Fever: Is This an Old Wives’ Tale…Or Is It True?
What do you know about cat fevers? I can’t tell you how many pet owners over the years have told me that their pets had a fever because their noses were hot or dry, or because their pet “felt hot”.
So first of all, what is a fever?
A Fever is defined as an abnormally high body temperature resulting from a change in your cat’s internal conditions. It is believed that fever is Mother Nature’s method of fighting infection.
Learn more about fever, go to: Fever in Cats
One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “Does my cat have a fever if his nose is hot?” To read my answer, click here.
The body resets the temperature control area of the brain to increase the body temperature – probably in response to the invasion of bacteria or viruses. Since many invaders do not thrive in hot environments, by increasing the temperature of the body, these invaders can be destroyed.
This is different from hyperthermia, which is an increase in body temperature due to external influences such as hot weather, or the inability to pant or sweat.
Fever is usually differentiated from hyperthermia based on the animal’s recent environment – for example, if a pet was in a hot car or in the case of a dog – if he just went for a long jog in 100-degree heat – as well as the animal’s response to the increased temperature. That type of hyperthermia can lead to heat stroke.
What is a cat’s normal temperature? The normal temperature in cat’s is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
How can you tell if your pet has a fever? You can test this by taking their rectal temperature. Here is how. Go to: How to Take Your Cat’s Temperature.
Taking your cat’s temperature is the only accurate method of identifying a fever. The nose being cold or dry is simply not reliable.