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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10861
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hello, my cat is just over 2 years old. she is normally very

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Hello, my cat is just over 2 years old. she is normally very playful and eats little and often throughout the day. She has not eaten in nearly 24 hours, she doesn't even want her treats. All she has done in the past 24 hours is sleep. She got up about 1 hour ago and was sick (just yellow liquid). She seems very dopey and not really responding to us and has now gone back to sleep. I'm really worried about her. I've checked her gums and they are still pinky coloured. Her breathing appears to be normal. Can you help? Should I be worried? I plan to lock her cat flap and take her to the vet tomorrow

Hello Katie, I'm Dr. Deb. I'll do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry about this concern for Fifa. I do have a few questions to ask about her first:

1. Can you take her temperature?
2. Does she appear painful anywhere on her body?
3. Would she have access to any medication (over the counter or prescription) or possibly other drugs (legal or otherwise)?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Dr Deb,
Unfortunately I don't have a thermometer. :-(
No she doesn't appear painful anywhere. When she got up to be sick she was walking fine and got upstairs back to bed okay.
No she wouldn't have access to any type of drugs, not in our house anyway but she does go outside a lot and was outside last night just before she came in & ate & went to bed which was very, very early for her

Thanks for the additional information. I suspect she vomited bile because her stomach is empty. Bile can be very irritating to the stomach lining and cause patients to bring it up.

As to her other symptoms, there actually could be several possible explanations for her behavior:

1. She could be running a fever.
I understand about not having a thermometer but if you manage to get your hands on one, it would be good to check her temperature (although this isn't always the easiest thing 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 such as an abscess (even though she doesn't have any obvious wounds on her) or a viral infection.

There is a condition in cats that is called Fever of Unknown Origin--this is exactly what it sounds like which is 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.

2. Pancreatitis can happen very suddenly; these cats just stop eating and can become lethargic. 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. although she's a little on the young side for these. I'll just include them to be complete.

4. Ingestion of certain medications/drugs can cause this behavior but this is far more common in a dog than in a cat. If this is the case, though, then treatment will be supportive until whatever is in her system is gone...which might take about 24 hours or a little longer.

5. Some cats will just have "off" days and we're none the wiser as to why. I suspect a viral infection but can't prove it. Usually the signs last about 1-2 days, at most, though.

Since she's a little nauseous, she can be given over the counter Pepcid AC at a dose of 1/4th of a 10 mg tablet twice a day.

Maintaining hydration with water or Pedialyte is important, especially if there’s a fever although since she's only been ill for a short period of time and she's so young, this is less likely a concern than if she were a kitten or a senior citizen.

You can dribble this into the side of the mouth with an eye dropper or syringe every several hours.

If she's still behaving this way tomorrow, then a vet visit would be prudent but I wouldn't necessarily be overly concerned about her just yet.

I hope this helps. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Deb. You have put my mind at ease. Fifa has also just eaten some of her treats and let out a little purr. :-) thank you so much for your help

You're more than welcome; glad to be able to reassure you about her:)

Also, glad that she seems to be coming least a little bit, anyway.

Sounds like she'll be fine until tomorrow when you can reevaluate the situation.

Best of luck with her. Regards, Deb

Dr. Deb and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

Thanks for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I'd like to check back in with you tomorrow to see how Fifa is doing.

Even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you.

Regards, Deb

Kindly ignore the request for additional information.

Hello Katie:
I’m just following up on our conversation about Fifa. How is she doing? Deb