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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16920
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Cat wont eat but no temp and blood work is clear. very

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cat wont eat but no temp and blood work is clear. very lethargic too.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the cat. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: sir. 9
JA: What is the cat's name?
Customer: sir
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the cat?
Customer: fixed but nothing else

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

I am sorry to hear that your fellow Sir isn't feeling well, refusing to eat normally and very lethargic despite normal blood tests and lack of a fever. It is frustrating to hear that test results are normal when he obviously is not.

I am worried that he has suddenly lost his appetite. Cats that don't eat well for a period of time can get into trouble with hepatic lipidosis. This is fatty liver disease caused by overwhelming the liver with fats being broken down for energy to live when they don't eat such that it cannot perform normal functions. This is a secondary disease, but it can be deadly and needs to be aggressively managed. If a cat doesn't eat anything for more than 3-4 days it is time to consider placing a feeding tube.

I understand that blood tests have been done. I assume that he had a complete blood count and biochemistry profile as well as a T-4.

If it hasn't been done I would also check a specific blood test for pancreatitis, a fel spec PL (feline specific pancreatic lipase).

If those tests are done and come back normal the next step is an abdominal ultrasound and/or either exploratory surgery or endoscopy to gather biopsies of his gastrointestinal tract to look for inflammatory bowel disease or cancer.

In the meantime since he is showing signs of nausea and stomach upset (lack of appetite) you can give him an acid reducer to help. At home you can give either:

1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of 1/2 of a 10mg tablet per 10-20 pound cat every 12 hours.

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of 1/4 of a 20mg tablet per 10-20 pound cat every 24 hours.

These are acid reducers and could help him feel better. They are quite safe and should be given for several days or long term if need be.

You can tempt him with a homemade bland diet for the next several days. A homemade bland diet is a mix of 2/3 boiled minced white skinless chicken and 1/3 boiled white rice mixed with some low salt chicken broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow and get in plenty of fluids. Feed small meals frequently.

Another option is to try feeding him a higher calorie prescription food called Hills a/d or Iams Maximum Calorie from your veterinarian.

Make sure he has access to plenty of fresh, clean water. Hydration is extremely important, especially in sick cats.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
thank you. he has no upset stomach, just wont eat or move much. he is drinking a little water.

I understand that he isn't actively vomiting, but if he isn't eating it is worth trying something to decrease nausea and seeing if that helps. Not all nauseous cats vomit, especially if they haven't eaten and there isn't anything to vomit, some just refuse to eat.

His lack of appetite and lethargy indicate abdominal discomfort to me. If bloodwork so far is normal then more testing needs to be done.

They can also prescribe an appetite stimulant in the meantime, either cyproheptadine or mirtazapine are options for kitties.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
ok, thank you. taking him back to vet with better understanding.

That sounds like a good plan, please let me know how things go for him.

Dr. Kara and other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Had to put Sir down. Had advanced cancer. Lost my buddy. Your answers were great. Just a tough situation where he showed NO symptoms until he stopped eating on Friday. Lungs started filling up on Monday. Thank You.

I am so very sorry to hear about Sir. His advanced cancer diagnosis makes sense. Cancer is often insidious and they often have normal blood test results, even at the later stages, unless the cancer starts in a particular organ. In his case I suspect that his cancer either spread (metastasized) or originated in his lungs, thus the secondary fluid build up. Kitties that have poor oxygen exchange (which happens at a certain point when enough lung tissue is involved) quickly get poor appetites. The trouble with that scenario is by the time they show symptoms they are very, very sick kitties that are very hard, if not impossible, to help. Given his distress I think that letting him go via humane euthanasia was the best thing for him. I can imagine though because things snowballed so quickly it was a very difficult decision. My deepest condolences, thank you for taking the time to follow up with me and let me know how things turned out for him, Dr. Kara.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you so much.

You are very welcome, please take care & know you are in my thoughts.