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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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Our cat has been spinning in circles, walking crookedly, barely

Resolved Question:

Our cat has been spinning in circles, walking crookedly, barely eats and hardly uses the litter box anymore. What could be wrong?
Submitted: 8 years ago via PetPlace.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Terri replied 8 years ago.

Hi there,


How old is your cat?

How long is he like this?


What and when did he eat last?


Indoor or outdoor kitty?





Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Her name is XXXXX XXXXX she has not stepped foot outside for the 2 years we've had her. She ate several bites of dry food two days ago and not more than a nibble or two since then. We've been out of town for the last week and have had an in-house guest taking care of her. My daughter went to change the litter box after a week's absence and there was barely anything in it. Maybe the equivalent of one b.m. Summer has been like this for several weeks, but like so many medical things, it has progressively gotten noticeable and then worse. It's been very bad for about 3 weeks.
Expert:  Terri replied 8 years ago.

Dear friend,


I am so sorry Summer is not feeling well.


It is possible she did not eat when you you were gone and has a liver issue:

Although overweight can cause diabetes and other health problems, it is very dangerous for a cat to suddenly lose weight. That is because a cats liver becomes accustomed to a certain caloric intake. If that amount is cut (for any reason) the liver will think it is starving and grab protein and fat from the cats muscles and organs. This can cause liver and organ failure, muscle wasting and lead to a weakening of the immunity and a disorder called Hepatic lipidosis:

Essentially what happens is the body goes into a state of starvation, and a signal is sent out that the body must mobilize the fat stores to provide energy. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a signal about how much fat to mobilize and fat cats have a lot... so it all gets sent to the liver to be converted from fat into glucose. And the liver gets overwhelmed and shuts down. This leads to nausea and vomiting, which means the cat won't eat, and the body tries to mobilize more fat. The cycle continues and the liver gets into more trouble.

She may be dehydrated. Offer her milk or tuna water.


She may be hypoglycemic. Put a few drops of pancake syrup in her mouth.


She may have an ear infection causing a vestibular disorder:


She mayy Have ingested a toxin, had a stroke, high blood pressure or have an infection:


If she eats dry food that may be the culprit. PLEASE READ:


Cats do not have whims like people. Anytime they refuse food, they are sick or in pain.



Lack of fluid in the bowel also leads to vomiting, Ingested hair can also be a factor.Anorexia for any extended time leads to liver damage and causes nausea and vomiting as well.

I would add some canned or baby food for her

Serve the two foods separately - do not mix them - add a half pepsid a/c tablet, crushed up into the wet food one time a day.


Cats are attracted to smelly foods - the stronger the better. If she wants tuna, give it to her You can also try fancy feast, clam juice or baby food.


human baby food in meat flavours (check that there are no onions or garlic in the ingredients) and mix that with warm water and offer that, or syringe it in little bits into your cat's mouth. Beech Nut makes a line of baby food that has nothing but meat (beef, chicken, turkey or veal) in it. Here's a link: If you cannot find this, you could find another meat baby food - just read the label carefully to be sure there are no onions, onion powder, garlic, or garlic powder in it.



If her tummy needs a rest, feed baby food with no onion or garlic for a few days.

If she wont eat, and your cat is not diabetic begin by giving her two droppers (cc size) of unflavored pedialyte every ten minutes for an hour. Next water down(plain water) canned cat food or baby food chicken or turkey with no onion or garlic and give only one dropper every ten minutes for another hour. Wait two hours and repeat both. When she feels hydrated she will lick up the gruel on her own.

Give her droppers of unflavored pedialyte a few times a day to make sure she stays hydrated.

If she throws it up have her seen immediately!

Please let me know how she is doing. I will always be here for you.

I hope she feels better very soon.

Sincerest best wishes,



Customer: replied 8 years ago.


Thank you for your ideas. I wanted to clarify a couple of things - I didn't give you all the info in the beginning - sorry! First of all, the vet did do bloodwork and it all came back normal. He also checked her ears for infection and saw a little bit of yeast which I have medicine for. Finally, she has not vomitted at all. The loss of appetite came after the days of extreme spinning. The only relief seems to be when I hold her (which, while I am delighted, has not tended to be her comfort zone in the past! My guess has been that in my arms is the only place where her world isn't spinning.) I've honestly considered having her put to sleep because she seems so miserable and I just can't afford treatment for what appears to be a brain tumor or neurological issue. She has lost almost 2 pounds, which concerns me after reading the liver damage that can occur in cats. Does this affect your ideas at all? It looked like main theme was to get Summer eating again, is that right? It just doesn't seem like it takes care of her problems, although I understand that she needs to eat. Thank you for considering her plight one more time!


Expert:  Terri replied 8 years ago.

Hi Leigh,


I am concerned Summer may be dehydrated, hypoglycemic, ingested a drug or had a stroke.


She may have lost sight or heaarig.


The first step is to get her eating and hydrated.


If she has liver issues food with help. If so, you may see jandice in her ears or gums, or eyes.


You may not see an ear issue cauing a vetsibular issue but it is still a possibility.


Lets begin by getting food and fluid into her and go from there.


Best wishes for her,






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