Last Updated on December 8, 2020 by Woody Pet
How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has a Fever- First Aid for Cats
How can you tell if your cat has a fever? Unlike a human being, you cannot see and feel the warm skin. You cannot ask a cat if they feel hot or cold. If you do not have a thermometer, there are some signs that can indicate a high temperature. If you are at all concerned about your cat, you should call a vet for advice and an appointment.
Use a thermometer
The only way to be certain that your cat has a fever is to use a thermometer. Besides the traditional rectal thermometers, there are ear thermometers available. Both are relatively simple to use. Learning how to take cat temperature is a skill that all cat owners should have. A cat’s temperature can range from 100 to 102.5 degrees F (37.8 to 39.2 degrees C). If it is outside of these ranges, contact a vet immediately. A dangerous temperature for cats is below 99 degrees F (37.2 C) and above 103 degrees F (39.4 C).
If you are using a rectal thermometer, make sure that it is clean and disinfected. This should be done after every use, but if you are unsure make sure to do it again. If you are using a mercury thermometer, shake it well. If it is a digital one then put on the disposable sleeve. Apply lubrication to the thermometer. Vaseline or KY Jelly work well. You may need help for the next part. Place your cat on a table and hold it under one arm. The tail should be at the front of your body. Slide the thermometer into the cat’s rectum approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. Be sure you do not put it in too deep or you could harm your cat. Wait for two minutes or until the digital thermometer beeps. Then remove the thermometer and read it. Clean it off with warm soapy water.
When learning how to take cat temperature, you must buy one that is specifically made for cats and dogs. That includes ear thermometers. Prepare the thermometer and make sure it works. Now you must hold your cat firmly with their head in your arm. This may work better with two people. Put the thermometer into the animal’s ear canal as deep as the arm will reach. You must hold it there until it is done. This will take about as long as a rectal thermometer, which is up to two minutes.
Physical signs of a fever
You may not notice that your cat has a fever and is at a dangerous temperature for cats immediately. There are a few telltale signs that should indicate you that it is time for a temperature check and a call to the vet.
If you are wondering how can you tell if your cat has a fever, start with their normal behaviour. Are they playing less than usual? Does your cat seem to be sleeping more often? Has it stopped eating or drinking? These are obvious clues that something is wrong.
You have noticed that your cat’s nose is cool and moist when it bumps against you. Although it does not necessarily indicate a fever, a dry and warm nose indicates that something is wrong. They may be dehydrated which can be caused by a fever, but also has other causes.
Pet the top of your cat’s head and feel the inner side of its ear. It should normally feel warm. If your cat has a fever, it may actually feel hot here. Their back may be hot as well. Of course, make sure that it is not because your cat was just laying on something extra warm.
If your cat is breathing more quickly than normal or shivering, they are obviously unwell. These are signs that your cat must be seen by a vet immediately.
How long does a cat fever last?
A healthy cat should never have a fever for any length of time. Even a short-term fever indicates a problem and your cat needs professional help. It may not be urgent at that point, but do not delay in getting their health checked out.
However, perhaps you have taken your cat to the vet and they have been treated. You have brought the poor thing home and you are wondering when their fever should break. If their body temperature does not go down in a reasonable amount of time, then the treatment may not have worked and they need to go back to the vet.
If your cat’s condition is dire, the vet will likely keep it at their clinic until they feel it is safe for your cat to go home. Once your cat is home, it is up to you to monitor them for changes to their health. There is no simple answer to the question, “how long does a cat fever last?” because it depends on the underlying cause. If their condition does not improve quickly or if there is any worsening of symptoms, get them back to the vet immediately.
There are several signs and symptoms that will indicate if your cat is unwell. How can you tell if your cat has a fever? You must use a proper pet thermometer or have it done by a vet. There is no other way to ensure your dear pet’s health is well taken care of.