This is an older thread, but I hadn't come across it. So, I think I'll post anyway as I appear to be the exception considering I do clean my cats' ears regularly.
For Cassidy (DLH) and Emory (DSH), I clean their ears once monthly. I do it at the same time I do their nail trims. Their ears stay relatively clean and they both have little was build-up, but I do a quick cleaning regardless just to maintain their good condition. It's also a good way for me to ensure that they're not developing issues with their ears. For Delaney (DSH), I clean her ears bi-weekly. She tends to get ear infections and I do this to make sure that there is no swelling or debris in her ears. She also has itchy ears and I have found that she enjoys the ear cleaning as it is soothing. For Finnegan (DLH), I clean his ears once or twice a week. He has always had a lot of wax build-up and if I do not clean it, he develops an ear infection. He'll also scratch his ears raw if there is too much debris inside of them. For both Finn and Delaney, I use Glen Haven's F1/O (Oticetic Flush) cleaner. And, along with that, I do clean their ears with ear swabs in order to catch any debris. If they have an infection, I go to the F2/O (Medicated Oticetic Flush) instead. For Cassie and Em, I usually use the C1/0 (Ceruclean). And, I don't use an ear swab -- I simply massage the cleaner into their ears and they shake if needed to remove wax build-up. And, lastly, for my new little guy, Guinness, I haven't started him on an ear cleaning regimen. So far, his ears look good. And, if that remains the case, I will keep him on the same schedule as Cassidy and Delaney. But, I am big on ear cleaning and it has helped my cats tremendously when it comes to ear infections, allergies, and itching. If he needs something more, I will increase his cleaning. But, for now, we're not going there.
I will say that it's important to know how to properly clean your cats' ears. Too much moisture can cause irritation and infection. And, using an ear swab when inexperienced can be potentially dangerous. I would recommend talking to your vet the next time you go in to find out what they suggest as far as products go. And, I know most vets or techs would be more than happy to teach you the proper ear cleaning techniques. Not all cats require regular ear cleaning, but I've found that mine have benefited greatly. And, to that end, I also clean my dogs' ears with the same products and it has helped them as well. You have to find out what is best for your pets and go from there -- each cat or dog is an individual with specific needs. But, opening a dialogue with your veterinarian is the best thing that you can do. Ear cleaning is an important topic and I'm glad to see a thread about it. I just wish I'd come across it sooner.