Why Do Cats Like Earwax?

When you go into the room one day, your q-tips have been bitten down to the size of sticks. The cotton on the q-tip has been eaten clean off, and its all twisted and disgusting.

The protein content of earwax attracts them, and they will lick another cats ears as a result. So it appears that cats are unconsciously lured to licking earwax in each others ears and, according to a few posters, their owners dirty q-tips because the olfactory (scent) and brain receptors seek objects of nutritional value.

Male cats are seen to kiss his sisters ears until she turns and slaps him , walks away, and looks furious. Her ears are most generally a vivid pink colour, and her fur on top of her head was spiked high. The ceruminous gland is in charge of excreting perspiration, which is a component of the earwax mixture.

Because cats have fewer scent receptors than dogs, their noses arent nearly as powerful. This is because cats utilise their sense of smell to compensate for taste, much as how our own noses improve our dining experience. Your cat companion will be unable to resist you if you push your finger in your ear and get some earwax on it.

Animal proteins are found in cat food as by-products from sources such as fish, poultry, and beef. Earwax acts as a natural barrier, keeping dirt and bacteria out of the inner workings of your ears. The odour of earwax repels pests, but the stickiness captures those who enter by accident.

Your cat may turn down a tasty food , but a good piece of earwax might be considered a delicacy. Cats may also lick your earwax as a kind of physical affection, similar to grooming. Their sense of smell is so keen that even a small quantity of earwax will pique their interest.

Licking your skin is a means of claiming you, much like cats scratch particular spots to identify their territory. These social grooming licks are frequently concentrated on the face, particularly the ears, which are a vital region for expressing love and affection. The link between members of the same cat family may be maintained and strengthened by licking or brushing each other.

Detangling knots, cleaning up after a meal, and eliminating dust and debris collected up during the day are all part of the grooming process. If your cat doesnt have to break it down into tiny bits first, he wont have to work as hard to chew on it. So, it appears that cats are lured to licking earwax in each others ears, as well as, according to a few posters, their owners filthy q-tips, because their olfactory (scent) and brain receptors seek nutritional value.

Earplugs are one of the most commonly encountered foreign bodies at Blue Cross Animal Hospital. The smell of all the dead skin cells, fatty acids, and cholesterol is simply too much for a cat to resist.

The Internet abounds with strange theories and rumors. One of the most puzzling has to be the question Why do cats like earwax? Yes, this is a serious question that cat owners ask.

If anecdotal evidence is to be believed, cats really are naturally attracted to earwax! Just check out how quickly this cat responds to his owner placing a finger full of earwax in front of him.

First of all, we have to address the fact that cats have an amazing sense of smell, far superior to our own. According to Owlcation , We humans tend to think of earwax as a gross bodily substance that is annoying to have to pick out with a Q-tip. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information , In that little lump of earwax, there are animal proteins.

These are actually antimicrobial peptides, ten of which are already identified by scientists as being present in earwax. These peptides actually help prevent fungal and bacterial diseases from developing in our ears. These proteins tend to come as byproducts (also known as meal) as well as purely from sources like beef, chicken, and fish.

Whether they consciously or subconsciously know it, cats are driven to satisfy their nutritional needs, just like us human beings. To sum it all up, your cat likely thinks you are feeding them when you offer them some earwax on the tip of your finger. Mother cats spend countless hours grooming their babies until the kittens are self-sufficient enough to clean themselves.

When cats groom one another or their humans, they are leaving saliva behind as a mark of their territory. Cats groom themselves in order to get rid of excess debris from their fur and skin. Perhaps, on some strange cognitive level, cats believe that you need them to get rid of this rather tasty, nicely scented human debris.

Dogs usually get all the attention for their proficient sniffers but the fact is that cats also have highly developed olfactory systems, allowing them to find out all kinds of things with their cute little button noses. It can be a little disturbing though when those cute button noses lead kitties to things we humans wouldnt consider inherently sniffablein particular, ears and the stuff that can come out of them. What is about earwax that some cats get so excited about?

This is a good idea not just for keeping used ear swabs out of their paws, but also protects them from things that can be dangerous if ingested such as dental floss, used earplugs, or discarded products containing essential oils .

Its a bit of a gross topic, but a cursory Google search can find you no lack of people wondering: why does my cat love earwax? Whether you found Socks curled up in the bathroom surrounded by Q-tips or have one of the cats that likes to lick your ears, many people across the globe are asking the same question: why?

Image Credit: AJR_photo, Shutterstock As gross as it may sound, yes, earwax is perfectly safe for your cat to consume. A human would get pretty sick if they tried to eat like a cat for even one day, so dont worry too much about them licking some earwax off your fingers now and then.

What’s Special About Earwax For Cats?

If your cat is so much attracted to your earwax, then something must be very special about it!
It’s understandable that you’ve never given much consideration to what’s within your earwax. For most people, it’s just another piece of garbage produced by your body.Earwax contains dead skin cells from your ears’ inside. Earwax contains fatty acids as well as cholesterol. Take it out, toss it, and don’t worry about it again. However, there is more in your earwax than you may know.Cats have around 500 taste buds, and their smell receptors considerably outnumber ours to compensate for their paucity of taste buds. The protein content of earwax attracts them, and they will lick another cat’s ears as a result.So it appears that cats are unconsciously lured to licking earwax in each other’s ears and, according to a few posters, their owner’s dirty q-tips because the olfactory (scent) and brain receptors seek objects of nutritional value.Male cats are seen to kiss his sister’s ears until she turns and slaps him, walks away, and looks furious. Her ears are most generally a vivid pink colour, and her fur on top of her head was spiked high.Male cats had clearly grown excessive while licking her, which had enraged her. It was rather amusing, and she appeared little insane.Earwax is produced by two distinct glands. The sebaceous gland is one, while the ceruminous gland is another. The ceruminous gland is in charge of excreting perspiration, which is a component of the earwax mixture. This gland is located in the external auditory canal.The sebaceous gland differs somewhat in that it is found all over the body in places covered with hair. These glands will produce sebum, an oily material. These glands are located in the outer ear canal, where you may see hair.This combination contains proteins, cholesterol, fatty acids, and, in most cases, hair. You now have the amazing combination of earwax!

Why Do Cats Lick Human Ears?

Grooming is something that cats learn from their moms. They imitate their moms and begin grooming themselves as soon as they are a few weeks old. If they’re in a litter, they’ll probably lick and groom each other.Cats groom themselves to heal wounds and remove dead skin cells, to disguise their scent from predators, and to keep their coat and skin lubricated.Aside from earwax, some people believe it is a sign of your cat’s love. It’s possible that cuddling and rubbing themselves on you as a manner of demonstrating affection and effectively claiming you as their own has something to do with it.A cat is lured to the aroma of earwax, which is one of the major reasons cats may lick a human’s ear.This does not imply that you have a thick layer of earwax tempting your cat in for a snack. Their sense of smell is so keen that even a small quantity of earwax will pique their interest.Grooming also expresses a cat’s affection for a human. Licking your skin is a means of claiming you, much like cats scratch particular spots to identify their territory. The licking identifies you as a member of the cat’s family and disseminates the cat’s smell.Another explanation may be that they’re grooming you in some way. They’re cleaning you up and connecting with you by giving you kitty kisses, much like a mother cat does with her kittens.However, the aroma of your earwax is the major reason they’re drawn to that location in the first place.

Why Do Cats Lick Each Other’s Ears?

When two cats thoroughly love and trust one other, they will engage in social grooming, also known as allogrooming.They’ll only let this happen if they’re comfortable in each other’s presence. When one cat licks another, their scent is transferred to the other cat, thus strengthening and preserving their relationship.It helps them maintain their deep friendship. These social grooming licks are frequently concentrated on the face, particularly the ears, which are a vital region for expressing love and affection.Apart from showing affection, licking helps to keep the family’s signature aroma. This can also be found in cats that have been raised together but are not biological relatives.Cats are quite conscientious about keeping their hair neat and neat. They might spend hours making sure their coat is in tip-top shape. Detangling knots, cleaning up after a meal, and eliminating dust and debris collected up during the day are all part of the grooming process.When dealing with a difficult-to-reach location or a persistent knot, having a feline companion on hand may be really beneficial.If they detect a disease or disease, cats will groom one another. If one cat has a wound or a damaged portion of his or her body, or even an illness, another cat may lick the affected region. This might be with the purpose of assisting healing or providing comfort.It’s often tough to tell the difference between playing and fighting. A true battle will be upsetting, with hissing, angry noises, and motions. The cats should be separated and the conflict should be stopped up.Playing rough might include chasing, rolling around, and pawing each other. There will be no verbal distress, and both cats will return to their peaceful, happy selves once the game is complete.Knowing that your cats may be drawn to each other’s ears, it’s critical to ensure that they’re in good health. If your cat licks another cat’s ears and they have ear mites, for instance, you’ll have a problem.Ear mites are highly infectious, so if your cat is in close proximity to another cat’s ears, there’s a considerable risk they’ll catch them. That is not going to be a pleasant experience for your poor kitty. Their ears get extremely itchy and unpleasant as a result of this.

Is Human Ear Wax Good For Cats?

Cats, in particular, are sensitive to the smell of animal proteins. Your cat’s saliva is full with bacteria that you don’t want to get into your circulation through any little cuts or abrasions.Furthermore, two-thirds of cat allergies are caused by an allergen found in cat saliva. It’s not the safest idea to have a large dose of that allergy injected into your ear canal.Additionally, cat breath is rather unpleasant, so you’ll want to remain your distance.

Why Does My Cat Like Used Q-tips?

The fact that a Q-Tip is tiny enough to fit in your cat’s mouth is the first reason why it may be eaten. If your cat doesn’t have to break it down into tiny bits first, he won’t have to work as hard to chew on it.Because Q-Tips are chewy, your cat may be tempted to chew on and consume them. To put it another way, few varieties of Q-Tips are as hard as bone or hard plastic, so your cat could enjoy chewing on it. Your cat will break down the Q-Tip and begin to devour it if it is chewed on long enough.Q-Tips join the list of fantastic toys that aren’t cat toys. Cats can manufacture a toy out of just about anything. If you’re wondering if Q-Tips and the cotton that comes with them are safe for cats, keep reading to find out.Some cats like imitating their human’s actions. When a cat sees you using a Q-Tip, he or she may want to do the same, even if the Q-Tip ends up kicking under the bathroom vanity.Your aroma is on even a discarded Q-Tip. Your Q-Tip will have your fragrance on it if your cat wants to be close to you and you aren’t home. It’s not you or your clothes, but it may come in handy in a situation.

Why do cats love ear plugs?

Cats, in particular, are sensitive to the smell of animal proteins. So, it appears that cats are lured to licking earwax in each other’s ears, as well as, according to a few posters, their owner’s filthy q-tips, because their olfactory (scent) and brain receptors seek nutritional value.

Why does my cat nibble my ear?

Cats usually chew on your ear because it is excellent for their teeth or mouth. If a cat is trying to get your attention, it will bite your ear. They may even bite your ear to coerce you into playing with them. They may even bite your ear to communicate with you.

Hide Your Q-Tips!

Way back in 2005, a user named Angela posted onAngela’s query led to a bunch of grossed out responses and some rather insightful ones as well. Another user posted that cats are attracted to earwax because it contains animal proteins.Q-tips, wax earplugs, and even earbuds seem to be fair game for cats since they collect little bits of earwax.But is there any scientific validity to these claims? Or do a few people just have really weird cats?

Does this theory hold up?

If anecdotal evidence is to be believed, cats really are naturally attracted to earwax! Just check out how quickly this cat responds to his owner placing a finger full of earwax in front of him.In fact, you can search YouTube and find an abundance of videos just like this one.Yuck, right?But it seems to support the hypothesis that cats are naturally attracted to earwax. Here’s where we need to get into the nitty-gritty details of why cats love earwax.

Cats Crave Animal Proteins For Nutrition

According toSince you probably feed your cat these proteins and nutrients that they need every day, they’re quite used to the scent.Whether they consciously or subconsciously know it, cats are driven to satisfy their nutritional needs, just like us human beings.Cats likely do not know what type of animal proteins are in earwax, but they sure seem well-equipped at picking up these proteins’ scents. At least, that is what the theory holds.To sum it all up, your cat likely thinks you are feeding them when you offer them some earwax on the tip of your finger.

Your Cat Might Also Be Grooming You

Another aspect of the theory as to why cats like to lick your earwax is that they think they are grooming you.According toGrooming is something that cats learn from kitten-hood. Mother cats spend countless hours grooming their babies until the kittens are self-sufficient enough to clean themselves.Essentially, grooming themselves and each other is a learned behavior present from birth.Why do cats do this? Well, it is all based on creating their own community. Cats are communal creatures despite the human misconception that cats are solitary creatures.When cats groom one another or their humans, they are leaving saliva behind as a mark of their territory.Not only does your earwax meet some of their nutritional drives, but they are marking you as theirs. They might also be giving you some physical affection.It certainly seems awkward and even rather repulsive, but this is common feline behavior.Cats groom themselves in order to get rid of excess debris from their fur and skin. It is how they try to combat fleas, ticks, dirt, and their own dander.Perhaps, on some strange cognitive level, cats believe that you need them to get rid of this rather tasty, nicely scented human debris.

But doesn’t earwax taste horrible?

Cats only have 500 taste buds. Compare that to the 10,000 the average human possesses. Cats have to compensate for their lack of taste buds while we humans have to compensate for our lacking sense of smell.Earwax likely does not taste as bad to cats as it does to us humans since they lack our number of taste buds. In plain terms, cats just are not as sensitive to the taste of earwax (or anything else) as we are.

Earwax is a noseful

The simplest explanation, and the one that has a bit of science behind it, is earwax smells good to kitties. If you think about it, earwax doesn’t really have an unpleasant odor (if it does, you should get that checked) and is just made up of dead skin cells, fatty acids, and the like. Because cats are drawn to and survive on animal proteins, this combo–whether it comes for your ears, your dog’s ears, or another cat’s ears–is simply a source of protein to them.Because kitties have only around 500 tastebuds, whereas humans have anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000, they don’t taste things the same way we do. For example, cats don’t taste things as “sweet”. So, if you have a kitty that loves cake icing, it’s more likely the fat she’s attracted to than the sweet taste from the sugar.To make up for their lack of tastebuds, cats have developed a keen sense of smell to guide them to food. Dr. Carly Patterson, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, notes that while cats have fewer scent receptors than dogs, they actually “may be better at discerning between different smells.” Though some may see this as proof that cats really are more discerning than dogs when it comes to what they eat (you know, like poo) it really just shows that cats use their noses more than their tongues for taste. So, things that contain the smells of fats and proteins will be yummy for cats–whether it’s an can of cat food can or, in the case of this discussion, your earwax-coated earbuds.

Bonding behavior

If you’ve ever watched cats mutually groom, you probably noticed they spend a good amount of time on each other’s ears. Not only is this because of the yummy earwax but grooming forges stronger bonds between cats and their loved ones, including you.If your cat is intent on trying to clean out your ears, she’s likely not sending you a signal that your ears are dirty, just that there’s some good stuff in there. While you may, or may not, find this cute, it’s generally not a good idea to let your cat do it. Cat saliva contains bacteria that you wouldn’t want getting into any scrapes or tears in your tissue, not to mention a lot of cats have pretty stinky breath. Also, despite popular belief that cat dander causes allergies, it is a protein in cat saliva that causes nearly two-thirds of human allergies to cats. So if you, or someone else who likes to chew on your ears, may suffer from kitty allergies, you may want to give kitty a gentle shoo toward something more appropriate for licking, or give them one of these cat toys.

Does my cat have earwax?

Cats do have earwax but their ears are pretty much self-cleaning, which is handy since you shouldn’t need to clean your kitty’s ears unless you notice a strange smell or coloration in there. In some cases it can just be a whole lot of dirt but other things can be more serious, such as infection caused by mites. As the experts at VCA Animal Hospitals point out, ear infections are not as common in cats as they are in dogs so if you are concerned, take your kitty in for a visit. Once your vet has had a chance to examine your cat, they can guide you as to if and how to clean your kitty’s ears. If you need a refresher, the folks over at PetMD even have a handy guide on doing so.

Dietary Nutrients

As gross as it may sound to humans, earwax is a fantastic dietary nutrient for cats! To understand why we must first put aside our species differences and remember that cats don’t view earwax the way we do! In the same way that cats view a dead bird as a better gift than that lovely $100 cat tree you lugged home for them, they view earwax from a different perspective than humans.

What Are Obligate Carnivores?

There are four recognized classifications of carnivores, determined by the amount of animal protein the creature depends on for survival. The term “obligate carnivore” is a scientific classification of animals who rely solely upon meat for their sustenance. Unlike hyper (diet composition of 70% animal protein), meso (50% animal protein), and hypocarnivores (30% animal protein, also considered omnivorous), obligate carnivores

The Scientific Composition of Earwax

Understanding that cats rely solely on animal proteins for sustenance is only the first step in understanding their attraction to earwax. We must answer what earwax is to know why cats are interested in putting it in their mouths.Earwax is a deposit of dead skin cells, fatty acids, and small amounts of cholesterol that gathers in your ear canal to protect the eardrum from outside substances. In short, it’s entirely made up of animal proteins, the exact thing that cats consume to survive.Considering what the stuff is made of, it makes sense why our cats are attracted to it. Cats have 200 million odor-sensitive cells in their noses, compared to a human’s measly 5 million. Cats have noses that are tuned to detecting the smell of animal proteins; earwax probably smells delectable to them! Cats don’t think of earwax as we do; they only smell the delicious animal proteins that the earwax is made of, and that’s why they’re attracted to it!

The Social Aspect of Cat Grooming

There’s another reason that cats may be attracted to earwax, especially if your cat isn’t the “eating it off your Q-tips” type of cat. If your cat seems only to come around and lick your actual ears, it is probably a social cue and a sign that your cat loves you.For cats, grooming isn’t just pragmatic; they also use grooming to socialize with their peers. Cats will groom each other not only to keep clean but also to show affection and respect, up to and including the inside of another cat’s ears.While the idea of your cat licking out your earwax may seem nasty to our human sensibilities, it’s important to remember that they also lick out dirt, cat litter, and even poop from their coats. Earwax starts to feel like small potatoes when you compare it to cat litter and poop.

Is Earwax Safe for Cat Consumption?

As gross as it may sound, yes, earwax is perfectly safe for your cat to consume. Cats are made for eating some things that would be harsh on the human stomach, to say the least. As obligate carnivores, their wild diet consists almost entirely out of raw meat and bones. A human would get pretty sick if they tried to eat like a cat for even one day, so don’t worry too much about them licking some earwax off your fingers now and then.Don’t want to take our word for it? Dr. Lorette Underwood, a veterinarian, explains that this behavior is both expected and scientifically understandable. “In the case of my cats,” She says, “my male cat will lick his sister’s ears until she turns and hits him, walks away, and looks annoyed.”