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Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20973
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My cat was sneezing a lot 2days ago, now is very lethargic

Customer Question

My cat was sneezing a lot 2days ago, now is very lethargic and won't eat or drink anything. Tried soft rice in chicken broth...nothing. He looks so dehydrated....nose is dry. No drainage from eyes.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hello, Michelle and welcome!

My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to help you and Brutus today.

I'm so sorry he's not feeling well. It's possible that he has an upper respiratory infection and his sense of smell is decreased, and that's why he's not interested in eating or drinking. A cat won't eat what he can't smell. If he's still sneezing, run a humidifier in the rooms where he spends the most time.

Not eating or drinking is very serious, as you know, because not eating, even for a short period of time can result in a condition called hepatic lipidosis or 'fatty liver' and the only treatment is eating. If you think he's dehydrated, pull up on his scruff and see if it springs right back into place or takes a longer time to go down. If it doesn't spring right back, this is a sign of dehydration.

For the moment, you can try feeding him with a dropper or medicine/children's/pet syringe, with watered down smooth cat food and/or plain, jarred baby food chicken containing NO onion or garlic. Go in from the side of his mouth (not the front) and squeeze in a little bit at a time, waiting for a swallow. You can encourage the swallow reflex by gently rubbing his throat. Also, dropper/syringe feed him plain water or a mixture of 50/50 water and children's unflavored Pedialyte. He's also probably hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) from not eating, so rub a few drops of honey, Karo syrup, or pancake syrup into his gums and this might perk him up and spark his appetite.

It would be best if you could have him seen in person by a vet or ER vet right away, to get a diagnosis and have him treated. He may have a viral or bacterial infection or has ingested a toxic or other non-food item and this is causing his symptoms.

I hope all will be well with Brutus and you're able to get him into see a vet today, then can you please let me know how he's doing? Thanks!

Please kindly rate my answer with positive feedback and if you have any additional questions, just click Reply and I will always be here for you and Brutus. Rating will not cut off our ability to communicate. This question will always be open for you to reply to me.

Warmest wishes,
Cher

Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.
Hi again, Michelle.

Another thought just occurred to me; have you seen him urinate within the past 12-24 hours? Male cats are prone to urethral blockages and this can make them very sick, very quickly, so if you have NOT seen him urinate within the past day, this would be considered a medical emergency, and that visit to the ER vet would need to be immediate.

If you HAVE seen evidence of urination within this period of time, and if you were fortunate enough to see him urinate, did he strain at all, was there blood in his urine and/or did he deposit nothing or just a few dribbles came out? Is he going to the litterbox very often? These are symptoms of a possible blockage, but sometimes, when it has reached a certain point, the cat is just too weak to even go to the litterbox and you said he was very lethargic.

I just wanted to mention this as another possibility, and not alarm you, but just inform you.

Warmest wishes,
Cher