Do you know how to record your cat’s vital signs?
If not, now is the time to learn! Don’t worry, learning to take vitalals isn’t as complicated as it seems and it can only make all the difference in your cat’s health.
The three elements of a cat’s vital signs are temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate. Veterinarians use these vital signs as an overview of a cat’s immediate health. By learning how to manage your cat’s vital signs at home, you and your furry best friend can keep track of their health and stay one step ahead of any illness that may arise.
But how do you take a cat’s vital signs? And what’s normal for cats when it comes to temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate?
We have the answers you need! Read on to learn how to track a cat’s vital signs from instructions from veterinary experts. Taking these simple measurements at home will create a baseline for what is normal for your cat. The slightest variation in average measurements can alert you to potential problems early on, making them easier for you and your cat to overcome.
The signs of life
Cat Vital Signs # 1: Temperature
The normal body temperature of an adult cat is between 38.1 ° C and 39.2 ° C (100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit).
But how can you tell if your cat has a fever? It is a common belief that touching a cat’s nose can reveal whether the kitten is feeling feverish. But that’s not true. The most accurate way to measure a cat’s temperature is with a thermometer. But how do you measure a cat’s temperature?
How to Measure a Cat’s Temperature
The most accurate way to measure a cat’s temperature is rectal. This may not be what your cat is going to allow. If so, leave it to the vet to avoid harming you or your kitten. If your cat allows the invasion, the vet will offer Dr. Marty Becker provided the following instructions for measuring a cat’s temperature:
- Use a glass thermometer or a digital rectal thermometer.
- Lubricate the thermometer with a medicinal water-based lubricant before inserting it.
- Gently and slowly insert the thermometer 1 to 2 inches into the cat’s rectum and leave it in place for glass for about two minutes or until the digital beep sounds.
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has a 5-part video series on measuring a cat’s temperature. You can also ask your veterinarian to demonstrate to give you a better idea.
Do not take a cat’s temperature orally. Putting a thermometer in a cat’s mouth can cause fractures, which can lead to damage.
If you don’t have a thermometer or feel squeamish about taking kitty’s temperature when they’re not feeling well, look for signs of a fever in cats. PetMD lists cat fever symptoms as follows:
- Loss of appetite
- Listless behavior
- Decreased water absorption
- Decreased care
- Rapid breathing
Contact your veterinarian right away if you experience any of these symptoms in your cat.
Cat Vital Signs # 2: Heart Rate
A resting human heart beats between 60 and 100 times per minute on average, but a cat’s normal heart rate is much faster. The average heart rate of an adult cat is between 140 and 220 beats per minute.
But how do you find a cat’s pulse to measure heart rate?
Dr. Becker instructs: “Put your hand on his left side just behind the front leg. You should feel the heart beating. “
Once you’ve got the pulse, you can check your cat’s heart rate using a stopwatch, a clock with a second hand, or even an app on your phone. “Count the number of blows during 15 seconds. Multiply that number by four to get the beats per minute. “
If you find that your cat’s heart rate is irregular, too fast, or too slow, contact the veterinarian as this could be a sign of illness.
Cat Vital Signs # 3: Breathing Rate
The respiratory rate measures the number of breaths per minute at rest. Healthy adult cats with an average breathing rate of 20 to 30 breaths per minute. To measure your cat’s respiratory rate, wait until you nap and make sure Kitty Dear is not purring during the count.
The veterinary heart specialist Dr. Sonya G. Gordon explains in detail how a cat’s respiratory rate can be measured:
- Watch your cat’s chest rise and fall as it breathes. One breath corresponds to a single movement of the chest in and out.
- Use a watch or smartphone to count the number of breaths in a 30-second period.
- Multiply the number of breaths by 2 to get the number of breaths in 60 seconds.
Measuring your cat’s respiratory rate is a simple process that is important to a cat’s health.
Dr. Gordon explains the importance of monitoring the respiratory rate at home, as “an increase in your pet’s breathing rate while resting or sleeping is a very important early indicator (clinical sign) that your pet may develop heart failure.”
However, breathing problems in cats are not just limited to heart problems. From colds to stress, there are many diseases that affect a cat’s respiratory rate. No matter what, if your kitten is panting or difficult to breathe, call the vet right away.
Don’t wait until you see your cat’s vital signs for the first time when you discover they are not feeling well. It is a good idea to take vital signs from time to time and while your cat is healthy to establish a baseline for your cat. Knowing how to maintain your cat’s vital signs is another way to ensure that your cat is living the happiest, healthiest life possible.
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H / T: www.startribune.com