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ERAnimalNurse, Emergency Critical Care Nurse
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2302
Experience:  16+ years of veterinary experience
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My 15 year old cat has stopped eating and drinking. We can ...

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My 15 year old cat has stopped eating and drinking. We can coax her to take a few licks of things but she leans her head over and swallows hard several times after she does. She seems interested in the food, but won''t eat it. I have opened her mouth and looked for anything unusual (ulcers, foreign bodies) but nothing. She doesn''t mew when I rub her neck, throat or sides of her mouth. Very lethargic. Did notice that her nose was running but it seems to happen after she licks a food, water, then she sneezes. Have given her 3 days of an anitbiotic we had leftover from a stray that we saved (yes, we gave the original prescription in full, unlike people, the vet gave us extra in case we had a hard time giving the meds to a firery unknown cat!). Seems the same. What to try next? Live in a very rural town and don''t have $ or access to good care.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  ERAnimalNurse replied 9 years ago.

Hi there,

I am sorry your kitty is having trouble. I am worried that your kitty is going to get into some pretty serious medical trouble because she is not wanting to eat or drink as much as normal. Cats need to eat, and are at very high risk of liver failure if they do not take in enough calories. I suspect that your kitty is nauseated because of the symptoms you are describing and I think that this nausea is due to an illness that has yet been diagnosed. Cats are considered to be geriatric at 8 years old, and are prone to illness as they age. The 3 most common ailments known to afflict elderly cats are diabetes, kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, dehydration, weakness, muscle wasting, poor hair coat, weight loss, changes in appetite, changes in behavior, increased water consumption, increased urination, and increased vocalizations. Unfortunately, antibiotics are most likely not what this kitty needs and a 3 day course would not be all that effective if they were needed. This kitty needs to see a vet, and it needs to be soon. Once cats are exhibiting signs of illness, they are often experiencing advanced stages of illness. Your kitty is going to continue to decompensate and dehydrate. If you are able to have her seen now, you may be able to avoid hospitalization and expensive vet bills. There are no safe over the counter medicines that can help your kitty at this point, and she really needs to have some bloodwork and a urinalysis done to screen for the above illnesses. I know you are isolated from good veterinary care and money is an issue, by your kitty really needs medical attention. You can apply for care credit, which is a veterinary credit card accepted by most hospitals.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. If this has been helpful, please hit the green accept button. Best of luck with your kitty!

ERAnimalNurse and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Hello! I just regained access to the computer. Don't have one at home! She hasn't had any vomiting or diarreah. Output looks normal, we were able to get her to eat about 4 bites of the tuna this AM. Then we made some concoction (sp?) out of egg and cat food that we found on the internet that is supposed to be high in calorie count. We "force fed" it to her with a dropper. We are making plans to get her in for lab hopefully today, especially with the holiday weekend. No vocalizations, hoping we could get her to make noise "where it hurt" but no such luck. Very stoic. Thank you.