Cat owner’s often ask, ‘why are my cat’s ears warm’?
If you’re worried that your cat’s ears are too warm, here is a guide to understanding why. Find out what could be causing this change in temperature and understand if there is cause for concern.
Keeping an eye on your cat’s ears is one way to stay informed of any shifts in their health. While cats’ normal temperature varies depending on the individual cat, generally speaking, their ears should typically be warmer than the rest of their body. So, if you notice a sudden spike or drop in warmth, it should be of great concern.
That said, if you notice abnormal behavior then it may be best to contact your vet.
Why Are My Cat’s Ears Warm?
Temperature Regulation in Cats.
Cats have an amazing ability to control their temperature. Unlike humans, they lack sweat glands, so they use techniques such as panting, licking or simply relaxing (which lowers body temperature) to regulate their body heat. With regard to their ears, the blood flow in these areas helps facilitate thermal regulation and keeps them warmer than the rest of their body. This is why your cat’s ears may remain warmer than the rest of its body.
Reasons for Warmer Ears in Cats.
While cats may keep their ears a bit warmer than the rest of their body as a normal response to their environment, there could also be more serious medical issues behind this symptom. For example, cats with ear infections are likely to demonstrate ear warmth due to inflammation and fever caused by the infection. Likewise, cats who have skin conditions such as mite infestations, allergies or tumors may also exhibit warm ears because of underlying problems within the skin.
Health Problems Accompanied by Warm Ears.
In addition to ear infections, other medical conditions can cause cats to have warm ears which may be a sign that something is wrong. Ears may become warm due to anemia, an autoimmune disorder such as eosinophilic granuloma complex or any other infections or inflammations within the ear canal. In these cases, cats may also show additional symptoms such as itching and/or pawing at their ears, head shaking, redness and swelling around the ear area, unusual discharge from the ears and/or hearing impairment.
Keeping Track of Your Cat’s Ear Temperature.
To keep track of your cat’s ear temperature, you can purchase a simple thermometer that is suitable for cats (thermometers used for babies and humans work great!). Take your cat’s temperature approximately once every two weeks and make note of any changes. If the ears are feeling cooler, they may be healing from an infection or inflammation. On the other hand, if the ears feel warmer than normal, it could be a sign of an underlying problem that requires further investigation. If anything seems abnormal it’s best to bring your cat to the vet as soon as possible to have them examined.
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Symptoms to monitor and When to Seek Veterinary Care
It is important to watch for any unusual behavior or changes in condition in your cat, particularly if his ears feel warmer than normal. Some of the common signs and symptoms are scratching at his ear, shaking their head and/or inflammation of the ear. If you notice any of these changes, contact your veterinarian immediately as it could be a sign of an infection or other medical issue.
How Warm Should Cats Ears Be?
On average, a healthy cat’s ears should be warm to the touch and measure approximately 101°F (38°C). If the ears are abnormally hot or cold, your cat could have a fever or infection. It is always best to check with your vet if you notice any changes in temperature.
How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has a Fever?
Common signs of fever in cats include increased body temperature (higher than 103.5°F/39.7°C); loss of appetite; lethargy; excessive grooming and/or licking; dehydration; coughing or sneezing; runny eyes or nose; shivering or trembling; panting; vomiting and/or diarrhea. If you see any of these signs, be sure to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
Is It Bad If My Cat’s Ears Are Warm?
It is not uncommon for cat’s ears to become warm or even hot, especially when they are feeling anxious or excited. If your cat’s ears feel hot, check them with a thermometer to determine if they have a fever. If their temperature is above 103.5°F/39.7°C, call your vet right away as the cause could be anything from an infection to injury.