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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1376
Experience:  I have over 20 years experience in small animal and emergency veterinary medicine.
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My cat is sneezing, is lethargic and not eating. Do cats ...

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My cat is sneezing, is lethargic and not eating. Do cats get colds? What do we do for him? Should I take him to the vet?


Yes, cats do indeed get upper respiratory infections, which are commonly referred to as colds. Most of the time, when cats get these types of infections, they sneeze a lot and may have some watery eye discharge, but they usually feel good, continue to eat and drink and act normally. The fact that your kitty is lethargic and does not want to eat, makes me more concerned. Because of this, I would definitely advise having him checked out by your vet.

In the mean time, it is very important that we try to keep him eating as cats that go very long without eating are prone to develop a liver problem called hepatic lipidosis, which is very serious. If you have not already done so, you may offer different types of canned food, boiled chicken or even tuna. Sometimes warming the food up in the microwave can make it more attractive to cats. If there is any discharge around his nose, be sure to keep this area clean as well.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

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Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Dr. B.'s Post: I was mistaken, the cat is not lethargic. He is sneezing, has watery eyes and is not eating. He is drinking water.
Thank you
The fact that he is not eating still makes me want to have him seen by your vet if this goes on for any length of time (more than one day of not eating) because of the liver complication that cats are prone to. If you can get him to eat by the things I mentioned in my previous post, it is okay to wait this out as these infections are most commonly caused by viruses and viruses are not affected by antibiotics. If, however, the discharge from the eyes or nose becomes mucus-liike or has any discoloration to it, or if he does not eat within 24 hours, it is likely that there is a bacterial infection also present, and these can be treated with antibiotics.

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