An important part of taking care of any cat, whether or not it’s you own, is keeping an eye in its health. Udemy’s cat ownership course will help you figure out how a healthy cat should look and act. As you can see from this course on preparing to buy a dog, taking care of a pet takes a lot of planning, and there are some important things to learn. Whether you’re a cat owner or just babysitting, you’ll need to be able to tell if the pet is sick. As with people, one important symptom to watch for is fever. It can be a symptom of various illnesses as well as needing treatment on its own. First, there are a few things you need to know about your cat’s temperature.
Facts About Cats and Fever
Normal range: The average body temperature for a cat is 100.4 Fahrenheit, or 38 Celsius, a bit higher than for humans. Although it can vary, anything over 102.5 (or just over 39) is considered a fever, and a temperature higher than 106 (or 41) can cause internal damage.
Signs of fever: Lethargy and signs that your cat is in pain show that something might be wrong and you should check your cat’s temperature. Examining your cat will help you decide if you need to go ahead and use a thermometer. Feeling your cat’s ear can help you determine if it’s overly warm—you’ll want to have a good baseline first of what your cat normally feels like so that you can tell the difference. A warm, dry nose is also a sign of dehydration and fever. Kittens should be watched more closely, since at first they can’t maintain their body temperature as well.
Taking your cat’s temperature: For a definite answer, though, you’ll need to use a well-lubricated rectal thermometer. You may need someone else to help you hold and calm your cat during the process. Lift the base of your cat’s tail, slide the thermometer inside gently and hold it in for about three minutes.
Causes of fever: Fevers are often a result of infections and the body’s attempt to stop the spread and growth of bacteria. They can also come from other medical problems, though, like other inflammatory conditions, metabolic or endocrine diseases, or even from toxins your cat might have been exposed to.
It’s important to note that the cause might not be clear, as in cases of fever of unknown origin (FUO), which is a high temperature on at least four occasions in a two-week period. In this case, the nest thing to do is just keep your cat comfortable and be in touch with your vet to make sure nothing else is going on.
Heat stroke, or hyperthermia, can occur in cats as well as humans, so in hotter weather make sure your cat has plenty of water and keep and eye on how they’re doing.
Treating a Cat’s Fever
If your cat’s fever gets up to 104 or 105, you should take it to the vet for treatment, and a cat with a fever of 106 needs treatment as soon as possible to prevent internal damage. Since fevers can be a helpful part of the body’s natural immune response, it’s mainly a concern if it gets too high or becomes a longer-term chronic or recurring condition.
When you first realize your cat has a fever, you’ll want to check for other symptoms, like muscle weakness; changes in grooming habits, appetite or energy; increased heart rate or respiration; and shivering. Many illnesses causing fever will have specific symptoms, like sneezing or digestive problems. Check for signs of cuts or scratches, even minor ones, which might have gotten infected. Udemy’s pet first aid course can help when you’re trying to determine what might be wrong.
Aside from treating the cause, lots of water and fans can help your cat cool off. Baths aren’t a good idea, since wet fur will only act as heavier insulation. Although antibiotics may be used to treat some causes of fever, don’t use human medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. They can be toxic for cats.
When you’re watching your cat’s temperature, keep in mind that you should also get medical attention for a cat whose temperature drops under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be a symptom of medical problems as well as being from exposure to cold.
Cat owners love their furry friends – the many wonderful cat quotes that have been made over the years are proof enough of that! But part of loving and caring for your cat is understanding the many challenges that we as pet owners face when ensuring they as healthy and happy as possible.
Your first step whenever you notice anything is wrong is to render first aid immediately. Be sure to check out Udemy’s pet first aid course in order to know how to do that. Meanwhile, remember that taking good care of your cat will help him or her bounce back from being sick, and providing them with healthy food and plenty is crucial for your cat’s ability to stay healthy. If you’ve checked out Udemy’s Food is Your Best Medicine course, you already know how strong a part food can play in your overall health, and that’s true for your feline friend as well.