How To Take a Cat’s Temperature

More than ever, pet owners are concerned about the health of their animals. This dedication is evident in learning how to take a dog’s temperature as well as a cat’s temperature.

Most veterinarians are more than pleased to assist pet parents in learning this straightforward skill since they are encouraged to see more pet parents actively participating in their dogs’ health.

It’s not too difficult to learn how to take a dog’s or cat’s temperature. Let’s examine the most effective approach to take your animal family members’ temperatures.

Why You Should Learn To Take Your Pet’s Temperature

Like in people, the body temperatures of dogs and cats may reveal a lot about their general health. Even if the temperature for these creatures is greater than ours (101.3 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.5 degrees Celsius), it is still simple to determine when something is too high or low.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, fevers (over 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit / 39.2 degrees Celsius) might alert pet parents to conditions including heat stroke, infections, or systemic inflammatory illnesses.

Low temperatures (below 100 °F / 37.8 °C) can also indicate whether or not they have lost too much body heat. They might be suffering from shock, low blood sugar, starvation, or another serious systemic illness, or they could be hypothermic (as would happen if they were exposed to the elements in the winter).

Even little temperature decreases might indicate when a woman is about to deliver her infants!

Understanding Your Cat’s Temperature

A healthy cat should maintain a body temperature between 102.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Some cats, meanwhile, will have a normal body temperature that lies either above or just below this range. Taking your cat’s temperature frequently and keeping track of it is the best method to figure out what is “normal” for him.

This will enable you to monitor his daily average temperature as well as any changes or variations that are unusual for him.

Similar to people, animals with high body temperatures can experience discomfort or, if they are allowed to rise too high, develop major health problems, such as organ failure.

The greatest thing you can do for your pet is to discover that anything is “wrong” as soon as possible. You may do this by noting a change in your pet’s temperature in your logbook or by recognizing the early indicators of a fever.

All these symptoms are a solid signal that there is a problem, but the only way to know for sure if your cat has a fever is to inspect it.

In order to ascertain whether there has been a change, compare their present temperature to your log and your cat’s typical baseline. Any change, no matter how slight, is cause for concern, and you should keep an eye on your cat to see if the temperature rises further.

Your cat may have a little raised temperature for a variety of reasons, including both medical and non-medical ones. The presence of an infection is the most typical medical cause of a fever in most cats.

Your cat’s body temperature rises in these circumstances to help it battle the illness on its own, but the body isn’t always able to do so successfully. Your veterinarian will be able to provide the essential medications if they can determine that your cat has an infection.

Inflammation, issues with the immune system, or illnesses like calicivirus, FeLV, or feline panleukopenia virus are some other medical explanations.

A fever can have a variety of reasons in addition to medical ones, including hazardous chemical exposure, excessive activity, or prolonged exposure to a colder or warmer environment than usual.

It is very hard to determine the exact source of your cat’s fever on your own because there are so many potential reasons. However, by providing a more comprehensive picture of your cat’s health over time, taking the effort to track and monitor your cat’s temperature over time can assist to discover the problem.

Instructions for Rectal Temperatures

Some cats will consent to having their temperature taken, but not all of them do. It can be simpler if you enlist the help of a second person to support your cat while it is standing. She can be faced outward while having her head rest in the crook of your arm. If necessary, cover your pet’s tail region with a cloth and wrap it up. then take these actions:

Remember to shake a mercury thermometer quickly with your wrist until the reading drops below 94 degrees if you’re using one. Next, apply petroleum jelly, KY jelly, or another water-based lubricant on the thermometer.

Holding the cat’s front legs stationary, have your assistant gently grip the skin at the base of the neck and “scruff” the cat.

Lift the tail of your cat and cautiously and slowly push the thermometer into the rectum, which is just below the base of the tail. For two minutes for mercury thermometers or until the digital thermometer beeps, place the thermometer approximately an inch deep and keep it there.

Check the temperature after removing the thermometer.

When to Seek Help for My Cat’s Temperature

The temperature of your cat may normally fluctuate somewhat depending on the situation, but if it is consistently 103 degrees Fahrenheit or more, you should pay attention.

This can indicate a possible issue. This threshold of worry can be a little lower if your tracking indicates that your cat has a lower basal temperature. To discuss your worries and discover out what they suggest doing next, speak with your veterinarian.

However, it is a medical emergency if you notice that your cat’s fever has risen to 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

If your cat needs emergency care, call your veterinarian right away or transport your cat to the closest facility. The sooner you can take him to a veterinarian, the sooner they will be able to identify the source of his fever and begin treating it.

A fantastic approach to monitor your cat’s general health and wellbeing is to take its temperature on a regular basis. Keep a journal documenting the temperature every time you take it, and keep it nearby so you can refer to it later if necessary.

It’s a useful tool you may provide your veterinarian to aid in their diagnosis if an issue emerges, in addition to helping you to spot any changes early on.

Do you frequently take your cat’s temperature? If so, do you have any advice for calming down your cat? Please share your suggestions in the comments section.

One of the five crucial statistics that we advise you to keep an eye on is your cat’s temperature. We can start tracking our pets’ health if you join us in our Pet Health 5 initiative.

It’s quite simple! Every month on the fifth, we’ll email you a reminder with instructions on what to do. The only thing you have to do is take the time to verify and document your cat’s health statistics.

A key component of ensuring our cats live long and fulfilling lives is maintaining their health as pets and as cats. Checking your cat’s temperature and signing up for Pet Health 5 are good places to start right now.

When To Take a Pet’s Temperature

Taking a pet’s temperature might be useful whenever they are groggy, quieter than usual, or show a change in appetite or other typical habits. Cats, in particular, are known for concealing the majority of illness-related symptoms.

It’s crucial to realize, though, that many diseases can manifest themselves without a rise in body temperature. Therefore, you ought to only take your pet’s temperature if you want to immediately get in touch with a vet and let him or her know how you feel about your pet’s health.

Additionally, you should see a veterinarian first if you have no prior expertise taking your pet’s temperature. This is for your protection and the safety of your pet.

A body temperature reading can not only assist you in determining whether to take your pet to the veterinarian (an high fever should always result in a call to your vet), but an at-home reading also provides the doctor with extremely helpful information.

In fact, checking a temperature at home is so useful that vets and their colleagues frequently educate others how to do it. Ask your veterinarian about obtaining a tutorial if you’re interested in learning how to manage this securely at home; most are pleased to do so.

How to Check Your Cat’s Temperature

You’re in luck if you don’t know how to take a cat’s temperature. The procedure is surprisingly simple when the proper tools are used. It’s a good idea to become accustomed to taking your cat’s temperature and to work with him to do so.

You’ll find it simpler to monitor your cat’s temperature over time if you do this. By doing this, you’ll be able to recognize any trends or changes that demand additional investigation. This is a fantastic approach to identify diseases early, deal with the issues swiftly, and avoid any unneeded difficulties.

Consider your cat’s emotional condition before measuring his temperature. He may have falsely raised temperatures if he is overexcited, anxious, or angry.

The same thing may happen if you take your cat’s temperature just after a lengthy game of fetch or any other physically demanding exercise. You should aim to keep your cat quiet and comfortable throughout the procedure for the greatest outcomes.

Instructions for Ear Temperatures

Cats’ typical ear temperatures range from 100.0 to 103.0 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees and 39.4 degrees Celsius). The ear thermometer measures heat waves from the ear drum area that are infrared in nature.

Due to its ability to monitor brain blood temperature, the ear drum is regarded as a reliable indication of body temperature. To get an accurate reading, it’s crucial to insert the thermometer far into the horizontal ear canal.

Due to a larger arm that enables the probe to be inserted deeper into the ear canal, an ear thermometer made specifically for cats and dogs, such the Pet-Temp®, performs well. Take both an ear and a rectal temperature the first few times you use it and compare them. If you are employing the right ear approach, your findings should be rather close.

Contact your veterinarian or the nearest emergency clinic right away if your cat has a body temperature that is less than 99 degrees or greater than 104 degrees. A high fever may indicate an infection in your cat. A fever that is below normal might be just as dangerous because it can signify other issues, such shock.

Taking Your Cat’s Temperature via Its Ear

The method can be a little more challenging, but the cat is less likely to fight if you take its temperature from its ear. For an accurate reading, ear thermometers must be positioned correctly.

While this procedure could be more bearable for your cat than taking its temperature rectally, the cat might still try to flee from you. If it does, take it by the scruff of the neck, which will often calm most cats (if only momentarily).

A digital ear thermometer should be inserted in your cat’s ear. Hold it with the cat’s head still and horizontally. Release your cat when the device beeps to let you know it has a reading, then note the temperature. Clean the thermometer completely.

Things to Keep in Mind When Taking Your Pet’s Temperature

Having the proper tools is important when learning how to take a dog’s or cat’s temperature. For instance, outdated thermometers may take a while to reach temperature, and glass thermometers might break and expose your pet to mercury and glass.

Pet owners must also take their animal’s body temperature from the rectum. Non-rectal techniques can be more challenging to interpret, despite the fact that veterinarians want for a less intrusive means to measure their patients’ temperatures.

Restraining your cat may require some practice and persistence once you understand how to take a cat’s temperature. In these situations, watching online videos on how to confine your cat properly might be beneficial, but having your veterinarian demonstrate how to do this for your particular cat remains your best option.

It’s also crucial to remember that some pets have naturally greater or lower body temperatures than the majority. Once more, if you choose to take your pet’s temperature, you should do it with the idea of immediately calling a veterinarian to voice your concerns.

The fact that not all pets can be educated to accept this treatment should be emphasized once more. If taking your temperature at home puts you at danger for safety or puts you under a lot of stress, you should think again about continuing.

Preventing Problems With Your Cat During Readings

A second (or third) set of hands might be useful if you are having problems getting an accurate read. The other person can often manage the thermometer if the first person can hold the cat.

If your cat’s temperature rises beyond 105 degrees Fahrenheit, you should take them to the clinic right away. You should contact your veterinarian for guidance if the temperature rises beyond 103 degrees Fahrenheit.


The majority of cats won’t want their temperatures taken, and your cat could bite or scratch you. Consider wearing protective gloves and long sleeves.

If at all possible, ask someone the cat knows to hold, pet, and converse with the cat while you take its temperature.

Allow your cat to go after you’ve received the reading. It could pout for some time.

After the operation, give your cat a reward or a modest food (as long as it’s not displaying symptoms of a digestive condition).

Call your veterinarian right away if you think your pet is ill. Always consult your veterinarian with any health-related queries since they have evaluated your pet, are familiar with its medical history, and can provide the best advice for your pet.