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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10292
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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She is vomiting and then now is experiencing diarrhea. My

Customer Question

She is vomiting and then now is experiencing diarrhea. My wife bathed her and cleaned her up. She the cat usually is very precise on cleaning herself and right now she has no ambition? Her fur is not a smooth and silky as it usually is. She is very quiet and is just sitting in one spot. She is actually in the room (living room) with us which usually cats segregate themselves which I was puzzled by that? Out side of taking to the vet is there anything else we can do. No offense but we are still paying off the last vet bill and it's more than our own medical bills.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the cat eat anything unusual?
Customer: I checked around to see if anything was ingested. There wasn't any plant life that was gnawed on; we keep very little plants in their vicinity so they don't get sick. They don't go outside so they are only left in the house. We feed them prime cat food dry with one can of cat food for 6 cats so they don't get much of that. So I am not sure what she could have gotten into. We try to clean with non-toxic cleaners.
JA: What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Trinity is 16 years old; our oldest is 22 years old.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Trinity?
Customer: Her last visit with the vet was an infected tooth? My wife thinks she may have another tooth that's causing her some pain but would she be experiencing both vomiting and diarrhea with that??
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about Trinity hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response but I'd like to help if you still need assistance.

I wouldn't expect gastrointestinal signs of this nature to be secondary to an infected tooth although I can understand why you wife might think they're related.

Cats who are ill or stressed often experience a change in their fur, especially if they're not grooming as much so I might not worry too much about this just yet.

In my experience when a cat this age has these symptoms, the possible causes are either secondary to a systemic disease (issues with kidneys, pancreas, liver, for example, OR possibly secondary to Late Onset Inflammatory Disease or possibly something which she might have ingested (such as otc or prescription medication). There are other possible explanations as well (such as viruses or bacterial infections) but these seem less likely since she's an indoor cat.

Regardless, I do have a few suggestions which, hopefully, will make her feel better:

1. Over the counter Pepcid AC can be given but I tend to suggest a slightly lower than normal dose if I'm uncertain as to the kidney or liver status of my patient. Therefore, I'd suggest 1/4th of a 10 mg tablet once a day.

This drug may help to reduce any nausea she's feeling.

2. As long as she's actively vomiting, feeding her will be counterproductive since it's all going to come back up. If she seems less nauseous, then I'd offer her boiled chicken breast (with or without the skin is fine) or human baby food (avoid those with onion or garlic in them), but only a small amount at one time.

3. It's fairly easy for cats this age to become dehydrated which can exacerbate the situation. I'd offer her human Pedialyte although she may not willingly drink it. If that's the case, then I'd dribble small amounts into the side of her mouth where there's a gap every several hours. The fluid requirement for healthy cats is about 1 ounce per pound of body weight in a 24 hour period to give you an idea of how much to give her.

4. There are no safe over the counter anti-diarrhea medications which I'd suggest since cats can be sensitive to many of these products. However, feline-specific probiotics may help if the stools continue to be loose once (if?) the vomiting has subsided.

Forti Flora is a good one which may be available at local pet/grain stores or online; it's a powder which can be sprinkled on the food once a day.

5. If the vomiting has subsided but her stools continue to be loose, I'd continue the boiled chicken breast. It may not be nutritious over the long term but several days of eating it should be fine.

I do tend to worry when cats this age develop gi symptoms such as this since they can deteriorate fairly quickly. But, I hope this provides several options for you to consider and that she'll respond.

Again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 10 months ago.
Hi James,

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

Dr. Deb