A frostbitten ear will look pale and white. It turns to a swollen red with the return of circulation. Once settled it will look like a burn with living and dead tissue clearly demarcated.
Treatment for frostbite1 in cats is as follows:
The area should be warmed by immersion in warm water for about 20 mins. The area should not be massaged to try and recover circulation.
Possible infection should be prevented by the application of an antibiotic ointment. In the USA this might be Triple Antibiotic Ointment.
The area is then bandaged.
Cats are amazingly resilient. A cat stray cat survived for 4 weeks in a large freezer at sub-zero temperatures. He ate frozen peas and frost. He lost part of his ears and his tail to frostbite. He as hard to catch! He is called ‘Frosty’. The picture is not of Frosty but a cat who lost both front paws, ears, part of tail and nose to frostbite and who is called, ‘Popsicle’.
Treatment For Frostbite In Cats — References:
1. Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook – page 4 by Drs Carslon and Giffin.