What to do if your kitten has a fever

by Karen Dell March 24, 2019

As a new kitten-parent it’s very scary when your kitten becomes ill. Because a fever can be a symptom of one of many illnesses, it is extremely important to treat it as soon as possible. 

Symptoms of fever in kittens
There are some obvious signs of illness in kittens to look out for, including a loss of appetite and lethargy. They may also become quiet and withdrawn if they have a fever. However, feeling warm to the touch does not necessarily mean that your kitten has a fever. Rather err on the side of caution, though!
Possible accompanying symptoms
If your kitten has a fever, the chances are good that they may show some other symptoms of illness as well. These include:

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Runny or crusty eyes
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Overall weakness
  • Pale gums
  • Lameness

Kittens are also, usually, not their playful selves if they are feeling under the weather. Look for any change in personality which may point towards illness.
What to do if you spot these symptoms
If you spot one or more of these symptoms, contact your vet for a visit immediately. These symptoms can be very dangerous — and even deadly — for kittens.
Possible conditions your kitten may be suffering from
The most common conditions your kitten may be suffering from is one of a number of bacterial or viral infections. A fungal infection could also be the culprit.
Infected injuries may also be a reason for a fever. Be very careful not to let your kitten be attacked by another cat while they are outside, for instance. (One great way of making sure this doesn’t happen is to give them a cat enclosure in the backyard where they can play safely!)
Much less common causes of fevers in kittens are immune-related diseases and tumours.
Before you head off to the vet

If you’re lucky enough to have a vet only a few minutes from your home, these steps may not be necessary but if your vet is some minutes away and your kitten gets stressed in the car, you may need to take some extra steps to keep them comfortable for the time being.
  • Make their carrier comfortable with a favourite blanket and, if the fever is very high, put an ice pack in with them (underneath the blanket). You can also add a favourite toy or two to make them feel more at home and less stressed.
  • You can also phone the vet to tell them that you are on your way and give a summary of your kitten’s symptoms. This will give them time to prepare for your arrival and get ready any IV fluid, etc. which may be needed. This is especially important if your vet is some way away from your home.
  • Take a deep breath. Your kitten will be a lot calmer if they see that you’re not panicking. So, even if you are going into panic mode, try to seem calm and talk to your kitten softly and in a soothing tone.
Photo by Pixabay.



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