Q&A with Dr Pauline Taylor, BVM&S MACVSc
DR. PAULINE SAYS: Smelly ear discharge should be checked out by your vet. It indicates irritation in the external ear canals. Cats normally produce ear wax similar to our own. If the wax is discolored it means something is wrong. The color change is due to the normal wax containing biological debris or broken down blood cells the result of trauma caused by your cat scratching the ears, head shaking or both. Common causes that contribute to light brown discharges include parasites, bacterial and/or yeast ear infections, and occasionally other irritants or a foreign body but that would be rare in both ears at the same time.