6 Signs of Fever in Cats

Does your cat have a fever? Do you know how to tell? What are some of the most common signs and symptoms of fever in cats?

In the article below, you’ll find a quick but thorough list to help you better understand fever symptoms in cats. With the help of this information, you can learn how to recognize when your cat has a fever, and you can use this knowledge to respond more quickly to crisis situations with your cat as well.

fever in cats

Signs To Look Out For

Listed below are the 6 signs of fever in cats:

1. Warm Ears

Warm ears are one of the first signs of fever in many cats. Since a cat’s ears are a major part of their body’s cooling process, the ears become warm quickly when a fever is occurring. Feel the inside and outside of your cat’s ears to see if she may have a fever.

Keep in mind that your cat’s ears may be warm if she’s recently been asleep, or if it is a very hot day outside. This method is not the only way to recognize a fever in your pet, but it can help you narrow down the possibility.

2. Dry Nose

A dry nose is a common sign of fever in cats. While a cat’s nose is not typically as cold and wet as a dog’s, it should not feel exceptionally dry, crusted, or hot to the touch either. It should feel about the same as room temperature and slightly moist or very slightly dry, but not overly so.

If your cat has just been asleep, she may have a warmer and drier nose than usual. Otherwise, however, changes in her nose temperature and moisture can tell you she’s sick, so pay close attention to this sign in your pet.

3. Lethargy

Lethargy, weakness, and disinterest in usual activities can all happen in cats for many reasons. A cat with an acute or chronic illness may become lethargic, but an anxious or depressed cat may do the same. Lethargy on its own isn’t a symptom of fever, but when coupled with other signs listed here, it can be.

If your cat’s lethargy does not improve in a day or so, you should take her to the vet to be examined. Lethargy typically means there’s something going wrong, and you’ll need to work with your vet to figure out what’s happening to your cat.

4. Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite can be caused by a wide variety of problems, ranging from chronic illness to anxiety and almost everything else, too. However, if you notice a loss of appetite in your cat along with other symptoms listed here, this can indicate a fever in your pet.

If your cat’s loss of appetite does not clear up within a day, or if it is accompanied by other signs of illness or fever, take her to the emergency vet. She may need IV fluids and will likely need to be treated quickly for the underlying cause of the fever as well.

5. Glassy Eyes

Glassy eyes are another common symptom of fever in cats. Just like humans, a cat’s eyes may become red and watery with a fever, which can contribute to this glassy appearance. Additionally, if your cat is beginning to be dehydrated from her fever, her eyes may appear sunken and sickly as well.

Glassy eyes typically do not indicate other health problems aside from fever, so if you notice this symptom, there’s a good chance your cat is dealing with a fever of some type. When noticed along with other symptoms on this list, glassy eyes are an even more certain sign.

6. Temperature

A cat’s normal body temperature ranges from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38.1 to 39.2 Celsius). If a cat’s temperature is higher than 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit (39.7 Celsius), this is considered a high fever and should be treated as an emergency.

To take a cat’s temperature, use a thermometer designed to take a pet’s temperature via the anus. Use Vaseline to lubricate the thermometer before inserting it about an inch into the anus. Leave it in place until it has read your pet’s temperature, making sure to soothe your cat during the process. It should take about one minute.

Seek Veterinary Care if You’ve if Your Cat Has a Fever

Once you learn the symptoms of fevers in cats, you can more easily recognize when your cat is getting sick. If your cat runs a fever for more than a day or if her fever climbs high enough to reach dangerous levels, you should take her to the vet or emergency vet right away.

Additionally, look for signs of dehydration in your cat. If your cat shows signs of dehydration related to her fever or other illness symptoms, she should be taken to an emergency vet, as she may need IV fluids right away.

For more information, or if you would like to speak to a veterinarian, contact Veterinary Medical Center of St. Lucie by calling (772) 337-8570. Our veterinarians are available 24/7 to provide the best care for your pet.