Cats can exhibit a variety of fascinating behaviours that occasionally baffle us humans but are entirely normal for this species. 

Image credit : lollo

Why, then, do cats enjoy earwax?

Due to the ingredients’ attraction, cats enjoy earwax. Dead skin cells, fatty acids, and trace amounts of cholesterol can all be found in earwax. 

Since your cat enjoys playing with your discarded q-tips, she might be inquisitive and want to give them a sniff. 

What makes cats enjoy earwax?

The five most plausible explanations for why your cat could enjoy earwax are as follows:

1. The protein and lipids in earwax attract them.

If your cat genuinely enjoys nibbling on your used ear tips, you should take precautions to prevent her from consuming any cotton or other materials they may be comprised of. 

These may result in digestive issues such as intestinal obstructions. 


Image credit : chad allen

Especially if they haven’t tried it before, it’s totally typical for cats to want to lick your earwax.

Dead skin cells, cerumen secretions, and occasionally even hair are abundant in earwax.

But in addition to these main components, ear wax also includes small amounts of cholesterol, squalene, and both saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids. 

Cats have fewer taste buds than humans because they are obligate carnivores; they only have a few hundred as opposed to 10,000.

Because of this, they are more inclined to want to try the earwax and other objects in their environment. 

2. They wish to comprehend the odor

The scent of healthy earwax should be very faint or nonexistent. 

Your cat will undoubtedly be curious about the q-tips you used if your own smells strongly, which is frequently an indication of an ear infection (otitis). 

According to estimates, a cat’s sense of smell is up to fourteen times more acute than a human’s. 

cat smelling qtip with earwax

In contrast to a human’s nose, which contains only 5 million scent receptors, cats’ nostrils can contain as many as 200 million. 

In the wild, a cat’s sense of smell is crucial for survival, so they utilize it for guidance and to fend off predators. This means that a cat wants to learn a smell, comprehend it, and retain it for the future. 

Therefore, despite the fact that it might not be as tempting to you, it is in a cat’s nature to want to smell your earwax. 

3. Defining their domain

Some cats might not even be interested in smelling or licking your discarded q-tips. 

They might prefer to rub the q-tips against the sides of their faces instead. However, why does this occur?


Image credit : Harley Ferreira

cat rubbing earwax on its face

Cats do, in fact, rub their faces on a variety of surfaces because they have smell glands in their cheeks.

Your cat may not be a huge fan of earwax if you catch her rubbing her face on your used q-tips. 

It simply means that she wants to treat you and every other item in her house as her own, just like she does with that used object. 

4. Cosmetic requirements

Your cat doesn’t care for your earwax if she appears less interested in your q-tips than she does in licking your ears. 

Her actions, however, are a result of the grooming tendencies she has toward her other feline and human pals since she views you as a member of her family. 

Cats are known to like cuddling with their owners, and they frequently rub their cheeks against their faces and ears to convey this desire.

5. Genuine inquiry and fun

Your cat will use your q-tips to play if she doesn’t really have many other options, especially when you are away from home. 

It doesn’t necessarily follow that she would choose to play with your earwax over another object. 

cat engaging in q-tip play

To prevent boredom, you only need to get your pet some new toys or alternate between them. 

Interactive toys are some of our top picks for cats who must spend at least a few hours alone each day.

Examples include multilayer rollerball games, puzzle boards, food-dispensing toys, and any accessories that include catnip. 

Additionally, pets who are prone to obesity could benefit.

Additionally, slow feeder games like labyrinths, circuits, or even the alleged “Ripple Rug,” which has holes in which you can stuff many treats, may be beneficial for pets who are prone to obesity. 

last thoughts

Cats may be drawn to earwax because they are curious about it and want to discover its taste and scent. 

Numerous cats have been known to play with old ear tips out of pure boredom, and they may decide that the best time to do it is just when you’re working or watching TV. 

Get a pet-safe trash bin to keep your cat from eating earwax or messing with your q-tips.