How to Tell if Your Cat Has a Fever Without a Thermometer?

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

how to tell if your cat has a fever without a thermometer

Cats with fever are one of the anxieties for cat owners nowadays. Many owners have no idea what their cat’s usual temperature is, let alone the temperature of a sick cat. “How to tell if your cat has a fever without a thermometer” is a popular question among cat parents.

If you don’t have a thermometer, pay attention to your cat’s symptoms to see if they have a fever. To discover more, keep reading this article.

How Do I Know if My Cat Has a Fever


Here are some ways cat owners can check a cat’s temperature without a thermometer:

1. Examine the nose

The nose is the first area you should look to see whether your cat has a temperature. Cats, like dogs, should have a moist nose all the time, but when the animal is sick, it will have a warm, dry nose.

Note that dehydration can also result in dry noses. Lift the hair and skin on your cat’s back carefully. She might be dehydrated rather than feverish if it doesn’t pop back into place immediately.

2. Hot ears

How to tell if a kitten has a fever by examining a cat’s ears? With your fingertips, feel your cat’s ears. It will feel considerably hotter if the cat has a fever, comparable to when you touch a person’s forehead to determine whether it is hot. That will assist you in deciding whether or not your cat has a dangerously high fever.

To get a more precise temperature measurement, place your lips on the tip of your cat’s ear. To see if your cat is hotter than usual, gently place the top 1/2-inch of its ear between your lips. Because your lips are more sensitive than your hands, they will be able to detect temperature variations more easily.

3. Fast breathing

Another method to tell whether your cat has a temperature is to pay attention to its respiration. When a cat’s temperature rises, it may begin to pant or breathe faster. Your cat likely has a fever if you notice its accelerated breathing, and its heartbeats are also quicker than usual.

4. Voice alteration

Cats are “noisy” in the sense that they express themselves through various sounds. When they have a fever, they may become silent and peaceful. Others may spend hours continuously meowing and shouting. In any event, this is something that the owners should be aware of.

5. They have a lower level of activity

If you own a cat, you’re undoubtedly aware that cats sleep for several hours each day. However, they generally wake up at specific times of the day, especially at night, to play, eat, sniff around the home, and so on.

When a cat has a fever, it will remain still in bed with no desire to move a single muscle. They’ll be depressed, frail, and indifferent.

Show them something that typically attracts their interest, such as a toy or something that produces noise, as a test. Toss cats their favorite ball while shaking a bag. They may be ill if they do not make an effort to capture it or lift their head.

6. Hiding

Cats do prefer to stay in quiet locations, such as behind a bed or a table. If they have a fever, they want to visit these areas more.

They may hide in places where they can’t leave on their own in some circumstances. They will also avoid interaction with humans and other animals.

7. They don’t want to eat anything

By observing the quantity of food left in your cat’s dish throughout the day, you may detect whether your pets have lost their appetite. Even if it’s their favorite meal, a sick cat will reject it.

Check to see whether they’re drinking their water as well. Cats must keep hydrated, particularly if they have a fever. Please make every effort to encourage them to drink at least a little bit.

Causes of Fever in Cats


Here are some probable causes of your kitten’s sickness, which you should be concerned about.

Cat fever is a form of hyperthermia that is controlled. It occurs when the set point in the hypothalamus, a portion of the brain that controls the body’s thermostat, is raised. Fever is generally caused by the immune system being triggered by circumstances like:

Fever in cats is commonly caused by viral or bacterial illnesses such as leukemia or distemper. Tumors can also cause a cat’s body temperature to fluctuate; however, this is more frequent in elderly cats.

Mild bacteria, viral, or fungal illnesses can cause cat fever. It might also be the result of a cold or the flu. Changes in your cat’s temperature can be caused by diseases including lupus and pancreatitis, as well as a side effect of any medicine they are taking.

How to Care for a Cat with a Fever

Once you’ve figured out how to tell if a cat has a fever without a thermometer, you’ll be able to identify the symptoms and their causes. Then you should take care of them right away and look for a remedy.

Your cat may get dehydrated if they have a fever. Offer your cat some water, but keep in mind that he might not want to drink it.

Self-medicating your cat is not a good idea. Medication that works for people may not work for cats, and this can be pretty harmful. Tylenol is a good example. Tylenol will help with our fever, but it is poisonous to cats and can cause significant harm or death if given to them.

Allow your cat to relax in general so that he has the energy to tackle whatever is making him sick. Fever in cats usually goes away on its own after a day, although this isn’t always the case.

If your cat has a temperature of more than 104 degrees or has had a fever for more than 24 hours, you should see your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian will run a series of tests to determine the cause of your cat’s fever.

Antibiotics may be used if there is a bacterial infection. If your veterinarian prescribes medicine, be sure to follow their instructions to the letter, complete the entire course of treatment even if the symptoms have subsided. Dehydration, which can arise from a fever, can be treated by your veterinarian with intravenous fluids.

Final thoughts

The signs and symptoms of a fever in cats are typically the same as in people. So it shouldn’t be hard to know how to tell if your cat has a fever without a thermometer.

Whenever you see your cat’s behavior changing, such as decreased activity levels and feeding habits, it’s essential to check his temperature to determine if he’s sick.

When owners learn that the cat is unwell, they should give extra attention to them. If your cat’s fever lasts more than 24 hours or reaches 105 degrees, you should take it to a veterinarian for a diagnosis.

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