What is fever in cats? Usually, Normal body temperature in a cat is between 38 and 39.5 degrees. If your cat has a higher temperature, it has a fever! As we know from our own experience, the causes of fever can be really varied, from a mild cold to very serious diseases. Because, When a cat has a fever it is very important to observe the rest of the symptoms to determine the cause. We tell you everything!

Causes of fever in cats

Fever, although it seems horrible, actually It is a mechanism of defense of the organism against a pathogen that wants to destroy. As we said, there are many diseases and health conditions that can cause fever, but the most common causes in the case of cats are the following:

  • Tumors. They can affect any cat, but they are more common among the elderly
  • Bacterial or viral diseases, such as feline leukemia or distemper, or other more daily and mild diseases
  • Flu and colds
  • Pancreatitis
  • Lupus
  • Side effect of some medications

There can be hundreds of reasons, so it is important to make a successful diagnosis to treat the problem.

Symptoms of fever in cats

The most common symptoms of fever in cats are:

    Dry nose By itself it is not conclusive, but it is usually a common symptom a>

As you can see, except for the dry nose, these are practically the same symptoms that fever gives us. If your cat seems to have a fever, you can take her temperature:

Take a digital rectal thermometer, if you don't have one you can get one at a veterinary clinic. Lubricate it with petroleum jelly and insert it into your cat's rectum to take its temperature. Remember! Any figure above 39.5º is fever for a cat.

How to lower a cat's fever

If your cat has a fever you should go to the veterinarian, since you will not be able to determine for yourself what the cause and that is fundamental to be able to treat it. Remember that it is not advisable to medicate your pet on your own.

In case of a serious illness, Your veterinarian will prescribe the most appropriate treatment, or an antibiotic if it is a bacterial disease. Ending the pathogen, the fever will disappear. If what happens to you is somewhat milder, such as a cold, you can try to lower your fever at home with some tricks:

  • Procure always keep your cat well hydrated. If he refuses to drink, you will have to give him the water with a syringe without a needle.
  • It is also expect that with discomfort you lose your appetite, but you should not stop eating. To motivate you to eat something, you can temporarily opt for wet food cans or heat your feed to make it more palatable.
  • Look for a comfortable place for your cat, free of currents and humidity.
  • To lower the temperature, use wet cloths in cold water and apply them for a few minutes on the forehead, and then on the abdomen and legs.

If the fever does not go away in a couple of days, you should go to the vet! It could be that the thing was getting complicated.

Fever in cats is a sign that something is wrong, do not ignore it! If your cat has a fever, it needs medical attention.


As with people, the most accurate way to know if your cat has a fever is to take the temperature. To do this you must introduce a thermometer into your rectum, or go to the veterinarian to be him who does it. If you have an adult cat, its usual temperature is 38º to 39º, and if it is a puppy of 39.5º. Be adult or puppy, if you exceed these parameters, you can confirm that you have a fever.

Other signs that can guide you to know that a cat has a fever are the following:

- Touch his nose. As with dogs, your pet's nose should always be wet. Cats with fever have it dry and hot.

- Observe their behavior, especially if they are restless or distressed for no apparent reason. And, also, if you notice it visibly affected or stay in bed for the most part, with heavy or irritated eyes.

- Look at his breathing and his heartbeat. Another indication that he is feverish is given by the fact that both aspects are more accelerated than normal.

- Stay alert regarding your personal hygiene. Cats are very clean. Neglecting their daily grooming is not their own, and is a clear indication that your cat is not in perfect condition.


If you detect any of these behaviors, proceed as follows:

- It is important that you keep it well hydrated. If your cat does not want to drink, you should provide him with the amount of liquid he needs with the help of a syringe. Insert it gently into your mouth, and empty the contents carefully. You can also give it an isotonic drink without gas.

- To avoid malnutrition, provide a food that meets your nutritional needs and, at the same time, is palatable. Make sure you don't have diarrhea, and opt for a wet diet. Once recovered you can combine it again with your usual dry diet.

- Place it in a quiet room, to be able to be with tiled floor, and slightly moisten the surface of your body. Help yourself with wet compresses. Wet them slightly with cold water, place them on your forehead and let them act for a few minutes. Subsequently, remove them, and apply them on their legs and the abdomen area. Repeat the same process about twice a day. You can also place a fan near your cat to circulate the air, although you should never direct it directly towards it.


Keep in mind that the causes of your cat having a fever can range from mild issues to more serious illnesses that can even end your cat's life.

It is also true that not all pathologies manifest themselves through this symptom. The most common are:

- Presence of tumors that affect, above all, elderly cats.

- Viral or bacterial diseases, such as panleukopenia or leukemia.

- Viral, bacterial or fungal infections of a milder nature.

- Flu or common cold.

- Side effects due to the intake of any medication.

Of course, if your cat's temperature exceeds 41 ° C, you should go to the vet immediately to examine it, and determine the origin of the temperature rise. He, after doing the relevant exploration and determining the severity, will provide you with the appropriate treatment, and will tell you what you should do before this process.

What are the causes of the fever?

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

  • Tumors, which usually affect older cats more than young cats
  • Viral or bacterial diseases, such as distemper or leukemia
  • Viral, bacterial or fungal infections of a milder nature
  • Flu and common cold
  • Pancreatitis
  • Lupus
  • Medication intake 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.

How to take my cat's temperature?

If we observe that our cat has any or all of the above symptoms, the time has come to take your body temperatureWell, 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 other lubricant.
  2. If you can, tell another person to hold the cat in the area of ​​the front legs, so it will be easier to continue.
  3. Carefully lift your cat's tail and insert the tip of the thermometer into its rectum.
  4. When you observe that the digital thermometer stops, remove it, observe the indicated temperature and reward your pet for good behavior. Clean the thermometer.

As we mentioned at the beginning, the normal temperature should range between 38 and 39 ° C, in adult cats, and 39.5 ° C in puppies. If your cat exceeds these figures, we consider that it has a fever and you should treat it to reduce it as soon as possible. In case of exceeding 41ºC you must go to the vet quickly so that he will examine it and determine the cause.

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

In milder cases, such as a common cold, you can take some measures and home remedies to reduce your cat's fever:

  • As one of the symptoms of fever is the decrease in water, the first thing you should do is hydrate your cat. If you do not want to drink, you should get a syringe and provide yourself with the amount of liquid you need, always carefully and slowly, we do not want you to drown! The water must be fresh.
  • The same thing happens with feeding. To avoid malnutrition, you should encourage your cat to eat by providing food that meets their nutritional needs and, at the same time, is palatable. To do this, opt for a wet diet, once recovered you can combine it again with dry feed. Of course, if the fever is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, it is best to consult with the veterinarian what diet to provide.
  • Find a place in your house free of damp and warm to place your bed there. Your cat should feel as comfortable as possible to promote recovery.
  • The wet pads They will be your great allies to reduce your cat's fever. You will have to moisten them with cold water, place them on their forehead and let them act for a few minutes. Then, remove them and apply them on their legs and abdomen area and English in the same way. Dry the 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. You may not have noticed other symptoms and are developing a serious illness that requires medical treatment. Remember to always be a specialist to examine your pet, diagnose the cause and prescribe the best treatment.

Prevention, the best treatment

As we have seen throughout the article, fever is a symptom of another pathology that can be severe or mild. Therefore, the best treatment is always prevention. To prevent the occurrence of diseases, infections and other health problems, it is essential follow the mandatory immunization schedule, make routine visits to the veterinarian and provide our cat with all the basic care he needs, such as proper feeding, toys to release accumulated energy, scrapers, brushing his mantle to prevent the creation of hairballs, a comfortable bed for Sleep and a litter box to make your needs.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Fever in cats - Causes and symptoms, we recommend that you enter our section of infectious diseases.

Causes of fever:

  • Infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic, fungal).
  • Inflammation (pancreatitis, cholangiohepatitis, myocarditis / cardiac).
  • Cancer.
  • Some medications, known as medication fever: interferons, some antibiotics, some antihistamines.
  • Endocrine disorders (hypoparathyroidism).
  • Idiopathic (unknown cause). This is known as fever of unknown origin (FOS).

It is believed that fever has a useful purpose to try to fight any infection by creating a hostile environment for pathogens, complicating access and reproduction. High temperatures also help the immune system work better.

However, fever, especially high fever, can also be harmful, especially if it continues over time and can even cause brain damage.

What are the symptoms of fever in cats?

  • Lethargy.
  • Dehydration
  • Resistance to move.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain and discomfort when touched (hyperalgesia)
  • Curvilinear aspect
  • Accelerated breathing (hyperpnea)

Other symptoms may also occur depending on the cause that triggered the fever, for example if your cat has ingested something toxic, vomiting may occur or, if it is a simple flu, you can sneeze or have nasal secretions.

How to know if a cat has a fever?

There are some doubts when caring for an animal, how to know if a cat has a fever. In this case, as with humans, it is most convenient to proceed to take the temperature of the pet and make sure that it is higher than normal.

The most effective way to measure the temperature of the cat is by taking a thermometer and enter it, then through the rectum of the animal. If you do not see yourself capable of doing that or you see that the kitten is very nervous, it is better that you take it to the vet and that it is he who measures his body temperature.

Anyway, it doesn't have to be a difficult task. Do it gently and while you caress it. Whisper soft words to calm him. You will see how, in the end, you become an expert in detecting the fever symptoms in cats.

However. It is true that the temperature of the cat is measured like that of a human, but we do not have the same temperature as them. As a rule, the thermometer of an adult cat should range between 38 and 39 degrees. In the case that the pussycat is a puppy, the mercury will mark 39.5 degrees.

You know when to start worrying. Whenever your pet's temperature exceeds these parameters.

Are there other symptoms that may be related to fever?

If there is a whole clinical picture that may be indicating that your cat is having a bad time with a temperature rise. Let's see some of them.

- As with dogs, the cat's nose should always be wet and fresh. If you feel your pet's nose and it is dry and hot, the animal may be in a feverish episode.

- Observation is very important in these cases. Watch your cat's behavior and decide if you are restless or as overwhelmed, without there being an apparent reason for it.

- The fact of the animal lay down and be reluctant to move. Generally, this posture will be accompanied by charged or irritated eyes.

Control your breathing and your pulsations. If you notice that they are very fast, run to the vet.

- As you know, cats are very curious with their hygiene. They like to be very clean. If you notice that your pet is careless, you should worry Because it is not a good sign.

What can I do if my cat has these symptoms?

First, keep calm. The last thing your pet needs is to notice that you are nervous, you will make him appear more restless and restless. Calm down and act with restraint.

As in humans, when a cat has a fever, It is essential that you maintain your hydration index. If the animal refuses to drink, you should help him. Fill a syringe with liquid and go providing water little by little. If you think it is very weak, you can substitute water for an isotonic drink, but not carbonated.

If the animal eats dry feed, change it for a few days for wet food. Yes, watch not having diarrhea and give him appetizing foods, which induce him to eat more easily.

Put it to rest in a quiet place of the house Refresh your body with a wet compress. You can put them on the forehead, just as you would with a child, and let it act for a few minutes. Go also dampening the legs and belly. Repeat the process several times. We also recommend that if in doubt, Consult your veterinarian.

What diseases can a cat with a fever have?

The fever in cats It can be for many causes. The ailments go dIt is from simple mild disorders to very serious medical conditions, which can end up collapsing the animal. That is why it is so important that, if the fever does not remit, take the animal to the veterinarian as soon as possible. This action can save your life.

The ailments that occur with fever in cats are very varied: infections, viruses such as calicivirus, colds, tumors in older cats, trauma, fungi, bacteria, flu, leukemia ...

However, whatever the ailment, If your cat's temperature exceeds 41 degrees you should not wait Not a second more. The issue has become very serious and urgently needs see your vet.

Probably, as soon as you arrive at the clinic, take a route to hydrate it and it will also take blood to perform an analysis that makes clear the origin of the feline's symptoms.

While you wait for the results, the veterinarian will do the same thing that you have done at home, refresh him as best he can, trying to get his body to release all that heat and take hold at a more normal temperature.

Despite the concern, the most common is that the cat has some type of infection and that a dose of antibiotics return it to form. With what the veterinarian of the fever in cats, you must take care of it and observe it, to make sure that the medications take effect and that the cat regains its health.

How do I know if my cat has a fever?

The only way to know exactly if your cat has a fever and the temperature is to measure it, and it is best to do it in two so that one person holds the kitten and the other measures it. If it shakes or is difficult to handle, ask the veterinarian for help.

Let's move on to the method: shake the thermometer first until the mercury line reaches 36.1 ° C and then lubricate the bulb with petroleum jelly. Take your cat, lift the tail and slide it gently to the middle of the rectum and wait 3 minutes. Then remove the thermometer, clean it with a cloth and check the temperature.

How is the cause of the fever diagnosed?

To determine the cause of the fever and decide to treat it, you should take your cat to the veterinarian. You will also have to analyze the medical history to understand if there have been episodes of exposure to toxins or medications or if you will be asked if you have noticed the presence of other symptoms and how long I want my kitten to have a fever.

Your cat will have a complete physical exam in which your veterinarian will carefully check for any signs of infection, inflammation, injury, abscesses, growths and bumps. The most common cause of fever is the presence of an infection.

The age of your cat may provide some clues, since younger cats tend to have a fever more frequently due to an infection, while for older cats the most frequent cause is tumors.