Why Do Cats Like Earwax? ( 3 Main Reasons)

Scientists now believe that cats were domesticated by humans during the Neolithic Period, which took place over 4,000 years ago! For centuries, people have observed the behavior of cats, which sometimes seems bizarre. If you’ve ever seen your cat lust after the scent of earwax, you know this all too well.

In this article, we’ll explain the surprising reasons why cats love earwax, along with everything else you need to know when it comes to this odd infatuation.

Read on to learn more why do cats like earwax!

Why Do Cats Like Earwax

Reasons Why Cats Like & Love Earwax

The idea of consuming earwax may seem repulsive to humans, but it actually has some important benefits for cats! From licking earwax as a social act to the nutritional value it provides, you may be surprised by some of the reasons cats love earwax.

The Composition And Scent 

The major organic components of earwax include saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids, dead skin cells, and cholesterol. 

So why is this important when it comes to your cat’s love for the sticky substance? Because the composition of earwax is part of its allure.

Each of the chemical components in earwax is classified as animal fat and protein. This makes earwax irresistible to your furry feline, whose body and mind are designed for hunting, even if they are an indoor cat.

Cats have an extremely responsive sense of smell. They have more than 40 times the number of scent receptors humans do. When your cat senses the components found in earwax, the odor is so strong and inviting that they may go for a taste!

Earwax Has Dietary Nutrients

The fats and proteins found in earwax are actually a great source of nutrition for your cat.

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they can’t break down plant material and rely solely on other animals for food in the wild. For cats, earwax is safe and even healthy to eat.

Also, Why Do Cats Like Earwax is not only dietary need but also behavior as well. Continue reading to find out how behavior plays key role in this.

Eating Earwax Is A Bonding Behavior

Cats lick each other’s earwax as a way to bond with each other.

In the feline world, licking around and inside of another cat’s ears is a sign of respect and affection. Your cat may even try to show their respect and affection for you by exhibiting this behavior.

What If Your Cat Eats Earwax?

It is not uncommon to catch your cat eating earwax. There are no medical consequences to allowing your cat to lick the ears of other cats. It is even a sign of a developmentally healthy feline.  

However, while it is safe for your cat to eat earwax from discarded q-tips and other cats’ ears, you shouldn’t let them lick yours. That’s because cats’ tongues contain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.

You may want to prevent your cat from eating earwax for other reasons, too. Discovering your cat has gotten into your trash for discarded q-tips or lapped up your favorite earbuds isn’t exactly ideal.

Preventing Earwax Eating Behavior

If your cat’s tongue keeps finding its way into your trash, headphones, or ears, you may be wondering how you can stop this from happening. There are several effective strategies you can use to prevent your cat from engaging in earwax-eating behavior. 

Secure Your Garbage

Because your cat’s sense of smell is so strong, even garbage cans with a top that doesn’t lock can be a tempting endeavor for your cat.

If your feline friend keeps getting at the used q-tips in your bathroom garbage can, consider getting a receptacle with a locking lid.

Keep Earbuds Clean

Earbuds are another pesky offender when it comes to your cat’s insatiable quest for earwax! Even a small amount of earwax could be enough for your cat to smell.

Consider keeping earbuds and any other products that go inside ears (such as hearing aids) in a kitty-safe area when not in use. Remember that cats can jump up to five feet in the air without a running start! If you’re keeping your earpieces in a lower area, be sure to store them in a lockable container or drawer. 

Train Your Kitty To Stop Licking

If you don’t have a way to secure your belongings that contain traces of earwax, or if your cat just won’t stay away from your ears, there are a few ways to train your cat to stop.

One way to train your cat to stop eating earwax is by redirecting its attention to something more desirable. Your cat’s favorite treat will likely work quite well for this one.

Whenever you catch your cat attempting to eat earwax, simply lure them away with a delicious treat instead.

Another way to train your cat to stop eating earwax is by pairing the behavior with an undesirable (yet harmless) stimulus. Give your cat a short burst of a spray water bottle whenever you catch them going for earwax. This is a safe and effective method for decreasing behaviors in felines.

Cleaning Your Cats Ears

Your cat may clean out its own earwax by licking its paws and rubbing them against the sides of its head and inside its ears. This is normal, but sometimes your cat may need a little assistance.

If you notice a buildup of earwax or any debris that is visible inside your cat’s ears with the naked eye, help your kitty out by cleaning their ears for them.

It can be helpful to have a partner when you clean your cat’s ears. This person can hold your cat and reward them with treats throughout the process.

Dip a clean strip of gauze into an ear-cleaning solution special for cats (your veterinarian can make a product recommendation). Gently swipe along the outermost part of the inner ear. Repeat as many times as necessary to clear the ear and pat dry with a towel when finished.

Looking For More Cat Tips?

Now that you have read our article ” Why do cats like ear wax? “, Here at Animal Fate, pets are our passion. From the reasons why cats do what they do to the science behind cats’ favorite colors, we’ve got your back.

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