If you notice that your cat's ear is starting to puff up and look like it's swelling, you may be worried about what the problem is. There are a few things that it could be, but one of them is a hematoma.
Cat Ear Hematoma
A hematoma happens when a space in between the skin and the cartilage of a cat's ear gets filled up with blood and fluids. It causes the ear to swell and puff up. It can cause your cat to be in pain and can also cause permanent damage to the ear, similar to cauliflower ear that a human boxer may suffer. The swollen ear might also sound like paper crinkling if it gets touched.
Like a cauliflower ear in a boxer, your cat's ear developed that hematoma because it got beaten up or hit one time too many. This usually happens because your cat has consistent problems with ear mites or consistent ear infections. Your cat keeps scratching and batting at their ear and they shake their head violently. This process causes the ear to be hit, the blood vessels to burst, and the hematoma to form.
The treatment for a hematoma is to take your cat to the vet. The vet will examine your cat and make sure that they do, in fact, have a hematoma. At that point, they have some options. One is to sedate your cat and drain the hematoma. That involves somehow opening up the skin of the ear and letting all the fluid out. One way to do that is to insert an empty syringe in the ear and draw out the fluids. Doing it this way means that the ear may have to be drained more than once. Another way to do it is to create a small incision in the ear. The doctor may choose to fully anesthetize your cat and do it surgically instead of just doing it under sedation. The doctor makes the incision, drains the fluid, inserts a drain so that any other fluid will continue to drain out, and then stitches the incision up. They may tape the ear around a bandage so that it will retain its shape.
Getting your cat seen as quickly as possible means that they are in as little pain as possible and that the risk of permanent damage to their ear is lessened. For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://www.1stPetVet.com.