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Why are my cat's ears warm?

Sometimes, warm ears on a cat are perfectly normal. Other times, warm ears might be a cause for concern. Today, our Orange Park vets discuss some reasons why your cat's ears might be warm, when it's normal, and when it's time to see a vet.

Six Reasons for a Cat's Ears Being Warm

There are six main reasons for a cat's ears being warm.

  1. For no reason at all
  2. Responding to the weather
  3. Allergies
  4. Fever
  5. Ear Mites
  6. Ear Infection

Below, we'll cover each of these six reasons in detail.

1. For No Reason at All

It's important to know that a cat's normal body temperature is actually slightly higher than a human's. While a normal human's body temperature hovers around 98.6°, a normal temperature for cats is actually higher, between 101° and 102.5°.

The takeaway here is that c cat's ears should feel just a bit warm. If your cat is acting normal otherwise, then there shouldn't be any need to worry.

2. Responding to the Weather

If you've noticed your cat's ears getting warmer as the temperature rises, that's no coincidence. In fact, it's just your cat regulating their body temperature. To help keep them from overheating, blood flow increases to the ears, paws, and nose so they can release excess heat more easily.

However, extreme heat is still vert dangerous to cats. Make sure your keeping your cat cool by brushing them daily, providing them with a shaded spot, and making sure they have plenty of water.

3. Allergies

Cats, just like humans, can suffer from allergies. In fact, allergies are on of the most common medical conditions in cats. Allergies can come from seasonal irritants like pollen and grass, to insects, and even sometimes food.

Symptoms of allergies usually include sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, excessive licking, and, you guessed, hot ears. If you suspect your cat may have allergies, you can bring them to our Orange Park office for state-of-the-art allergy testing.

4. Fever

Moving on to some more serious issues, warm ears on a cat can indicate a fever. However, warm ears will not be the only symptom. If you're cat is sick, you'll likely notice, or feel, a warm belly too. Some other symptoms can also include:

  • Isolating or not wanting to play)
  • Change in appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy

If you do suspect your cat gas a fever. It's usually a good idea to call your vet. Although you could use a rectal thermometer to test your cat yourself, you would have to go see the vet anyway if your cat does indeed have a fever. So, why not just cut out the middle man?

5. Ear Mites

Ear mites can be a real pain for your cat. Tiny, highly contagious ear mites live in the ear canals of cats. These parasites reproduce continuously throughout their life.

Ear mites are a common problem among cats and can cause severe itching and discomfort. They feed on the wax and oils in the ear canal, leading to inflammation (hence the warm ears) and potential secondary infections.

Ear mites definitely require a trip to the vet for medication to help get rid of the mites. Without proper treatment, ear mites can spread to other pets in the household and even humans. It is important to consult a veterinarian to accurately diagnose and treat the infestation, as over-the-counter remedies may not be effective. 

6. Ear Infection

While ear mites can be a cause for infections, they are not the only source. Other causes of cat ear infections include dirty, overly waxy ears, food allergies, environmental allergies, trauma such as a scratch, or something caught in the ear. In addition to warm ears, you may also notice:

  • A loss of balance
  • Itching & head shaking
  • A foul odor in the ear
  • Red, inflamed ears
  • Abundant ear wax
  • Rubbing ears on floor or furniture

Ear infections can be painful for cats and can lead to hearing loss if ignored. Thus, it's important to get your cat to the vet if you notice any of the above-listed symptoms.

Video Otoscopes

At Animal Friends Dermatology, we can offer video otoscopes for cats. One of the main benefits of using a video otoscope is that it allows for a more accurate and detailed examination of the cat's ear canal. This can help diagnose and treat various ear conditions. such as infections and mites. 

Additionally, the video otoscope provides real-time visuals, which allows our veterinarians to monitor the progress of treatment and ensure that the cat's ears are healing properly.

If you suspect that your cat may be experiencing ear issues, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with our experienced Orange Park veterinarians. They will use our advanced video otoscopes to provide the best possible care for your furry friend's ear health.

New Patients Welcome

Animal Friends Dermatology is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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