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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16684
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My cat is 19 years old she has stopped eating and has lost

Customer Question

My cat is 19 years old she has stopped eating and has lost weight also she is wetting and dirtying in the house this started afew weeks ago
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is Dr. Kara and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear that your girl Minnie isn't feeling well and is losing weight, not eating and urinating and defecating inside the house rather than outdoors.

If she isn't eating well she will feel weak and that can make her lethargic, and make her too weak or confused to get outside. It is also possible that whatever is making her feel bad enough to not want to eat is producing metabolic wastes that are affecting brain function, and thus interfering with previously proper house-training habits

Lack of an appetite can be related to eating something she should not have, too many treats or table food, eating foreign material (which could cause a full or partial gastrointestinal obstruction), chronic pancreatitis, a dietary allergy or sensitivity, toxin exposure, a viral or bacterial infection, inflammatory bowel disease, heartworm disease, hyperthyroidism (a tumor of the thyroid gland) internal organ failure, or even infiltrative cancers such as lymphoma.

Because she hasn't eaten in several days I am very concerned about her. If she isn't drinking well either, she will quickly become dehydrated, and as her liver breaks down fats for energy to live she may develop a type of liver disease called hepatic lipidosis. This too interferes with brain function.

Ideally she would see a veterinarian today if this has been going on for more then 72 hours. Simple stomach upset should pass within 24 to 48 hours. They could examine her, run blood tests and possibly check radiographs and/or an ultrasound to evaluate her and know best how to treat her.
In the meantime they can administer injectable anti-nausea drugs and fluids to rehydrate her.

If you cannot have her seen today for whatever reason there are some things you can try at home.
At home to try and settle her stomach and improve her appetite you can give either:
1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 2 to 4.5 kilograms of body weight every 12 hours
OR
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 2 to 4.5 kilograms of body weight every 24 hours
These are acid reducers and may help her feel better so that she 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 her orally.
You can also offer tuna water/juice, chicken or beef broth to drink.
A couple of hours after giving the acid reducer I recommend offering meat baby foods or a bland diet 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 and more palatable.

If she continues to not eat she should see her veterinarian for an examination, diagnostics and intravenous fluids and supportive care. Please let me know if you have any further questions.