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 Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21464
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

He's not eating a lot but when he eats he only licks, the

Customer Question

He's not eating a lot but when he eats he only licks
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: the liquid from the cat food and only eats slit tale of the solids. Within a few hours he vomits what he has eaten. He is older and on the thin side.
JA: The veterinarian will know if the cat will be able to digest that. Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about the cat?
Customer: he is a rescue l ve had for around 8 years. He is also drinking a lot. Not sure of his exact age maybe 14 or 15.
JA: What is the cat's name?
Customer: Smoke
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he had these signs?

Is he keeping that water down?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Any diarrhea?

Is his urine watery or does he pass large volumes?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
This morning was the 3 night he vomitted. He is keeping water down. His gums are pale pink and brown. a little sticky.When is was rescued he was found outside , he was declawed . He has bad dental disease. He doesn't really play or eat anything but his food. No noticeable tenderness on the stomach. Yes diarrhea.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I don't want to call.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hi again,

No worries, please disregard the sites auto-phone offer. I am just typing out my fully reply about Smoke and will post shortly.

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

Now Smoke's situation does raise some serious concerns. His GI signs (the vomiting, appetite loss, and diarrhea) do of course raise concerns of a viral or bacterial gut infection, pancreatitis, IBD, GI cancer, or dietary indiscretion; but his increased drinking means that we do have to also consider that the GI signs are due to a secondary infection and/or side effect of organ issues (ie kidney, liver) or metabolic disease (ie thyroid issues, etc). So, we do need to tread with care.

Now given that this sounds to be taking a toll, it would be ideal to have him seen at this point. That way we can have bloods checked to rule out/confirm underlying disease, make sure he has no sinister lumps/bumps and have his vet start injectable anti-nausea medication +/- antibiotics to nip this in the bud.

Otherwise, in the meantime, we'd want to start supportive care for Smoke. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest the stomach for a few hours first), you can consider treating with an OTC pet safe antacid [ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @]. Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Also if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

If we can soothe his stomach, we can follow this with an easily digestible diet like boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free only) There are also OTC vet diets (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) that can be used too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and less diarrhea. We can even add feline probiotics (ie Benebac, Fortiflora) and fiber (ie canned pumpkin or 0.25tsp Metamucil mixed into canned food) to firm the feces and support the gut and slow his losses via diarrhea.

Since dehydration is a risk even with his increased thirst, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and make sure dehydration isn’t an issue, there are a few parameters you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these, you can find a good video HERE ( If you do see any of these signs already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially since its often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Finally, as long as there is no blood in those stools, you can consider trying a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure for infectious issues; but it can still be of benefit. It will reduce diarrhea load, allow the body to absorb more water/nutrients, and soothe the upset gut. In regards ***** ***** options, the one we most commonly use is OTC Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and those last ones have the added bonus of providing support to the delicate good GI bacteria. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing his upset GI.

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing with Smoke. Though his increased thirst and weight loss makes me worried that these GI signs are secondary to an underlying systemic/organ issue. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to try to settle his stomach. Though it would be ideal to plan a check up for him to get to the root issues too. His vet can assess his hydration, check bloods to make sure his organs are working as they should, ensure no masses are present in the gut, or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics and treatment for any of those underlying issues to this before he wastes away on us.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello again,

How is everything with your wee one?

Dr. B.