Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Has Lucky had any vomiting, retching, or diarrhea?
Any drooling, pawing at his mouth, teeth grinding, lip licking, or hard swallowing?
Does he seem keen to eat but then refuse? Or does he have no interest at all?
Could he have eaten anything he shouldn't have (ie bones, toys, people food, trash, plants, or toxins?
he has had diarrhea,he also has been vomiting and retching started retching after smelling food then bile came up
my e-mail address is not been accepted so i am now leaving this question and answer page
Thank you Morris,
When an elderly cat goes off their food, it is a vague clinical picture that can occur with a range of issues. Now if we are able to remove oral differentials (since you haven’t noted any drooling or struggling to chew) then we must focus onthose conditions that affect the body as a whole. Furthermore, as he has vomiting, diarrhea, and retching when food is offered, these are big clues that our lack of appetite and drinking are being triggered by nausea. In regards ***** ***** causes for these GI signs, we'd have to consider GI bacterial infection, viral disease, pancreatitis, cancer (a concern at his age) metabolic conditions (ie hyperthyroidism), organ disease (ie liver or kidney troubles) toxin and/or foreign material ingestion (the last two be less likely in his situation).
To complicate matters, we get very concerned for cats who go off their food because cats were not well designed for the anorexic lifestyle. When they are off their food, body fat is broken down and released into the blood stream, causing their liver distress (ie. hepatic lipidosis) that can make getting them better even more difficult for us.
Now Lucky's signs are clearly telling us that his lack of appetite is being induced by nausea (often nauseous cats go off their food rather then continue to eat/vomit like a dog would). Therefore, this will need to be address to get him eating again. In regards ***** ***** you can try at home, it does depend on whether he can keep anything down. Because if he cannot, then often we need to bypass the mouth and start them on anti-sickness treatment via injection. Still at this stage, you can try him on antacid therapy. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are Pepcid (More Info/ Dose Here) or Zantac (More Info/Dose Here). This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if he does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease his upset stomach.
As well, you will want to try and see if you can get him eating (as I know you have been). Favourite foods are allowed or you can tempt her with a light/easily digestible diet. Further to boiled chicken, you can also offer boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used here (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity.) Also since he is vomiting and therefore syringe feeding isn't an option, you can try him with the calorically dense critical care diets like Hill's A/D (LINK), Royal Canin Recovery Diet, and Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet (LINK). All are available OTC at the vets and can be purchased online.
On top off all of this, you do need to keep an eye on his hydration, especially if he is too nauseous to drink now. To check his hydration and make sure that he isn’t becoming dehydrated, there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether the pet has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin (example). To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. ( They use a big dog but it makes it easier to see and the principles are exactly the same) If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have your kitty seen by his vet before this gets out of control.
In regards ***** ***** you can do to help stave off dehydration at home (though do note that if he is already then he will likely need more the oral rehydration), encourage him to drink by offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. As well, wet foods (as mentioned above) are 35% water, so getting him to eat will help us deal with water intake as well. And again while syringing water may be tempting here, don't do so if he is actively vomiting since this will just lead to further vomiting (which is counterproductive for him).
Overall, when a cat is anorexic, unwilling to drink and eat, it can mean a wide range of underlying issues. Therefore, in this case you need to settle Lucky's vomiting if you wish to make progress on getting him to eat and drink. Therefore, do try the above but if you do not see improvement in 12-24 hours or he worsens (vomits more, becomes weak or dehydrated, etc), then you do want to get your vet involved at that stage.They can assess hydration, check for signs of any sinister lumps/bumps or internal issues. As well, you may consider having them check a blood sample to assess the state of his organs. They can also cover him with antibiotics, anti-nausea/vomiting medication by injection and even appetite stimulating drugs if necessary. Depending on the findings, the vet will be able advise you on what is likely our culprit and what can be done to help your wee one before he just fades away on us.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
PS- I can clearly see your reply, so hopefully you will see mine about how to help poor wee Lucky.
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. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )