Skip to Content

How To Tell If A Cat Has A Fever


Cats are mysterious creatures that often hide their symptoms when they are feeling unwell. One common sign that your cat may be sick is if they have a fever. Just like humans, cats can develop fevers as a response to an infection or illness. It’s important for cat owners to be able to recognize the signs of a fever in their feline friends so they can seek veterinary care if necessary. In this article, we will discuss how to tell if a cat has a fever, as well as provide some interesting trends, common concerns, and answers related to the topic.

How to Tell If A Cat Has a Fever

1. Use a thermometer: The most accurate way to determine if your cat has a fever is to take their temperature rectally with a digital thermometer. A normal temperature for a cat is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 103 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a fever.

2. Check for other symptoms: In addition to a high temperature, there are other signs that your cat may have a fever. These can include lethargy, lack of appetite, shivering, dehydration, and a warm or hot nose and ears.

3. Monitor behavior: Cats are experts at hiding their discomfort, so it’s important to pay attention to changes in behavior that may indicate a fever. If your cat is acting more lethargic than usual, avoiding interaction, or hiding in unusual places, they may be feeling unwell.

4. Consult your veterinarian: If you suspect that your cat has a fever, it’s important to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Your vet may recommend bringing your cat in for an examination and tests to determine the underlying cause of the fever.

5. Provide comfort: While waiting for your vet appointment, you can help make your cat more comfortable by providing a quiet, warm place to rest, plenty of fresh water, and gentle care and attention.

6. Monitor hydration: Fever can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to make sure your cat is drinking enough water. If your cat is not drinking, you may need to syringe feed them water or take them to the vet for fluids.

7. Follow your vet’s recommendations: Once your cat has been diagnosed with a fever, it’s important to follow your vet’s recommendations for treatment. This may include medications, fluids, or other interventions to help your cat recover.

Interesting Trends in Cat Fever

1. Increasing awareness: With the rise of social media and online resources, more cat owners are becoming aware of the signs of fever in their pets and seeking veterinary care when needed.

2. Home monitoring: Some cat owners are investing in digital thermometers and other tools to monitor their cat’s temperature at home, allowing for early detection of fevers and prompt treatment.

3. Alternative therapies: In addition to traditional veterinary care, some cat owners are turning to alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and essential oils to help manage fevers in their pets.

4. Breed predispositions: Certain cat breeds may be more prone to developing fevers due to genetic factors or underlying health conditions. It’s important for cat owners to be aware of any breed-specific risks.

5. Environmental factors: Changes in weather, living conditions, or exposure to toxins can all contribute to a cat developing a fever. Keeping your cat’s environment clean and safe can help prevent illness.

6. Age-related concerns: Kittens and senior cats may be more susceptible to developing fevers due to their developing or weakened immune systems. It’s important for cat owners to be extra vigilant with these age groups.

7. Zoonotic risks: Some fevers in cats can be caused by zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted to humans. It’s important to practice good hygiene and seek veterinary care promptly to prevent the spread of illness.

Common Concerns and Answers

1. Can I use a human thermometer to take my cat’s temperature?

Yes, you can use a digital thermometer designed for human use to take your cat’s temperature rectally. Just be sure to label it for pet use only.

2. My cat’s temperature is slightly elevated, should I be concerned?

If your cat’s temperature is slightly elevated but they are otherwise acting normal, it’s best to monitor them closely for any changes. If their temperature continues to rise or they show other signs of illness, consult your vet.

3. What can cause a fever in cats?

Fever in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, including infections, inflammatory conditions, immune system disorders, and underlying health issues. Your vet can help determine the cause of your cat’s fever.

4. Can I give my cat medication to lower their fever?

It’s important to never give your cat medication without consulting your vet first. Some human medications can be toxic to cats, and your vet will be able to recommend safe and effective treatments for your cat’s fever.

5. How long does a fever in cats typically last?

The duration of a fever in cats can vary depending on the underlying cause. Some fevers may resolve on their own, while others may require veterinary intervention to treat the underlying condition.

6. Can stress cause a fever in cats?

Stress can weaken a cat’s immune system, making them more susceptible to infections and illness. While stress itself may not directly cause a fever, it can contribute to overall health issues in cats.

7. Should I be concerned if my cat’s fever persists?

If your cat’s fever persists for more than 24-48 hours, or if they show other concerning symptoms such as difficulty breathing, vomiting, or seizures, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

8. Can I prevent my cat from getting a fever?

While it’s not always possible to prevent fevers in cats, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk, such as keeping your cat up to date on vaccinations, providing a healthy diet, and keeping their environment clean and safe.

9. Can a fever in cats be contagious to other pets?

Some fevers in cats may be caused by contagious infections that can be transmitted to other pets. It’s important to isolate any sick cats and practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of illness.

10. What is the best way to comfort a cat with a fever?

Providing a warm, quiet place to rest, plenty of fresh water, and gentle care and attention can help comfort a cat with a fever. Avoid over-handling or stressing your cat while they are unwell.

11. Can a fever in cats be a sign of a serious health issue?

In some cases, a fever in cats can be a sign of a serious underlying health issue that requires prompt veterinary care. It’s important to consult your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

12. How often should I monitor my cat’s temperature?

If your cat has a fever or is prone to developing fevers, your vet may recommend monitoring their temperature regularly at home to track their progress and response to treatment.

13. Should I be concerned if my cat’s fever breaks?

If your cat’s fever suddenly breaks and they seem to be feeling better, it’s a positive sign that their body is fighting off the infection. However, it’s still important to monitor them closely and consult your vet if their symptoms return.

14. Can outdoor cats get fevers more easily than indoor cats?

Outdoor cats may be exposed to a greater variety of pathogens and environmental factors that can contribute to fevers. It’s important to keep outdoor cats up to date on vaccinations and provide regular veterinary care.

15. What should I do if my cat’s fever is accompanied by other symptoms?

If your cat’s fever is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, or seizures, it’s important to seek immediate veterinary care. These may be signs of a serious health issue that requires prompt treatment.

In summary, recognizing the signs of a fever in your cat and seeking veterinary care when needed is crucial for their health and well-being. By monitoring your cat’s temperature, behavior, and overall condition, you can help ensure that they receive prompt treatment and recover quickly from any illness. Remember to consult your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if you suspect that your cat has a fever. With proper care and attention, your feline friend can overcome their fever and return to their playful and happy selves.