Cats, like any other homeotherm, regulate their body temperature. When compared to human beings, they maintain a slightly higher temperature by a margin of about 2-3 degrees Celsius.
It is normal for some of their body parts such as their paws, nose, and ear areas to be slightly warmer or colder than the rest of their body especially if influenced by environmental factors.
For instance, since a cat’s ears are covered with less fur, especially on the inner side, they protrude outwards, and they are quite thin, it is possible for environmental temperature changes to affect them making them feel a little bit hot or cold.
However, in case they become very cold, there is a reason why you need to be concerned. Some of the possible causes include:-
Being in an area where there is a cold draft can make a cat’s ears to have a lower temperature just as it would make them have a higher one if he or she is in a hot place.
If this is the cause, the coldness will be short-lived, i.e., once this pet leaves the place with low temperatures, its normal temperature will be restored.
If your cat’s ears, as well as the rest of his or her body, feels very cold, it could be hypothermia. It occurs when a cat’s core body temperature goes way below its normal range of 37.7°C to 39.2°C.
Some of its causes include excessive blood loss during surgery, anything cold including environments, IV fluids or immersion in water. Also, sedative or anesthetic agents are known to affect temperature regulation process and cause vasodilation, poisoning, septic shock among other causes.
In case of hypothermia, try keeping your feline friend warm by using things such as warm water bottles, taking him or her to a warmer place, wrapping your fluffy friend with something warm, and so on.
Also, talk to your vet about hypothermia especially if the cause is not related to a cold environment.
Frostbite occurs when your pet has been exposed to sub-zero temperatures and its body tissues especially areas around his or her paws, nose, ears have been injured or damaged.
Common symptoms you may note on the affected area “include skin discoloration, redness, pain, burning and blackening and visible destruction of the tissue” notes the Nest.
Keep this pet warm and take him or her to your vet immediately in the case of frostbite.
Besides there cause, if the ears feel just slightly cold, it may be a normal behavioral issue especially when taken to a new environment.
Also, cuteness.com notes that “your cutie’s ears are merely cool rather than cold, it usually just means that she’s in a serene and relaxed state.” Ensure there are no other symptoms accompanying the slightly cool ears.
She or he is about to die
If your cat has been battling a disease such as an infection, very cold ears, and general low body temperature may indicate that he or she is about to die. You will notice other signs such as anorexia, extreme weakness, hiding, clinginess, change in appearance, lower breathing and heart rate, and so on.
Blood circulation issue
Finally, an issue that affects normal blood circulation may make some body parts of these pets to be cold. For instance, if there is poor blood circulation, his or her peripheral areas such as limbs and ears will be affected making them be colder.