Cats can develop fevers when sick. However, unlike humans, there is hard to tell whether cats have fevers or not. Your kittens suddenly change their appetite. (S)He might not active as usual. All symptoms should be carefully considered. For a new owner or those whose cats never experience that disease, you may feel extremely stressful. What is a feline fever? Is that dangerous to your cute kitten? Do you know how to identify the cat’s fever and take an action beyond the illness?
If the answers are all know, we suggest that you should take your time to read through this article which gives you the most basic knowledge that the owner should know when the fever comes.
Cause Of Cat’s Fever
As many guidelines of doing something, it is important to know why this phenomenon happens to your cat before taking any action. There are several reasons we may consider:
- Infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic, fungal).
- Inflammation (pancreatitis, cholangiohepatitis, myocarditis/heart inflammation).
- Immune-mediated (systemic lupus erythematosus, hemolytic anemia, idiopathic thrombocytopenia)
- Some drugs, (known as drug fever): Interferons, certain antibiotics, antihistamines.
- Endocrine disorders (hypoparathyroidism).
- Idiopathic (unknown cause). This is known as fever of unknown origin (FUO).
It is believed that fever serves a useful purpose in attempting to combat any infections by creating a hostile environment for the pathogen, making it harder for them to take hold and reproduce within the host's body. High temperatures also help the immune system to function more effectively. Unfortunately, fevers, particularly high fevers have a detrimental effect, especially if they are prolonged, this includes possible brain damage.
Recognizing Cat Fever’s Symptoms
When you already understand the roots of your cat’s fever, you may wonder whether the symptoms are actually happening in your cat.
How To Tell If Your Cat Has A Fever
The only way to accurately determine if your cat has a fever is to take his/her temperature. Feeling your cat's forehead is not a trustworthy method. Although popular culture has led us to believe that a healthy cat has a cold, wet nose and therefore a warm, dry nose is indicative of a fever, this is not always true. Many conditions, including environmental temperature and the cat’s state of hydration, affect how cold and wet a nose is.
Unfortunately, the methods used on humans don’t work for cats due to the way they are calibrated and the different shape of a cat’s ear canal. Special ear thermometers for animals are useful with cats, but they cost several hundred dollars. The best and most economical way for you to take your cat’s temperature is by using a pediatric rectal glass or digital thermometer.
This step should take by two people, one to hold the cat and the other to take the temperature. Keep the position correctly. Hold the cat under one arm like a football, with its tail towards the front of your body. Make sure its feet are on a solid surface like a table. Doing so will reduce the likelihood of scratches. It may be a good idea to have a friend help you hold the cat if possible.
Some cats are wiggly and may be difficult to keep still. Have your helper position the cat in a way so that you can insert the thermometer in its rectum easily. You might also grab and hold onto your cat’s scruff (extra skin on the back of its neck). Let your cat's behavior guide you, if he becomes stressed or has a history of being difficult to handle when being medicated etc.
To take the cat’s temperature, shake down the column of mercury until it reads 96°F (about 36.1°C), then lubricate the bulb tip with petroleum jelly. Grasp the base of your cat's tail and lift it. Insert the lubricated end of the thermometer about halfway into your cat's rectum and hold it in place for 2-3 minutes. Remove the thermometer, wipe it clean with a tissue and read the silver column of mercury.
In the case of adult cats, the usual temperature is 38ºC (100ºF) to 39ºC (102ºF), and in kittens, it is 39.5°C (103ºF). If your cat's temperature is over this, it has a temperature.
Thing The Owner Should Do
In many cases, your cat will be able to overcome a fever on its own. Leaving cats’ fevers alone is that a cat fever can help your cat fight disease. Fever also increases the efficiency of your cat's natural defenses.
It stimulates the activity of infection-fighting lymphocytes (white blood cells) and phagocytes (cells that eat harmful bacteria) and speeds the production of interferon and interleukin, chemicals that rev up the immune system. Studies have shown there is a higher survival rate among animals that are allowed to experience fever.
However, it is always a good idea to consult your vet. If your cat is sick for several days or you suspect a chronic condition, it is even more important that you visit your vet. In addition to telling the vet that your cat has had a fever, be sure to tell your vet any other symptoms that your cat has exhibited. This is important information that your vet can use to determine a diagnosis.
Depending on the vet’s diagnosis, you may simply need to keep your cat hydrated and comfortable. If your vet suspects infection or something else, you might have to administer medicine.
In general, fever in cat happens rarely. However, experiencing the fever is not easy for both cats and their owners. The only thing we can do is dealing with and preparation for it. The above information is clearly not enough for all types of feline fever. We do hope that it can help you someway.
Remembering that when any symptoms appear and you may not be sure what the action means, you should carefully check your paw love. When you are a friend, a father or mother of your cat, make sure you know at least you are responsibility for his/her illness. Let’s share or ask me anything you may not know about your cat’s fever. I’d love to hear your voice.
Last updated on February 20th, 2019