What Does it Mean When Your Cats Ears Are Cold?

It isn't uncommon for your cat's ears to feel hotter or colder than other areas of his body. If you notice unusually cold ears accompanied by other worrying symptoms in your cat, however, it's time to investigate the situation. Unusually hot or warm ears combined with other symptoms sometimes indicate fever, infection or ear mites.

Close-up of a cat
Smaller felines are often more susceptible to hypohermia.
credit: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

Chance of Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a possible culprit behind abnormally cold ears in cats. If your feline's body temperature is lower than normal, she likely has hypothermia. If her hypothermia is of a mild level, her body temperature will be anywhere between 90 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures lower than that point to moderate and severe cases. Trembling frequently is typically the first hint of hypothermia in cats. If the case of hypothermia is particularly extreme, however, the shivering will go away. Cats with hypothermia tend to become unsociable and sluggish in behavior.

Possibility of Death

No one wants to think about the chance of death in their beloved cat. If your cat is extremely sick due to an ailment such as an infection, cold ears could be a sign that she's on the verge of dying. If so, your cat's feet probably will feel just as cold as her ears. She'll barely move, and her nose might look somewhat bluish in color. If this is the case, take her to the veterinarian for immediate medical attention.

Cool Ears

If you notice that your cutie's ears are merely cool rather than cold, it usually just means that she's in a serene and relaxed state. In "cat world," cool ears often are evidence that everything is just fine for the moment. Warm ears say something a little bit different. They usually indicate that a cat is feeling particularly excited or exhilarated about something.

Urgent Veterinary Care

If you notice abnormally cold ears in your cat alongside any other symptoms that are out of the ordinary, visit your veterinarian immediately. When cats develop hypothermia, their body temperatures aren't high enough for proper organ functioning; ignoring the situation could lead to death. When body temperatures in cats get excessively low, medical treatment is often the only way to get it back to a normal and healthy state. Remember, though, that purely cold ears without other symptoms are often completely OK. They could just mean that your cat was sitting by a window that was slightly open for a few minutes. If you have any concerns, though, don't hesitate to contact the vet.