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nekovet, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20554
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 three year old kitty, male and neutered, received his

Customer Question

my three year old kitty, male and neutered, received his rabies, distemper and leukemia vaccines yesterday. He is not eating or drinking and seems like he doesn't feel well at all. I am concerned. I don't remember him acting like this before but this is the first time for the leukemia vaccine.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about your kitten?
Customer: No, he is usually very active and He did have the rabies, distemper vaccine before but I guess I am just upset that he feels so bad. No vomiting and he did urinate this morning in litter box. It was 9am yesterday when he got the vaccines.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  nekovet replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

Any changes to his breathing or gum color?

Any coughing, sneezing, appetite loss, or diarrhea?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Had to say regarding gums as I don't normally look but he is not eating. He is not moving around much but just curls up and sleeps a lot. Not eating for sure. I wish I had been warned how bad he would feel after these vaccines.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Breathing is normal and no vomiting
Expert:  nekovet replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

No worries, if you don't know their normal look but we'd just want to make sure their are pink and not pale/white. If they were pale, that can be a sign of oxygen issues, low red blood cell levels, or internal bleeding. Not something we'd expect with his situation but something we do always need to watch for since it can cause weakness and lethargy.

That aside, I have to say that with how recently he has been vaccinating, I'd be suspicious that he may have had a brewing gut infection (since low grade nausea can put them off food) and that the vaccine has led to distraction of the immune system and allowed that to gain a foot hold. Often they will overcome these in a few days, but since cats aren't designed for anorexia, we'd want to start supportive care at this point.

To start, we can try to counter any low grade nausea affecting his appetite with an OTC pet safe antacid [ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @]. Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Once he is more settled, you can keep tempting him to eat. Favorites are allowed but also try small meals of a light/easily digestible diet like boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free only) If he isn't keen to eat, we can even water down kitten food or meat baby food to syringe feed to just prevent any issues (ie fatty liver syndrome) from his fasting and get nutritents into him to support his immune system.

You didn't note if he is off water as well, but it is always a good idea to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and make sure dehydration isn’t an issue, there are a few parameters you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these, you can find a good video HERE ( If you do see any of these signs already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially since its often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, this sounds like his body may be fighting off a possible gut infection that was subclinical until he had the vaccine on top. In this case, we'd want to start the above to see if we can settle him and get him eating. Though if his signs linger, we'd want a recheck as he may need appetite stimulants, injectable anti-nausea medication +/- fluids to help him settle this.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  nekovet replied 8 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?