Fever in Cats: Common Questions and Answers

Anyone who is familiar with a high fever can imagine that cats also feel miserable with a fever. But fever in itself is not a disease, but a symptom. We provide tips on what to look out for if your cat has a fever.

What Causes a Fever in Cats?

Fever is an immune system reaction to fight pathogens in the body. Therefore, fever in cats can have many causes. These include, for example:

  • Viral infections like FIV or cat flu;
  • Toxoplasmosis;
  • Bacterial infections such as chlamydia;
  • Inflammation and abscesses;
  • Hyperthyroidism;
  • The side effect of vaccination;
  • Tumors.

How Do I Recognize a Fever in a Cat?

What do we call fever in cats?

Normal body temperature in cats: 37 to 39.3 ° C

Without measurement, you cannot determine your cat’s body temperature. But fever in cats often has accompanying symptoms that can raise the suspicion of fever. If you have a fever, cats’ noses will feel dry. The animals affected are limp and tired, and some are trembling. Muscles and joints appear stiffer. Cats with a fever have little or no appetite, but they are very thirsty. Breathing can be accelerated. If the cats have a fever for a longer period of time, “feverish poop”, which is particularly dry, can occur. If you suspect a fever, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible to investigate the cause of the symptoms.

How Can I Measure a Fever in Cats?

As most cat owners guess, taking a cat’s temperature can be a challenge. Because of this, you should insert the thermometer into the anus of the cat. It goes without saying that a cat will not be happy to put up with it. Unless she is already very weak – you better see a veterinarian right away.

If you want to measure your cat’s body temperature, it is best to use a digital thermometer that you reserve for the cat. With digital thermometers, the measurement only takes a few seconds.

There are two of you if you want to measure a cat’s fever!

One person holds the cat by the chest and front legs. Treats can increase the motivation of the velvet paw. The second person inserts the thermometer about two centimeters into the cat’s anus.

Measuring in the cat’s ears is less accurate and more uncomfortable for the animals. This can quickly lead to injuries in the ear canal. Incidentally, contactless infrared meters are not suitable for cats. Tests have shown that the values differ from those measured rectally by up to 1.3 degrees.

When Should a Cat With a Fever Go to the Vet?

If a cat appears apathetic, this is reason enough to take it to the vet. If it just has a high temperature but otherwise behaves normally, you can wait. Because in cats, and increased temperature can be caused by stress or high outside temperatures. Even if a fever only lasts for a day (ephemeral fever), you should make an appointment with the vet. If the fever lasts for three weeks or more, we speak of chronic fever. From a body temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, the fever can damage the cat’s organs.

If you suspect a fever, bring your kitten to the vet as soon as possible!

How Can I Lower a Fever in Cats?

Fever is not a disease in itself, but a symptom. So the vet will try to treat the underlying disease. For example, he will prescribe antibiotics if the velvet paw suffers from a bacterial infection. At high temperatures, the vet gives fever-lowering agents, so-called antipyretics. An infusion can give young and weak cats fresh energy in the fight against fever-causing illness. Make sure that the cat has access to a cool spot, especially in the summer, if he wants to. Offer her freshwater regularly, because drinking enough water is particularly important if you have a fever.

Judy Taylor

Written by Judy Taylor

Judy Taylor combines her love of science and writing to educate pet owners. Her articles on pet wellness, published on a variety of platforms, reveal a deep passion for animals. With a teaching background and shelter volunteer experience, Judy brings expertise to the fields of writing and compassionate pet care.

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