How to Tell if My Cat Has a Fever

How to Tell if My Cat Has a Fever

As a responsible cat owner, it is essential to monitor your feline friend’s health and well-being. One crucial aspect of their health is monitoring their body temperature. Cats, like humans, can develop fevers, which indicate an underlying health issue. Here are some signs to look out for to determine if your cat has a fever:

1. Elevated body temperature: A normal cat’s body temperature ranges between 100.5°F and 102.5°F. If your cat’s temperature rises above this range, it could indicate a fever. Use a rectal thermometer designed for pets to accurately measure their body temperature.

2. Lethargy: Cats with fevers often become lethargic and lack energy. If your usually active and playful cat seems unusually tired and withdrawn, it could be a sign of a fever.

3. Decreased appetite: A fever can cause cats to lose their appetite. If your cat suddenly refuses to eat or shows a significant decrease in their food intake, it may be due to a fever.

4. Shivering or trembling: Cats with fevers may experience chills, leading to shivering or trembling. Keep an eye out for these physical signs, especially if your cat is seeking warmth or curling up in unusual places.

5. Increased thirst and panting: A fever can cause dehydration in cats. If you notice your cat drinking more water than usual or panting excessively, it may be a sign of a fever.

6. Warm ears and paws: Check your cat’s ears and paws, as they are often good indicators of body temperature. If they feel unusually warm to the touch, it could suggest a fever.

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7. Behavioral changes: Cats with fevers may display behavioral changes such as aggression, irritability, or hiding. If your cat starts acting differently, it is worth considering whether they have a fever.


1. What is considered a high fever in cats?
A rectal temperature above 103°F is generally considered a high fever in cats.

2. Can I use a human thermometer to measure my cat’s temperature?
No, it is not recommended. Use a rectal thermometer specifically designed for pets, as it provides accurate readings.

3. What should I do if my cat has a fever?
Contact your veterinarian immediately. They will be able to diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

4. Can stress cause a fever in cats?
Stress can contribute to a cat’s overall health and well-being but does not directly cause a fever. However, stress can weaken their immune system, making them more susceptible to infections that may lead to a fever.

5. Should I give my cat fever-reducing medications at home?
No, never administer any medications to your cat without consulting your veterinarian first. Some human medications can be toxic to cats.

6. Can outdoor cats get fevers more often than indoor cats?
Outdoor cats are more exposed to various pathogens and environmental factors that may lead to fever. However, both indoor and outdoor cats can develop fevers.

7. How long does a fever in cats typically last?
The duration of a fever depends on the underlying cause. Fevers can last from a few days to several weeks, depending on the severity and treatment provided.

Remember, if you suspect your cat has a fever, it is important to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Prompt medical attention can help your feline friend recover quickly and ensure their overall well-being.

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