How to Check Your Cat for a Fever Without a Thermometer

how to check your cat for a fever without a thermometer

Adventuring with your cat can be fun, but with fun also comes risk.  Your cat will be more prone to getting sick since he will be more exposed to germs and other forms of bacteria.  It’s a good idea to know if your cat is sick or if your cat has a fever without a thermometer because you might not always have one handy.  Staying proactive with your cat’s health will help your cat live a longer and healthier life.

What is the most common way we check to see if our loved ones have a fever?  We kiss their head or feel it with our hand.  Excessive heat is usually a sign for humans that we are running a fever.  To be sure we also use thermometers to read our body temperatures.  Let’s take a look at a few things you can look for to see if your cat is running a fever without the use of a traditional thermometer.

5 Signs Your Cat May Have a Fever

Diseases that cause fevers in cats will make your cat behave in odd ways.  These behaviors were acquired throughout the generations to help cats survive whatever their body may be fighting off at the time.  Cats get fevers to stimulate the immune system will which slow the growth of bacteria and viruses.  Some of the signs you can observe from your cat are:

  • Loss of appetite – You will notice that your cat just doesn’t want to eat his favorite treat at 2:30 like he always does.  You even try to spoil him with a whole can of wet food, yet he still doesn’t even go over to smell the food.
  • Depression – You will notice your cat might be hiding.  On top of hiding, he may also show signs of being lethargic and just not happy.  He won’t act like his playful self when he is in this state of mind.
  • Decreased Drinking – Along with decreased appetite is decreased water intake.  Just like us humans, when we are sick it is hard to eat or drink anything due to the illness that our body is trying to fight.
  • Decreased Grooming – Your cat will also most likely not groom himself like he normally does.  It takes time and energy for him to lick his coat and stretch out his legs.  He just won’t have the energy to do this.
  • Rapid Breathing – You can visually see his chest rise and fall rapidly.

A few other obvious signs you might see are vomiting, sneezing, and diarrhea.

What Causes Fevers in Cats?

So how hot exactly is too hot for your little feline friend?  A temperature of 100.4 to 102.5 degrees is considered to be the normal range in temperature for cats.  As you can see, cats have a slightly higher body temperature than us.  Anything above 102.5 degrees is considered fever territory for cats.  It is the bodies natural defense to raise body temperature in order to fight off disease, but anything above 106 degrees can cause very harmful damage in both cats and humans.  If your cat’s fever is this high, immediately take them to the vet before irreversible damage can occur.

The term used to describe a rise of body temperature above normal is called hyperthermia.  Some causes of a fever in cats can be from being in a very warm environment for prolonged periods of time and increased muscle activity.  Excessive walking or hiking with your cat are just a few activities that can cause your little friend to overheat.  Usually a fever will result from the immune system being activated by things like trauma, illness, certain medications, bacterial and fungal infections.

Tips for Taking Your Cat’s Temperature

Taking your cat’s temperature is the only sure way to know if he is running a fever.  A pediatric thermometer is the most accurate method for taking a cats temperature.  I recommend this thermometer from amazon since it is fast and easy to use.  You can also use it for adults and kids which means that you get your moneys worth when purchasing it.  The best part of this thermometer is that it is non invasive.  Other thermometers have to be done rectally or be shoved inside an ear which is a difficult thing to do on a cat.

In order to take your cat’s temperature, you will need someone to gently restrain your cat.  Simply go from left to right on your cat’s forehead to scan his temperature.  Wait a second and you will have a reading of his temperature.  This thermometer is the best way to take your cat’s temperature in a non invasive manner.  Go ahead and give your cat a treat afterwards to reinforce good behavior.

How to Care for a Cat with a Fever

During a fever, your cat may become dehydrated.  Go ahead and offer your cat water, but remember that he might not want to drink it.  If your cat is showing a fever above 106 degrees or a fever for more than 24 hours, you will need to see your vet immediately for care.  Your vet will conduct different tests to try and pinpoint the reason for your cat’s fever.  Once he finds the underlying problem, he will further take steps that may include medication to help your cat feel better.

This is usually treated with the administration of iv fluids.  Do not self medicate your cat.  Medication that will work for humans will not always work for a cat and can be very dangerous.  An example is Tylenol.  Tylenol will help with our fever, but if administered in a cat, is toxic and can lead to serious injury or death.

Final Thoughts

Cat’s will generally show signs and symptoms of a fever that is similar to humans.  If you ever notice your cats behavior is changing such as eating habits, bathroom routines, and decreased energy levels, then it may be worthwhile to check his temperature to see if he is ill.  Taking your cat out with you to many different places means that you will be exposing him to more bacteria and germs so it is best to always be ready. Always remember if a fever lasts more than 24 hours or is over 106 degrees, immediately see your vet.

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