Veterinarian Reviewed on June 21, 2012 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Owning a cat is a rewarding adventure. Your cat will be your best friend forever with the right love and attention. He will cuddle with you and show you his undying love when he rubs his head on you and purrs in content. Having a cat is like having a child as you need to take care of all of his needs from cleaning him to feeding and all of his medical needs as well. It can be difficult to tell if your cat is sick but the main sign to watch for is a fever.
How can you tell if your cat has a fever?
It is easy to see if a person has a fever just by touching the back of your hand to their forehead to see if their skin is warmer than usual, but you cannot do this with your cat. There is only one way to tell if your cat has a fever and that is to take their temperature. Cats have a higher body temperature then people do with it running normally somewhere in between 100.4º to 102.5º F.
Once their temperature goes over 102.5º F, they have a fever. It is said that having a fever can help to fight off diseases but once it gets over 106º F, your cat can be in danger. High fevers can damage your cat’s organs and it is very important to get your cat in to see the veterinarian. Fevers in cats are not as serious as a dog having a fever so you do not need to panic at the first sign of a fever.
Why do Cats get Fevers?
When the body temperature rises above what is considered normal it is called hypothermia. This occurs naturally when the cat is in a warm area or when he is being active, but when the temperature rises for no apparent reason then your cat may have a fever. Fevers start in a cat mainly because there is something going on with the immune system. This can be due to an infection, such as a Cat Ear Infections or Cat Cancer. Infections can be fungal, bacterial or viral. Your cat can also get a fever when a tumor is present or from some type of trauma or injury. Other causes for fevers in your cat can be different types of medications and diseases that are common in cats such as lupus or pancreatitis.
How to tell if your Cat has a Fever
There are certain signs that will tell you that your cat has a fever. It is good to familiarize yourself with them so that you will know right away when your cat is ill.
If your cat is sick, you may notice other tell tale signs of illness such as Cat Diarrhea and sneezing.
Taking your Cat’s Temperature
In order to truly know if your cat has a fever you need to take his temperature. It is best to use a pediatric rectal thermometer in order to get the most accurate temperature. A digital thermometer works best rather than a glass one as it’s faster and safer. You can also get a thermometer from the pet store with complete instructions on how to take a cat’s temperature or just pick up the pediatric rectal thermometer at a local drug store.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan