When your cat is not well, it can’t directly ask you for a medicine or any antibiotic to help her relieve pain. So, you may end up questioning yourself, “How do I guess if my cat is feverish and what could be the possible reasons?”
Let us learn about the causes, symptoms and treatments related to fever in cats.
What are the Symptoms?
There are tell-tale signs when humans have a fever, and similar symptoms are observed in cats. An increased body temperature above normal is termed as HYPERTHERMIA. Unregulated body temperature can also be a cause of fever in cats.
It can also exhibit various other signs specific to a disease. There can be various other reasons that indicate your cat is feverish.
What are the primary signs..?
- Lack of appetite: The most common and foremost sign of fever is inappetence. You may be familiar with how much your cat loves it’s treats but you will observe a decreased demand of food.
- Lethargy or weakness: Cats do like laying and sleeping all day but if it shows no interest in playing or moving at all, it can possibly be related to muscular weakness.
- Dehydration: If your cat’s temperature remains high for a longer duration of time, the excess heat can make them dehydrated. This may lead to severe health problems like stickiness of the gums, constipation and dehydration of the skin.
- Hiding or acting more withdrawn: If your cat is normally social and loves to hang around people but suddenly becomes withdrawn with no obvious sign of stress, they might be feeling ill.
- Ears that are warm to the touch: If your cat’s ears are hot or warm in touch, it necessarily do not indicate illness. So, you need to look for other signs and symptoms as well.
- Shivering or rapid breathing: Shivering is one the most unique signs of fever in cats. Shivering can many times be confused with twitching. But shivering is always more persistent and stronger than twitching.
- Decreased grooming: Unlike dogs, cats tediously clean their coats from head to toe. They are experts at cleaning themselves and love keeping their coats spotless and tidy. Sometimes, cats will stop grooming themselves out of nowhere, this can be an indicative of illness.
- Depression: Every cat has it’s own personality but if your social cat suddenly starts being sad out of blue, you need to pay attention to your feline friend more. You can observe this via its behavioural and body language.
Your cat can also display several other signs of illness like sneezing, vomiting, diarrhoea, etc.
How can I Diagnose Fever?
The most conclusive way to determine if your cat has a fever is to take her temperature. A cat’s normal temperature typically falls between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 and 39.1 degrees Celsius).
A fever over 104 degrees F could put your cat at risk for severe health problems, including internal damage.
Ear thermometers may be an easier and more convenient way for pet parents. But the most economical and easy method to check the temperature is to use either a glass (Mercury) or a digital thermometer.
A digital thermometer is more preferred now as it does not shatter into pieces if dropped and also gives a signal once the temperature reading is ready to be checked.
Steps to take Temperature in cat
- Requirements: thermometer, a lubricant (such as petroleum jelly) and alcohol (to clean the thermometer).
- Shake the thermometer so that the Mercury level is below the 96º line.
- Coat the tip of the thermometer with a lubricant.
- With the support of a helper or alone, restrain the cat. Now, insert the lubricated tip of thermometer into the rectum of your cat in a twisted manner. This helps to loosen and relax the rectal muscles. Once this occurs, insert the thermometer about one inch into the rectum, but do not force it.
- Leave the glass thermometer in place for about two minutes for accurate results. In case of digital thermometer, remove the thermometer after it starts to beep.
- Remove and properly clean the thermometer with alcohol. Record the readings by rotating it in the direction of light. Do not shake the glass thermometer before observing the readings.
What are the Causes of Fever?
“A fever is beneficial to the body because it hampers the ability of viruses and bacteria to reproduce and improves the immune system response to foreign invaders.”
Once you determine that your feline friend has a fever, visit your vet doctor to know the causes. Fever can be a result of activation of the immune system. The below mentioned can be any one of the following causes of elevated temperature in cats:
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
- Fungal infections
- Various parasitic infestations
- Internal injuries
- Some medications
- Environmental causes
How can I Treat my fevered cat?
Little can be done to treat a fever until its cause has been determined. Maintaining hydration and temperature reduction should be the primary focus when treating the fever. Along with rest and hydration, fevers in cats typically are treated with antibiotics.
Never use human medications for cats as many medicines can lead to severe health problems.
Performing regular cat maintenance activities like brushing her hair and clipping her claws and check-ups such as look at her ears, monitor her eating and drinking habits provides you with a great baseline for your kitty’s health.
At last, don’t forget CUDDLES. A little love goes a long way to help your kitty get well soon!
• Offer your cat a treat or small snack (as long as it’s not showing signs of a digestive illness) after the procedure.
• If possible, have a second person the cat knows assist by holding, talking to, and petting the cat while you take its temperature.