How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Cher Your Own Question
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21258
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Cher is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My cat has a big belly and isn't eating much this has been

This answer was rated:

my cat has a big belly and isn't eating much this has been going on for a day or so
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** is about 8 years old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Zoe-?
Customer: i don't think so- she's been laying around - she lets me feel her stomach- it feels strange i am super worried

Hi, I'm Cher. Welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm reviewing your question now and will post back with your reply, shortly.

Hello, again.

I'm sorry Zoe has developed a bloated belly.

Is she spayed?

If she's not eating much, is she drinking at all and using the litterbox? Have you seen urination and stools in the box in the past couple of days?

Does she spend time outside?

Is she in the habit of eating non-food items like pieces of toys, or stringy things like string, ribbon, fishing line? Does she get into the trash or have access to any human medications?

Thanks for all your additional information. After you reply, please allow me a short while to compose and send my detailed answer.

Best regards,


Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Cher!She is spayed. We found her about 7 years ago and I believe she was just coming out of kitten hood at the time. She has had all of her shots. Not an outdoor cat. She is drinking water, eating dry food and using the litter box. I went and checked the litter locker and her box- nothing looks out of the norm- in smell or color, shape and size. She does not eat anything but food- lol, never had any interest in strings, or ribbon as a snack. She does not ever go into the trash or is near any human medications. She feels kinda boney to me lately- but her belly has two lumps in it and they are soft- she lets me touch them. About a month ago, she had ear mites, but I took care of that real quick- but she would not let me NEAR her ears at the time.She doesn't not seem distressed or in pain. Maybe i am a little frantic about this- but I am very concerned. Thank you for your help. Her vet that she went to before is about 30 miles away- we moved, I may want to call one close by in the morning? I am new to cat illness, she is my first cat and I simply adore her. Thank you for your help!!

Hi, again and thanks so much for your very helpful reply.

At first you said she 'has a big belly,' then you said 'she has two lumps in it and they are soft.' The fact that she didn't show a pain response when you touched them, is good.

A bloated belly can be the sign of many ailments. The first and most important, is Feline Infectious Peritonitis or FIP. Read more, here:


Bringing her to a vet in your new area, tomorrow morning, is the best thing you can do for her. If her belly is bloated and the vet suspects FIP, s/he will will withdraw some fluid from her abdomen with a very fine needle, to see the color and consistency.

The vet will also feel the lumps you felt and try to determine what they are. They may be cysts or tumors and some imaging may be necessary, like an x-ray or ultrasound to make a definite diagnosis.

She may have some stool stuck in her intestines or a hairball. You said you feel she's been losing weight. Older cats tend to lose weight for no reason at all, but she's not all that old. Eating normally, or more than usual, plus losing weight, is a symptom of hyperthyroidism, so the vet should do a routine senior blood panel, including a Free T4 thyroid test, to get more information.

As long as she doesn't seem uncomfortable or in distress, you can wait until tomorrow morning. If her situation changes for the worse, through the night, you'll have to bring her to an ER vet center. If you don't know where one is, plug your zipcode into this site and you'll find the nearest one:


I hope all will be well with Zoe and please let me know how she's doing and what the vet's findings are. Thanks!

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback, 5 stars from the ratings box at the top of your page; that is the only way I will receive credit from the website for my effort and assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation. Should you need me for any follow-up, clarification or additional information, simply click 'Reply to Expert'.

Please don't hesitate to request me by name, for any future questions; just type: "For Cher Only" to begin your post. Thank you!

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you for the fast reply. I'm going to take her to the vet tomorrow. Really hoping it's not FIP.
I read about that before I came to this site. I'll be in touch with hopefully good news.

You're most welcome!

Good, I'm glad you'll be taking her to the vet, tomorrow. I'm hoping it's not FIP, either! Thanks for promising to be in touch, after you see the vet and have more information. Yes, I'll be praying that it's good news!

Please take a moment to rate my answer so I know you found it useful. Thanks so much!

Looking forward to your news, tomorrow.

Warmest wishes,


Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Cher,Today was a tough one. We spent a few hours at the vet and the diagnosis is Lymphoma. The large lumps were her spleen. She had many tests done and quite frankly, I felt terrible doing this, but I have to know what exactly was wrong with her. The doctor was wonderful and very understanding.He said she could pass away in days- this broke my heart but i have to face reality. He drained the fluid from her and she is breathing much better now. I have read that they can live longer, I sure hope so. He gave me doxy and steroids to help her. I am very upset about this, but I will give her the best care at this point. I'll always keep her quality of life as my biggest concern down the road. I want to thank you very much for your help and if you have any words of wisdom to assist me in her care, I'd appreciate it.~ Warm regards,.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Cher,I am sorry, I should have been more clear- it's high-grade lymphoma. He stated this is aggressive. What is so odd, is that her eyes are clear and pretty, and her fur shiny and soft. She looks like a normal, healthy cat. Which seems strange.I thank you again, have a great night.~ Terri

Hi again, Terri and you're most welcome.

Thanks so much for your update on Zoe, albeit sad.

I'm sorry the news wasn't better and lymphoma did occur to me last night, but I didn't want to alarm you until she was seen in person by the vet and tests were done.

I'm glad the vet drained some fluid to help her breathe better and the medications she has received/been prescribed, are good ones. If more fluid develops and affects her breathing, you can ask the vet about Lasix, a diuretic.

You're absolutely correct that her quality of life is most important and you will continue to provide that for her. It's really sad and she's so young to develop this condition. Because it's high-grade lymphoma and aggressive, it gives you a little time to make her life as wonderful as possible. I know it's frustrating that she has no outward signs that she's 'that' sick, but for now, that's great!

She knows how loved she is and she will be ultra-spoiled from now on. You and your vet will know when it's 'time' and you will make the dreaded decision all cat parents have to make one day, out of your love for her.

My heart and best thoughts are with you and Zoe and I hope you have her around to love, for as long as possible.

Please keep me posted on how she's coming along with the meds and how you're holding up.

Warmest wishes,


Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thank you again~ I'll keep you posted and I appreciate your kind words of wisdom and love. :)

OH, Terri, you're so very welcome!

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
My beautiful, sweet baby Zoe lost her fight. She was breathing a bit hard today, I heard the death rattle and knew it was just a matter of a few hours. She fought hard and tried to comfort me, she knew it was time. I laid her next me and told her it was okay and I'd always love her. She went fast, in a matter of a few minutes after that. I am heart broken beyond belief. My rock, my baby- she tried so hard. I wrapped her up real pretty and I am going to have her cremated.Thank you so much~ my time with her was a lot shorter than I wished it could have been. But she is free from pain and hopefully in the sunshine feeling free and healthy again. I am going to try and attach a picture.

OH, Terri, I'm so sorry to hear your precious Zoe has passed. I send you my heartfelt condolences. You were there to comfort each other and she was not in any pain, so those are things to be thankful for.

Thank you for attaching the picture; she's beautiful!

There is a pet loss site I think you would appreciate and if you scroll down all the way to the bottom, click on 'The Poem' and see if this helps. It describes exactly what you mentioned: she's romping in the sunshine, not in pain, enjoying herself with all the other kitties and pets who have passed over the Rainbow Bridge. One day you will be reunited with your baby.


My best thoughts are with you and I am crying along with you, because I know how it feels to lose a beloved furry companion.....

All my love,


Cher and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

Related Cat Questions