Do you know what fever is and why it happens? Stay and read this article and find out. You know its causes, symptoms, treatments, among many other things. Remember that Waggys always invites you to be informed of all issues related to your pets and their well-being, let's continue working to give them the best life, the life they deserve.
What is fever in cats?
Fever in cats is an abnormal elevation of body temperature above the range considered normal. The normal body temperature of a cat ranges between 18 to 39.2 degrees Celsius. When a cat's body temperature exceeds these values, it is considered to have a fever. Fever in cats is a symptom of an illness or an immune system response to an infection, inflammation or other medical problem. It is not a disease in itself, but rather an indicator that something is not working correctly in the cat's body.
Causes of fever in cats
The reasons why your cat has a fever can vary from something common to something very serious, some can also be infectious and others not. The most common causes are:
Presence of tumors in elderly cats
Tumors can cause an inflammatory reaction in the cat's body, which can raise its temperature. Fever in these cases is a symptom of an underlying illness and is generally more persistent.
Viral or bacterial diseases, such as panleukopenia or leukemia
These infectious diseases are caused by viruses (panleukopenia) or the feline leukemia virus. Fever is a common symptom in these infections, as the cat's immune system fights the infectious agent.
Milder viral, bacterial or fungal infections
These infections can include problems such as respiratory, urinary, or skin infections. The fever in these cases is usually temporary and usually resolves when the infection is treated.
Flu or common cold
Just like humans, cats can get upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold or feline flu.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas and can cause fever in cats. This condition can be acute or chronic and is usually associated with other gastrointestinal symptoms and sometimes systemic problems.
Trauma, such as wounds or injuries, can cause fever in cats.
Side effects due to taking any medication
Some medications can have side effects, and one of them may be fever. If a cat displays a fever after taking certain medications, it is important to notify the veterinarian to evaluate whether an adjustment in medication or a change in treatment is needed.
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What is the normal temperature of a cat?
The normal body temperature of a cat is in the range of 38 to 39.2 degrees Celsius. This is an average temperature for healthy, adult cats. However, keep in mind that a cat's temperature can vary slightly depending on factors such as age, activity, time of day, and environment. Likewise, if you have concerns about your cat's temperature or suspect that it may have a fever, we recommend taking its temperature with an appropriate thermometer and consulting a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How do you know if a cat has a fever? Symptoms
As with us, the best option to know if your cat has a fever will be to take its temperature with the help of a thermometer, however, there are other actions you can take to identify it:
- Touch his nose, your pet's nose should always be wet. Cats with fever have it dry and hot.
- Observe his behavior, especially if he appears restless or distressed for no apparent reason.
- Pay attention to your breathing and your heartbeat.
- Stay alert regarding your personal hygiene.
How to take a cat's temperature at home?
Make sure your cat is comfortable and relaxed; if possible, wrap him in a towel or blanket to limit his movements. Place the cat on a firm, level surface, such as a table or the floor, hold the digital thermometer near the tip, and carefully insert the thermometer into the cat's anus. You should insert approximately 2-3 centimeters into the rectum and hold the thermometer in place without squeezing or forcing. Afterwards you will have to wait about 30 seconds or the time necessary for the thermometer to register the temperature. Finally, carefully gently remove the thermometer from the cat's anus and clean it very well, it is crucial that you pay attention to cats' hygiene
Signs to know if a cat has a fever without a thermometer
If you do not have a thermometer, there are certain signs that you can identify as a symptom that your feline has a fever:
Weak general condition and fatigue
You may notice that your cat is more apathetic than usual, sleeping more than normal, and showing a general state of weakness. Understanding cat body language is completely relevant to noticing any atypical changes in it.
Tremors and little desire to move
They may show a clear unwillingness to move, as the fever may make them uncomfortable or sore. Your cat may seem more reluctant to jump, run, or do their usual activities.
Possible rapid breathing
While normal breathing in a cat ranges between 20 and 40 breaths per minute, fever can increase the respiratory rate. Notice if your cat breathes faster than usual.
Reduced appetite and possible dehydration
To check hydration, you can gently pinch the skin in the neck area (nuchal fold). If the skin takes a while to return to its normal position, this may indicate dehydration. Also, pay attention to the consistency of your cat's stool and saliva, as fever can cause changes in these aspects. It is recommended that you give him cat milk if he does not want water, to avoid dehydration, but if he has very watery stools it is better to stop it.
How should I reduce a cat's fever?
Once you have identified that your cat has a fever, it is important that you keep him well hydrated. If your cat does not want to drink, you should provide it with the amount of liquid it needs with the help of a syringe. Also to avoid malnutrition, provide food that meets its nutritional needs and, at the same time, is palatable. Finally, place him in a quiet room and lightly moisten the surface of his body. Help yourself with wet compresses and repeat the same process about twice a day. You can also place a fan near your cat to circulate air, although you should never direct it directly at him.
Medication for cats with fever: what should be given?
Specific treatment for a cat with a fever will depend on the cause of the fever. Therefore, Waggys does not recommend giving fever-reducing medications to your cat without the recommendation and supervision of a veterinarian, since incorrect use of medications can be harmful.
How to prevent fever in cats?
- Try to give them a balanced diet.
- Keep your vaccination schedule up to date.
- Separate the sick cat from the others until it is cured.
In conclusion, fever in cats is an abnormal elevation of body temperature above the range considered normal. The evaluation and treatment of fever in cats should be carried out by a veterinarian as he will carry out a physical examination and diagnostic tests to identify the cause and subsequently prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Fever in cats is an indicator that something is not working correctly in the feline's body, and it is essential to seek veterinary care to understand and treat the cause and ensure the health and well-being of the animal.
Continue reading: Rabies in cats