Fever in cats - Causes, symptoms and how to lower it

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The normal temperature of a cat must range between 38 and 39.5 ºC, when it is exceeded, it is considered that the feline has a fever and, therefore, its health is being harmed. Regardless of the cause that causes it, fever is always a sign that the animal is suffering from some type of disease or health problem, so identifying it as soon as possible is essential to detect the focus and start the best treatment quickly.

Keep in mind that the causes can range from minor problems to more serious diseases that can even end the life of your cat. That is why knowing how to recognize the symptoms and take the cat to the vet is of vital importance. To help you, in this AnimalWised article we tell you all about fever in cats, the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention.

You may also be interested in: Fever in Dogs - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Index
  1. Causes of fever in cats
  2. Fever in cats after vaccinations, is it normal?
  3. How do I know if my cat has a fever? - Symptoms
  4. How to take my cat's temperature?
  5. How to lower a fever in a cat? - Treatment
  6. Home remedies for fever in cats
  7. Fever in Cats - Prevention

Causes of fever in cats

In general, both in dogs and cats, fever occurs when the animal's immune system is activated due to the presence of some specific abnormality in the body. Since not all health problems cause it, here are the most common causes who usually develop fever in cats:

  • Tumors, which tend to affect older cats more than young ones.
  • Viral or bacterial diseases, such as distemper, leukemia or bartonellosis.
  • Viral infections, milder bacterial or fungal.
  • Flu and the common cold.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Lupus.
  • Intake of medicines as a side effect.

Although these are the most common reasons that tend to develop fever, keep in mind that this is not the only symptom they present, so it is essential that you pay attention to the general behavior of your cat to identify the cause and start the best treatment. Especially if it is a tumor, distemper or leukemia, you must act quickly; these diseases have a very high mortality rate.

Fever in cats after vaccinations, is it normal?

Yes, fever in cats after vaccinations it is a very common side effect, same as vomiting and diarrhea. It occurs as a consequence of the activation of the immune system response and usually subsides after 24-48 hours. If after this period the cat still has a fever, it is essential to go to the vet.

See the following article with all the adverse effects: "Side effects of vaccines for cats ".

How do I know if my cat has a fever? - Symptoms

To answer one of the most frequent questions among feline guardians, how to know if a cat has a fever, It is essential to pay attention to all the details of their behavior. A cat with a fever will present with several or all of the following symptoms:

  • Dry nose. Although this fact cannot be conclusive or definitive, it can give us a clue if we observe that our cat has other symptoms in addition to this one. Like dogs, cats tend to have a wet nose at all times, and when they develop a fever, they tend to dry out.
  • Loss of appetite. The general poor state that your body is experiencing leads you to not want to eat as usual.
  • Decrease in water consumption. Cats are not usually animals that are used to drinking large amounts of water, so reducing them can have serious consequences.
  • Apathy, lack of energy. Especially if your feline is a very lively and energetic animal, seeing it without wanting to play, run or jump is a clear indication that something is wrong..
  • On the contrary and depending on the disease causing the fever, the cat may show restless and anguished.
  • Lack of personal hygiene. Cats are extremely neat animals, neglecting their cleanliness is not typical of them and it indicates that their health is not in perfect condition.
  • In the most severe cases, the cat may suffer shaking chills, tremors or one accelerated breathing.

Most diseases or health problems that cause fever in cats usually develop other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, sneezing or coughing. If you notice any of the symptoms of fever in cats, take their temperature to confirm it and go to the vet.

How to take my cat's temperature?

If we observe that our feline presents any or all of the above symptoms, the time has come to take body temperature, Well, this is the only way to confirm that you really have a fever. To do this, you must get all the necessary utensils:

  • Digital rectal thermometer that you can get at any veterinary clinic.
  • Vaseline or any other lubricant.
  • A clean cloth or towel.

When you have everything ready, follow these Steps to take your cat's temperature:

  1. Clean the thermometer well and cover the tip with a little petroleum jelly or another lubricant.
  2. If you can, tell someone else to hold the cat by the front leg area, so it will be easier for you to continue.
  3. Gently lift your cat's tail and insert the tip of the thermometer into her rectum..
  4. When you notice that the digital thermometer stops, remove it, observe the indicated temperature and reward your cat for good behavior. Clean the thermometer.

As we discussed at the beginning, the normal temperature of a cat should range between 38 and 39 ºC in adults and 39.5 ºC in puppies. If your feline exceeds these figures, it is considered to have a fever and you should treat it to reduce it as soon as possible. In case of exceeding 41 ºC you must go to the vet quickly so that he is the one to examine it and determine the cause.

In the following video shared on our channel, Alfonso Fernández, a veterinarian, explains better how to take the temperature.

How to lower a fever in a cat? - Treatment

Treatment for fever in cats goes closely linked to the cause that causes it. If, for example, it appears as a side effect of the consumption of a certain drug, you should ask your veterinarian what to do, but never decide on your own to interrupt medical treatment. If the cause is a serious disease, such as distemper, leukemia or cancer, the specialist will initiate the best treatment to eradicate said pathology. For minor bacterial or viral infections, your vet may prescribe an antibiotic. Remember that you should not self-medicate your cat, some medicines for human consumption are toxic for him and you will only get to worsen his condition.

On the other hand, and again depending on the cause, the specialist may decide to hospitalize the cat and start a fluid therapy treatment. These types of treatments are carried out to replace lost fluids and combat dehydration, something very common in sick cats..

Medications for fever in cats

Depending on the underlying cause, as we have discussed, the vet may prescribe the use of anti-inflammatory, analgesics or antibiotics, both to lower your cat's fever and to combat the triggering problem.

Home remedies for fever in cats

In milder cases, like the common cold, you can take some steps and home remedies to lower your cat's fever:

  • Hydration. As one of the symptoms of fever is a decrease in water, the first thing you should do is hydrate your cat. If he does not want to drink, you will have to get a syringe and provide him yourself with the amount of liquid he needs, always carefully and slowly, ¡we don't want him to drown! The water must be cool.
  • Diet. The same thing happens with food. For avoid malnutrition, You should encourage your feline to eat by providing it with food that meets its nutritional needs and, at the same time, is palatable. To do this, opt for a wet diet or a soft homemade diet (easily digested, with boiled chicken and rice), once recovered you can combine it with dry feed. Of course, if the fever is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, it is best to ask your veterinarian what diet to provide..
  • Comfort. Find a place in your house that is free of humidity and warm to put your bed there. Your cat should feel as comfortable as possible to promote its recovery.
  • Wet compresses, They will be your great allies to reduce your cat's fever. You will have to moisten them with cold water, place them on his forehead and leave them to act for a few minutes. Then, remove them and apply them on their legs and abdomen and groin area in the same way. Dry wet areas well and repeat this process twice a day.

If after 48 hours the fever does not subside, you should go to the vet quickly. It is possible that you have not noticed other symptoms and you are developing a serious illness that requires medical treatment. Remember that a specialist should always examine your cat, diagnose the cause and prescribe the best treatment..

My cat has a fever and does not want to eat, ¿what I do?

In addition to finding the underlying cause and treating it, as we have said, it is very important to try to get the cat to eat or at least stay hydrated. To do this, use the syringe and give him his favorite food. Another option is to grind the food and also offer it with the syringe.

Fever in Cats - Prevention

As we have seen throughout the article, fever is a symptom of another pathology that can be serious or mild. Therefore, the best treatment is always prevention. To prevent the onset of diseases, infections and other health problems, it is essential follow the mandatory vaccination schedule, make routine visits to the vet and provide our cat with all the basic care it needs, such as a correct diet, toys to release accumulated energy, scratching posts, brushing its coat to avoid the creation of hairballs, a comfortable bed to sleep on and a litter box to relieve himself.

This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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