Why Do Cats Like Earwax?

By Ehtesham

Published on:

Cats, those enigmatic and curious creatures, often surprise us with their peculiar behaviors. One such behavior that cat owners might find both amusing and bewildering is their occasional interest in human earwax.

In this article, we’ll explore this quirky aspect of feline behavior and delve into why cats are drawn to earwax.

Feline Behavior

Before we dive into the earwax mystery, it’s important to understand that cats are complex beings with unique instincts and preferences. Their behaviors are often rooted in their evolutionary history and their sensory perception.

Sensory Experience

Cats possess incredibly sensitive senses, especially their sense of smell. They can detect scents that humans may not even notice. Earwax, while not typically fragrant to us, contains a range of odors, some of which may be intriguing to felines.

Cats use their noses to explore and understand their environment, and earwax provides an interesting scent for them.


One theory is that cats might be attracted to earwax because it contains traces of skin oils and dead skin cells. These components can have a slightly sweet taste, which could appeal to a cat’s palate.

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their diets primarily consist of animal-based proteins, and they occasionally seek out alternative sources of nutrients.


Cats are known for their grooming rituals, and part of this involves using their tongues to clean themselves. Sometimes, a cat might lick its owner’s ear or face, which can inadvertently lead to contact with earwax. This behavior may offer a sense of comfort or bonding for the cat.

Sign of Affection

When a cat licks its owner, it can also be a sign of affection and trust. Cats groom each other as a social bonding activity, and they may extend this behavior to their human companions. So, if your cat shows interest in your earwax, it could be their way of showing affection.


Cats are inherently curious animals, and they often investigate their surroundings by tasting and touching objects. Earwax may simply be another item that piques their curiosity, leading to a brief investigation.


While the fascination with earwax might seem unusual to us, it’s just one of the many idiosyncrasies that make cats such intriguing and beloved pets.

As responsible cat owners, it’s essential to ensure your cat’s behavior doesn’t pose any health risks. If you’re concerned about your cat’s interest in earwax, consult with a veterinarian for guidance.


Is it safe for my cat to lick my earwax?

Generally, it’s safe for cats to lick earwax in moderation. However, if you have concerns or notice any unusual behavior, consult your veterinarian.

Can a cat’s fascination with earwax indicate a health issue?

In some cases, excessive interest in earwax could be a sign of nutritional deficiencies or dental problems. It’s best to consult a veterinarian if you’re concerned.

How can I discourage my cat from licking my earwax?

You can gently redirect your cat’s attention when they show interest in your earwax. Providing engaging toys or treats may help distract them.

Should I clean my cat’s tongue after it licks my earwax?

Cats are naturally equipped to clean themselves, and there’s usually no need to clean their tongues after such interactions.

Are there any health risks associated with a cat’s fascination with earwax?

Generally, there are minimal health risks associated with this behavior. However, always monitor your cat’s health and consult a veterinarian if you have concerns.