The first question most people ask is what is a normal temperature for a cat? Then, once you know that, how do you know if you need to take their temperature? Lastly, how do I take their temperature?

A normal temperature for a cat is 100.5 F and 102.5 degrees. If you ever wonder why cats like to sleep in warm places, with a higher body temperature, it is possible they are getting colder faster. It is important to know what is the normal range, because their body temperature is higher than humans and if you took their temperature thinking they have the same body temperature you will think they have a fever when they don’t.

Typically, the reason you would take your cat’s temperature is if they have a fever. A fever is a natural process the body goes into to fight disease or infection. Fever stimulates the immune system. By heating up the body is slows the growth of bacteria and viruses. Though fevers help fight illness, a fever that is too high can be more dangerous than the illness it is fighting.

Signs of a Fever in Cats

  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Lack of energy
  • Decreased drinking
  • Shivering
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you see some of the signs and you think your cat may have a temperature, it is best to check. There are two ways you can check a cat’s temperature. One is rectally, meaning through their bum. The other is through their ear. Though the ear sounds more pleasant, the bum is a lot more accurate.

How To Take a Rectal Temperature

You need to get some supplies:

  • A human rectal thermometer.
  • Vaseline or other lubricant like KY Jelly. Do not use any oil, make sure it is safe to use on the thermometer you are using and is safe for internal bodily application.
  • Timer

Now you have your supplies, you are ready to take your cat’s temperature.

  1. Turn the thermometer on if it is digital. Make sure it is set to zero.
  2. Lubricate the thermometer with the vaseline or KY Jelly.
  3. Hold the cat securly with their face in the crook of your elbow and their tail towards your other hand. You may want to have some assist with holding your cat.
  4. Lift your cat’s tail and insert the thermometer about 1/2 to 1 inch deep into their anus (aka. their bum). You may feel their bum tighten and then relax.
  5. Hold the thermometer there for 2 minutes or unitl it beeps. Make sure to keep hold of the thermometer.
  6. Remove the thermometer and then wash it with soap and water.

If your cat’s temperature is 103 or higher you need to call the emergency vet immediately. Please note that Vetco is not an emergency vet clinic and we are unable to help in the case of an emergency.