The normal cat body temperature ranges from 99.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 to 39.2 degrees Celsius). Being homeotherms, under normal circumstances, these animals regulate their body temperature well unless they are ill (unwell) or there are extreme temperatures.
Are cats ears supposed to be hot or cold?
Usually, their ear temperature should be relatively comparable to that one of their body, i.e., warm to touch. However, since their normal body temperature is slightly higher than that of human being, they may feel slightly warmer.
Furthermore, owing to the position of their pinna as well as it being thin and having lesser fur, it is possible the ears’ temperature to vary slightly depending on the surrounding temperature since they can gain heat or losing it via convention as the warm or colder wind blows over them.
Also, during hot summers, they can vasodilate to let more flow to them. This will make them be slightly warmer than usual.
On the other hand, during cold winter, vasoconstriction (blood vessels in becoming narrower) may occur meaning that less blood will flow to ears making them feel slightly colder than usual.
This can also happen to their noses and paws and it is a normal happening that should not worry you.
However, if your cat has so hot or cold ears, it may be an indication that something is totally not right, and you need to look at any other symptoms present.
Why are my cat’s ears hot?
There are many things that can trigger very warm or hot ears in felines. Some of the common causes include the following:
1. Hot ears can be a cat fever symptom
A possible cause is a fever which results in elevated body temperature. It can be due to viral, bacterial (such as cat scratch fever) or fungal infections, tumors, immune diseases, abscesses, some medications, stress, and so no.
You need to feel the temperature of your feline friend’s other body parts including their underbelly or underarms. It is also likely to be elevated and when it is over 104 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to be concerned.
Besides their ears feeling hot and the elevated body temperature, you may notice other symptoms such as shivering, rapid heart rate, weakness, dehydration, reduced appetite, and shock.
There may be others such as sneezing, diarrhea, vomiting, and on and others associated with the exact cause of fever.
Seek the attention of your veterinarian if the fever doesn’t go away after a day for further diagnosis and treatment.
2. It can be due to an ear infection
A second possible cause is viral, fungal or bacterial ear infections or as well as tumors, polyps, and cysts. They often cause ear inflammation and make them warmer than usual.
You may notice symptoms such as pus or bloody discharge, redness, itchiness, a strong odor, lost sense of hearing, disorientation as well as the appearing swollen.
3. Spending time in a warm place
If your cat has been basking in the sun, near a fireplace, a heat radiator, and so on, it is possible for not just their ears but also any other part that was exposed to the heat to feel warmer.
However, this will not last for long and they will regain their normal temperature once they go away from the heat source for some time.
If they are hot, red, itchy or inflamed, it could be an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions may be accompanied by symptoms such as sneezing, runny eyes and nose, coughing and wheezing as well as scratching.
Also, vomiting, diarrhea, sensitive or paw chewing may also be noted depending on what caused the allergy.
Insect bites, some textiles, perfumes, fleas, mites, medications, food, pollen grains, plants, and other allergens can be a cause.
If you still uncertain why your cat has hot ears, and its none of the above causes, check around to see if there is any sign of trauma. Trauma creates a hot feeling on the affected area as the neutrophils and macrophages produce chemokines which causes vasodilation and the feeling of some warmth.
Check if the area around their pinna is swollen to conclude it could be trauma causing the excessive warmth.
6. Behavioral cause
Exhilaration or excitement about something may also make your feline’s ear to be slightly warmer than usual.
If your cat’s ears are hot and red, it could be allergies, trauma or ear infection. If they are hot and there is vomiting and other symptoms, it is likely to be a fever symptom or allergic reactions. Finally, your feline friend is also sneezing, it could be fever or allergies.
Always routinely check your cats’ ears to ensure they are clean and do not have flakes, discharge, foul odor, gritty, dark brown or black waxy material.