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Jess K
Jess K, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1303
Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian
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My cat is lethargic, won't eat or drink, straining to poop

Customer Question

My cat is lethargic, won't eat or drink, straining to poop with no results except for a clear thick liquid that appear to come from his pee area, not from where his bowels exit
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
There is no sign of diarrhea in the litter box, however hair near his anus had two drops of runny stool. He did urinate earlier today outside the box which is not normal
Expert:  Jess K replied 10 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am very sorry to hear about your kitty. How long ago did he urinate? Was it a normal volume of urine or just a small amount?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Approx four to six hours ago and volume seemed normal. He is 8 to 9 months old. Good size and weight. Looks like an adult cat
Expert:  Jess K replied 10 months ago.

And are you sure he isn't straining to urinate now? The reason I ask is that in male cats with urethral obstruction (which causes inability to urinate) can have lethargy, and anorexia. And sometimes it can be difficult to tell which a cat is trying to do in the litterbox- urinate or have a bowel movement.

If you press on his belly, is it tense or painful? Especially the lower belly- towards his hind legs?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It feels ridgid but does not seem painful when I press there. He did not tense up or resist. He just went again. Four trips to the box in thirty min all yielding small amount thick clear liquid
Expert:  Jess K replied 10 months ago.

Ok. Had he been having normal bowel movements up until now? Has he had any constipation issues in the past?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He went today when I was at work and no past issues of constipation
Expert:  Jess K replied 10 months ago.

Ok. And what did the poop look like today, was it normal looking?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
it looked normal. I should mention he chewed on a plastic treat bag two nights ago
Expert:  Jess K replied 10 months ago.

Do you think he swallowed a portion of it?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It's possible. A few Pieces of plastic missing about this size of a thumb nail bed or smaller
Expert:  Jess K replied 10 months ago.

Ok. That small would be unlikely to cause the issues you are describing.

I am still very concerned this could be a urethral obstruction. If he keeps going to the litterbox and straining, and nothing is being produced, and he is lethargic and not eating, it is definitely at the top of my list. And your kitty could be producing small amounts of liquid from the rectum just from all the straining to try to pee. It would be my recommendation to take your kitty to the emergency vet. Unfortunately urethral obstruction is an emergency situation. Here is an article on the condition: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1111

The only way to tell if your kitty is blocked is for the vet to palpate his bladder. This isn't something that is easy to do if you have never palpated a bladder before, so it is not really possible to tell by feeling the belly at home.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Omy gosh he just vomited white froth. I will look into an emergency vet in my area. I don't think we have one
Expert:  Jess K replied 10 months ago.

Where do you live? If you call your vet, they may have a number of an after hours emergency vet, or they may have someone on call.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Southern California, Santa Barbara county. I will Google it. Why do you think he vomited foam the size of a half dollar
Expert:  Jess K replied 10 months ago.

It is not uncommon for blocked cats to vomit. A combination of the straining, pain, and nausea as a result of the discomfort. If he truly is constipated, then we can see vomiting with constipation as well. If a blockage has been going on for a day or longer, we can see vomiting as result of toxins building up in the bloodstream, but hopefully that isn't the issue with him since he did pee earlier today.

Definitely call around to find an emergency vet, it is worth a drive to be sure your kitty will be ok!

If you have any other questions, please let me know.. If you do not have any other questions, please take a moment to RATE our conversation so we can know if you were satisfied with your service and I can get credit for helping to answer your question. Thank you and good luck!