How to Tell If a Cat Has a Fever: Tips for Pet Owners

How to tell if a cat has a fever?

As devoted cat owners, we all want to ensure our feline friends are healthy and happy. However, this isn’t always a straightforward task. The complexity of feline health issues, such as fevers, can be overwhelming. Nonetheless, by being able to identify the warning signs and symptoms of a fever, we can play a vital role in our cat’s well-being.

Signs and Symptoms of Feline Fever

It is essential for pet owners to keep a close eye on their cat’s health and to recognize the early signs of a fever. Some of the symptoms to look out for include lethargy, decreased appetite, and shivering. These can often be subtle and easy to miss, so it’s important to be vigilant and attentive to our furry friends’ behavior.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the signs and symptoms of feline fever and equip pet owners with the knowledge they need to keep their cats healthy and happy.

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What is a Fever in Cats?

Defining Feline Fever

Feline fever is a temporary increase in body temperature that occurs in response to an underlying health issue. In cats, the normal body temperature ranges from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. When a cat’s body temperature exceeds this range, it is considered to have a fever. The severity and duration of a fever can vary depending on the underlying cause.

The Underlying Causes of Feline Fever

A fever is not a disease itself but is a symptom of an underlying condition. In cats, fevers can be caused by a range of issues such as viral or bacterial infections, immune disorders, and even certain medications. These underlying health problems can lead to an inflammatory response, resulting in a temporary increase in body temperature. Therefore, it’s essential to identify the root cause of the fever to provide the appropriate treatment. In the next section, we’ll explore how to check your cat’s temperature to help determine if they have a fever.

How to Check Your Cat’s Temperature

Taking Your Cat’s Temperature

Taking your cat’s temperature is an effective way to determine if they have a fever. While it may seem like a daunting task, with the right tools and some patience, it can be easily accomplished. Start by choosing a rectal thermometer, as it provides the most accurate temperature reading. Lubricate the tip with petroleum jelly or another lubricant, and gently insert the thermometer into your cat’s rectum. Hold the thermometer in place for a minute or until it beeps, indicating that the temperature has been taken. Remember to label the thermometer as a rectal thermometer, so it is not accidentally used orally in the future.

The Importance of Using a Rectal Thermometer

Using a rectal thermometer is essential when taking your cat’s temperature as it provides the most accurate reading. Oral thermometers or ear thermometers are not reliable for cats and can produce inaccurate readings. Therefore, it’s important to invest in a rectal thermometer and to use it correctly to ensure that the temperature reading is accurate. Taking your cat’s temperature at home is a simple and effective way to monitor their health and catch any health issues early on. In the next section, we’ll discuss other signs of a fever in cats that you can look out for.

Other Signs of a Fever in Cats

Identifying Signs and Symptoms of a Feline Fever

Aside from a high temperature, there are several other signs and symptoms that can indicate a cat has a fever. These include lethargy, decreased appetite, shivering, dehydration, and more. Additionally, cats may exhibit changes in their behavior, such as hiding, becoming irritable, or displaying aggression. It’s essential for pet owners to keep an eye out for these subtle changes in their cat’s behavior and health, as early detection is key to a quick and full recovery.

When to Call a Veterinarian

Seeking Veterinary Care for a Cat with a Fever

If you suspect that your cat has a fever, it’s essential to seek veterinary care promptly. A veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination to identify the underlying cause of the fever and to provide the appropriate treatment. Additionally, they may take blood samples or perform imaging tests to diagnose the underlying health issue. How to tell if a cat has a fever isn’t easy and it’s important to remember that a fever is a symptom of an underlying health problem, and it’s crucial to address the root cause to ensure your cat’s full recovery.

Tips for Communicating with Your Vet and Preparing for an Appointment

To make the most out of your appointment with your vet, it’s essential to be prepared and to communicate effectively. Make a list of any signs and symptoms your cat has been exhibiting, as well as any recent changes in their behavior or health. Additionally, prepare a list of questions or concerns you may have for your veterinarian, as this can help facilitate open communication and a better understanding of your cat’s condition. Finally, be sure to follow your veterinarian’s advice and treatment plan to ensure your cat’s health and well-being.

Home Remedies for Cats with Fevers

Simple Steps to Help Your Cat Feel Comfortable

While veterinary care is crucial for a cat with a fever, there are some simple steps pet owners can take to help their cat feel more comfortable while they recover. Provide plenty of fresh water to keep your cat hydrated, as well as a comfortable and warm environment to rest in. Additionally, try to entice your cat with foods that are easy to digest, such as boiled chicken or low-sodium chicken broth. These steps can help support your cat’s recovery and alleviate some of the discomfort associated with a fever.

Warnings About Using Home Remedies for Cats with Fevers

While there are some home remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms of a fever, it’s important to exercise caution when using them. Certain remedies, such as over-the-counter medications or essential oils, can be toxic to cats and may do more harm than good. Additionally, some remedies may mask the underlying health issue, making it more challenging to diagnose and treat. Therefore, it’s essential to speak with your veterinarian before administering any home remedies to your cat.


Key Takeaways

In summary, feline fever is a common yet complex health issue that can indicate an underlying health problem. By being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a fever, as well as taking your cat’s temperature, you can play a vital role in your cat’s well-being. Additionally, seeking veterinary care promptly, communicating effectively with your veterinarian, and following their advice and treatment plan are essential steps to ensure your cat’s full recovery.

Encouragement for Pet Owners

As cat owners, it’s our responsibility to be vigilant about monitoring our cat’s health and seeking veterinary care when necessary. By taking the steps outlined in this guide, we can help ensure that our feline friends are healthy and happy. I hope that you can now better determine how to tell if a cat has a fever. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. As always take care!

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