Skip to Main Content

Ask About Financing

Aural Hematomas in Cats

If your cat has an ear hematoma you might wonder how to help. Today, our Little Rock vet team shares more about what causes aural hematomas in cats, symptoms, and treatment options. 

Another name for a hematoma is a "blood blister," which refers to a pocket of blood that develops inside of an organ or tissue. It is possible for aural (ear) hematomas to appear between the skin and cartilage of the ear flap of your cat. The size and location of these hematomas can vary. It is not very common for cats to develop ear hematomas; however, this fact makes it even more essential for pet owners to be aware of what symptoms to look out for and what actions to take in the event that their cat does develop one.

What causes ear hematomas in cats? 

An ear hematoma is most frequently brought on by an injury or a traumatic event. Damage to the small blood vessels in the ear flap of the cat causes them to rupture and leak blood internally, which results in a pocket or swelling that is filled with blood. Some of the most common reasons for hematomas in the ears of cats are as follows:

  • Your kitty scratching their ears or shaking their heads due to:
    • ear infection
    • ear mites
    • skin allergies
    • foreign object in the ear canal
  • Scratches or bites (e.g. sharp thorns, fights with other cats)
  • Underlying health issues 

Signs of ear hematomas in cats

As the most common symptom of an ear hematoma, swelling in the ear is likely to be present in your pet if they have this condition. In the event that it is sufficiently large, the ear flap itself will become swollen, which may have the effect of causing the ear flap to droop below its weight.

It is possible that the swelling will feel tight or squishy to the touch; however, it is important to be gentle to your cat because if the area is tender, they will most likely express their displeasure. In addition to changes in appearance, you should also keep an eye on the behavior of your cat. They might groom the area more frequently than usual or try to avoid being touched if they are experiencing irritation or tenderness in their ear.

Diagnosis & treatment of ear hematomas in cats

In addition to the injury to the area, your veterinarian will examine your cat's ears to look for mites or infections. Mites and infections are common causes of hematomas, particularly if your pet has a history of infections. For the purpose of determining the nature of the condition, your veterinarian may use a needle to collect a sample, but this will depend on the precise circumstances.


Surgery is the most commonly recommended treatment for ear hematomas. If the hematoma on your cat's ear is small or your pet cannot be safely sedated, your vet may be able to drain the site with a needle. While this procedure is appropriate for some hematomas, it is not ideal, and the problem is likely to reoccur. Aural hematoma surgery is a permanent solution to your pet's problem, and surgical removal of hematomas can reduce scarring.

Your vet will also treat the underlying issue causing the hematoma (e.g. infection, allergy). 

Aural hematoma Surgery for Cats

During the procedure, the veterinarian will make a small surgical incision in the ear flap in order to drain the blood pocket. Following the completion of the examination, your veterinarian will use very small sutures to close the pocket and prevent any further accumulation of blood or infection. For the purpose of preventing blood from pooling in the ear, the veterinarian or veterinarian surgeon will bandage the ear. To obtain an estimate of the cost of surgery for aural hematoma in cats, you should get in touch with your veterinarian directly.

What happens if you leave a cat's ear hematoma untreated?

If you do not treat an ear hematoma, it will eventually heal on its own, but your cat will be in discomfort for several weeks. Scar tissue that is thick and wrinkled will frequently form on both sides of the ear, with the result that the ear will not appear or feel natural.

Recovery from aural hematoma surgery 

There is a possibility that your cat will experience some tenderness or discomfort for a few days following the ear hematoma surgery; however, your veterinarian will make sure to provide medications to alleviate the pain, as well as to prevent infection and inflammation.

In order to prevent your cat from scratching the surgical site and causing any complications such as inflammation, bleeding, pulled stitches, or infection, you will need to make sure that your cat is wearing an Elizabethan collar.

You will receive instructions and helpful advice from your veterinarian regarding how to care for your feline companion at home while they are recovering from surgery. Additionally, your veterinarian will inform you of the appropriate time to return for follow-up visits and to have the stitches removed.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

Does your cat have a hematoma on its ear? Contact Bowman Road Animal Clinic today to help your beloved pet feel better with our compassionate expert veterinary care. 

New Patients Welcome

Bowman Road Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Little Rock companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Book Online (501) 223-3737