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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16322
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My cat visited the vet this morning as he hadn't eaten for

Customer Question

My cat visited the vet this morning as he hadn't eaten for a day and a half. She took bloods and they came back normal apart from a low white blood cell count. She said this was probably a viral infection. She also did a urine test which was normal. She then gave him two injections. One to help the nausea and another to kick start his appetite. When we returned, he almost immediately ate a small handful of dry food and about 30mins later had a drink of water. Since then he has shown only a mild interest in food, sniffing it, but hasn't attempted to eat anything. My vet did say he probably would be a bit miserable for a while. He has been fairly alert all day, he had a good sniff of some catnip spray earlier this eve. I'm just concerned that he hasn't eaten much in a long time. The vet said to try and tempt him with food, which I have done and if he doesn't improve I'm to take him back Monday. Is this right?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Milo isn't eating normally for you and I understand you are concerned.
The good news is that his bloodwork and urine looked relatively normal except for a low white blood cell count, which would fit with a viral infection.
I am also encouraged that he ate some after his veterinary visit and injections today.
Do you know the name of the injections that he was given?
We will often give an injection of an acid reducing medication called famotidine or ranitidine in patients with a decreased appetite as it settles their stomach and may get them comfortable enough to eat. The effects of the injection lasts about 8 to 12 hours.
At home to try and settle his stomach over the next few days you can give either:
1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours
OR
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 24 hours
These are acid reducers may help him feel less nauseous so that he will eat. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if necessary.
You can use a medicine syringe to try and force water into him orally if he isn't drinking normally.
You can also offer tuna juice or low salt chicken broth to drink.
A couple of hours after giving the acid reducer I recommend offering meat baby foods or a bland diet mix of 2/3 boiled, minced, white skinless chicken and 1/3 boiled, plain, white rice mixed with some low salt chicken broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow.
If he continues to not eat over the next 24 hours you can ask for a prescription of a medication called Mirtazapine which can stimulate their appetite.
If he still won't eat then he should see his veterinarian for a recheck examination, further diagnostics (abdominal radiographs or ultrasound) and intravenous fluids, injections of antinausea drugs, and supportive care. So it makes sense that his veterinarian told you if he doesn't improve by Monday he needs to be taken back in.
We do need to worry about cats that don't eat for more than 3 to 4 days because as the liver breaks down fats for energy to live it may become overwhelmed and he may develop a type of liver disease called hepatic lipidosis.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for that. Would I need to visit the vet to get an acid reducer? I'm only asking because he had a blocked blast early last week and cost me a fortune at the out of hours vet! I would like to avoid taking him tomorrow because of this but obviously I am concreted about him.
I was planning to get some baby food and tuna tomorrow to offer him.
Basically what I'm asking is that would Monday be right for him to go back or do I need to consider taking him to emergency vets tomorrow evening?
Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
You should be able to find either acid reducer (Pepcid or Prilosec) at your local drug store over the counter.
I think baby food and tuna would be fine to offer him to get his appetite stimulated too.
If you can get him drinking or force in fluids with a medicine dropper then he can wait until Monday if he's not eating, as long as no further symptoms show up (very high fever, over 104.5F, lots of vomiting, straining to urinate but unable to pass urine).
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. Kara and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Should I be concerned that as he sleeps he is making noises?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Not necessarily.
If this is a viral upper respiratory infection (like a cold in you and I) he may make nosies due to nasal congestion and/or a sore swollen throat.
As long as he can rest comfortably, isn't open mouth breathing, and his gum and tongue color remain a nice bubble gum pink he is stable.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. It has now stopped again. It doesn't look like the acid reducers you recommended are available in the UK. Is there anything else I can try?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Another option is Ranitidine.
This medication usually comes in large size tablets though, either 75mgs or 150mgs.
Cats take 0.5mg to 2mg per kilogram every 8 to 12 hours. A 4 kilogram cat would only need 2mgs to 8mgs every 8 to 12 hours or about 1/10th of a 75mg tablet. That can be tough to split easily.
You could split a 75mg tablet into 4, crush the 1/4 tablet and mix with 1ml of water or broth and give 0.4mls of that mixture every 8 to 12 hours.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Will have a go with that. Bit wary but we will see!
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
The good news is that Ranitidine (and for the most part all acid reducers) have a very wide margin of safety, so exact dosing isn't critical, even if he gets a little too much he will be fine.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He's jyst got out of his bed after 12 hours asleep or in there at least. He walked into kitchen then backed off from the food, went to this litter tray and out a paw in and scratched the litter a couple of times like he normally would before he used a tray and then backed out of that too. No straining I don't think but I am still concerned.