How to Tell if a Cat Has a Fever

How to Tell if a Cat Has a Fever

As a responsible cat owner, it is essential to monitor your feline friend’s health. One common health issue that cats can experience is a fever. A fever in cats can be an indication of an underlying illness or infection. Therefore, it is crucial to be able to recognize the signs of a fever in your cat. Here are some key indicators to help you identify if your cat has a fever:

1. Elevated body temperature: A cat’s normal body temperature ranges between 100.5°F and 102.5°F. If your cat’s temperature exceeds this range, it may be a sign of a fever.

2. Lethargy: Cats with a fever often become lethargic and lack energy. They may spend more time sleeping and have a decreased interest in playing or interacting with their surroundings.

3. Loss of appetite: When a cat has a fever, it may lose its appetite or show reduced interest in food. This lack of interest in eating can lead to weight loss if not addressed promptly.

4. Increased heart and respiratory rate: Cats with a fever may exhibit an increased heart rate and breathing rate. You may notice rapid or shallow breathing and a faster pulse when you check your cat’s vital signs.

5. Shivering or trembling: Just like in humans, cats may shiver or tremble when they have a fever. This is their body’s way of trying to generate heat and regulate their temperature.

6. Warm ears and paws: When a cat has a fever, its ears and paws may feel warmer than usual. This is due to the increased blood flow to these areas as the body tries to combat the infection.

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7. Behavioral changes: Cats with a fever may show behavioral changes such as irritability, aggression, or hiding. They may also vocalize more frequently or exhibit signs of discomfort.


1. How can I check my cat’s temperature at home?
Using a digital rectal thermometer is the most accurate way to measure your cat’s temperature. Apply a lubricant and gently insert the thermometer into your cat’s rectum for a few seconds.

2. When should I be concerned about my cat’s fever?
If your cat’s temperature exceeds 104°F or if it persists for more than 24-48 hours, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian for further evaluation and treatment.

3. Can I give my cat over-the-counter human fever medication?
No, you should never give your cat human medication without veterinary guidance. Some medications for humans can be toxic to cats and worsen their condition.

4. What are some common causes of fever in cats?
Infections, such as respiratory or urinary tract infections, can cause fevers in cats. Other underlying conditions like dental disease, inflammatory diseases, or certain medications can also lead to a fever.

5. Is it safe to wait and see if the fever resolves on its own?
It is generally recommended to seek veterinary advice if your cat has a fever. Fevers can be indicative of underlying health issues that require treatment.

6. Can stress cause a fever in cats?
Yes, stress can lead to elevated body temperatures in cats. It is important to provide a comfortable and stress-free environment for your feline companion.

7. How can I prevent fevers in cats?
Keeping your cat’s vaccinations up to date, providing a balanced diet, regular veterinary check-ups, and maintaining good hygiene can help prevent infections and fevers in cats.

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Remember, if you suspect your cat has a fever, it is always best to consult a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Prompt attention to your cat’s health can help ensure a speedy recovery and prevent any complications.