Why do cats really like earwax? Is it simply that cats like to lounge around and rub their ears on surfaces like furniture or walls? Or is it because they’re trying to get the wax out so they can better hear the sounds around them?
We may never know the true answer, but cats certainly like it!
What Is Earwax?
A lot of people don’t give much thought to this stuff when they’re cleaning out their ears.
Most people don’t give a second thought to the fact that they like to dig in the trash for some wax.
Don’t even think about it, because earwax also houses narcotics, bacteria, fungi, insect parts, dust, pollen, and many other microscopic organisms.
However, you may be surprised to know how many bacteria are present inside your earwax.
It’s not a secret that earwax is important not only for protection but also for cleaning out your ears’ insides.
You may not realize it, but earwax performs several functions all at the same time. Unlike the other slimy substances treated by our noses, earwax isn’t purely liquid.
Earwax can harden, and that hardening process is triggered by body temperature. Naturally, earwax functions to keep your outside ear canals from getting sore and inflamed from exposure.
Earwax also prevents germs from getting into your ear canal and causing an infection.
Fatty acids and cholesterol are both thought to play roles in hearing health.
Why Do Cats Like Earwax?
Even though we don’t conceive of earwax as a substance that is full of nutrition, to us, cats see it as sustenance that is essential.
If you think back to the time when humans were hunter-gatherers, they had to be constantly on the prowl for sustenance. Food sources were scarce, and you had to catch what you could (aka hunt wild animals and scavenge meat).
Even though eating meat is a staple part of human diets these days, our bodies still do crave it. The same primal instinct remains and is the reason we humans find earwax revolting.
Those proteins and fats, which their little cat tongues find delicious, are also beneficial to your cat’s health.
For this reason, you may try harder to persuade your cats to stop, or shorten up the amount of times you clean their ears.
In essence, they’re tasting their meat source before consuming it.
Why Does Your Cat Like Used Q-tips?
Cats love Q-Tips because they’re little, which makes them fun to chase around.
Another reason why cats love Q-Tips is because they contain more than just wax for your cat to play with.
Your cat’s saliva contains an enzyme that breaks down the wax, so it begins to dissolve in his mouth.
Your cat could ingest the wax along with the Q-Tip or he could chew the wax and the Q-Tip separately.
Cats love Q-Tips as a plaything.
By plaything, we’re referring to either chewing on them or throwing them around the house.
If your Q-Tips are in a dry location, your feline may enjoy chewing on them on his or her own rather than playing with you.
If they do choose to play with them, they may roll them around on the floor, throw them in the air to catch them, or even eat the ‘cleaning product’ itself! Cats love the taste of earwax.
The first reason a Q-Tip might get stuck inside your cat’s digestive tract is because of how difficult it is to push out once it’s there.
The next concern is that it could cause intestinal blockages or other medical conditions that might require surgery to correct.
It is unlikely that your cat will consume a single Q-Tip, so Q-Tip consumption will be treated as a poison control emergency.
So, why then do cats seem to love earwax so much? Earwax is more than just a waxy substance for your cat to consume and is set apart from eating the Q-Tip itself, as well as from eating other food in your cat’s diet.
Your cat will be able to eat it piece by piece, chewing on it with his mouth, or even more frightfully, by gnawing on it with his claws and teeth.
It’s possible that your cat may eat the Q-Tip because it contains his favorite treat scent.
A few variants of Q-Tips aren’t quite as easy to chew and break down than the others, but in general, your cat could easily break apart an outer case of Q-Tip and attempt to nibble it.
If your cat chews on the Q-Tip over a long period, it can end up eating it.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Gummy Bears?
Cats love to lick their ears simply because their scent glands produce a yummy secretion that’s super yummy to eat called earwax.
Cats can’t stand the stench of earwax or ear mites or other microorganisms in a cats ear.
You should not, however, allow your cat to eaten your earwax.
Cats are a lot more interested in eating wax than humans. But thankfully for them and us, they don’t generally eat the wax from their own ears.
You may observe that your cat tries to eat the wax from your ears when he’s cleaning them or licking them excessively.
This means you should use a cotton swab to carefully remove your earwax from your ears without allowing him to ingest it.
Cats scratch their ears because they rub off dirt and debris.
When your cats start scratching their ear and s arriving at your Q-tips, it’s time to take a good look at any ear issues you may have overlooked in a while.
You shouldn’t be alarmed either if your cat keeps chewing on your Q-tips.