One of the most important things you can do as a pet owner is to learn how to check if your cat has a fever. Here are some tips on how to tell if your cat is running a temperature.
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Few things are as concerning as when our cats seem off. A telltale sign that something is wrong is when your cat has a fever. But how can you tell if your cat has a fever? Check out this guide to learn how to check if your cat has a fever.
What is a Fever?
A fever, also called pyrexia, is defined as an elevation in body temperature above the normal range. The average normal oral temperature is 37°C (98.6°F), with a range of 36.5–37.5°C (97.7–99.5°F). A rectal temperature slightly exceeds oral temperature, averaging 37.6°C (99.7°F), with a similar range.
Causes of Fever in Cats
There are a number of potential causes of fever in cats, including infection (bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic), immunological disorders, cancer, and the use of certain medications. In some cases, the exact cause of the fever may not be determined.
Bacterial infections are a common cause of fever in cats. The most common type of bacterial infection is pneumonia, which can be caused by a number of different bacteria. Other types of bacterial infections that can cause fever include pyelonephritis (a kidney infection), sepsis (a blood infection), and abscesses.
Viral infections are another common cause of fever in cats. The most common type of viral infection is upper respiratory tract disease, which is caused by a number of different viruses, including the feline herpesvirus, the feline calicivirus, and the feline influenza virus. Other types of viral infections that can cause fever include the feline leukemia virus and the feline immunodeficiency virus.
Fungal infections are fairly uncommon in cats, but they can occasionally cause fever. The most common type of fungal infection is ringworm, which is caused by a type of fungus called dermatophytes. Ringworm usually affects the skin and nails but can occasionally spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs.
Parasitic infections are relatively rare in cats but can occasionally cause fever. The most common type of parasitic infection is toxoplasmosis, which is caused by a protozoal parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasmosis usually affects the gastrointestinal tract but can occasionally spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or brain.
Immunological disorders are another potential cause of fever in cats. The most common type of immunological disorder is allergies, which can be caused by a number of different allergens, including dust mites, pollen, and food proteins. Other types of immunological disorders that can cause fever include autoimmune diseases and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA).
Cancer is another potential cause of fever in cats. There are a number of different types of cancer that can affect cats but lymphoma is one of the most common types that leads to fevers in felines. Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymphocytes (white blood cells) and can occur either in one area or throughout the body. Other types cancer that could lead to fevers include leukemia and bone marrow cancer
Symptoms of Fever in Cats
Fever is a common sign of illness in cats, and it can be a worrisome symptom for pet parents. A raised body temperature is often the first sign that your cat is sick, and it can be a helpful early indicator of disease.
Although a fever is usually caused by an infection, there are other possible causes, such as cancer or inflammatory disease. If your cat has a fever, it’s important to check for other signs of illness and to seek veterinary care promptly.
Common symptoms of fever in cats include:
-Body temperature above 103°F
How to Check Your Cat’s Temperature
To check if your cat has a fever, you will need to take its temperature. The most accurate way to do this is rectally, using a digital rectal thermometer. If you are not comfortable doing this, you can try taking your cat’s temperature axillary (under the armpit). However, this method is not as accurate.
Here’s how to take your cat’s temperature rectally:
1. Lubricate the tip of the thermometer with petroleum jelly.
2. Hold your cat in your lap or have someone else hold your cat while you take its temperature.
3. Gently insert the tip of the thermometer into your cat’s rectum about 1 inch (2.5 cm).
4. Wait for the thermometer to beep or otherwise indicate that it is done taking the temperature reading.
5. Remove the thermometer and read the temperature reading.
6. If your cat’s temperature is above 103°F (39°C), it has a fever and you should take it to see a veterinarian as soon as possible!
When to See a Vet
If your cat is listless, has a poor appetite, or just doesn’t seem like herself, she may have a fever. While a low-grade fever may not be cause for alarm, a high temperature can indicate a serious illness. If you think your cat has a fever, it’s important to take her to the vet so she can be properly diagnosed and treated.
There are several ways to check if your cat has a fever. The most accurate way is to take her temperature with a rectal thermometer. This can be done at home, but it’s important to be careful and make sure you don’t hurt your cat in the process. If you’re not comfortable taking your cat’s temperature at home, or if she is resistant, you can take her to the vet and they will do it for you.
Another way to check for a fever is by feeling your cat’s ears. A normal body temperature will feel warm but not hot, while a fever will feel hot to the touch. You can also check your cat’s gums; they should be pink and moist, not red or dry. If you think your cat has a fever but you’re not sure how high it is, call your vet and they will give you instructions on what to do next.
If your cat has any of the following symptoms, call your vet immediately:
-A temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
-Lethargy or depression
-Loss of appetite
-Vomiting or diarrhea
-Reddened eyes, gums or nose