How can I tell if my cat has a fever?

Has your feline friend been acting a bit off lately? It could be a sign that they are not feeling well. One of the most common signs of illness in cats is a fever. In order to determine whether your cat has a fever, you will need to know what to look for. By paying attention to your cat’s behavior and physical symptoms, you can quickly assess whether they may require medical attention. In this informative blog post, we will explore the signs and symptoms of a fever in cats, and what steps you can take to ensure the well-being of your beloved pet.

Key Takeaways:

  • Check for physical signs: Look for symptoms such as warm ears, lethargy, and loss of appetite to determine if your cat has a fever.
  • Use a rectal thermometer: Taking your cat’s temperature using a rectal thermometer can provide an accurate reading of their body temperature.
  • Normal cat temperature: A cat’s normal body temperature ranges from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything higher may indicate a fever.
  • Seek veterinary care: If you suspect your cat has a fever, it’s important to consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • Monitor your cat’s behavior: Keep an eye on your cat’s behavior and any changes in their routine to catch any signs of fever early on.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Even though cats can’t tell you when they’re feeling unwell, there are a number of signs you can look out for to determine if your cat has a fever. Recognizing the symptoms early can help you seek the necessary medical attention for your feline friend.

Physical Signs of Fever in Cats

When it comes to physical signs of fever in cats, there are a few key things you should look out for. One of the most obvious signs is the presence of hot ears and/or feet. If your cat feels hotter than usual to the touch, it could indicate a fever. Another telling sign is shivering or trembling, which can occur as a result of your cat’s body temperature rising. Additionally, you may notice lethargy and a general lack of energy, as well as loss of appetite, which can all be indicative of a fever in your cat.

Behavioral Changes Indicating Illness

Aside from physical signs, there are also behavioral changes that can indicate illness and potential fever in your cat. If you notice that your cat is hiding more than usual or seems more irritable or aggressive, it could be a sign of fever. Additionally, excessive grooming or lack of grooming could be indicative of discomfort or illness in your cat. Paying attention to these behavioral changes can help you determine if your cat is unwell and in need of medical attention.

Measuring Your Cat’s Temperature

Some common ways of measuring your cat’s temperature include rectal, ear, and armpit thermometers. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to choose the one that is most comfortable and accurate for your cat.

Appropriate Thermometers for Cats

When it comes to choosing a thermometer for your cat, there are several options available. Rectal thermometers are the most accurate but can be uncomfortable for your cat. Ear thermometers are less intrusive but may not provide as accurate a reading. Armpit thermometers are the least invasive but may also be the least accurate. It’s important to choose a thermometer that you and your cat are comfortable using to ensure a stress-free measurement.

Step-by-Step Guide to Taking Your Cat’s Temperature

When using a rectal thermometer, make sure to lubricate it with petroleum jelly or water-based lubricant first. Gently lift your cat’s tail and insert the thermometer about an inch into the rectum. Hold it in place for about two minutes and then remove it to read the temperature. For ear thermometers, carefully follow the instructions provided with the device to ensure proper usage. For armpit thermometers, gently press the thermometer into your cat’s armpit and hold it in place for a few minutes. Whichever method you choose, make sure to keep your cat calm and comfortable throughout the process.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

Unlike humans, cats are unable to communicate their discomfort or illnesses, so it is important to be vigilant of their behavior and symptoms. If your cat is displaying a fever for more than 24 hours, it’s time to consult a veterinarian. Additionally, if your cat has a fever along with other symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, or vomiting, it is important to seek professional help.

Situations That Require Immediate Attention

If your cat has a fever and is also experiencing symptoms such as difficulty breathing, seizures, excessive vomiting, or diarrhea with blood, you should seek immediate veterinary attention. These could be signs of a serious underlying condition that needs prompt medical care.

Preparing for the Veterinary Visit

If you notice symptoms of fever in your cat, it is important to prepare for the veterinary visit by taking note of the cat’s symptoms, including when they started and any changes in behavior or appetite. Additionally, you should gather your cat’s medical history and any recent changes in their routine or environment so the veterinarian can make a proper diagnosis. It’s important for you to communicate all this information to the veterinarian.

Treatment and Care

Your cat’s fever may require treatment and care to help them recover. If you suspect your cat has a fever, it is important to seek professional veterinary care. You can learn more about fever in cats and its treatment in this informative article, Fever in Cats – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments.

Home Care for Febrile Cats

If your cat has a fever, providing them with proper home care can help ease their discomfort. Keep your cat in a comfortable, quiet environment and encourage them to rest. Offer plenty of fresh water to keep them hydrated, and monitor their appetite and behavior closely. You can also use a damp cloth to gently wipe your cat’s paws and face to help cool them down. If your cat’s temperature does not improve or they show signs of distress, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately.

Medical Interventions and Therapies

If your cat’s fever is severe or persistent, medical interventions and therapies may be necessary. Your veterinarian may recommend medications to reduce your cat’s fever and address any underlying causes. In some cases, additional diagnostic tests and treatments such as blood work, x-rays, or intravenous fluids may be needed to identify and manage the underlying condition. It is crucial to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and administer any prescribed medications as directed to ensure the best possible outcome for your cat’s health.

How can I tell if my cat has a fever?

With these considerations in mind, you can easily assess whether your cat has a fever by feeling their ears, checking for lethargy or loss of appetite, and monitoring for any other abnormal symptoms. It is important to act swiftly if you suspect a fever, as it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. By being proactive and attentive to your cat’s behavior and body temperature, you can ensure that they receive the proper care and treatment they need to stay healthy and happy.


Q: How can I tell if my cat has a fever?

A: You can tell if your cat has a fever by checking for a warm or hot feeling on your cat’s ears, paws, or armpits. Additionally, a cat with a fever may have a decreased appetite, be lethargic, or have a dull coat. It’s always best to use a rectal thermometer for an accurate reading.

Q: What temperature is considered a fever in cats?

A: A cat’s normal body temperature is between 100.5°F and 102.5°F. A temperature over 102.5°F is considered a fever in cats and should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Q: What should I do if I suspect my cat has a fever?

A: If you suspect your cat has a fever, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. They may recommend bringing your cat in for an examination to determine the cause of the fever. It’s crucial not to administer any over-the-counter medications without veterinary guidance, as they can be harmful to cats.

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