Need for taking a cat’s temperature

Dr. Chambreau: I have 3 cats that I take to a full-service veterinarian for vaccines and sometimes for minor medical issues (such as diarrhea). The vet gives my cats a thorough exam, but neither she (nor the technician) take my cats temperature.  They say that they do not take cats’ temperatures.

A reader wondered if it is necessary for the vet to take a cat’s temperature before vaccinating or treating.

Certainly if a cat is ill in anyway, the veterinarian needs to take the temperature, and it is good for you to be able to do at home.

When I worked in a conventional practice, I always took a cat’s temperature. I also trained my clients to take the temperature at home so if they were worried about their cat being ill they could start by monitoring the temperature. Yes, cats resist this. With gentleness and training, they can learn to tolerate it.

Is it necessary? Well, that depends on your perspective. When you read the 7 keys to Health you will see that vaccines should only be given to healthy animals, so to not take the temp may miss a problem. Now, in my holistic practice, the clients and I are monitoring the Early Warning Signs of Illness and carefully watching for ill health, so before the every 3 year Rabies vaccine (the only one I recommend) I may not always take the temperature. If there have been any health concerns at all, I will take it.

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