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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 18773
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience.
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My cat has not eaten for nearly 48 hours he has been trying

Customer Question

My cat has not eaten for nearly 48 hours he has been trying to throw up and has been sick three times and each time only a little bit of frothy liquid has come out. I have been giving him water with a pipette every hour or so to help with dehydration. He is an outdoor cat. He responds as normal and even plays but mostly he is cuddled up on the bed. He has no appetite whatsoever even though I have tried all sorts of foods to entice him. My cat is a male tabby, he is a rescue cat, and the vet thinks Oscar is about 2 to 2.5 years old. What would you advise?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 15 years. Thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear that Oscar's is in this situation. He most likely isn't eating as he's feeling nauseated. Why is he having the vomiting could be due to a couple different reasons. It could be due to him having eaten something that is just not sitting well - a plant, some food, etc.. It could also be due to something being stuck - a foreign body such as a string, thread, etc.. It could be due to pancreatitis. It could be due to other metabolic issues such as kidney, liver or adrenal issues. Being able to tell what of these it is due to requires a physical exam, x-rays, and some blood work. At this time, my best recommendation is to get him to your vet to have them evaluate him, do some testing, and start up therapy based on that.
If you can't get him to your vet, then you can try pulling up food and water from him for 8 hours. This literally means nothing - no treats, no food, no sips of water, nothing. Be sure to close toilet lids, pick up other pets water bowls, and monitor if goes outside so nothing can be ate or drank out there. The goal here is to let the stomach rest. If anything is ate or drank during this time, it has a very good chance of upsetting the stomach more. After we get past this time frame of having nothing, then we can start to allow access to water making sure not too much is drank at once. If no vomiting occurs with this, then after one hour of having the water available, you can start to offer his food back again.
The huge hurdle for him to get over is the vomiting. If this vomiting continues, if he gets very weak, if he has obvious abdominal pain, or is not starting to eat and drink after 24 hours - he absolutely needs a veterinary exam. He at that point hasn't responded to at home care and needs a physical exam and testing to see what further therapy is needed. I hope this helps!!
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Dr Bruce. I won't give him any more water for 8 hours. He hasn't eaten anything anyway for the past 48 so keeping food from him will not present a problem. I have just heard that cats can die if they don't have water over a 24 hour period and I was anxious about that which is why I kept giving him about 2.5 to 3 mls of water every couple of hours or so. I will monitor him and see how he feels and if he's not improving then I will call the vet. As far as I am aware, he is not in pain I have felt his abdomen but he didn't show any discomfort. Thank you again.

Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 years ago.
Cats can make themselves more sick if they aren't eating over a period of a few days too. This is called hepatic lipidosis when they don't eat and they start to break down a lot of body fat for energy and it gets into their liver. The pulling of the food and water is what has the best chance of working after a vomiting episode. If he's not vomited in 8 to 12 hours, then the stomach may be as settled as its going to get.