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nekovet, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20635
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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She is acting very sickly and won't eat, she threw up only

Customer Question

she is acting very sickly and won't eat, she threw up only clear bile yesterday, what shall I do
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the cat eat anything unusual?
Customer: the spider plant leaves
JA: What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Gracie 2
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about Gracie?
Customer: normally she is very motivated to attact the dog and go on our porch, She never goes outside now nothing is going on, she just looks at me
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.

How long has she has these signs? And how long since she ate the spider leaves?

Can she keep water down?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
there is a little tenderness in the belly, not bad, she has not eaten or drank any thing, gums are pinkshe doesn't like to be touched, she does seem to be better
Expert:  nekovet replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to note that spider plants are non-toxic to our kitties. So, it could cause gut upset if eaten (since the plant material can irritate the stomach) but it won't cause serious harm for Gracie. That said, when cats eat plants, go off food, and vomit; these are all nausea signs. Therefore, we do have a few concerns for her still. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (a concern with a sore belly in a young cat).

With this all in mind, we can try some home supportive care to see if we can settle her stomach. To start, if she hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest her stomach for a few hours first), then you can try an OTC pet safe antacid like 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. Of course, do check with your vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention. As well, if you try this and find the nausea just too severe to keep it down, then that is usually a red flag that we need the local vet to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication.

After that has had time to absorb, we can try tempting her with small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). When you offer these meals, give her 30 minutes after to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/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. Though if she refuses, we'd need to have her seen since kitties are not well designed for being off food (and can develop secondary liver issues if they are off it too long).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing. The spider plant could cause benign GI upset but the above should help with that. Though if you use that and she doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, your vet can treat her with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to get her back feeling like herself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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