What Body Temperature Reveals About Your Cat’s Health

Your cat’s body temperature says a lot about their health. Your animal world reveals what to look out for – and when it becomes critical.

The body temperature of a healthy cat is usually between 38 and 39 degrees – and is therefore slightly higher than that of us humans. Deviations from this, i.e. a body temperature that is too high or too low, can indicate health problems.

In order to find out your cat’s body temperature, you need to measure it accurately and correctly. In cats, this works best anally, i.e. in the anus. Because: the rectum has the same temperature as the body.

Fever Measuring the Cat: This is How It Works

It is best to use a digital thermometer to measure your cat’s body temperature. Most of them show a result after a few seconds. Before you use the thermometer, you should rub the tip with a bit of grease cream – for example, Vaseline, Bepanthen, or milking fat. It is best to talk to your veterinarian about the necessity and correct execution.

Your cat will likely not be too excited if you use the thermometer to attack it. Therefore, it can help if another person gently holds the cat. But it would be even better if you take on that – after all, you are their caregiver. You can calm your cat down while you measure it by talking to it or petting it. Even a treat can distract them.

After measuring, you have to classify the measurement result correctly. If your cat’s body temperature is between 38 and 39 degrees, everything is fine. If it is above this, your cat may have a fever.

From 39.2 degrees one speaks of fever in cats. It becomes dangerous when your cat’s body temperature is 41 degrees or higher. The fever can be fatal from 43 degrees Celsius.

Your Cat Has a Fever: What to Do?

But what to do when you have measured such a high value? First of all, you should rule out that there is another explanation for the high temperature. For example, if your cat has just been lying on the heater or in the blazing sun, this can also affect body temperature. Stress or physical exertion can also increase the temperature.

Fever is often associated with other symptoms in cats. For example:

  • Slackness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tremble
  • Dry nose

Fever often occurs after bite wounds, poisoning, illness, or stress. The increase in body temperature shows that the immune system is fighting something. If your cat suffers from these symptoms or has a high body temperature, you should definitely take her to the vet.

By the way: In summer, heatstroke can also cause your cat’s body temperature to rise. That too can quickly become dangerous.

Low Body Temperature in Cats

It can also happen that the thermometer shows a body temperature that is too low. Although this is much less common in cats than fever, it can also indicate health problems. It gets critical below 37.5 degrees.

Then it could be, for example, that your cat is suffering from hypothermia. Especially when it is very cold and your cat’s fur is soaked, it can happen that it is no longer properly protected from the cold. Low body temperature can also occur after an injury or surgery.

If your cat is also trembling, has a particularly strong or weak pulse, has shallow breathing, or has pale gums, it could be dangerous. Even then, you should definitely see a vet.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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