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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10449
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Our cat has been off today. she is very lethargic - she's

Customer Question

hi - our cat has been off today. she is very lethargic - she's eating (a little) and drinking but she's not active and has no energy
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.I recently came online and see that your question about hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can. Unfortunately, there could be several different explanations for your cat's behavior with some perhaps more or less likely depending on her age.And, it may not surprise you to know that her symptoms are actually quite commonly seen when cats don't feel well and are not specific to one particular condition. As to what those conditions might be, the following are the ones I most frequently see: 1. Fever. If you have a rectal thermometer, you could take the temperature although this is often very hard to do in a cat. Normal is between 100 and 102.5.Of course, then we'd have to wonder why the temperature is elevated. Explanations for this could be: a bacterial infection or a viral infection.There is also a condition in cats that is called Fever of Unknown Origin--this is exactly what it sounds like which is that we can't find an explanation for the elevated temperature. Treatment is primarily supportive which consists of fluids and drugs to reduce the fever. Most cats recover very quickly once treatment is initiated.2. Pancreatitis can happen very suddenly and can cause a decreased appetite and lethargy. We don't have a good explanation for why this happens, either.We do have a test for this condition (spec fPL) although I've come to doubt its reliability in some cases; treatment consists of fluids and pain medication (we believe the pain is why these cats behave as they do). 3. Other systemic diseases such as kidney disease, liver disease, anemia,problems with the heart, etc. which are more commonly seen in older cats.4. Some cats just have "off" days and we're none the wiser as to why. They typically are only not their normal selves for 2-3 days at most. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to suggest any over the counter treatment options since cats are so sensitive to many of these drugs; I wouldn't want to cause more harm.However, maintaining hydration with water or Pedialyte is important, especially if there’s a fever, so I'd encourage her to drink as much as you can. Offering low sodium chicken broth or tuna/clam juice are other options.You can also mix canned food with any of the liquids mentioned above in a blender and make a gruel which she may eat. Things that you can check for at home would be1. Gum color which should be pale pink, not on the whiter side.2. Respiratory rate at rest should be 20-30 breaths/minute.3. She shouldn't be painful when you feel around on her body or when you press in between her legs. If your evaluation is different from the above and/or she's running a fever and/or her symptoms persist for more than just a few days, then a vet visit might be prudent. I hope this helps although, again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

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

Dr. Deb