Why Are My Cats Ears Hot? Find Out 6 Reasons For It


Why are my cats ears hot? This question probably occurred when you snuggled with your favorite feline and noticed her ears were hot. We’ve often heard cats hide when they have health issues or are in pain. So, as an actual cat owner, you are worried about what her hot ears may indicate.

It may not be alarming if your cat has warm ears, but the change in behavior with hot ears might be the reason to take her to the vet.

Your cat’s health should be your priority, and we will now discuss possible reasons for your hot cat’s ears.

Why Are My Cats Ears Hot?

beautiful siamese cat with blue eyes is walking outside

If you haven’t noticed any weird changes in your cat’s behavior, and if there are no signs of illness, you don’t have to worry much.

Before we list the possible reasons, let us tell you that cats are warm creatures, warmer than us, and a healthy cat’s body temperature is around 101.0˚ to 102.5˚ F. A cat’s ear temperature will depend on the temperature of the environment.

Cat’s ears may be hot due to viral or bacterial infection, the buildup of ear wax, allergies, fever, ear mites, etc.

Let us discuss each one of them in depth.

1. Allergies

Why are my cats ears hot – reason number one: Your cat might have an allergic reaction.

Your cat’s ears might be the sign that she has allergic reactions to stimulants like mold, grass, dust, and pollen, or she has eaten something she’s allergic to. How do you spot allergies? Look if your cat is sneezing, has itchy and hot rashes, watery eye discharge, or has hot ears.

You can discover if your car has allergies by taking her to the vet, and the vet should test a cat for specific allergens. If the tests show positive for some, antihistamines will be needed.

Hot ears may indicate that your cat is also allergic to flea bites besides pollen, dust, etc.

RELATED: 8 Best Hypoallergenic Cat Litters

2. Ear Mites

Why are my cats ears hot – reason number two: Your cat might have been dealing with ear mites.

Ear mites’ favorite place is to be with outdoor cats and kittens. They will bother your cat so much that she will go crazy from scratches, pawing, and rubbing her hears against anything sharp in the house. That way, her ears will become warm. You may also see that your cat’s ears twitch since the skin in the ear is spotted with black debris and inflamed.

Notice if your cat is scratching her ears or even other parts of their body more than usual; those are the signs that troublesome ear mites are there. We must mention that many different parasites can cause ear problems in your cat.

Bear in mind that ear mites won’t decide that their stay is over out of the blue, so you need to treat them since they can cause infections, and unfortunately, they are contagious to other pets. That’s why you must take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice ear mites.

3. Fever

Why are my cats ears hot – reason number three: Your cat may have a fever.

Your cat’s hot ears could indicate a fever, but that is not the only sign. Before you say: My cat has a fever, check the cat’s underarms and stomach to see if they’re hot too.

A cat that has a slight fever will try to find a cool place and lay with her body spread up rather than be in a ball. Check out if you’re interested in why cats sleep in a ball.

It would be great if you had a cat thermometer in order to check for a fever. Anything above 103.5˚ is defined as fever, but if the cat’s temperature reaches 104˚ F, you should take your cat to a veterinary clinic.

Check out these symptoms of fever so that you can be sure:

• Diminished grooming

• Loss of appetite

• Rapid breathing or shivering

• Lack of energy or activity

• Hiding

• Diminished drinking

• Depression

4. Balancing Body Temperature

Why are my cats ears hot – reason number four: Your cat is just balancing her body temperature.

A cat’s ears are not just there to make your cat look cuter, and her ears help her regulate body temperature. You may think, how is that possible? Well, your cat’s ears consist of many tiny veins that tighten in cold climates in order to retain heat or to dilate in order to release heat.

Cat’s normal body temperature is around 100 -102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. As you see, this is a bit higher than our normal body temperature.

During warm months, tiny veins increase blood flow to the ear area, so the release of excess heat is possible.

So it might be that your cat is letting go of body heat, especially if she’s been in the sun for most of the day. You may feel that it is hot if you touch her nose.

On the contrary, in the colder months, your cat will probably have cold ears because she’ll conserve her body heat. In these times, it would be great if you now and then put your cat in a cozy blanket, or even better, get her a heated cat bed since the cats are not so great with tolerating cold temperatures as we are.

5. Ear Infection

Why are my cats ears hot – reason number five: Your cat might have an ear infection.

A slightly severe problem of hot ears could mean your cat has an ear infection. Even though it is more common in dogs, ear infections in cats can be caused by yeast, bacteria, or even ear mites.

The most often problem of the cat ear is called otitis externa, or to put it more clearly, the infection of the outer ear. These infections happen due to yeast infections and ear mites.

You need to treat this condition if you want to prevent serious complications such as deafness. At the first sign of infection, you need to consult with your vet.

We will now list some other signs that can indicate an ear infection:

• Unwillingness to chew

• Shaking the head

• Different sense of balance

• Tilting of the head

• Pain when opening the mouth

• Pawing at the affected ear

However, if your cat has a viral infection, you don’t need to worry that much since the cat’s immune system will solve it as soon as possible.

We must mention that if your cat’s ear is full of a build-up of earwax, that might be the reason for the high temperature of your cat’s ear since it will block ventilation in the cat’s ear canal.

6. Heatstroke

Why are my cats ears hot – reason number six: Your cat might have a heatstroke.

Since cats don’t do as well in the heat as we do, hot ears can show that your cat has a heatstroke. Since cats have a few sweat glands in their nose and feet, unlike us, we have a sweat gland in every inch of our bodies.

Your feline friend relies on panting and external cooling in order to control the temperature of the body. This is mainly with those cats that have long-haired coats.

However, outdoor cats quickly lose heat, unlike indoor cats, that find that a bit hard when regulating body temperature. That’s why their temperature is higher.

What Is The Definition Of A Fever?

the cat covers its face with its paw

If you wonder how to check your cat’s fever, wonder no more since we are here to help you. To check your cat’s temperature, you need to use a thermometer.

If the temperature is above 102.5°F, it is considered a fever. However, if the temperature goes above 106°F, there is a chance of severe organ damage.

Why Does My Cat Have A Fever?

I know you’re worried because you’ve felt that your cat’s ears are hot and a million things are going through your head, but don’t jump to a conclusion just yet.

Your cat may have a fever due to these common causes:

• Certain medications

• Injury

• Tumors

• Trauma

• Fungal, viral or bacterial infection

Is It Because They’re Trying To Keep Cool?

An orange cat lying under a sofa

Sometimes, the cat’s ears may indicate that they are just trying to keep themselves cool. As we learned, their body temperature is about 101.0˚ to 102.5˚ Fahrenheit. Therefore, their body temperature requires warmer spots. That’s why you see your cat near your warm laundry, radiator, or sunspots.

Cat uses her ears so she can be protected from the cold. Their ears are not covered with fur or fat, so the thin tissue is sensitive to colder temperatures, basically any drastic changes.

Cat’s ears vasoconstrict when it’s cold while they vasodilate in warmer months. What are those terms?

• A vasodilation is a state when the blood vessels expand the blood flow in the body so the internal body heat can be released.

• A vasoconstriction is a state when the blood vessels tighten in order to keep the heat for more important parts of the body. That would be the torso and the head.

You need to check if your cat has good blood circulation in the ears. If your cat is hot in warm months and cold in cold weather, that could be a sign that something is wrong.

But, when you exclude other signs of some problems, you can come to a conclusion that it is entirely okay to have a bit warmer ears.

What To Do With My Cat’s Ears?

What could you do to prevent some ear issues? From time to time, you can clean your cat’s ears with a special ear cleaner. As ears have bit different structures, it is challenging to remove the dirt with some help is challenging.

However, you don’t have to purchase some tools to clean your cat’s ears. You only need a quality cleaning solution and a small cotton piece of fabric. Remember that you’ll need to persuade your cat into this process. Try with a treat!

You don’t need any special tool to clean his ears. The things you need are a good ear cleaning solution and gauze. Your feline might need the treat to cooperate.

RELATED: 7 Best Dry Cat Foods For Adult Felines

How To Clean Cat’s Ears?

Cute grayish cat's owner cleaning its ears with a cotton pad

The residue buildup of earwax stops the ventilation, and the temperature of the ear canal rises. The outer part of the ear, called the pinna, could become warm also.

That’s why you need to clean your cat’s ears in order to keep the ear canal free from earwax. In that way, the ventilation will go as it is supposed to go.

Now that we prepared the necessities for cleaning, let’s see how to do it:

• Take your cat in your lap and make yourself comfortable.

• Easily take back the tip of the ear flap in order to get to the ear canal.

• Hold the earflap in one hand and the ear cleaning solution in the other.

• Now that you have all the needed things, softly put a small amount of cleaning solution into the ear canal.

Remove the dirt from the ear with the gauze while you hold the ear flap.

Closing Thoughts

Why are my cats ears hot? I hope this article finds you well and answers all your questions and worries.

You don’t have to worry about your cat’s hot ears if you exclude unusual behavior and other signs of some health issues. Cat’s ears play an essential role in a cat’s life. Regulating the body temperature is one of their primary jobs. Plus, they can move alone in order to help your cat in orientation.

But, if you notice some unusual behavior in your cat, like shaking and tilting her head, itching, and depression, she should be taken to the vet.

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Iram Sharma

Fur-tunare enough to have had cats her entire life, Iram has spent years learning about these fluffy little hunters. Today, Iram is a professional veterinarian and a passionate cat mom who uses her skills to help felines in need. Surrounded by her own feline friends, Iram shares her knowledge and experience with all cat lovers.

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