What Is The Body Temperature Of A Cat?

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Every species has its own normal temperature. For example, if our body temperature is lower or higher than 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), then there would be a problem. The same thing goes for cats, except the body temperature of cats is different from ours.

If you’re raising a feline friend, have you ever wondered what is the body temperature of a cat? Or have you ever been in the situation that you felt his body temperature was too high but did not know if he actually had a serious problem?

What Is the Body Temperature of a Cat?

The safe body temperature of cats is somewhere between 99.5°F (37.5°C) and 102°F (39°C), which is a bit higher than humans’. But note that the safe temperature of cats may also depend on their breed. Some cat breeds have the different normal temperature, but it is quite small.

If your cat’s temperature is over or under 104°F (40°C), then he/she is definitely having a problem (details about cat’s temperature and sickness will be discussed below). Therefore, you will need to bring him/her to the vet as soon as possible. Note that 105°F (40.5°C) is considered as an emergency level and requires immediate treatment.

Why Does a Cat’s Temperature Get Too High or Too Low?

As mentioned above, the safe body temperature of cats is somewhere between 99.5°F (37.5°C) and 102°F (39°C). However, if the measured temperature of your cats is not in this range (either higher or lower), then the following is what happens to them:

Low Temperature

You can easily realize if your cat’s temperature is too high, but knowing his low temperature is quite difficult. The low body temperature is caused by many factors, such as blood infection, kidney or liver disease, anorexia, diabetic ketoacidosis. It is highly recommended if you buy a thermometer and keep it at home so that you can check your feline friend’s temperature in time.

High Temperature

There are two causes of a high temperature in cats: fever (pyrexia) and hyperthermia.


The first one is a sign of an infection inside the cat’s body. Most mammals (including cats) increase their temperature in order to kill infectious organisms inside their body. But if the temperature goes too high or the fever lasts for too long, it can damage many organs. Your cat will actually need a vet if his body temperature goes over 103°F (39.7°C).

Your cats have a medical fever for some reasons. It might be due to some kinds of medications, a tumor, infection, lupus, cancers, endocrine disorders, autoimmune diseases, vascular disorders, and injury from trauma.


Another cause of high temperature is hyperthermia which is also called heatstroke. Hyperthermia occurs when the external temperature is too higher than the internal temperature. For example, your cats may have hyperthermia if you lock them in your warm house or car without the wind or anything that can help them cool.

The effects of the external environment can cause cats serious problems. In fact, there are many situations that the pets died because their keepers lack knowledge of hyperthermia.

How to Take a Cat’s Temperature?

Just like humans, to know your cat’s temperature, you need a thermometer. There are many kinds of thermometers that you can find and use for cats.

Basically, people use three types of thermometer on pets: mercury thermometer, digital thermometer and infrared thermometer. Their differences are shown below:

Besides, there are three ways to take a cat’s temperature: in the rectum, mouth and ear. Their differences are shown below:

  • Mercury thermometer is the most traditional method of measuring temperature on humans and other animals, which can be used in the rectum, mouth or under the arm (but not the ear). However, mercury thermometers have many disadvantages. For example, you will shake the device till the red line drops to 96°F (35.5°C). Besides, mercury thermometers are generally hard to read. On top of that, they’re dangerous because of containing mercury – a very dangerous toxin.
  • Infrared thermometer is the better solution compared to the mercury one. It can measure heat generated by surfaces and cavities. The best thing about infrared thermometers is their speed; in general, they take only a few seconds to produce the result.
  • Digital thermometer is the most up-to-date type of thermometer. It is very easy to measure and read. On top of that, it is known to be the safest thermometer for pets. Most digital thermometers are designed to beep when ready to be read.

Besides, there are three ways to take a cat’s temperature: in the rectum, mouth and ear. Their differences are shown below:

  • To take the temperature in the mouth or ear, you only need to put the thermometer there and wait for three minutes, then read the result.
  • To take the temperature in the rectum, you will need a water-based lubricant (usually Vaseline which is made of petroleum jelly) for lubrication. Keep your cat in a table and hold him so that he cannot escape. Lubricate the thermometer with Vaseline and gently put half of it inside your cat’s rectum. Leave it there for about three minutes, then take it out to read the result.

The Best Care for Your Cat’s Body Temperature

There is no way else better to take care of your cats than always having a thermometer in your house so that you can check their temperature when there is anything wrong with their behaviors, such as stopping eating, stopping being active, sleeping too much or showing a sad face all day long. For better result, you should use a thermometer that is specially designed for cats.

Moreover, do not believe the wrong information you might read on the Internet that if you feel your cats’ temperature is higher than yours or if they have a dry nose, then he would have a fever. That’s simply because the cats’ normal temperature range, which is between 99.5°F (37.5°C) and 102°F (39°C), is itself higher than ours.

If your cat temperature is not in this range, you need to take him to the vet


To know your cat’s temperature, you can use a mercury, digital or infrared thermometer. Too high or too low temperature can be the sign of a serious disease. Therefore, if the temperature goes over or under the safe range, you need to take your cats to the vet as soon as possible in order to check their problem and give them appropriate treatments. In addition to fever, you also need to keep your cats in a good environment with good temperature to help them avoid hyperthermia.

Leave your comment below if you have any questions to ask us. Thank you for reading! 

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