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Dr.Fiona, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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My cat is sick. He is limp and cannot walk. I think he has

Customer Question

My cat is sick. He is limp and cannot walk. I think he has an ear infection and yesterday I found him laying in the litter box. I took him out and cleaned him with a damp towel. He had litter in his nose and I got that out and then he threw up a little bit. It was like saliva and litter. He is not eating, drinking or going to the bathroom. I am giving him little bits of water every hour with a medicine dropper but he can't move. I cannot afford to take him to the vet. I don't know what to do. My mom will pay to take him if I have to but I need to be sure he won't get better at home first. Help!!!!!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

Hi thereCustomer


Welcome to Just Answer!


There are a few possibilities for what may be going on with your cat, but at the top of my list is my concern that he may have FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease), also called FUS (feline urological syndrome).


With this problem, crystals can form in the urine. These crystals can precipitate out of the urine solution and form little stones in the bladder. It hurts to pass them! So, when the cat urinates, it stings.


Unfortunately, with male cats this can also quickly progress to a life threatening emergency if one of the stones plugs the urethra (the tube from the bladder out the penis). Suddenly, you can have a cat who can only pee tiny amounts or not at all. Without immediate treatment, this can be fatal in within 24 hours!


If the cat is unable to urinate, then the toxins the kidneys are meant to be clearing can build up in the blood stream. These make the cat feel nauseated, and can make him vomit, lose his appetite and become very lethargic as they build up.


If your cat came in to see me at my clinic, I would check his bladder to see if it was hard and painful, or not. I would make sure he could urinate (by passing a catheter if he was obstructed) and take a sample of the urine to determine what type of crystals were present. Then, I would start him on a prescription food to dissolve those crystals. I would also start him on antibiotics if he needed them.


Many cats need to have a urinary catheter kept in place if they are blocked so that the bladder can be completey emptied and flushed to remove crystals.


So, in summary, I think your boy is trying to tell you that he has abdominal discomfort. This could be due to pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, or urinary obstruction. You need to get him to a veterinarian promptly - today!





I'll give you some links to further information. I do urge you to seek veterinary care promptly before this becomes more complicated (and painful and expensive). I truly don't think this is going to get better on its own!


If you feel this has answered your question, please hit the green Accept button. I will still be here to provide more information if you need it.


The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.

Please let me know how he does!



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

He is completely limp and cannot walk. I think the reason he was hiding in the litter box is because my other male cat sometimes tries to fight with him. I was at school longer than I intended to be yesterday so I don't know how long he was in there. Max 4 1/2 hours. You don't think he inhaled / swallowed any litter? Because he did throw some up. I am in nursing school and his lungs sound clear. I checked his bladder earlier and it felt normal. I tried putting pressure on it from both sides to see if he would urinate but nothing.

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

Hi Jessica,

Everything you are describing sounds like a very very sick cat.


If you had a human patient that could not stand, could not walk, was limp, lethargic, depressed and vomiting, I think you would agree that he needs to see a doctor?


I doubt that he inhaled or swallowed litter... at least I have never seen that in 14 yrs of practice.


There are a number of different things that could be going on - anaphylactic allergic reaction, pancreatitis, cholangiohepatitis - but none are treatable at home


I really do urge you to see a vet immediately as you are describing a cat who is moribund. Please take him in! I promise you are not over-reacting by doing so!


If you want to wait to "accept" my answer, or not accept it at all...that is ok by me. Just please take your cat to a vet!


And please let me know how he is.


Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.


Just wondering how your boy is doing?


Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

If you have a moment and could update me, it would really help me. It is difficult sometimes to know over the internet what might actually be going on with a cat, without being able to examine him. It really does help when people can update me.
I hope that your boy is ok?