My cat is refusing to eat. Great appetite until we took him to our vet for routine exam 12/28. Looking for help to

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Customer: My cat is refusing to eat. Great appetite until we took him to our vet for routine exam 12/28.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with your cat?
Customer: Looking for help to encourage him to eat. All other behavior normal.
JA: Where does your cat seem to hurt?
Customer: Not nowhere.
JA: OK. No obvious pain. Can you see anything that looks wrong or different?
Customer: He has thrown up a small hairball. Until a day or so ago he was hiding. Assume stress from going to vey vet
JA: Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did your cat eat anything unusual?
Customer: Not eating at all
JA: What is the cat's name?
Customer: Dizzy
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Dizzy?
Customer: Sensitive to stress. Got a shot of penicillin and 2 vaccines. All other behavior normal now.
Answered by Dr. Thompson in 19 mins 3 years ago
Dr. Thompson
Pet Specialist

340 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Cat Veterinary, Cat Medicine, Cat Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

Hi, this is Dr. Thompson. I’ve been a dog and cat veterinarian since 2000. Thanks for your question. Any messages you get offering a phone consultation are from the computer system, not me! My license doesn’t allow me to offer that service but I’m happy to text chat with you… Now, I understand your cat has had a poor appetite since visiting the vet on 12/28. I'll be back in a few minutes with some advice...


Thank you.

First, may I ask why Dizzy got a shot of penicillin from the vet?

He had a small sore on his belly and the shot was offered as an option. That sore is basically healed now.
He is not acting lethargic. Not retching. He is overweight and usually eats well. His brother Alex was brought in same time and got same vaccinations but no antibiotics. Alex is eating. Dizzy seems interested when he hears us going to get food but sniffs and walks away. Hope that helps with more context.
6years old

OK... When I see animals that lose their appetite, are lethargic, have vomiting, etc. after a vet visit that involves vaccination OR injections/medications, I suspect they may be having a reaction to that. Stress can be upsetting, but I'd expect 99% of cats to get over the experience in about a day.


Reactions to vaccines are often treated with steroids and sometimes antihistamines. You would need to consult your vet to see if they want to prescribe medicine or see Dizzy again to make sure he's OK.


Reactions to antibiotics should wear off in time. You can give a daily dose of probiotic such as Proviable (buy on Amazon once a day for a week or two.


There is always a chance something more serious is going on with him and the stress pushed him over the edge. It would be a good idea to at least CALL your vet and let them know what's going on.



Thank you. Does it make a difference in your thinking that his only reaction seems to be lack of appetite? And I am speaking with my vet tomorrow morning.

Since you didn't mention soft stools, I suspect a vaccine reaction. I've seen it many times and sometimes it's hard to diagnose for sure, but in the absence of other symptoms, it could be that. Your vet needs to know even if Dizzy is feeling better tomorrow because they can mark it on his record so hopefully it won't happen next time he gets vaccines. Hope Dizzy is back to normal soon!


Thank you for submitting your question! It's been a pleasure to work with you. My goal is to fully answer your question. Please don’t hesitate to ask follow-up questions if you have any. If you’re finished, I’d really appreciate if you’d give me a 5-star rating. I’m paid a portion of your fee only if you give me a positive rating. Just click on the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). We can continue here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know if you have more questions. : )


I won’t keep you longer than necessary and will certainly give a top rating. My burning question now is whether he is in immediate danger based on what I’ve told you so far, specifically eating only a few mouthfuls of food in 3 days, with all other things normal?
Understanding of course that you only know what I’ve told you and haven’t exams him.

Actually, I'm glad to hear he's eating at least a little bit! Signs that he is in immediate danger would be: trouble breathing, extremely lethargic, seizures, severe pain, paralysis... You don't mention any of these so it's unlikely he is in an emergency situation. Of course, only you can judge that, so keep an eye on him and take him to ER if things get worse tonight.

Thank you very much. I’ll get with my regular vet in the morning.

Good plan! Hope things return to normal soon. Have a good night.

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Dr. Thompson
340 satisfied customers
Pet Specialist
Dr. Thompson
+ years of experience

340 satisfied customers



Licensed veterinarians

31,131 satisfied customers

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