The configuration of external ears varies dramatically among mammalian species. In order to relate these structural differences to acoustic performance, it is useful to determine the ‘‘output’’ (radiation) impedance of the external ear. Measurements were made of the radiation impedance ZE of the cat external ear looking out from the location of the tympanic membrane. Freshly excised external ears were coupled to a calibrated sound source at the tympanic ring, and the resulting sound pressure at the source was measured. The ZE calculated from these measurements is masslike at frequencies below 2 kHz and approximately resistive above 4 kHz. The contributions of anatomically distinct sections of the external ear to ZE were assessed by measuring the impedance before and after surgical removal of the pinna flange and of the concha. Mean measurements of the lengths and cross-sectional areas of components of the external ear are used in a simple model that consists of a uniform tube and an exponential horn; the radiation impedance of the model shows many of the features of the measured ZE’s. Measurements of the input impedance of the middle ear are combined with ZE to infer the diffuse-field absorption cross section ADF, which is a measure of the ear’s performance as a coupler of acoustic power. It is suggested that ADF is useful for across-species comparisons of the performance of external and middle ears.