The Causes of Cat Hot Ears And How To Prevent It
Cat ears are a part of their body that helps regulate their temperature. A healthy cat’s ears should always be warm to the touch. If you think your cat’s ears are significantly warmer than usual, it may be an indication of fever or ill health. Let’s see the common reasons for cat hot ears and how to prevent them.
Causes of hot cat ears
The first thing to know when thinking, “My cat’s ears are hot” — the temperatures of cat ears fluctuate based on the animal’s surroundings, which is perfectly normal. Unlike most of the surface area of a cat’s body, cat ears tend to be thin and exposed, protected by neither a great deal of fur nor by body fat.
Sometimes cat ears get hot as a reaction to an emotion, such as anger, excitement or anxiety. When the cat is excited, their ears get hotter, when they relax, the ear temperature will get back to normal.
As animals whose ancestors came from the desert, cats can actually cope quite well with summer conditions. But, you must never leave a cat on its own in an overheated room, still less in a closed car – cats too can suffer heat stroke!
The sweat glands of cats are located in the area of the lips, on the anus, around the mammary ridge and above all on the balls of the paws. The cat’s ears also dissipate heat.
When your cat has a fever, their whole body will feel much warmer than normal, including their ears.
Here are the symptoms of fever on cats:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Behavior changes
- Decreased grooming
Cats’ normal temperature is 38-39.5℃, if you use a thermometer to check and it shows higher than 39.5℃ means your cat is having a fever.
A fever usually results when the immune system is activated by conditions such as:
- A bacterial, viral, or fungal infection
- A tumor
- Injury from trauma
- Certain medications
- Diseases such as lupus
Your cat’s ears are delicate organs and can be susceptible to infections, both in the outer and inner ear. Wax, foreign objects, bacteria, untreated allergens, mites or poor hygiene can all lead to an infection inside your cat’s ear, which left untreated can lead to more serious damage, including affecting their ear drum. As well as noticeably hot ears, other signs your kit may well have an ear infection, include excessive scratching, head shaking, inflammation and redness. It is important to get your vet to check out your cat to prevent any infection leading to permanent damage.
Hot ears is one of the symptoms of heat stroke on cats, please check for other symptoms as below:
- Panting, which increases as heat stroke progresses
- Drooling, salivating
- Agitation, restlessness (cats may pace)
- Bright red tongue
- Very red or pale gums
- Increased heart rate
- Breathing distress
- Vomiting, diarrhoea (possibly with blood)
- Signs of mental confusion, delirium
- Dizziness, staggering
- Weakness and lethargy
- Muscle tremors
- Collapsing and lying down
- Little to no urine production
One specific health condition which can cause a temperature rise in your cat is hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid gland. One of the most common conditions to affect more senior cats, hyperthyroidism causes an increase in their metabolism. As well as weight loss, increased appetite and restlessness, this increase can also result in an elevated heart rate, raising your older cat’s body temperature. If your senior feline persistently presents with hot ears as well as any or all of the other symptoms of the condition, make an appointment with your vet so a formal diagnosis can be made. Left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to hypertension and heart failure, so it is essential to get your cat checked out if you suspect this condition.
Parasites (ear mites)
A potential trigger for hot ears could be ear mites. These miniscule parasites can crawl into your kitty’s ear canals, feeding off loose skin and any debris inside the ear. And they will certainly let your cat know they have set up home! Your cat’s inner ears will become extremely itchy, leading to your cat persistently scratching to get some relief. This scratching can lead to further inflammation in the ears, making them red and feel hot to the touch.
If you suspect ear mites, take a peek inside your cat’s ears and you will most likely see a build-up on debris and small brown particles. Left untreated your kit could develop a more serious ear infection so speak to your vet, as ear mites are easy to treat.
Hot ears, especially if accompanied by redness, can be a sign of an allergy. In humans, allergies often manifest with respiratory symptoms as one of the main indicators, but in both dogs and cats, they can show in a different way. A common indication that your cat may have an allergy is a reaction in their ears as well as on their skin.
Hot ears can be caused by a host of allergens, including fleas, diet or allergens in their environment. Your cat may also be observed scratching their head and face more than normal as well as rubbing their head across their carper, in a bid to get a little relief. If you suspect an allergy may be causing your cat’s hot ears, your vet can run further tests and recommend a treatment plan to ease those irritating symptoms.
What to do when a cat’s ears are hot
Adjusting room temperature
The best environment temperature is 21-22℃ and the lowest that cats can accept is 15℃. But in Vietnam, it is very hot so the AC should not be colder than 5℃ compared to the outside temperature.
Sometimes the cats don’t drink enough water and get dehydrated. Owners can put more water bowls around the house (sleeping & playing areas). Cats are wild animals so they love to drink running water. Cat owners can think about getting an automatic water fountain for your kitties.
Checking out places other than the ears
Check other places like the belly to see if it’s hotter than normal when you touch, also scan the fever symptoms as above.
Check other places to see if it’s hot & red, to consider the allergy reaction.
Check to find parasites, especially the ear wax to see if there are signs of ear mites.
Taking Body Temperature
A thermometer at home is always useful, use it to check your cat body temperature (the same for human and cats). If it’s more than 39.5℃then you should bring your cat to a vet clinic for more detailed tests.
Visiting a Veterinary Clinic
As long as you feel your cat ears hotter than normal and with some other advice above to check out to find abnormal signs, you should head to a Vet clinic to confirm and make sure to fix the health problem (if yes) asap.
Many cat owners would miss out the cat ears, the little tiny cute parts of your cat. But it can be a sign that tells a lot about your cat health, if you feel that the cat ears feel hotter than normal, check out other parts of the cat body and scan the related disease symptoms. As long as you are not sure or you don’t feel right, bring your cat to see a vet.