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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17602
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My 7 year old female cat is slow and not eating 24 hours

Customer Question

My 7 year old female cat is slow and not eating for over 24 hours
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Is she drinking? Can she keep water down?

Are her gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, does she have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could she have eaten anything she should not have (ie bones, stones, socks, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She tenses up when i cuddle her. She is not drinking as well.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now we do need to tread with care with Oreo. This is because cats are not well designed for anorexia. In fact, if they go off their food for more than a day or two, we run the risk of secondary liver issues (hepatic lipidosis) that can make getting them well again even more difficult. Therefore, we'd want to aim to get to the root of her signs and get her eating as quickly as we can.

Based on the signs we are seeing, we do have a few concerns. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items). Hopefully, at Oreo's age, those last ones are less likely for her.

With this all in mind and since nausea is the most common reason for feline anorexia and reduced drinking, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle her stomach. To start, you can consider treating her with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid) or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet)
Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if she has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Just to note, if she were to vomit this, that'd be a sign we' d want her on injectable anti-vomiting medication from her vet.

Though if she can keep this down and settles, we can then offer small meals of a light diet like boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset.

Though if she refuses to be tempted, since she isn't vomiting, we could also syringe feed if need be. When doing so, we tend to use calorie rich diets like Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery or in a pinch, kitten food. All can be watered down to a gruel for feeding. Otherwise, we can use liquid diets (ie clinicare, catsure) or also supplement with a nutrient paste (ie Nutrical). So, those could all be options to consider if we cannot get her eating on her own.

Since dehydration is a risk due to her drinking less, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check that she isn't dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, do make sure she doesn’t have sunken eyes and that she doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue for her (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, there are a wide range of agents could trigger Oreo's anorexia. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach and get her back feeling like herself.

All the best & happy holidays for Oreo,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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