Why are my cats ears hot image

Why Do My Ears Get Hot? – Red flags to look out for when dealing with hot ears

Ever noticed your cat’s ears feeling hot while petting them. As an automatic human response, we tend to get worried and resort to calling the vet. It is necessary first to understand that the anatomy of cats and humans are very different, and symptoms of illness that a human may get may not be same for cats. Cats are naturally warm creatures, and their usual body temperature is a few degrees higher than ours. They also have fluctuating changes in temperature as the season’s change. Up to 102.5F, your cat can be considered as completely okay. Know the reasons why are my cats ears hot and how to treat it.

Why Are My Cats Ears Hot?

Cat ears are coated with less fur and are more exposed when compared to other parts of their body. That makes the ears more easily susceptible to temperature change. A cat’s ears fluctuate in temperature according to its surroundings. In summer, the excess heat in a cat’s body is exerted out through its ears, nose, paws, and tail. This creates warmth in those particular areas. In winter, the same heat is transferred to other parts of the body, and the ears, nose, and so on might feel cold.

Do warm ears indicate illness?

Firstly, check underneath your cat’s arms and stomach. If your cat’s ears are abnormally hot and not just warm, check if any other body parts of your pet are hot as well. If they are hot, your cat may likely have a fever. Be on the lookout for other symptoms, which will be covered in the next segment. Even if your cat has a fever, don’t be alarmed, as fevers are natural reactions of their bodies to fight off a virus. Contact your veterinarian if the fever persists for more than a day or two.

How to Tell if a Cat Has a Fever?

Generally, a cat’s body temperature ranges from 100.5F to 102.5F. Check for these symptoms to confirm fevers in cats.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid and troubled breathing
  • Seeking cool locations to lay and rest on
  • Isolating themselves
  • Decreased drinking
  • Heat spread over the whole body
  • Decreased grooming
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Why My Cat has a Fever?

It is necessary to determine if your cat has a fever or is a sign of any other infection or illness. Common causes of fever include:

  • Viral infections
  • Bacterial issues
  • Parasites
  • Fungal infections
  • Internal injuries
  • Medication issues
  • Tumors or cancers
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Poisoning/toxins
  • Immune-mediated inflammatory disease
  • Environmental issues

A cat is diagnosed with fever by taking its temperature rectally. This is done using a thermometer. A veterinarian doctor may also use methods such as x-rays, scans, and other imaging technologies to look for signs of infections, injuries, and so on.

Common Ear Problems in Cats

Ear problems are quite common in cats. It is vital to diagnose the problem properly, as ear problems in cats are commonly misdiagnosed, leading to weeks of improper treatment. A healthy cat’s ears are pink inside, clean, have no smell, and have very little wax. They are also able to detect sounds from far away. When your furry companion has ear problems, you can identify them by looking out for these symptoms:

  • Constant pawing at their ears
  • Discharge from the ears (can be brown, orange, cream-colored, black yellow)
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of balance or disorientation
  • Strong odor from the ears
  • Constant shaking of head or tilting in the direction of ear which is infected
  • Behavioural changes
  • Bleeding from the ears

If you see any of these symptoms in your cat, it is necessary to take your pet to a vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Reasons for Cat Ear Infection

Ear mites

Cat ear mites are the most common ear problems for cats. The ear mites are not visible to the naked eye and can worsen over time, leading to bloody sores and infection. Ear mites cat are very contagious and are mostly spread through contact with other pets. This is more prevalent for outdoor cats who spend time in contact with other infected cats, or even dogs, by wrestling with them, playing, and so on. As for indoor cats, they might get them from coming into contact with the bedding, toys, and the belongings of another infected cat.

External Ear Infections (otitis externa) and Middle Ear Infections (otitis media)

Otitis externa is the inflammation of a cat’s outside ear, while Otitis Media is the inflammation of a cat’s middle ear. Otitis Externa results from environmental changes, causing the glands lining the ear to enlarge and produce wax in excessive amounts. When the condition becomes chronic, it results in a ruptured eardrum. Otitis Media occurs as an extension of Otitis Externa and causes a ruptured membrane that separates the external and middle ear.


If your cat has allergies, itchiness in the ears and head is a common symptom. Every cat may not be allergic to the same triggers, but it is necessary to identify the trigger allergens of your pet. The allergens may arrive from the environment, food, fleas, and seasonal, Make sure to use pet flea and tick shampoos in regular baths.


This usually affects the haired portion of a cat’s ear flaps, especially in kittens. Despite its name, a ringworm is a fungus and not a worm. Ringworm is highly contagious and can also spread to humans. You can use a cat dewormer to prevent it in early stage.


The aforementioned throw light on the various potential reasons your cat’s ears may get hot. Make sure your cat grows up in a clean and sanitized environment. Take notes of objects and environments your pets are allergic to and keep them away from the same. Cats falling sick is often induced by surroundings, so do your best to raise them in a healthy environment. The health of our pets should be our topmost priority, so ensure you’re ticking all boxes.