My Cat’s Ears Are Cold. What Should I Do?

If you're afraid about why your cat's ears are cold, this article will provide you with the obvious answer.

While cat parents are both concerned about his health, there are a few things about the cat's body that owners may not be aware of, including changes in the cat's body temperature.

Sometimes you touch and feel the cat's ears are cold, but that is normal and nothing to threaten his health. However, if his ears are colder than usual, it is time to be worried, as this could be a sign of some health-related issue with your cat. So, let's find out more in the article below.

Why Are My Cat's Ears Cold?

Cats are warm-blooded species with a body temperature that is slightly higher than average. The cat's ears serve a crucial purpose in the body because they aid in regulating body temperature and alterations. Therefore, the temperature of their cat's ears can be used to check their health.

A cat's ears can reach temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but this number varies based on the ratio of hair surrounding the ears and the thickness of the hair. Cats' ears can also be colder because they are more delicate and exposed to the environment than the rest of the cat.

My Cat’s Ears Are Cold. What Should I Do? - Cats' ears can also be colder because they are more delicate and exposed to the environment
Cats' ears can also be colder because they are more delicate and exposed to the environment

So if your cat's ears are a bit cold, don't panic. This could also be because your cat is experiencing hypothermia and is exposed to a cold environment. However, if you feel your cat's ears are cold and lethargic, fluctuating between 97 degrees F and below, he may be suffering from frostbite, discomfort, or illness. Furthermore, it can also indicate that your cat is unfamiliar with and nervous about a new environment.

Reasons for Cold Cat Ears

Cold cat ears can come from many different sources. The first reason may be that your cat is suffering from hypothermia. This condition can happen to any cat when his body temperature regulation is disturbed due to exposure to cold environments or air while the coat is wet. So, if your cat suddenly starts shivering or chills, you should immediately use a blanket or room heater to create a warm environment for the cat. This remedy can help prevent serious problems with your cat's health, including seizures, unconsciousness, or even a shock that could lead to the cat's death.

The second possible reason is that your cat lives in a place with cold temperatures. Especially if the cat wanders in the snow, it can make his body cold. However, leaving your cat in a cold environment for too long will also have serious consequences. Therefore, you should immediately warm the cat to room temperature or maybe use warm water if his ears become numb.

In addition, if your cat's ears are cold and lethargic, swollen and painful to the touch, your cat may have frostbite. In this case, you must immediately take the cat to the vet for care and examination to avoid any serious health problems.

Finally, another reason for a cat's cold ears could be that he hasn't acclimated to his new place. Therefore, you need to check the cat's behavior to see if he feels anxious due to the change in the environment. If so, you can help the cat feel better about his new home by playing with him or taking him for a walk around the block.

What Causes The Temperature of A Cat's Ears to Change?

The main cause of the temperature difference in the cat's ears can be linked to the environment's ambient temperature. A cat's body temperature is usually around 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, which is warm and somewhat higher than human body temperature.

Another probable reason for temperature variations in your cat's ears is that the cat's ears are very light and furry, making him vulnerable to air.

My Cat’s Ears Are Cold. What Should I Do? - The cat's ears are very light and furry, making him vulnerable to air
The cat's ears are very light and furry, making him vulnerable to air

What to Do When A Cat Has Cold Ears?

When you feel your cat's ears are cold, use a rectal thermometer to precisely measure the temperature. Then you will have two ways to treat the cat:

  • If your cat's ears are only moderately cold, warm him up outside by cuddling your cat or wrapping him in a dry blanket and giving him warm water to drink. In addition, heating pads can also help keep cats warm.
  • If your cat's ears are too cold, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately as your cat may need warm intravenous fluids to bring his body temperature back to normal.

My Cat’s Ears Are Cold. What Should I Do? - Warm your cat up outside by cuddling or wrapping him in a dry blanket

Warm your cat up outside by cuddling or wrapping him in a dry blanket

Besides, if your cat has cold ears just because he is worried about a new place, you can help your cat adjust to the new environment by participating in outdoor activities.

How to Check A Cat's Temperature Without A Thermometer?

The most accurate way to take your cat's temperature is to use a rectal thermometer or an ear thermometer explicitly designed for cats. But if you don't have one, there are other ways to take your cat's temperature and see if he has a fever.

First, you can check by touching the cat's nose. Typically, a cat's nose is usually very cool and moist, but if his nose is suddenly dry and warm, your cat most likely has a fever. However, there are also cases where a cat's nose is dry due to lack of water. Therefore, you can gently lift some of the fur and skin on the cat's back to be sure. If it doesn't get back into place quickly, he may be dehydrated rather than have a fever.

In addition, you can also pay attention to the cat's expressions to know if he is having health problems or not. For example, if your cat suddenly loses his appetite, becomes lethargic, shivers a lot, and pants, he probably has a fever. However, if that fever persists for longer than a few days and your cat refuses to eat, you should take him to the vet right away.

You can also feel your cat's ears or back to check on his health. For example, if your cat's ears and back are hotter than usual, your cat may have a fever. But first, make sure he doesn't nap in sunny places or in front of a fireplace. 

What Are The Health Consequences of Cats With Cold Ears?

The health consequences of a cat with cold ears that are not treated promptly can experience symptoms such as low blood pressure, loss of appetite, disorientation, dilated pupils, fainting, and can seriously lead to death.

The following cats are especially susceptible to the health effects of cold ears:

  • Kittens can't regulate the temperature;
  • Hairless cats;
  • Cats that are underweight due to a lack of protective fat;
  • Cats are old.

Kittens who can't regulate their temperature can be vulnerable to serious consequences from cold ears

Frequently Asked Question

Why Does My Cat Have Freezing Ears?

There are two reasons why your cat's ears are freezing cold. One is due to the environment being too cold, and the other is hypothermia. If the cat has hypothermia, his body temperature will drop below 89 degrees F.

Why Are My Indoor Cat Ears Cold?

If you find your cat's ears are cold despite being indoors, your house temperature may be too low. Sometimes the temperature of a cat's ears is determined by the ambient temperature, not by a health issue. Furthermore, a cat's ears are usually significantly cooler than the rest of the cat's body. So, while your cat often gets cold ears, it is time to have your cat's health checked if the temperature drops below 89 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Robert T Zamorano
Robert T Zamorano
A professional writer and editor with a penchant for home improvement. I write about all things interior design, architecture, and construction.