As soon as you suspect that your adored kitty is ill, you’ll want to determine whether or not she has a fever. To help you decide if immediate vet care is necessary, you should know how to take your pet’s body temperature on your own properly. Simply feeling kitty’s head, ears and nose is not considered to be a reliable method. It’s only by finding out her internal body temperature that you can tell with certainty that something could truly be wrong.
Understanding the Basic Guidelines
Cats generally have a normal rectal temperature of about 100.5 to 102.5 °F (37.7 to 39.1°C). Higher or lower than this range may suggest a need to go to your veterinarian based on other symptoms that may be demonstrated by your cat.
How to Take a Rectal Temperature
This is the most accurate way of determining your cat’s body temperature and the only way we recommend. To do this, just start by holding your kitty steadily by his two forelegs. Because cats can become uncooperative at times, you may require some assistance from another person with this. It will help if you grab your pet by her scruff (the back of the neck), which is how the mother usually holds her kittens.
Next, prepare the thermometer by lubricating it with a water-based lubricant or gel. We also recommend you use a quick-read digital thermometer as this isn’t the most pleasant experience for your cat. Some thermometers even have a flexible tip, while others are designed specifically for rectal temperature taking and have a notch in the tip so you’ll know you’ve inserted the thermometer deep enough.
Now, try lifting kitty’s tail and then insert the thermometer about an inch inside her rectum. Hold this position until the thermometer is ready and read the temperature taken.
It’s a wise idea to take more than one temperature and compare (if your cat is being cooperative!) The reading results should be very close if you have successfully used the proper techniques.
Bear in mind that while a higher than normal temperature could mean that your kitty is sick or has an infection, a temperature that’s below than normal can be just as dangerous, possibly indicating serious problems.
Have you ever taken your cat’s temperature at home?