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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10921
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hi, I have a four year old moggie adopted 18 months ago after

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Hi, I have a four year old moggie adopted 18 months ago after being a stray. Had all the relevant tests then, all OK, was castrated, microchipped and given usual innoculations and settled in very well. Happy, ate well, affectionate etc. Had updated jabs in January and vet said needed to lose a little weight so we reduced amount given. From then he has gone from a very healthy appetite to very picky and occasionally vomiting it back. We give him an assortment of IAMS dry food or Sheba/Felix wet food all of which he used to love. Right now he seems very lethargic, not very interested in food, sleeping very deeply alot of the time and takes himself off into a corner rather than cuddling up to us as usual. He still purrs when stroked have run my hands over him and cannot feel anything nor does he flinch in any way. Only other thing is recently there has been an influx of "other cats" around the property most of whom seem to be a bit on the fighting side, he will stand up if he has too but is not that keen on getting involved. Any ideas what might be happening and is there anything I can do now to resolve before taking to vets as this seems to freak him out even more. Any advice would be appreciated.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about Apache hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

I do have a few questions to ask first, if you don't mind:

1. How long has he been acting this way?
2. Can you take his temperature?
3. Can you tell me the color of his gums?
4. When was the last time he urinated?
5. Is he painful when you palpate his abdomen?

There may be a delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you and I may be offline at the time you respond. But I'll get back to you as soon as I can since I'm on the computer some part of every day.

Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So sorry for the delay I had to get home to examine him again
, answers are : coming on around 4/5 days, I do not have a rectal thermometer to hand but if it helps he has a wet cold nose and no hot spots on his head, ears or body. His gums are light pink and no different from usual, he last urinated around 4.00 pm today and his abdomen palpates easily with no lump or bumps and no pain reaction. He has eaten a little this evening without vomiting and seems just a little brighter than this morning.


Many thanks

Thanks for the additional information and no worries about the delay:)

Gum color is normal which is good as is the fact that he's urinating (so we can eliminate a urinary blockage from the list) and no abdominal pain.

There could be several possible explanations for his symptoms but since he's a little brighter today, that's a good sign:

1. Fever. Unfortuantely, you can't tell much about the core temperature of a cat without actually taking their temperature. If you manage to get your hands on a rectal thermometer, you could take his temperature although this is often very hard to do in a cat. Normal is between 100 and 102.5.
Of course, then we'd have to wonder why the temperature is elevated. Explanations for this could be: a bacterial infection, a virus (such as leukemia, AIDS, FIP), or toxoplasmosis.


There is a condition in cats that is called Fever of Unknown Origin--which is exactly what it sounds like in that we can't find an explanation for the elevated temperature. Treatment is primarily supportive which consists of fluids and drugs to reduce the fever. Most cats recover very quickly once the fever is reduced.

2. Pancreatitis can happen very suddenly; appetites can be affected and they can become lethargic. Approximately 30% of cats with this condition will vomit. We don't have a good explanation for why this happens, either.
We do have a test for this (spec fPL) although I've come to doubt its reliability in some cases; treatment consists of fluids and pain medication (we believe the pain is why they stop eating).

3. Other systemic diseases such as kidney disease, liver disease, anemia, problems with the heart, etc are all possible but usually there's other symptoms.

4. I've seen a few cats just have "off" days but they're usually showing improvement after 2-3 days so he's pushing the limits if this might be the problem.


Unfortuantely, it's not considered advisable or safe to give cats many over the counter drugs since cats are so sensitive to many of them and they could cause more harm. But, if he's nauseous, he could be given 1/4th of a Famotidine twice a day which might help.This drug may be difficult to find in the UK so Omeprazole (Prilosec) can also be given at a dose of1/2th of a 10 mg tablet once a day

Maintaining hydration with water or Pedialyte is important, especially if there’s a fever. If he's not drinking very much, you can dribble this into the side of the mouth with an eye dropper or syringe every 30-60 minutes. You can also can mix canned food with a lot of water or tuna juice and see if you can get him to "drink" his meals.


Since he appears to be a little perkier today, you could continue to monitor him; however, if he's not continuing in this positive direction, then a vet visit might be prudent.

I hope this helps and that he's feeling better soon. Deb

Dr. Deb and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for such a very detailed reply. This is very helpful and I will follow your advice and if he does not improve shortly will go to my local vet. I must say I have used this site a great deal for other matters but I have never had such an indepth response before so I will happily recommend you to my friends. Many thanks again - Jan

You're more than welcome. And thanks for the rating and kind words; they're greatly appreciated:)

I hope you'll keep me posted about Apache. As you probably already know, even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you. I can also send you a follow up email in a few days to which you can respond when you have the time to do so.

Good luck. Regards, Deb
I’m just following up on our conversation about Apache. How is he doing? Deb
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Deb


Thank you for taking the time to follow up. He remains better than he was but still a little off. I think now I might have discovered the problem. I was stroking him this morning right down to his tail and high up on the tail underneath I have discovered a small bald patch where he has obviously been licking and it is a little swollen and lumpy. I think this may mean he has been attacked by one of the rather muderous kittys we have in the area and it has just come up. Think this probably means a bacterial infection from a bite alongside of stress at it happening so I am trying to make a vet appointment soon. I really appreciate your interest as he means the world to me.


Kind regards


If he's working on an abscess, then his behavior makes sense in light of that.
Not all injuries of this sort require systemic antibiotics, especially if it ruptures....if this is an abscess, of course.
You could try cleaning the area with very dilute betadine or iodine (to the color of weak tea) twice a day and gently massage the area. If it ruptures, then continue to clean it.
I'll sometimes suggest over the counter antibiotic ointment or cream but you need to prevent him from licking it off. Cats are react in adverse ways to these medications.

He sounds like a very lucky cat to have you in his life; please continue to keep me posted about him, if you would. Regards, Deb