How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22590
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now

our cat is not eating and refuses as well his normally liked

This answer was rated:

our cat is not eating and refuses as well his normally liked catmilk, we went to the vet a week ago, he was checked over, blood was taken, nothing found, he got a pick me up injektion, antibiotiks which we gave him for another 4 days, but no improvement, little as a two pound coin he is eating, he purrs but looks dreadful. We are so worried dont know what to do, should we force some water in his mouth? We have another appointment tomorrow morning. I will be grateful for any tip thank you.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Has Wyndi had any vomiting or retching?

Did his vet rule out mouth based issues for his anorexia?

When did he have that pick me up injection?

Do you know what it was?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No vomiting, he did not rule out mouth based issues. The injection he had on last monday, he had, noroclav, cerenia and rapidexon. Do you need more information?

Thank you Brigitte,

I share your concern about Wyndi. If he is not eating or drinking at all, then we need to be proactive and aggressive to prevent him from developing complicating factors (ie dehydration, further weight loss, fatty liver syndrome (which can lead to further issue getting them eating) from what is essentially self-starvation.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX injections, as I am sure you can appreciate all the injections would be out of his system by this point. Therefore, we would have to be concerned that nausea (a very common reason for cats to go off their food) or dental disease could still be an ongoing issue here. Now if mouth based issues were not confirmed or ruled out, we'd want his vet to check this when you are at the revisit.

Otherwise in the meantime, you can consider trying to at least address the nausea angle until you can get him back to his vet. To rule out nausea as an anorexia differential, you can try him with antacid therapy. Of course, with a lack of response to the Cerenia, we do have to be a wee bit concerned that he may need something stronger but these are worth a try at the moment. 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) or Zantac (More Info/Dose). 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 you haven’t mentioned. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease his upset stomach.

Once that is on board, you can then try tempting him to eat (as I seeyou have been). Favourite foods are allowed or you can tempt him with a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, 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.)

Further to this, if tempting doesn’t work (and I would be concerned it won't but is always worth a try), then we do have to consider initiating syringe feeds to get food into him. In that case, you may want to try try Hill's A/D (LINK) or Royal Canin Recovery from your local vet. These are critical care diets that is comes as a soft, palatable pate. Both are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise and this could just help get some more calories into him even if we can’t get a huge volume of food in.

As well, for syringing food, you can use the animal version of Ensure (balanced for animals dietary requirements) called Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet (LINK)). It is actually by the same people who make Ensure, but is formulated to meet out pet's dietary needs. Your vet should be able to order it for you but it is available without a prescription (some pet stores and even online sites stock it as well). They also make one specifically for older cats with kidney troubles, and this could be an alternative for a cat his age. This way it would a means of getting food, staving off hepatic lipidosis, and buying you time to uncover the reason for the anorexia. If you won't have access to these today, you can try kitten food or meat baby food (as long as its garlic and onion powder free). Both will have more calories and nutrients then his normal diet. And these can be fed as they are but if he refuses you can add water and syringe feed him these foods.

On top off all of this, you do need to keep an eye on his water intake and hydration status. Since he isn't drinking well and is an old lad (without the body reserves he once had), we can see dehydration arise quickly when they are not eating/drinking properly. If possible, you do want to check his hydration now. To check this and make sure he is not 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 he has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. 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 this is something that needs to be addressed by his vet tomorrow.

In the meantime, you can 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 but 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. If he isn't amenable to drinking, you may wish to offer unflavored pedialyte or pediatric rehydration solution via syringe feeding. While we cannot do this if they are vomiting, it may be an option for this situation. A typical maintenance rate for hydration in an animal 48mls per kilogram of his body weight a day. If you do give syringe pedialyte, this should obviously be divided up into multiple offerings through the day rather then all at once. This value will give you the total he needs for the day and is a good starting point to give you an idea of the feline daily requirement. If he does vomit if you give pedialyte, I would discontinue this as a therapy (since we don’t want vomiting because of our intervention).

Overall in regards XXXXX XXXXX question, if he isn't eating or drinking, then we do absolutely want to initiate syringe feeding now. So, do follow the above for that. Further to this, when he sees his vet tomorrow we want his vet to check his mouth for you to make sure oral pain isn't to blame. If there is a concern about his mouth, then a cat safe pain relief may be an option. Otherwise, they can potentially try a stronger anti-nausea treatment to tackle that angle. Further to this, if you try the above and he is still resistant to eating for you, then do consider asking his vet about an appetite stimulant drug (ie Cyproheptadine, Mirtazapine/ Mertazipine, etc) to encourage him to start eating for you again properly.

At the end of the day, normal bloods do rule out a lot of sinister organ and metabolic diseases. Therefore, with these clear, hopefully this is an issue we can get your lad over and get him eating for you again 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,

Dr. B.


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! : )

Dr. B. and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you