What Is A Normal Cat Internal Body Temperature? (And How To Measure It)

We all know cats love warm and cozy spots. That’s one of the several reasons you might find them napping in your bedroom or even in your wardrobe, curled in a messy nest made from your clothes.

Kitties indeed adore warmth, but that doesn’t mean they get cold as easily as you might think.

Heat strokes and fevers are common for many indoor cats. Moreover, conditions like hypothermia and common colds, which are widespread among humans, can also strike cats of all breeds and ages, regardless of the continent they’re residing in.

Similar to the internal body temperature of all living organisms, a cat’s temperature can drop or increase depending on a variety of factors. Sometimes they’re internal – such as pregnancy or diseases. If your kitty is indeed pregnant or sick, measuring its temperature is essential for catching the problem on time.

What Is The Normal Internal Body Temperature For A Cat?

Felines have a similar internal body temperature to humans. Of course, the actual degrees depend on the breed. For example, Sphynx cats and other hairless breeds have a higher temperature compared to their hairier counterparts.

The typical internal body temperature of a cat is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Or in other words, between 37.5 and 39 degrees Celsius.

If your cat’s temperature reads above 103.5 F (39.7 C), then your precious furball is running a fever. Decreased or increased internal body temperature is a clear sign that your cat  requires medical attention.

How Do You Check Your Cat’s Temperature?

The most accurate way is to use a rectal digital thermometer made for cats. You can get them from your vet’s office, from a specialized pet store or even online. They are accurate and some of them are flexible (bendable), which makes things even easier for pet parents.

As Amy Flowers, DVM, suggests, the best way to measure your cat’s internal body temperature is to use a lubricant, like petroleum jelly, with a pediatric rectal thermometer and to always give your kitty a treat after you’re done.

Do keep in mind that the task won’t be something pleasant for your feline friend. Prepare the thermometer properly with the lubricant and be extra careful when inserting the thermometer in your cat’s rectal area.

Use warm blankets or towels to make sure there won’t be any scratch or bite marks. And don’t forget to speak in a soft, soothing voice while you’re using the thermometer on your kitty.

And always make sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned the device after each usage!

If you’re unsure about approaching the kitty with a rectal thermometer, consult with a vet. However, I do recommend you keep one in your home and you learn how to use it.

Making vet trips when there’s no need to do so just so you can measure the cat’s body temperature is a waste of time and money. Plus, vet trips are always stressful for pets.

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Are There Other Options? Infrared Pet Thermometers

If you don’t need a rectal thermometer or you’re afraid to use one, don’t worry. You can also opt for specialized ear thermometers or even for no-contact laser ones.

Infrared Digital Pet Thermometer

This is a great laser thermometer, which works on a no-contact basis.

It provides an instant reading of your cat’s internal body temperature without the need to touch any part of the kitty. What I really like about it is that it shows both external and internal body temperature and it also does readings in Celsius and Fahrenheit.

It may seem a bit pricy at first. But trust me on this one – it’s worth investing in if you think you can’t handle a rectal thermometer.

The thermo sensors work like magic as long as they are in a 2-5 inch distance from your cat. And the best part is that you don’t have to constantly clean it as you do with rectal ones. Moreover, it’s also a great investment for multi-pet households if you need to keep track of the body temperature of several animals.

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Regardless of what type of thermometer you choose to get, every cat owner needs one in their home. Keeping tabs on your pet’s internal and external body temperature is a simple but crucial activity for ensuring your cat’s well-being. If your cat has a fever, contact your vet immediately.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!