the eyes, lethargy, inappetance (which are all symptoms of an upper respiratory and/or eye infection), just continue to wipe away the brownish stuff with a warm, moistened cotton ball, and always wipe AWAY from the eye, towards the nose, and use a new cotton ball for each eye, each time.

When you bring your cats to the vet, they'll be evaluated and you'll be told whether or not they ear mites and/or any type of infection in the eyes.

I hope all will be well with both your furbabies!

Cher

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Last | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/purrfectkitty/2008-07-10_084515_2006-06-10_me2.jpg Terri's Avatar

    Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    868
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CE/Cerecita/2011-3-16_2565_JAPIC500x500.64x64.jpg Cher's Avatar

    Cher

    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    9637
    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/kydoll/2008-11-26_190500_me.jpg Lori's Avatar

    Lori

    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    3325
    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mccprn/2009-11-20_185102_JA_profile.jpg Micki's Avatar

    Micki

    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    3153
    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2887
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    2124
    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Cat Vet
Cher
Cher
Cat Vet
18870 Satisfied Customers
Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience