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Ask VetTechErin Your Own Question
VetTechErin, Licensed Vet Tech
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience:  Published author in veterinary medical journals and on the Veterinary Information Network with a focus in toxicology
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My cat has been acting lethargy and last 20 min has

Customer Question

My cat has been acting lethargy and for the last 20 min has been in a crouched position. We move him and he gets in same position.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Hi there! My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions about your kitty! Does he seem like he is hunching his back? Is he showing any signs of vomiting or trying to vomit? Any signs of pain anywhere on his body?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is in crouching position
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
If you feel around on his belly and back, does he cry or show any signs of pain or discomfort? Do you mind opening his mouth and taking a look at the color of his tongue?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He's is normally a very docile cat, never shows aggressive behavior. He is just starting to crouch, we picked him up and he gave very guttural growl and hissed (never done before) and ran away, he is licking himself and is making same growling noise.
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for answering those! Cats are very, very good at hiding their illnesses and pain. As a smaller predator, they are subject to predation from larger hunters. As such, they go to great lengths to hide pain and illness out of instinct. The fact that Sheetz has started to physically show signs of discomfort means that it has possibly gotten beyond a point where he can control it. Based on his posturing and his reactions, I would imagine that he's experiencing some pain. When we pick them up, we put pressure both on their abdomen and their spine, so he could be reacting to something in either of those areas. If he managed to swallow something like a string, a ponytail holder, a rubber band .. something small that cats like to chase and swallow, that could potentially be causing some havoc in his GI tract. Similarly, if he's sustained an injury to his back or spine that could be causing him some pain. The -safest- option would be to get him into a vet clinic tonight to have him evaluated. If something is caught in his intestines, this could be a life-threatening issue. The bladder is also located in that area, and male cats are predisposed to developing a tiny clot of cells during a urinary tract infection that can pass into the urethra and completely block them from urinating. This makes them VERY ill, and the bladder grows painful as it expands. Toxins also seep into their system as they are unable to eliminate wastes from their bodies. There is also a condition in cats called "saddle thrombus" when they develop a blood clot that blocks blood flow to the hind legs. This tends to cause a lot of pain, but we usually see them dragging their hind legs and their rear paws tend to grow very cold from the lack of blood flow. Since it's hard to determine EXACTLY what is causing his discomfort and he is not showing any other signs, you could potentially watch him at home and see if anything changes. Someone would need to stay up with him throughout the night to observe his behavior, and he would need to immediately go in if he started to cry out, if he were dragging his legs or they grew cold, if he started to vomit, retch, or show any other signs of distress. I wouldn't give him any medication at home, as the vast majority of human medications are toxic to cats, and we don't want to compound his issue. If he starts to improve and do better, you can have him checked at the local vet on Monday. But if he continues ro declines, you may have to get him in this weekend. Preferably, the vet is the best option. If you do not know of an emergency clinic in your area, if you'd like to reply with a zip code, I'd be happy to locate on in your area for you. Otherwise, feel free to get back with me if you have any questions or concerns!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He just peed and it has a tinge of blood in it
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Was it a normal amount of urine, or just a tiny bit?
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
I am getting ready to step away from my computer, so I wanted to give a brief breakdown of the concern here for when you get back. If he is able to pass urine normally, you could be looking at something like bladder stones or a bladder/kidney infection. Blood in the stools is very common with both of those conditions and can cause discomfort in that area, which may lead him to get unhappy when you touch him there. Blockage is a big concern, though with pain and lethargy mixed with blood in the urine. Even if he were passing urine normally, it may be something worth getting checked out this weekend to make sure he doesn't hit a point where he stops being able to urinate normally. If he's just passing little spots of urine, I would be greatly concerned that he's becoming blocked in his urethra. Male cats who become blocked this way decline very rapidly and it is life-threatening. If this is what you are seeing, just get him straight into a clinic tonight for treatment so they can remove the blockage and get his system flushed out. I will try and check back here a little bit later when I return to my computer. If you need an emergency vet, you can first try calling his regular vet to grab the number of the local emergency clinic from their answering machine, or alternatively you can enter your zip code here: That should also give you a list of clinics in your area by distance. Let me know how everything goes!