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Dr E.T.
Dr E.T., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 83
Experience:  5 years as a general practitioner with experience in emergency medicine.
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cat is lethargic, scruffy coat, excessive purring, & enlarged

Customer Question

cat is lethargic, scruffy coat, excessive purring, & enlarged pupils, doesnt want to eat....fairly quick onset indoor cat
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr E.T. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I will do my best to help answer.

Can you answer some additional questions for me so that I can tailor my answer to your situation?

1) How old is your cat? Male or female? Spayed or neutered?
2) How long has he/she been lethargic? Hours? Days?
3) Any weight loss or weight gain?
4) Any vomiting or diarrhea? How long has it been since the last meal?
5) Is he/she drinking any more water than normal or urinating more/less?
6) Your cats pupils are dilated. . .do you think he/she can see?
7) Has your cat been to a veterinarian anytime recently?

The more information you provide, the better!

Thank you
Dr. E.T.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1) How old is your cat? Male or female? Spayed or neutered? male, neutered, 10-11
2) How long has he/she been lethargic? Hours? Days? 2-3 days not sure we are both in and out for work noticed change in habits 2-3 days ago
3) Any weight loss or weight gain? appears to be weight loss, always overwieght cat, with two cats hard to keep away from food now not interested last couple days
4) Any vomiting or diarrhea? How long has it been since the last meal? none not sure on meal but not alot of food being eaten

5) Is he/she drinking any more water than normal or urinating more/less? seems less food and water but still using litter box, again two cats hard to tell when we are at work
6) Your cats pupils are dilated. . .do you think he/she can see? seems to see and respond to name etc just taken to sitting purring with chest on floor, front legs tucked
7) Has your cat been to a veterinarian anytime recently? not yet, money issue

Expert:  Dr E.T. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your response. I will do my best to help.

It seems that you are picking up on some non-specific clues that your kitty is ill. Lethargy and decreased appetite in an older cat may be attributed to several problems. A scruffy coat likely means he is not grooming.

I would recommend separating the ill cat from his housemate to see if you can determine how much he is eating and drinking and ensure he is using the littler box. If he is truly not eating AT ALL, this is a BIG PROBLEM in an overweight cat. Overweight cats that do not get sufficient calories are prone to a disease called fatty liver. It can take as little as 2-3 days for this condition to develop. Fatty liver is not the primary disease, but can be a complicating factor to a myriad of other problems. If he is not eating this afternoon/evening coax him with boiled chicken, tuna, baby food (make sure the baby food doesn't have onions in it). If he still doesn't eat tonight, he needs to see a veterinarian ASAP.

Also keep a close eye on his litter box. Frequent trips to the litter box without urination (no wetness/clumps) are very concerning. This could be a urinary blockage which is an EMERGENCY!

Common things happen commonly in cats. The biggest reasons that I see older cats to stop eating include kidney problems, hormone imbalances (diabetes, thyroid problems), and pancreas problems. Many of these can be diagnosed with a thorough physical examination and bloodwork.

I would recommend calling your veterinarian to get an estimate for a physical examination and a bloodwork panel. There are credit lines (such as CareCredit) that can help. Getting veterinary help sooner rather than later can help to save money in the long run.

Please let me know if I can provide any further assistance.

Sincerely, XXXXX
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

does the purring and enlarged pupils indicate pain? he now won't come when called and doesnt want to walk....when put by the food dish or water he ignores it....I am concerned about pain more than anything....would putting him in a cage to isolate be apporpriate or cruel? I am on my way to work right now, but I am more concerned with his possible suffering and lots of testing and guinea pig treatment as I had with a former pet....thanks for taking the time to answer, I will be back at 10 pm est (approx) and will check back in then, with plans to act on this in the morning....he is not yelping etc when picked up, and all his life he has acted aggresively if you pet his stomach etc but now he just lets you do it and purrs...again this is only in last two days thanks again

Expert:  Dr E.T. replied 4 years ago.
The purring is not indicative of pain, but the dilated pupils COULD be. Other indicators of pain would be rapid breathing, a rapid heartrate and, obviously, crying out when touched. It is hard to know if he is painful without seeing him and examining him.

His reluctance to walk is very concerning to me. Nothing you have written so far makes me think he is painful, just feeling REALLY crummy and VERY ill. He should be seen by his veterinarian as soon as possible.

I recommend isolating him in a larger room (ie bedroom, bathroom) with food and access to a litter box rather than a small carrier.

If you don't have a room you can isolate him in and if you have a larger dog-style crate, confining him in there would be okay.

Dr. E.T.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thanks for everything...I am taking him in to the vet tomorrow....I will figure out money issues later....
Expert:  Dr E.T. replied 4 years ago.
Best wishes to you and your cat.

Please don't hesitate to reply if you have any further questions.

If I have helped you please click "Accept" so I may get credit for my work.

Thank you,

Dr. E.T.
Dr E.T., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 83
Experience: 5 years as a general practitioner with experience in emergency medicine.
Dr E.T. and 6 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
just wanted to let you know we put Buddy to sleep this afternoon, the vet said renal failure and probably cancer....nothing good....so thanks again....
Expert:  Dr E.T. replied 4 years ago.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your Buddy.

It sounds like he was a very ill cat and you had to make a tough decision.
I just loss my own dog on Monday to cancer, and I understand how hard it is to lose a beloved companion.

Deepest sympathy.

Dr. E.T.

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