I have a kitten, 5 months, and starting yesterday she has been very lethargic, shivering a bit, but she will eat. She

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Customer: I have a kitten, 5 months, and starting yesterday she has been very lethargic, shivering a bit, but she will eat
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How has the kitten's appetite been? Any changes in her stool?
Customer: She has been eating, stool seems normal, it's hard to tell since we have two cats
JA: Could she have eaten something unusual?
Customer: It's a possibility but we don't know
JA: What's the kitten's name?
Customer: Tater Tot
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: She keeps moving to small spaces and won't drink water
Answered by Dr4Cats in 1 min 1 year ago
Pet Specialist

15,444 satisfied customers

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

This is Dr. Cynthia. Thank you for contacting us. I am credentialed as a cat specialist, but I do all animals. Dogs, cats, horses, and farm animals. I have over 30 years clinical experience with a degree in animal nutrition also. I will try to help with your concerns on here. The system will automatically offer an option for a phone call. Just ignore the offer or decline. I cannot do phone calls. Please understand that this is a consulting site only. Without a proper physical examination we cannot by law issue a prescription for medication or make a definitive diagnosis for your pet. Based on the information that you provide we can evaluate your situation and advise you on home care and treatment or determine if it would be best to see your local veterinarian.

Thank you for the information that you have provided. Please give me just a minute to review what you have provided already. I may have more questions. I will be answering multiple customers so please be patient between replies.

From what you describe it may be an upper respiratory virus. You probably know that the common upper respiratory virus in cats is caused by a herpes virus that they contract usually as kittens. The virus can cause any of a variety of symptoms, of varying severity. It can cause a mild sore throat, laryngitis with voice change, congestion, nose and eye inflammation and discharges, sneezing, often significant lethargy, and loss of appetite. In fact, it is often very evident that the cat has an exaggerated swallow, even extending their neck to swallow. They may gag and retch, drool, or gag up phlegm that is often confused with vomiting.

It is important that Tater Tot stay nourished and hydrated. This virus usually lasts 3-5 days, often less in vaccinated cats. In kittens however the symptoms may come and go during stress periods like teething, growth, surgery, etc. Like kids and colds. Once the immune system matures the virus should be controlled. Keeping vaccinations, deworming, viral testing, and parasite control up to date in the kittens will help them maintain a strong immune system and speed recovery.

As long as your kitty is eating some, acting relatively normally with no other symptoms, and there is no color to any eye or nose discharge they require no treatment. If the discharges are yellow or green, they should have antibiotics. Antihistamine and decongestants are contraindicated in cats with URI. If they refuse to eat anything, act more lethargic, the symptoms you describe persist, or any congestion and discharge worsens, your kitty should be seen by a veterinarian. Soft, strong smelling foods, if possible, are usually better accepted. I would suggest offering strained chicken baby food to eat. It is soft, easy to digest, palatable, and provides needed fluids.

I hope this helps, we try to answer your questions and concerns as best we can on this site without the benefit of a proper physical examination. Please appreciate that it is always advisable to seek local veterinary care if possible. Let me know if there is anything further I can help you with. Thanks so much, and kind regards!

Thank you! That helped a lot!!

You are very welcome.

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