Is It A Fever
The normal feline body temperature runs higher than that of humans, typically ranging from 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Because excitement can raise the body temperature a little bit, I give nervous kitties in my exam room a little slack and allow them up to 102.9. If it hits 103, I consider it a true fever.
Fevers make us humans feel blah, and our first instinct is to try to break the fever. For feverish felines, however, the focus is on finding the reason for the fever. Keep in mind that fever is a symptom, not a disease. It is a healthy, appropriate response to the threat of illness, and it can actually be beneficial. Fevers reduce the division rate of bacteria and enhance the bodys immune system response. Despite their positive role, fevers make cats feel lousy like they do in people, and most cats with fevers become lethargic and withdrawn, and often refuse to eat.
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Sometimes the cause of a cats fever is obvious. For example, cat bite abscesses are common, especially in cats with outdoor access. Many affected cats will have visible evidence of the abscess on examination, and treating the abscess by lancing, flushing and giving antibiotics usually causes the fever to quickly resolve.
How To Minimize The Risk Of Hypothermia In Cats
The primary way to minimize the risk of hypothermia is to keep your cat indoors, particularly during winter. Its also important to keep your cat dry, as cold weather with wet fur is a recipe for hypothermia. Provided your cat has access to shelter, away from the elements, and they have warm bedding to snuggle up in, the risk of hypothermia is very low.
Many cat owners wonder the ideal temperature to keep their cat comfortable. While it varies a bit depending on age, breed, and coat, most cats will be happy and comfortable at the same temperature humans are. A general rule of thumb is, if youre comfortable with the temperature, your cat is too.
Still, its important to take note of any changes in your cats behavior, so you can be aware of any discomfort they may be feeling. Heatstroke is a major risk for cats, and its often fatal. Be sure to watch your cat for signs of heatstroke, and if they are exhibiting the symptoms, take them to the vet immediately.
Keep An Eye On The Heat In The Summer
If your indoor cat goes outdoors, you need to keep an eye on how hot the weather is outside. Some days will be too hot for your cat, no matter how much he loves being warm. If he loves the outdoors, take him for short jaunts on a harness during the early morning or evening hours when it’s cooler.
Because of their high body temperature, cats can theoretically be okay in hot weather, around 100°F outside.2;Their tolerance can vary widely depending on humidity, your cat’s health, age, and even type of fur. It’s best to err on the safe side and avoid the hottest parts of the day altogether.
If you have feral cats that can’t come inside, provide shady spaces,;raised beds, and access to a covered, ventilated space like an air-conditioned patio if you can. Leave out a;Coolin’ Bowl;for them too, which can keep drinking water cool for at least 15 hours.
Know the signs of heatstroke, just in case your cat overheats. Symptoms include rapid breathing, clumsiness, a temperature of 105°F or more, lethargy, throwing up, or a red tongue or mouth.3;Take your cat to the vet right away if you suspect heatstroke.
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How To Minimize The Risk Of Heat Stroke In Cats
While the risk of heat stroke is scary to many pet parents, fortunately there are a variety of ways to reduce and even eliminate the risk.
- Leave the AC on in summer. If you dont have AC, be sure to run fans in your home to improve air circulation.
- Provide your cat with shady areas in your home that they can escape to. If your house has a lot of windows, crack open the door to a closet and stick a cat bed in there. Your cat needs to be able to access shady areas in summer to ensure it can escape the heat of the sun when needed.
- Ensure your cat always has clean water. Dehydration increases the risk of heatstroke, so its vital to make sure your cat always remains hydrated.
- Limit playtime on hot days. Hide the catnip and refrain from exciting your cat. Exercise increases body temperature quickly, and on hot days, it isnt worth the risk.
- Difficulty walking
Diagnosis Of Low Body Temperature In Cats
Low body temperature in cats can be easily diagnosed through the use of a rectal thermometer, which will give the veterinarian an estimate of your cats core temperature. A physical examination of the feline is also a very helpful diagnostic tool for the veterinarian as symptoms such as shivering, blue mucous membranes, and a weak appearance are clear warning signs of hypothermia. During this time, the veterinarian will ask you to talk about your cats current medications, behavior at home, and the chance of accidental ingestion of a poisonous substance.;
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Cooling A Cat Down When Its Hot Outside
Switching on a fan may seem like the easiest way to cool off a hot cat. Some cats will enjoy the sensation of a breeze, but many will reject it. Cats are naturally opposed to draughts. If using a fan, set it on low power.
There are more effective ways to keep a cat cool. If your cats body temperature exceeds 100 degrees or ambient temperature soars above 78, consider these methods.
Give your cat something frozen to play with. The easiest way to do this is to freeze gravy or meat stock into ice cubes. The cat will lick and eventually swallow these treats as they enjoy the taste. This simultaneously cools the cat down and provides hydration.
You could also use frozen peas as a game for a playful cat. Scatter these over a flat surface and let your cat chase them down. Just be aware that the heat may be making your cat lethargic. If it shows no interest, pick up the peas and revert to ice cubes.
If your cat enjoys chewing on toys, place these in the freezer. Once they are ice-cold, offer them to your cat. The cat will play as normal, finding the cold toy soothing on their paws and gums.
Cooling Mats or Cold Tiles
Cooling mats are small rubber mats that you place on the floor. The cat will lie upon the mat, exposing its bare underbelly to a cold surface. This will rapidly reduce the cats overall body temperature by several degrees.
Create a Shaded Retreat
How Do I Care For My Cat While They Have A Fever
Human medications should never be given to a cat without the explicit advice of a veterinarian!! Many human medications, such as acetaminophen, can be extremely toxic to cats.
Keeping your kitty hydrated will be essential while they fight off the fever. Make sure that your cat has fresh clean water, easily accessible to wherever they are most comfortable relaxing.
If your kitty has a fever for longer than 24 hours or a fever above 106º F contact your vet to book an urgent appointment or visit your local emergency animal hospital.
At the veterinary clinic, tests may be conducted to determine the cause of your pet’s fever, and treatment will be administered accordingly. If your cat has moderate or severe dehydration, intravenous fluids may be used to help your cat begin to feel better and fight off illness.
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Best House Temperature For Cats In Summer
We have looked at how to make your feline friend comfortable during winter.
Now, what temperature do cats like in summer?
Remember cats are good at keeping themselves warm but not cool.
They will need all the help they can get, from their favorite humans, to keep cool during summer.
To get the best answer for this puzzle, we have to answer a fundamental question;
When it gets too hot, all you have to do is take off your sweater or coat.
But a cat cannot remove its thick fur coat which means there is a problem.
Signs Your Cat Is Too Warm
How do you know if your cat is too warm? If a cat gets too hot, he might become less active, seek a cooler spot in your home or on your floor, or drink more water.4;He might even start panting if he’s especially overheated. He will need to cool down right away in that situation. Cats that are too warm might also sprawl out more when they’re on the floor, rather than curling up in a ball.
If the summer temperatures are heating up, your cat will need your home to be comfortably cooled. You may want to keep the air conditioning on, even when you’re not home. And remember, if you’re at home and your house is extra cool, your cat will be more likely to;snuggle up in your lap.
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What To Do If Your Cat Gets Hyperthermic
Initial emergency treatment must be done immediately in order to normalize body temperature.;
Move the cat to a shady and cool place to bring its body temperature down. Apply or spray cool water on to the animals fur and skin. Then apply a fan to maximise heat loss. Wetting down the area around your pet can also help. Do not use ice-cold water or ice as this may worsen the problem.
If your pet is alert enough and able to drink water, offer small amounts frequently. After the initial care take your pet to the nearest vet. Remember that heatstroke is an emergency and should always be evaluated by a vet, even if your cat seems to be recovering.;
How Can I Take My Pet’s Temperature
Regardless of which thermometer you use, taking your pets temperature may be a two-person task. One person can hug your pet to provide comfort and restraint simultaneously. Cats and small dogs can be held in the lap with one arm placed under the neck holding the head snug against your body. The other arm can be placed around the abdomen to keep the pet still. Large dogs can be held in a similar manner on the floor.
“Regardless of which thermometer you use, taking your pet’s temperature may be a two-person task.”
When using a digital aural thermometer, your pet may stand up. When a rectal thermometer is inserted, a standing pet will likely sit down on the thermometer. It is best to lie the pet down on its side before inserting a rectal thermometer.
Rectal Technique: Shake down the thermometer. Lubricate the tip with petroleum jelly to ease insertion. For small dogs and cats, the thermometer should be advanced slowly about an inch. For larger dogs, insert the thermometer about 2-3 inches into the rectum. Hang on to the end of the thermometer to steady it and make retraction easier. If you feel stool in the rectum, try to place thermometer around it rather than through fecal matter as this may give a falsely low temperature reading.
If taking your pets temperature is difficult, do not risk injury to him or to yourself. Allow trained professionals to accurately and safely take his temperature at your veterinary hospital.
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What Are Normal Vital Signs For Cats
Checking your cat’s vital signs at home is a great way to gauge their health, particularly if you feel they’ve been acting a bit off. The baseline vitals, or what’s considered “normal” for cats, are as follows:
- Body temperature: Between 99 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit
- Respiratory rate: An average of 20 to 30 breaths per minute
- Heart rate: About 160 to 180 beats per minute
- Blood pressure: Between 120 and 130 mmHg
How Do I Know If My Cat Has A Fever
Your cat’s normal body temperature should be within 100.4º to 102.5º Fahrenheit.; A fever in cats is characterized by a temperature of more than 102.5º F. If your cat’s fever goes higher than 106º F your kitty is at serious risk of damage to their vital organs.;
With the right tools, it’s easy to check your pet’s temperature. Simply use a digital thermometer in your cats ear or a pediatric rectal thermometer.;Be sure not to use an older style mercury thermometer on your cat, if the thermometer breaks it can be very harmful to your kitty’s health.
A rectal thermometer is the best way to determine whether your kitty has a fever. Leave the thermometer in place for at least two minutes in order to get an accurate reading.
Apply petroleum jelly to the thermometer to lubricate it, and gently insert it being careful not to go too far as it could damage your cat’s rectal tissue. You may need the assistance of another person to restrain your cat while you insert the thermometer.;;
If you believe that your cat may have a fever but feel uncomfortable checking their temperature, contact your veterinarian to book an appointment. Your vet will be able to assess your kitty’s temperature and overall health quickly and accurately.
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How To Take A Cats Temperature In The Ear
Most cats arent too comfortable with having their temperature taken. Taking their temperature should be a two-person job. One person should hold the cat in their lap. The other should insert the thermometer lightly into the horizontal ear canal. Hold the thermometer at a 90-degree angle with your cats head. If your cats body temperature is high, try to cool them down and reach out to your veterinary provider.
Treatment Of Low Body Temperature In Cats
The main treatment goal in a cat with low body temperature is to warm her up and increase her core body temperature. There are two treatment options for increasing the body temperature in a cat: passive external and active internal methods.;
Passive external treatment is used in cats with mild to moderate hypothermia. The feline is warmed from the outside through the use of blankets, heating pads, and heated water bottles. Heating pads and heated water bottles will be covered by protective blankets to prevent burns to the cats skin. A hair dryer should NEVER be used to restore a cats core body temperature.;
Active internal treatment is used in severe cases of hypothermia, as the veterinarian will warm the feline from the inside out. Intravenous fluids and heat ventilation are commonly used during active internal treatments, but your veterinarian may choose one or the other.;
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The Ideal Temperature For Cats
Cats are warm and snugly critters with resting body temperatures above that of humans. A cats body temperature should be between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while the cat is resting. Humans have a resting body temperature of 98 degrees Fahrenheit for comparison.
Since a cats body temperature is only slightly higher than a humans, it follows to reason that, if youre comfortable with the temperature of your home, your cat likely is as well. Ideally, aim for a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with 70 degrees Fahrenheit being the goal. Cats are at low-risk of hypothermia, so a cooler home is fine, provided the cat has warm bedding to snuggle up in and shelter from the elements.
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In the summertime, however, you need to be particularly cautious about maintaining the temperature of your home. Like dogs, cats are at high risk for heat stroke, so its important to run the AC in your home throughout summer. For those without AC, be sure your home is well ventilated and that your cat has plenty of access to fresh water and shade throughout the day.
Always be aware of your cats behavior, as there are some easy signs to look for to identify if your cat is too hot or too cold.
Ideal Indoor Temperatures For Cats
What’s the;ideal temperature in your home? Your cat can handle warm temperatures, but many veterinarians still recommend you leave the AC on if you’re not there. To be safe, leave your thermostat set, so it doesn’t get any warmer than 78 to 80°F when you’re not home.4;It’s also okay to let the AC run cooler than that if you want to treat your pet.
Keep in mind that running a fan without the AC isn’t enough to keep your cat cool on a hot day.5;Fans work best by evaporating the sweat on our skin. Furry animals don’t use sweat in the same way, so fans don’t work as well on them.
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More Ways You Can Keep Your Home Cool
Leaving the AC on isn’t the only thing you can do around the house to keep your cat cool and comfy. Even though cats enjoy sunning themselves in front of windows, make sure your cat has dark and cool places she can retreat to that are away from the sun’s rays. You should also consider closing the curtains to keep some heat outespecially if your home is on the warmer side.
Consider giving your cat a;Cool Bed III. The Cool Bed doesn’t require electricity to work. Just add water and keep it in a shady place away from direct sunlight with good airflow. Trimming your cat’s nails will help make sure your kitty doesn’t puncture the bed.
It’s important to keep plenty of fresh water that is easily accessible and in multiple locations in your home. Consider the;CleanFlow Filtered Water Bowl, which comes with replaceable charcoal filters. You might also be interested in the;Coolin’ Bowl. Just freeze the bowl overnight, and the water will stay cool for hours during the day.