Fever is not pleasant for anyone, including your cat. We also know that a simple forehead check does not work in a cat as it does in people.
Treating fever is different for cats too. So how can you tell if your cat has a fever, and if so, what to do about it?
A normal temperature varies from 37.8 to 39.2 cats Cº . Fever in cats occurs when their body temperature rises above 39.2 ° C. Although fevers can be helpful in fighting illness, a very severe fever can damage organs. Contact your vet immediately if your cat has a very high fever.
You will know the causes, signs and symptoms of fever in cats and what you need to know about how to take your cat’s temperature and how to care for it.
Causes of fever in cats
Conditions that could cause your cat to have a fever include:
- Bacterial infections such as Bartonella, also known as cat scratch fever.
- Viruses or viral infections.
- Yeast infections
- Injuries or abscesses resulting from animal fighting.
- Diseases such as Lupus.
Symptoms of a cat when it has a fever
Diseases that cause fever in cats can also trigger certain tell-tale behaviors in the cat. These behaviors, which evolved in wild animals to help them survive illness, allow cats to conserve the energy needed to produce fever. Fevers fight disease by stimulating the immune system and slowing the growth of bacteria and viruses .
Watch for these signs of fever :
- No appetite and does not eat.
- Lack of energy or activity.
- Decrease in water intake.
- Decreased grooming.
- Trembling or rapid breathing.
Your cat may also show other specific signs of illness, such as sneezing, vomiting, or diarrhea.
How to do a first test to know your cat’s body temperature
Check your cat’s nose
Cats’ noses are usually cold and wet, but a fever cat’s nose is usually dry and hot.
Check for fever by touching your cat’s ears
When your cat is well, place a finger on the inner side of his ear. You will notice it hot. But when they have a fever, it will feel much warmer, similar to when you touch a person’s forehead to see if they have a fever.
Touch his back
Like her ears, your cat’s back may also be warmer than normal to the touch if she has a fever. But first, make sure your cat hasn’t been sleeping in a sunny spot or near a heat source.
How to check your cat’s temperature correctly
Before I have indicated how to take your cat’s temperature approximately, but you can and should diagnose your cat’s fever in a more technical way. The procedure is not for the faint of heart, it requires some expertise. It is possible to take a cooperative cat’s temperature at home, but if he struggles to prevent you from doing so, it can be dangerous for both the cat and you.
Before you start, you will need:
- A digital thermometer.
- A lubricant for the thermometer, such as petroleum jelly.
- Alcohol and paper towel to clean the thermometer.
- Some prize for the cat.
Steps to follow to measure your cat’s body temperature :
- The body temperature of the cat will be taken rectally, I do not advise taking the temperature in the armpits or ears , as it is not very precise. It is best to use a digital thermometer, as they read quickly. However, be careful, as lower quality ones can give incorrect readings. You could use a “mercury” glass thermometer, but reading the temperature requires more time and involves risks of breaking it. Also, make sure you have a dedicated thermometer for your cat.
- Lubricate the thermometerto make it easier to put on and also not to cause your cat pain. The best would be Vaseline which is used in veterinary clinics and in baby care. You can also use another water-based lubricant if you have them at home.
- Have someone hold your catby gently pressing it to the floor or table, or by holding its body and paws, making sure you can access the rear of the cat. You can use one hand on the thermometer and lift your cat’s tail with the other. Be prepared, your cat is not going to like what you are going to do, since even the calmest can lose control.
- Insert the thermometer into your cat’s anal opening. Insert the thermometer approximately 2.5 cm and wait until the reading is complete. This is why digital thermometers, which read temperature in seconds, are better than “mercury” ones, which take up to ten minutes to do so. Also, make sure your cat is still and does not run away with the thermometer still in it.
- Remove the thermometer and praise your cat. Obviously, the cat will endure this ordeal better if it ends up with a reward. You must give a delicious treat every time you handle your cat, you will make it tolerate this torture much better in the future.
- Take the reading. Check that the temperature is within normal parameters.
- Clean the thermometerwith rubbing alcohol before storing it. Don’t reuse the same human thermometer.
If the temperature is above 39.2 C you should consult a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause.
How to treat a feverish cat
While a cat may appear almost human at times, treating your pet’s fever the same way you would treat yourself can cause tremendous harm. You should never try to treat a fever at home with human medications . Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is deadly for cats, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can cause serious, sometimes fatal side effects.
A cat’s fever is always a symptom of an underlying cause, so it is important to treat the core problem. After diagnosis, the vet may determine that antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications are needed. The vet may choose to provide fluids for your cat intravenously, to prevent dehydration and help him feel better faster.
Home remedies for your cat with a fever
Keep your feline hydrated
Provide plenty of water for your feverish cat. As your cat’s body temperature increases, the water content decreases. This is why you need to provide enough water content to your body. Place a container of water near them so that you monitor their water intake regularly.
Apply cold compresses
Apply cold compresses to your cat to reduce body temperature. You can cover it with a damp towel or you can fold a few ice cubes on a towel and place it on your body with a gentle massage.
Echinacea and sage for cats
Echinacea and sage help cure fever. Consult your veterinarian to find out the amounts of drops that will be administered to the cat affected with fever.
Have your cat lower her temperature by giving her a cold water bath. Use a natural soap and bath shampoo. When he has a fever, you can have your cat bathe twice a day.
Keep it cool
Provide your cat with a cool environment. You can place a fan near it. Try to keep her room at a cool temperature as this will influence the cat’s temperature and help it to recover quickly.
How to comfort your cat with a fever
Keep your cat in a quiet and comfortable place. It is convenient that you have everything you need close by. A sick cat will not want to go a long way to reach the necessary litter box, food or fluids.
Be patient. Your cat’s fever may take a while to clear up, depending on its cause. See this as a much-needed oasis of quiet time that the two of you can share together until the situation changes. With proper care and lots of love, your pet will be recovered and happy in no time.
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