How to take your cat’s temperature at home?

Cat measuring temperatureWhen we become ill, we usually take our temperature, so we can know, must we go to work or can we stay home. But can you take temperature of your cat? At home?

You certainly can, and here’s a step by step instructions how to take your cat’s temperature:

  1. Cat body temperature is measured rectally – that is you will not be able to do it in an armpit or orally. Best is to use a digital thermometer, as they read quickly. Beware though, as lower quality ones may give incorrect readings. You could use a bulb thermometer, but it reads temperature longer and involves risks of breaking it. Also, make sure you have a dedicated thermometer for your cat.
  2. Lubricate the thermometer so it’s easier to place it in. It also makes the process less painful to your cat. You can lubricate the thermometer by petroleum jelly (also called Vaseline). Alternatively, use any water based lubricants if you do have them at home. It’s not necessary to buy a jar of Vaseline for taking your cat’s temperature once.
  3. Have someone to hold your cat either pressing him against the floor or table, or holding his body and paws. Simultaneously, make sure you are able to access the rear part of your cat. You will then be able to use one hand on the thermometer, and pick up your cat’s tail with the other one. Be ready, your cat is not gonna like what’s coming. Even the most calm ones can try to get out of the grip.
  4. Insert the thermometer in an anal opening of your cat. Normally in a depth of about an inch (2.5 cm) and wait till the reading is done. This is why digital thermometers, who read in seconds are better than bulb ones. Also, make sure your cat is still and won’t get away with the thermometer still inside him.
  5. Remove the thermometer and praise your cat. Obviously, cat will love this terrible experience ending on a positive note. Giving something delicious every time after handling your cat will make him tolerate this torturing a lot better in the future.
  6. Take the reading. Don’t freak out about the numbers, but read below what they mean.
  7. Clean the thermometer with an alcohol before storage. Don’t reuse the same thermometer for humans.

What is the normal temperature of a cat?

Now that you have taken your cat’s temperature, let’s interpret those readings. You don’t compare it to your own temperature, as cats have it slightly higher.

Normal body temperature of adult cats: 100 to 103 F (37.7 to 39.4 C);

Normal body temperature of newborn kittens (up to two weeks of age): 95 to 99 F (35 to 37.2 C).

What to do if the temperature is out of normal? Then it’s time to visit, or call a veterinarian without a hesitation, as it may indicate to serious health condition.