What to Do When Your Cat Is Sick: ear swellings

The Classic Comprehensive Handbook of Cat Care

What to Do When Your Cat Is Sick: ear swellings

Swellings on cats’ ears are usually abscesses. In a few cases they are hematomas (accumulations of blood under the skin) caused by trauma to the ear—such as excessive ear scratching and head shaking accompanying untreated otitis externa, or by fights. If there is no fever and the swelling is not draining, an abscess may be indistinguishable from a hematoma without examination of the contents by a veterinarian.

Hematomas must be treated surgically by drainage and suturing to prevent deformity of the ear. Untreated hematomas often result in folding of the pinna. If deformity is of no concern to you, you can allow a hematoma to heal on its own. Just be sure underlying problems such as ear infection are corrected.


Important conditions involving only the nose in cats are rare. A watery or sticky, opaque white to yellow discharge from one or both nostrils is usually accompanied by sneezing and is often a sign of more generalized illness, most often respiratory infection. Feline solar dermatitis can cause damage to the nasal skin. For more information.