How to Tell if Your Cat Has a Fever

How to Tell if Your Cat Has a Fever

Cats, like humans, can develop fevers when their bodies are fighting off infections or illnesses. It is important for cat owners to be aware of the signs of a fever so that they can provide appropriate care and seek veterinary assistance if needed. Here are some ways to tell if your cat has a fever:

1. Check their temperature: The normal body temperature for a cat is typically between 100.5°F and 102.5°F. Use a digital rectal thermometer to take your cat’s temperature. Any reading above 102.5°F may indicate a fever.

2. Lethargy and decreased appetite: Cats with fevers often exhibit signs of lethargy, sleeping more than usual, and may show a lack of interest in food or water.

3. Warm ears and paws: When a cat has a fever, their ears and paws may feel warmer than usual. This indicates increased blood flow to these areas.

4. Shivering or trembling: Just like humans, cats may shiver or tremble when their body temperature rises.

5. Elevated heart rate: If your cat’s heart rate is higher than usual, it could be a sign of a fever. You can check their heart rate by placing your hand on their chest and counting the beats per minute.

6. Increased respiratory rate: Cats with fevers may breathe more rapidly and have an increased respiratory rate.

7. Unusual behavior: Cats may display behavioral changes when they have a fever. They may become more irritable, hide more often, or show signs of discomfort.


1. Can a cat’s nose temperature indicate a fever?
No, a cat’s nose temperature is not a reliable indicator of a fever. It can vary due to environmental factors or simply being warmer or cooler from lying on different surfaces.

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2. Should I give my cat medication for a fever?
No, it is not recommended to give your cat over-the-counter medication for a fever without consulting a veterinarian. They can assess the underlying cause and prescribe appropriate treatment.

3. What should I do if I suspect my cat has a fever?
If you suspect your cat has a fever, monitor their behavior and symptoms closely. Contact your veterinarian for guidance and follow their advice.

4. Can stress cause a cat to have a fever?
Stress can elevate a cat’s body temperature temporarily, but it is not a true fever. If the elevated temperature persists, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.

5. Is a fever in cats always a sign of a serious health issue?
Not necessarily. A fever can be a symptom of various conditions, ranging from minor infections to more serious underlying illnesses. A veterinarian can help determine the cause and severity.

6. Can I use a regular thermometer to check my cat’s temperature?
No, a regular thermometer is not suitable for accurately measuring a cat’s temperature. Use a digital rectal thermometer specifically designed for pets.

7. How can I help my cat recover from a fever?
Ensure your cat has access to fresh water and encourage them to stay hydrated. Provide a quiet and comfortable environment for rest. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for any necessary treatment or medication.

By being attentive to the signs of a fever in your cat, you can provide the right care promptly. Remember, always consult a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment if you suspect your cat has a fever.