Unlike you and me, our kitties seem to be more complicated. If you are unsure of the best way to determine if your cat is sick, here’s a guide on how to tell if a cat has a fever.
What You Need
Determining If Kitty Is Sick
There are several ways to know if your cat caught something that made it sick. Here are some of the easiest and most common ways to do it without consulting your vet.
Look Out For Changes In Behavior
Is your cat acting out of character? By nature, cats are cautious. When your kitty is playful and loves messing around with you, you will immediately notice the change in behavior.
So, if your feline is under a chair or an inaccessible area of the house, take this as a warning sign. Look out for other signs that could mean that your baby is ill.
Another thing to look out for is lethargic behavior. It’s hard to tell if kitty is just being lazy, though. If your cat tends to follow you around but stops for no apparent reason, try to pay closer attention to its behavior.
In this case, you can rely most on your observation skills. You are the one who is highly familiar with your cat’s behavior, so you are the best person who can tell if something is not right.
When they are behaving in a peculiar way, always check if they have a fever.
Related: Why Does My Cat Have Scabs
Observe Your Cat’s Appetite And Bowel Movement
Diarrhea and vomiting are two of the most common indicators of sickness in cats. In fact, these are symptoms themselves, not a condition.
When your cat is having more frequent bowels or starts vomiting, look out for other signs. A fever can accompany any of these two. If these symptoms become worse, you should bring kitty to a vet.
Just like humans, cats don’t feel hunger when they are ill. When your cat loses its enthusiasm for treats and meal time, pay more attention to it. Loss of appetite may be due to another reason but consider it as a sign of illness.
When your kitty remains hidden even when it is meal time, try to place their food near their safe place. They might eat while staying hidden.
Take Your Cat’s Temperature
Taking your cat’s temperature is the best way to tell if it has a fever. For this, you need an animal thermometer, not the regular thermometer in your medicine kit.
There are two types of thermometers that you can use on your cat: the anal thermometer and the ear thermometer. We will outline the steps on how to use both of these thermometers to take your cat’s temperature.
How To Use An Ear Thermometer
Using rectal thermometers is ideal. But when you have a feisty animal on hand, ear thermometers are better.
- Step 1: Use a thermometer for pets. You can tell if the ear thermometer is for cats since it has a longer reach. There are several thermometers for this purpose available in pet stores and online.
- Step 2: Restrain your cat. Hold your cat’s paws near the floor.
- Step 3: Place the thermometer on your cat’s ear canal. It may take a few minutes to register the temperature. For more details, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
- Step 4: Once you have the temperature, clean the thermometer. Use a cotton and alcohol to do this. Store the thermometer in a safe place afterward.
How To Use A Rectal Thermometer
The most common way to get your cat’s temperature is by using a rectal thermometer.
Step 1: Take The Thermometer
If you are using a mercury thermometer, shake it out to set the temperature back to zero.
Step 2: Lubricate The Thermometer.
- Using petroleum jelly, coat the tip with this substance.
- Lubrication decreases puncturing and abrasion which can be painful.
Step 3: Hold Your Cat Correctly.
- The tail should be close to the front of your body while the feet should rest on a solid surface. Just imagine the way you hold a football.
- You may need a friend to hold your cat. You can help kitty relax by touching the skin at the back of its neck. Cats associate this with their mother’s protection.
Step 4: Insert The Thermometer In Your Cat’s Anus.
- Aim for a 90-degree angle when inserting the thermometer. Do not go beyond an inch when inserting the thermometer.
- Often, there are instructions on the manual. So, be sure to read it.
Step 5: Hold The Thermometer In Place Until You Get A Reading.
- Approximately, it takes two minutes to get a temperature reading. Digital rectal thermometers beep when the temperature is available.
- The normal temperature for cats is between 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. When it drops below 99 or goes beyond 103, you should visit your vet.
Step 6: Clean The Thermometer.
- Using alcohol, wipe your cat’s thermometer.
- Proper sanitation is a must, especially when using a rectal thermometer since it goes inside your kitty’s anus.
Related: How to Tell If a Cat Has Rabies
Knowing when your kitty is sick is a must for every responsible pet owner. If you are new to cats, it is vital to use your keen powers of observation. Cats are not much different from humans.
When there are marked changes in the way they act, your cat is not feeling too well. When it comes to fever, taking kitty’s temperature is the best thing to do. Buying a pet thermometer is a must.
You can always pay the vet a visit when in doubt. Nevertheless, how to tell if a cat has a fever is valuable.
Do you know how to tell when your cat has a fever? How can you do it?
Tell us about your kitty’s ways and how you know there is something wrong in the comments section below. Don’t forget to like and share this post if you found it informative.