What to Do if Your Cat Has a Fever
As a responsible pet owner, it is essential to keep an eye on your cat’s health and wellbeing. One of the common signs that your cat may be unwell is if it has a fever. A fever is the body’s natural response to an infection or illness and can indicate an underlying issue that requires attention. Here are some steps you can take if your cat has a fever:
1. Monitor their temperature: The first step is to check if your cat has a fever. A normal cat’s temperature ranges between 100.5°F and 102.5°F (38°C-39.2°C). If their temperature exceeds this range, they likely have a fever.
2. Isolate and observe: Keep your cat in a quiet and comfortable space. Isolating them will prevent the spread of any potential infection and allow you to closely monitor their behavior and symptoms.
3. Contact your veterinarian: Reach out to your vet immediately to discuss your cat’s condition. They will be able to provide guidance on whether you should bring your cat in for an examination or start any preliminary treatment at home.
4. Hydration is key: Ensure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Fever can cause dehydration, so it’s crucial to encourage your cat to drink water regularly.
5. Encourage rest: Fever can make cats feel lethargic, so it’s essential to provide a cozy and calm environment for them to rest and recover. Limit their physical activity until their temperature returns to normal.
6. Follow your vet’s instructions: If your vet recommends bringing your cat in for an examination, follow their advice. They may need to conduct tests to determine the underlying cause of the fever and prescribe appropriate treatment.
7. Administer medication as directed: If your vet prescribes medication, make sure you understand the dosage and frequency. Administer the medication exactly as instructed and complete the full course of treatment.
1. How can I check my cat’s temperature at home?
Use a digital rectal thermometer lubricated with petroleum jelly. Insert it gently into your cat’s rectum for about one inch and wait for a minute to obtain an accurate reading.
2. What can cause a fever in cats?
Fever in cats can be caused by various factors, including infections, inflammation, immune system disorders, and certain medications.
3. Can I give my cat over-the-counter fever reducers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen?
No, it is extremely dangerous to give human medications to cats, as they can be toxic. Always consult your vet for safe and appropriate medications.
4. Should I give my cat a cool bath to reduce their fever?
No, do not give your cat a cool bath. Cats do not tolerate water well and this can cause additional stress and discomfort. Instead, keep them in a cool room and provide fresh water to drink.
5. Can fever in cats resolve on its own?
In some cases, mild fevers can resolve on their own as the body fights off the infection. However, it is still crucial to monitor your cat closely and seek veterinary advice.
6. How long does it take for a cat’s fever to go down?
The duration of a fever depends on the underlying cause. With appropriate treatment, a cat’s fever should start to subside within 24-48 hours.
7. How can I prevent fever in cats?
Maintain your cat’s overall health by providing a balanced diet, regular vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, and routine veterinary check-ups. Promptly address any signs of illness to prevent complications and fever.