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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15718
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat has become withdrawn, lethargic and vomited yesterday.

Customer Question

My cat has become withdrawn, lethargic and vomited yesterday. He is not eating or drinking without me placing water in his mouth. He is very twitchy. He will open his eyes but little energy. His fur is molting lots. He is normally very outgoing. The only thing different is we gave him some wet food two days ago ,just one can. He keeps wanting to hide under my daughters bed.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help. If you would still like some assistance, can you tell me: When did this all start?When did he last pass urine?Can he keep at least water down?Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing? Between his back legs?Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?Has he had any diarrhea?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
It started two days ago. He peed a small amount last night I have been giving him a small amount of water every 30 to 40 minutes along with dry food I soaked in water a couple pieces at a time. He had a watery smelly stool last night not a large amount. I have palpated his tummy and did not find he was overly responsive. He is quite week but can walk a few steps. He is vacant in his responses but will lift his head.
I am not sure if he ate something he should not have I do have a poinsettia and begonia plant but have never seen him near them
I did give him a can up wet food two or three days ago that was the first time I had done that. He did eat that completely.
We have him in a basket beside us and are monitoring him carefully
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** am glad to hear he is passing urine, since not being able to do so can cause these kinds of signs but is a feline emergency when it occurs. With that aside, if it has been 2 days, then we do need to tread with care. His signs do raise worries of a toxicity but also the weakness/lethargy could be secondary to dehydration and energy loss from his lack of eating. Otherwise, I would note that these signs could also be triggered by a bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis (if the wet food was much more fatty then his guts are used to), parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions. With this all in mind and how severely affected he sounds, I must say that if he were my patient I would want to see him at this stage. If he is seen now, we can head off severe dehydration, use injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to get him back on tract and prevent this getting to a point where he develop secondary fatty liver issues ( a big problem with cats off food) or dehydration that may require him being hospitalised for IV fluids. If there is any delay in you having him seen, you can at least add in some further supportive care. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest his stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating him with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Though I would note that if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet. Once that has had time to absorb and he is steadier on his stomach, you can consider tempting him to eat (as I am sure you have). Favorites are allowed or do try him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. If he cannot be tempted, then we’d need to think about syringe feeding. To syringe feed, we can water down calorie rich diets (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet, even canned kitten food) or use a liquid diet (ie Clinicare, Catsure). As well, there are paste supplements (ie Nutrical) that can also be used. And these will all get more in per bite even if we cannot get much in. Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he 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 ( If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue for him (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell). And just to note in regards ***** ***** giving fluids, do be aware that he needs 48ml per kilogram of his body weight each day. So, that would be our minimum aim to keep him hydrated. Of course, any more loose stools and we’d need to add in fluids to match those losses. Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the GI upset we are seeing but with how severely affected he sounds I’d be keen to have him seen by his local vet at this stage. That way we can get to the root cause quicker and get him onto injectable treatment to settle this for him. Otherwise, we can try the above for the next few hours, but want to see some real positive progress for him and eating; else again we’d be best to have him seen. Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

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