I thought I'd share a little nugget of information I picked up from one of our visits at the vet school. Our vet got out a thermometer and as usual I squinted my eyes and looked to the side but she stuck it under Magic's ARMPIT.....!
I can't say it filled me with much confidence when our normally super competent vet didn't appear to know the difference between a cat's elbow and its ahhhh.......bottom!
However, she laughed at my bewilderment and explained that they'd done some research and found that in a cat there is a close enough correlation between axillary temperatures and rectal. Only if the cat is outwith the normal range will they do the more specific rectal reading as this remains the gold standard for an accurate core temp.
Smart cat owners may already know this but it was new to me and I think this is wonderful, as if one of mine were ill, I'd be happy to do this now. I've always drawn the line at sticking a thermometer up a cat's bottom by rationalising that if I think the cat has a high or low temp then it needs a vet. Magic and Red both tend to reverse from unpleasantness and I'd hate to see my thermometer disappear. Not to mention the fact I'd probably bin the thermometer after use- eugh! Now though, I'd happily tuck a wee digital thermometer under a furry armpit to check.