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DrChristineM, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3713
Experience:  6 years in small animal medicine, focus on feline medicine
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I am trying to figure out how best to help my cat. Current

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I am trying to figure out how best to help my cat. Current symptoms: she is not eating much, or drinking much and is losing weight. Her fur is kind of greasy. She was put on clomicalm about 3 weeks or so ago. She is not peeing for a long time, then she pees a whole lot all at once. She is slightly, but not very, lethargic. I can tell she doesn't feel good.

I took her to the vet yesterday morn, for radiographs, blood test and urinalysis. Radiographs - negative. Urine showed some crystalization, dark and thicker. She was dehydrated so they gave her sub-q fluids. Blood showed elevated liver indicators (both types). Pancreas, kidneys and thyroid all ok. At onset of symptoms I asked if this could be side effect of clomicalm, they said no. I re-asked today and they're not sure (fill-in vet was kind enough to call me on the weekend even though they are closed). She was most worried about cat not eating. How worried should I be about her not eating enough (she is eating some, but not much) and the side effects of that? How do I know when to go seek emergency vet care? Other than the symptoms described above, she seems ok (to the casual observer she would not appear ill at all). She acts hungry until food is presented and then she has maybe a bite and then ignores it.
Thank you for your question. I just have a couple of questions for you.

Why was Kiki put on the Clomicalm?

How long after she was started on the Clomicalm did the current symptoms begin?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We tried the Clomicalm mostly as a last resort due to her bullying some of my other cats. I have 4 other cats, all are indoors. Even though she is the 2nd youngest, she bullies the 2 older females to the point that one has been peeing around the house. I tried feliway for about 6 months, a pheromone collar for probably another 6 months, but she just won't quit and let them be. She is fine with the older male, and HATES the younger male.


She mostly stopped bullying them almost immediately after starting the clomicalm, and she was also slightly lethargic. I thought she had lost a very small amount of weight since onset, but nothing for sure. Then maybe about a week or so ago, I thought something was NQR. Couldn't put a finger on it. Maybe about a week ago I noticed something odd about her urination patterns (hard to tell when you have 5 indoor cats and 6 cat boxes). Then 2-3 days ago she was noticeably not eating much and very odd about peeing. Also she has not pooped in at least one day, although the vet did say there wasn't much in her system to come out.


OK, thank you for the additional information. I strongly believe that the symptoms you are seeing are due to the Clomicalm. It is very concerning when cats don't eat--they don't do well when they go long periods of time without eating.

Here is the Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook adverse effect report for clomicalm: "anorexia, emesis, diarrhea, elevated liver enzymes, and sedation/lethargy/depression....Cats have been reported to be more susceptible to the adverse effects than dogs."

The time for elimination of the drug can up to 72 hours--so even if you stop the drug now, there may be some side effects for up to three days, just so you are aware.

I would encourage you to continue to trying to force feed her, syringe feed baby food into her mouth if you have to.

As for her behavior issue, once she recovers from the side effects of this drug, you may want to either discuss a totally different drug like Prozac, or look into having a consultation with a behavior specialist to determine what other methods you can use to help her and your other cats get along more peacefully.

I hope this information is helpful--please let me know if I can answer any other questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX was feeling very strongly that the clomicalm was at fault. Also good to know that it can take 72 hours to exit her system. Would it take longer than that due to the fact that she is not eating/drinking/eliminating normally?


Also, she is quite the diva and hisses, claws, screams bloody murder and tries to jump away when being held when she doesn't want to. Any tips for the force-feeding? (it is SO NOT going well....I've only tried once and that was almost a total disaster)


If I can't get enough food into her (fill-in vet said she needs a minimum of 1 large can of cat food per day), when does it become emergency that I should take her to the vet again (other than just using my best judgment, do you have any input)? I was trying to syringe feed her with a mixture of a/d and water (kind of like a gruel).

72 hours is the normal time for the drug to exit the system, I wouldn't expect it to take longer due to her not eating normally.

I would really like to think that within about 24 hours of no drug going in, she should start feeling better. Which means I would hope her appetite would start picking up in that time.

My own oldest cat is quite a challenge to force feed as well (on those occasions when I have had to). I have had to wrap her in a blanket sometimes a second person is a helpful thing (although not always possible!). I try to gently place the tip of the syringe in the corner of the mouth and squirt in a small amount at a time. I would be happy if she got a half a can of a/d and water. If you absolutely can't get in even 1/4 of a can throughout a day, then you may want to consider bringing her in, but hospitalizing her for force feeding her is going to be costly--I might (if I were you) just try to stick it out getting as much as you possibly can into her, while tempting her with anything AT ALL for the next days, and only then if she still refuses to eat, bring her in (once the drug is out of her system).

DrChristineM and other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Deanna,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Kiki. How is everything going?


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