Why Are My Cats Ears Hot?

If you’ve ever been struck by extreme worry about whether your cat’s hot ears means that they are getting sick – then you’ve come to the right place.

Imagine that you’re sitting on the couch and mindlessly stroking your cat’s ears.

Suddenly, your hand hits something uncomfortably warm and you begin to panic. Thankfully, all you’ve touched is your cat’s ears.

As it turns out you’ve never really stopped to notice just how hot your cat’s ears are before, and now it is all that you can think about.

Why Are My Cats Ears Hot

Well, worry no more!

When a cat is overheating, the blood flow to the ears will naturally increase, too.

As a result, it is understandable that their ears may become an entirely different temperature to the rest of their body.

But how can you tell if something more sinister is going on?

If something isn’t right with your cat, then it is likely that they will exhibit many side effects alongside having noticeably hot ears.

Read on to find out more about why your cat’s ears get so hot.

What You Need To Know

If you’re a cat owner then it’s likely that you’ve been selected for cuddles at least once in your life.

And you’ve probably wondered how they manage to stay so warm. Well, we’re here to give you the answer!

For starters, they have an impressive average internal temperature.

This figure usually hovers in the range of anywhere between 100.4 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s also important to note that your cat’s ears generally have much less fur on them than other parts of their body.

This helps them to give off extra heat and is also crucial in regulating their body temperature.

But are their ears the same temperature as their body, we hear you ask? The simple answer: not exactly.

Much like a human’s ears, a cat’s ears may not stay at exactly the same temperature as the remainder of the body.

Although there isn’t that much of a difference.

You’d assume this fact would automatically make this body part much colder, but that isn’t always the case.

Cat ears will always feel very warm to us because we have a lower internal body temperature.

How Do Cats Regulate Their Temperature?

In order to stay healthy, cats need to get the excess heat away from their bodies.

Humans are able to achieve this simply by sweating. However, it is a bit more complex for cats.

In fact, there are three ways that cats can regulate their core body temperature:

  • They pant.
  • They perspire via the pads of their paws.
  • Cats can also use their ears to remain cool.

Blood vessels located within your cat’s ears will dilate to quickly pump hot blood to the ears, which is often a much cooler body part.

The blood within those vessels will then cool down and travel to the remainder of your cat’s body, which will help to cool them down all over.

Then, when the body needs to be warmed back up then the blood vessels constrict.

What Influences Their Body Temperature?

Your cat’s environment may have a big impact on the overall temperature of its ears.

Cold weather means less blood flow to the ears, making them feel colder, but warmer weather will cause blood flow to increase, making them feel warmer.

You may also want to ask two simple questions before you panic:

  • Is it hot outside?
  • Has your cat been relaxing beside a heater?

If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions then there’s no need to worry.

Your cat’s warm ears may be a result of them trying to cool down by simply increasing the rate of blood flow to the area.

This might explain why your cat may sometimes have both a hot and cold ear.

This type of positioning may come as a result of laying with one ear next to a heater and an open window on the other side, meaning that one ear would have tried to constrict blood flow, while the other ear would simultaneously be trying to dilate it.

So, Why Are My Cats’ Ears Hot?

So, Why Are My Cats' Ears Hot?

Cats’ ears get hot because they’re exposed to a heat source, like direct sunlight.

Thankfully they will usually cool down after a few hours.

However, hot ears may sometimes be a sign of illness such as allergies or an ear infection.

Sick cats may show other symptoms besides just having hot ears.

Does Your Cat Have Allergies?

Having hot ears is just one distinct sign of your cat being allergic to something. This could be anything from food to flea bites.

Your cat’s body will heat up in an attempt to fight the allergy.

Hot ears aren’t the only symptom that they experience while dealing with allergies. Others may include:

  • Frequently scratching their bodies.
  • Severe hair loss or bald patches from rubbing or scratching.
  • Swelling of the body.
  • Their ears will turn red.

If you find that your cat is showcasing any of these symptoms then you should immediately take them to the vet where they will carry out tests to determine their allergies.

The vet may prescribe medication in an attempt to get rid of the allergen.

This is typically a very successful way of treating the cat’s allergies, so your cat can continue to lead a normal life.

Does Your Cat Have A Fever?

Hot ears might also be an obvious side effect of a fever.

Look for additional symptoms like shivering, appetite loss, or even rapid panting before calling your veterinarian.

The easiest way to tell if a cat is suffering with a bad fever is by checking its temperature.

However, there are other symptoms to look out for:

  • Loss of appetite and thirst.
  • Depressive behavior.
  • Lack of desire to be active.
  • No energy.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Shivering.

What You Need To Do

Trust your instincts!

If your cat’s ears begin to heat up to an abnormal temperature – and they are demonstrating some common symptoms of having a fever – then you should immediately call your vet to schedule an emergency appointment.

If your cat doesn’t seem to be having trouble breathing, but his ears are hot, he might have an infection.

Again, call your vet so that they can resolve this medical issue before it can really have an impact on their health.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why your cat’s ears might be hot.

From illnesses like a high fever and ear infections, to something as simple as having allergies, your cat is affected by many common symptoms.

This means that it’s really important for you to pay attention to your pet’s behavior and health to prevent severe illness, and to also stop their ears and body from overheating.

Courtney Trent
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