When we become ill, we usually measure our temperature, so we can know, must we go to work or can we stay home. But can you measure temperature of your cat? At home?
You certainly can, and here’s a step by step instructions how to measure your cat’s temperature:
- 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.
- Lubricate the thermometer so it’s easier to place it in and also so it does not cause pain to your cat. Best would be petroleum jelly (also called Vaseline) which is used at vet clinics and in baby care. You may also use any water based lubricants if you do have them at home so you do not need to buy a jar of Vaseline for taking your cat’s temperature once.
- Have someone to hold your cat either pressing him against the floor or table, or holding his body and paws, making sure you are able to access the rear part of your cat. You will the 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, as even most calm ones can try to get out of the grip.
- 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 who need up to ten minutes to get it done. Also, make sure your cat is still and won’t get away with the thermometer still inside him.
- 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.
- Take the reading. Don’t freak out about the numbers, but read below what they mean.
- 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.