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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 isnt eating and is sleeping much more than usual. Its

Resolved Question:

My cat isn't eating and is sleeping much more than usual. It's much more noticeable since he's usually very hyperactive and runs under our feet and make a general nuisance of himself but since yesterday evening, all he's done is sleep
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer!

I would like to help you and your cat but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

Does he go outside?


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, He was his usual self yesterday morning and then went outside in the morning. The weather was very windy and rainy so I called him in at about lunchtime. I'd made him a new bed in my home office out of a cardboard box and he went straight into it and slept for the rest of the afternoon and evening. I was surprised that he didn't come into the kitchen for his dinner as he would normally do so I made a fuss and called him but he wasn't at all interested in his food and just went back to bed. This morning he is the same. That was when I tried the tuna water and a small amount of tuna but he just licked it a bit and turned his head away.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Hmm...this is all rather concerning....

Could you please go and check a few things:

1. Count how many breaths he takes in one minute

2. Lift his lip above his canine teeth – so you can see his canines and the teeth behind them.

Are his gums sticky and tacky, or are they wet and slimy when you touch them with a finger?

3. Are his gums and tongue:
- dark red
- dark pink
- bubble gum pink
- light pink
- white

Are they lighter or darker than your own?

4. Do you see any bruising on his gums or on his belly beside his penis or in his groin area?

5. Can you take his temperature?

Instructions here:


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Fiona,

I did my best! Here are the answers to your questions:

1. Count how many breaths he takes in one minute: 45

2. Lift his lip above his canine teeth – so you can see his canines and the teeth behind them. They are wet and slimy

3. His gums and tongue are: light pink

Are they lighter or darker than your own? About the same

4. Do you see any bruising on his gums or on his belly beside his penis or in his groin area? I couldn't see any bruising on his gums and there is too much fur to see well on his stomach but he is growling when I press on his tummy.

5. Can you take his temperature? I really tried but he was getting very upset with me and since I was on my own there was noone to help me hold him. He was growling at me so I stopped.

He really hates me now!

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.
Aw... I'm sorry that he is angry with you! I can understand that from his perspective, he feels unwell and is miffed that you are poking and prodding him.

With what you are describing, the things that concern me are:
- light pink gums (should be bubble gum pink)
- rapid respiratory rate (should be 15 to 20)
- lethargy
- grumpiness

All together, this makes me very worried that your boy had some sort of traumatic injury when he was outside yesterday. Maybe he was hit by a car, or blown out of a tree with the high winds? Perhaps he was bitten by another cat or a dog?

It is hard to say, but all the things you are mentioning really do make me concerned that he might have internal bleeding.

I would *strongly* recommend seeing a vet immediately to have him assessed!

One of the most common traumatic injuries I see in cats is a fractured pelvis. I have seen this even in indoor cats who fall down off something in a “sitting position” where they are falling bum-first. This is the one position from which a cat will not correct his fall. He will just fall straight onto his pelvis.

Cats with a fractured pelvis often move very gingerly, holding themselves low to the floor and preferring to stay close to walls for support. A fractured pelvis can cause a lot of internal bleeding as their are many blood vessels in the area. This internal bleeding can lead to shock, which can be life threatening.

Unfortunately, there are no pain killers that you might have in your medicine cabinet that would be safe to give to a cat. Tylenol is very toxic to cats! And ibuprofen and aspirin are also toxic to them.

Here is more about these drugs:

I do think you should see a vet right away.

If you are absolutely unable to get to a vet, then the only thing that you can do at home is try to really encourage him to drink, to try to replace any fluids lost due to internal bleeding.

I suggest opening a can of tuna *in water* and offering him the liquid, diluted 50:50 or more with water.

Also, you can pick up Clam Juice in most grocery stores (sold in with the V8 or with the canned tuna in my grocery store) and mix that with some water.

You could try Lactose Free milk (Lactaid is the Canadian brand).

Offer him some canned cat food, and mix it with water to make a slurry if he won't eat it.

Things you can do to encourage a cat to drink are:

- offer water from a very wide flat bowl as cats don't like their whiskers to touch the edges when they drink (which is why lots of cats like the toilet bowl).

- If he likes dripping water, leave a tap dripping for him.

- Offer bottled water and see if he prefers it.

- Offer onion free chicken or beef broth, diluted 50:50.

- See if he likes water with an ice cube in it.

- See if he likes it out of a cup or martini glass.

- Offer Whiskas Kitty Milk

- Offer him canned food as the first ingredient in water

- You could try getting some 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.

Try to get him to drink small amounts frequently. If you can, try syringe 1 teaspoon (5 mL) or liquids per half hour into his mouth.

Again, I do feel that what you are describing is very worrying and would strongly recommend you visit a vet as soon as possible!

If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide 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.

Best wishes, Fiona

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