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cat: symptoms: sneezing, lethargy, wont eat, squinting, acts..lungs

Customer Question

My cat has these symptoms: sneezing, lethargy, won't eat, squinting, acts like she has a headache, often has tongue sticking out. Have been to the vet and she does not have a fever, her lungs are clear, her mouth is clear, her heart sounds fine. Any ideas?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 11 years ago.

It sounds like she might have allergies, hence the sneezing.


The most common cause of this scratching is fleas or an allergy to fleas. Even if you don't see fleas, it only takes one to get the cycle started and it continue long after fleas are gone.


If you suspect allergies are the cause:


Cats don't just have allergies to food. They also have allergies to products, household cleaning solutions and fleas.

The vet can provide meds that will help with hair loss, any secondary fungal infections and will make your cat feel better. Prednisone often is used to control any itch and give the skin time to heal.


Some cats get a great deal of relief from a diet change to a low allergy diet. Your vet can help you pick a product that will be best for your cat.


Some cats respond well to an antihistamine, including benadryl.


If you don't have the cat on frontline or other prescription flea product, you will want to do that as soon as you can.


You should also get the cat started on a supplement that contains omega three fatty acids. Good skin starts on the inside.


I hope this helps.



Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tammy Falkner's Post: Scratching is not a symptom. I am religious with Frontline and vaccinations. The vet suggested allergies also but I've had animals with allergies and they didn't act like they're at death's door.

Also, when I say she won't eat, I mean it literally. I have tried tuna, Nutri-Cal, ham, different catfoods ... she sniffs them but has not taken a single bite in 3 days. I touched some Nutri-Cal on her tongue and she acted as if her throat had closed up.

By lethargy, I mean that a 3-year-old cat who is, normally, very active all day as well as night, she just lays in one place all the time.

I'm scared ...

Expert:  Tammy F. replied 11 years ago.

You should be very worried. Any time that a cat won't eat for more than 48 hours, you are in serious trouble. Their liver can fail and then the cat can die. It is called hepatic lipidosis where the liver thinks it is being starved and starts "grabbing" fat cells...and actually ends up killing the liver.


I suggest that you see the vet first thing for a full exam and possibly bloodwork to find out what's going on.


Let me know if you still have questions.

Tammy F., Not an active Expert
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9168
Experience: Not an active Expert
Tammy F. and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tammy Falkner's Post: Thank you for your help. Late last night she started eating! Hurray! She's not quite up to par yet but she's on the way.

Again, thank you. I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner ...

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