Why are my Cat’s Ears Hot? (5 Typical Reasons)

A healthy cat’s ears should be warm. Cats cannot sweat, so they use their ears to regulate their body temperature. If they’ve exposed themselves to the sun, their ears might radiate some of that heat back out into the environment and feel warmer than usual. However, if your pet’s ears suddenly feel like they are blazing for no obvious cause, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Here are a few reasons why your cat’s ears may feel warm.

The 5 Reasons Why Cat Ears Are Hot

1. Ear MSite (s

These parasites look like tiny grains of dirt and are very common in kittens. To see if mites could be the problem, tilt your cat’s head to the side and inspect its ears. Normally, the cat’s ears should be clean and slightly shiny, with no residue, discharge or debris. If you see tiny black dots, they are probably mites. The good news is that they are easily treatable with medication, but you will need to consult your veterinarian.

2. Fever

If your cat is hot all over, he may have a fever. The normal body temperature for cats is between 100ºF and 102ºF; anything over 103ºF is considered a fever. Take your cat to the vet if he maintains a temperature for more than two days or if it exceeds 105ºF. While a temporary low temperature can help your cat recover, high temperatures or a prolonged fever can be life threatening.

sick cat
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Shutterstock

3. Ear infection

If only your cat’s ears are warm, but not his whole body, he may have ear infection. This can be easily resolved with a visit to the vet. They will likely prescribe an oral or topical antibiotic which should clear up the infection within a few days.

Even so, you should still treat an ear infection medically. Without antibiotics, ear infections can turn into serious infections that can lead to hearing loss. Some ear infections can also be caused by a foreign object that cannot be removed without the help of a veterinarian.

4. Allergies

Your cat’s ears may be warm and possibly even itchy due to an allergy to its environment or even fleas. If you’ve introduced a new food, consider going back to see if it helps. Inspect their body for fleas or bites. If your cat suddenly begins to be lethargic, has trouble breathing, or exhibits other symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, call your veterinarian immediately. They might have a Anaphylactic reactionwhich can be deadly.

5. Heatstroke

Burning ears accompanied by labored breathing or sudden lethargic behavior may be a sign of heatstroke, which can be fatal. Call your veterinarian immediately if you think this may be the case.


If your cat’s ears are only moderately warm, they’re probably fine, especially if he’s enjoying a hot day in the summer sun. However, burning ears are not normal and could be a sign that something is wrong with your cat. Inspect the inside of their ears and monitor them for other health symptoms to make sure everything is okay. Be sure to take your cat to a vet if you notice anything seems wrong.

Featured photo courtesy: Pixabay

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