cat ears

A healthy cat’s ears should feel warm. Cats can’t sweat, so they use their ears to regulate their body temperature. If they’ve been sunning themselves, their ears might radiate some of that heat back into the environment and be warmer than usual. However, if your pet’s ears suddenly feel like they’re blazing without an obvious cause that could be a sign something’s wrong. Here are a few reasons your cat’s ears might feel hot.

The 5 Reasons Why Cats Ears Are Hot

1.  Ear Mites

These pests look like tiny dirt specks and are very common in kittens. To see if ear mites might be the problem, tip your cat’s head to the side and inspect their ears. Normally, cat’s ears should be clean and somewhat shiny, with no residue, drainage, or debris. If you see tiny black specks, those are probably ear mites. The good news is that they are easily treatable with medicine, but you’ll have to visit your veterinarian.

2. Fever

If your cat feels hot all over, they might have a fever. Normal body temperature for cats falls between 100ºF and 102ºF; anything above 103ºF is considered a fever. Take your cat to the vet if they sustain a temperature for more than two days or if it gets above 105ºF. While a temporary, low-grade temperature can help your cat to heal, high temperatures or prolonged fever can be life-threatening.

sick cat
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3. Ear Infection

If only your cat’s ears feel hot but not their entire body, they might have an ear infection. This can be easily remedied by a trip to the vet. They will probably prescribe an oral or topical antibiotic that should clear up the infection within a few days.

Even so, you should always medically treat an ear infection. Without antibiotics, ear infections can turn into severe infections which may result in hearing loss. Some ear infections might also be caused by a foreign object which can’t be removed without a vet’s assistance.

4. Allergies

Your cat’s ears might be hot and maybe even itchy due to being allergic to their environment or even fleas. If you’ve introduced a new food, consider switching back to see if it helps. Inspect their body for fleas or bites. If your cat suddenly begins acting lethargic, has trouble breathing, or exhibits other symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, call your vet immediately. They could be having an anaphylactic reaction, which can be deadly.

5. Heat Stroke

Burning ears along with troubled breathing or sudden lethargic behavior may be a sign of heat stroke, which can be a fatal condition. Call your vet immediately if you think this may be the case.


If your cat’s ears are only moderately warm, they’re probably fine, especially if they’re enjoying a hot day in the summer sun. Blazing hot ears aren’t normal, however, and they might be a sign something’s wrong with your cat. Inspect the inside of their ears and monitor them for other health symptoms to make sure nothing’s wrong. Be sure to get your cat to a vet if you notice that there does appear to be something wrong.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay