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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20632
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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We have a 10 year old cat that stopped eating a few days

Customer Question

Hi we have a 10 year old cat that stopped eating a few days ago. not interested in anything we put down. seems fine otherwise.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name?
Customer: sadie
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about sadie?
Customer: She has always been healthy and we have not had any issues with her before. she is an indoor cat.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

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

Has Sadie shown any discomfort with her mouth?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Is she drinking normally? More or less?

Any changes to her breathing or paling of her gums?

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

Could she have eaten anything she should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No. No. seems normal everything except for her eating. Doesn't show any signs of pain or discomfort. Don't know of anything she might have eaten otherwise.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you,

Now the signs Sadie is showing are very vague ones that can occur with a range of issues. That said, the most common reason for an older cat to develop anorexia is nausea even without vomiting. So, if she has no signs of oral discomfort (from rotten teeth, oral ulcers or masses), then we'd be most wary of her signs being related to a gut infection, pancreatitis, metabolic condition, dietary indiscretion (less likely at her age), or possibly secondary to cancer or an organ (ie kidney, liver) issues.

With those in mind and since cats are not well designed to be off food (they can develop secondary liver issues), we want to start supportive care. To start, we can try to counter any nausea with an antacid. Kitty safe options would be Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet). This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if she does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease her upset stomach.

Afterwards, we'd want to keep offering her favorites to eat, but can also try a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs, meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used here (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity.) You can offer small frequent meals for her.

Though, if tempting doesn’t work and since Sadie isn't actively vomiting, then we can offer or syringe feed a calorie rich diets (ie Hill's A/D , Royal Canin Recovery, kitten food), liquid diets (ie Clinicare, Catsure) or a nutrient paste (ie Nutrical). All will get more in per bite to stave off liver based hepatic lipidosis, and buy you time to uncover the reason for her anorexia and lethargy.

Overall, when a cat is anorexic, it raises some serious worries and is an issue we need to get settled for them as quickly as we can. So, we'd want to start the above now for Sadie to see if we can get her eating. Though if she doesn't respond to this in the next 12-24 hours or she worsens, then you do want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, check her signs of any sinister lumps/bumps or internal issues via blood sample. As long as no foreign items are suspected, they can also cover her with antibiotics, anti-nausea/vomiting medication by injection and appetite stimulating drugs to get her eating and keep her from fading away on us.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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