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My cat has only tiny amounts for the last two days, My cat

Customer Question
My cat has only tiny...
My cat has only tiny amounts for the last two days
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with your cat?
Customer: My cat has eaten very little over the last two days
JA: The Veterinarian will know if your cat will be able to digest that. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Max
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Max?
Customer: Max is not eating and sneezed a couple of times last nite
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Cat
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Answered in 1 minute by:
5/15/2017
Cat Vet: nekovet, Cat Veterinarian replied 6 months ago
nekovet
nekovet, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21,663
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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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How old is Max?

Any change to his breathing, congestion, or nasal discharge?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

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

Any issues passing urine?

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

Could he have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Gums pink and moist
Max is 5 1/2
No pain on pressing belly
Not sure about passing urine as outdoors during day
Cat Vet: nekovet, Cat Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

Hello again,

Now we need to tread with care here.

Its good that he hasn't any belly pain, but if possible we need to keep him in with a litterbox to make sure he can pass urine. If he cannot, that is a male cat emergency. Anyway, that aside to see appetite loss in adult cats does raise a few concerns. Common causes are nausea (ie from gut infections, pancreatitis, harmful ingestions, etc), oral discomfort (ie dental disease, oral sores/trauma, etc), and also with respiratory signs (ie flu, congestion, pneumonia, etc). Now I assume that he hasn't those other signs I asked about and if that is the case then our top concern would be that he has a brewing upper airway infection that is reducing his sense of smell and thus appetite along with making him feel under the weather.

With this in mind and as long as he has no snotty nasal discharge (a sign of bacteria and indication for antibiotics), we can start some supportive care. Since he is sneezing, 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. Therefore, we can often make little ‘steam tents’ with the kitty in their carrier, a humidifier, and a light bed sheet over both to make a little steam room for him.

If he are building up mucus that the steam isn't shifting, you can use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist or Little Noses) but not anything medicated. Tilt the 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.

Otherwise, we need to focus on that poor appetite. Since congested cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat as well as they should; try tempting him with smelly wet foods (since they are high in water). It may help to warm it up a bit in the microwave to help him be able to smell it. If he cannot be tempted, then we can offer or syringe feed watered down canned kitten food, Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise. And that way we can get food into him and head off any secondary liver issues (hepatic lipidosis) from his reduced appetite. If he isn't keen to drink, try cat milk or low salt broth. Or we can even syringe feed Pedialyte (48ml per kilogram of his weight daily) to keep him hydrated. And just to note, if he seems nausea or as if he has a sore throat (common in these cases), you can also pre-treat before offering food with OTC Milk of Magnesia (0.25tsp every 12 hours) as that will coat the throat but also reduce any nausea lurking.

Finally, since feline herpes is a common agent that can cause these signs, I would note that we find that L-lysine (a nutritional supplement) helpful in speeding recovery. This is available over the counter at vets, pet stores, health food stores, and online. It comes as a gel, powder, or crushable table to all be mixed with food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day. So, this would be a consideration for him.

Overall appetite loss in cats can be triggered by a number of issues. Though with his sneezing, an upper respiratory infection would be a top concern. Therefore, you want to initiate supportive care to make him comfortable and monitor him closely. If he starts to eat better, we are happy. Though if this lingers, then we'd want a check with his vet as we may need antibiotics and kitty safe decongestants to nip this in the bud for Max.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

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