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nekovet, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20576
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian. I am happy to answer any questions you may have on any species.
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My cat gags when he smells food and has stop eating. Took m

Customer Question

Hi, my cat gags when he smells food and has stop eating. Took him to the vet bloodwork is completely normal.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  nekovet replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B,a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he had these signs?

Has he been drinking normally? More? Less?

Did his vet start him on any other medication besides the steroids?

Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could he have eaten anything he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Expert:  nekovet replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

First, as I am sure you can appreciate, Abb'y appetite will be due to the same nausea that caused her vomiting. Nauseous cats often go off food rather then risk vomiting more. Now we do need to tread with care, since there can be issues other then dietary indiscretion that can cause vomiting (ie bacterial infections, viruses, pancreatitis, harmful ingestions, etc).

Now in regards ***** ***** question, I do have to note that Pepto Bismol wouldn't be something we'd give Abby. The aspirin/salicyclic acid is not safe for cats. Instead, if we wanted to try to reduce her nausea, we could try an antacid. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use are: Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption.

If she can keep that down and is steadier on her stomach afterwards, then you can try starting her on a light/easily digestible diet. Start with a small volume (a spoonful).Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. When you offer that spoonful, give her30 minutes to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As her stomach stabilizes, you can offer more. The aim of these diets is that it will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut.Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until her signs are settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet.

So, that is what we could try for her at this stage. If she doesn't settle with the above, then we do need to consider getting local vet aid since secondary fatty liver syndrome could develop and make her even more unwell. Now since funds are a concern, I do want to note some help that is out there. If you have a VCA or Banfield veterinary hospital near you, then you might consider taking advantage of their free first consult offers. You can find vouchers for this via: VCA:( or Banfield: ( Otherwise,you could consider checking out the Humane Society's database ( ASPCA’s ( have a lot of branches nationwide, along with ties to other assistance organizations, that can keep down costs and surely will be willing to help if she doesn't settle.

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He doesn't have any pain when you push on the stomach. His gums are not swollen but are sticky. Is an indoor cat. And he is been sick for two weeks now and getting skinnier. He now has a bunch of I boogers sneezing a lot and snotty. He does not drink very much water doesn't eat anything at all unless we give him baby food and make him eat it. :(
Expert:  nekovet replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I do apologize for the glitch with my last response (it had been intended for someone else and seems to have posted to your page as well). In any case, I am very glad to hear that he hasn't any pain when you press on his stomach, but those sticky gums are a worry (since they are an early sign of dehydration creeping in). Now just to note since you mentioned he is also snotty and sneezing, that does actually raise some concerns of cat flu here. And I would just note that if that snot is yellow/green, we'd want to ring his vet about antibiotics.

Otherwise, I do want to note some other supportive options you can use to help here. To start, you can steam treating him to reduce his congestion. To do this, you can take him in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting him. You can also use a baby nebulizer, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces (but you can often make little ‘steam tents’ with him in his carrier, the nebulizer next to it, and a bed sheet over both).

Furthermore, since he has snot and discharge you can keep this wiped away with cotton balls soaked in warm water. As well, you can use saline nasal drops like Ocean Mist or Little Noses (but not anything medicated) to further reduce any nasal based congestion and discharge build up. To do so, just tilt his head back and drop two to three drops in one nostril. Cats hate this, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril.

As well, if herpes virus is supect it can help to treat with L-lysine. This is a nutritional supplement that can help them recover quicker. This is available over the counter at pet stores, vets, online (even Amazon) and health food stores. This comes as gels, powders, or crushable tablets that can be added to food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day.

Finally, since you mentioned that he won't eat, do try warming his food or offering smelly wet food. When cats are congested and have sore throats, they often won't want to eat. So, this can be helpful in getting them to eat. As well, since wet foods are 35% water, it can help get fluids in even if his drinking is poor.

Overall, his signs do sound related to flu where the gagging could be a tracheitis with this. Therefore, we'd want to start the above supportive care and speak to his vet about potentially treating with antibiotics (as opposed to steroids) to see if we can get him back to himself.

Please take care,

Dr .B.