Why Do Cats Like Earwax? – 3 Main Reasons

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

why do cats like earwax

You see your cats rummaging into your garbage with the cotton buds in their mouths. Well, it’s gross, but it leaves you wondering, why do cats like earwax?

Surprising, it seems, but earwax is part of your cat’s daily diet! Yes, earwax is a buildup of fatty acids, dead skin cells, and cholesterol (saturated and unsaturated), which are the main ingredients of cat foods. That’s why earwax looks and sounds like a great meal for them.

Top 3 Reasons Why Cats Love Earwax


Is human earwax bad for cats? The following will give you the answer and the several reasons why cats get ear wax when they groom their owners.

1. Earwax has the components of a kitty diet


Human earwax catches cats’ attention because it contains the ingredients found in their diet. Yes, it may not appeal to you, but its smell and texture make them go crazy about it. Cats like the taste of earwax more than you know!

2. The odor of earwax smells like heaven for cats


Earwax has the odor of survival for cats. Unlike humans, they only rely on their senses to eat their meals daily. These creatures only have 500 tastebuds compared to 2000 to 5000 of humans. So, for you, earwax tastes gross, but it’s not the case for them.

As mentioned earlier, earwax is composed of several appetizing ingredients for cats. And that’s the reason why you often find them going through the garbage to lick used cotton buds or go near you and rub their faces into your ears.

3. Earwax tastes like a delicious meal for cats


My cat licks the inside of my ear, and it left me wondering why they did this kind of unusual behavior, until I went to the veterinarian and his answer truly surprised me

Animal protein is the main’s ingredient for a cat’s meal, such as beef, poultry, and fish. It may not sound appealing to you, but it is to them. The next time your cats turn down the food you feed them, you may want to try to feed them a delicacy of earwax (ha-ha).

Is Human Ear Wax Good for Cats?


Generally speaking, cats eating ear wax is part of their routine. My cat licks my ear wax from my ear on a daily basis, and I just realized that it is part of their everyday system.

So, a little bit of ear wax is good for them. But it is gross to let them rummage into your garbage after throwing in the cotton buds.

Ways to Keep Cats From Eating Earwax

1. Cover the trash bin


The basic way to keep your cats from eating earwax from cotton buds is by covering your garbage bin. Aside from getting your cotton buds full of earwax, cats are naturally curious creatures. They sometimes want to play with the unusual things inside.

2. Use pet-safe commercial ear cleaners


Cats lick human ears for grooming purposes. Since they think of you as part of their group, they show their affection by licking your face or ears! It’s normal behavior for them.

However, if you feel uncomfortable with this way of affection, then you may opt to use pet-safe commercial ear cleaners when cleaning your ears. They usually don’t like the taste of the ingredients present in essential oils.

3. Consult your veterinarian


If you’re still bothered when your cats eat earwax, then visit your doctor to bring light regarding this matter. Usually, this kind of behavior is not a subject of concern, unless they are grooming excessively. If that’s the case, go to the clinic right away.


Why do cats like earwax? Well, we can summarize it into one—earwax has animal protein that appeals to the cats’ sense of smell while enjoying the taste of it while cats lick human ears.

In general, ear wax is not dangerous to cats, but if they do excessive grooming, then it’s another story that you have to address immediately. But overall, it’s not something you should worry about. Cats eating earwax is just a presentation of usual creatures doing their usual routine.

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