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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 23438
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat Gracie is not eating or drinking as far as we know

Customer Question

My cat Gracie is not eating or drinking as far as we know
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

How long has she been like this?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Are her gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could she have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply by 6)?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Dear Dr B thank you for the reply, no phone as my wife is at church with? Gracie is lick licking and gagyling a bit. I will try and do a heart beat, breath rate when wife is back from church
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.

Hello again,

No worries, pl;ease disregard the site's auto call offer.

Anyway, I will keep an eye out for those checks later on. Though I do have to say that I am quite concerned about Gracie especially as cats are not well designed to be off food for very long. At her age, we'd be worried this anorexia is due to a dental problem, gut infection, pancreatitis, IBD, GI cancer, or secondary to an organ issue (ie kidney or liver).

With this all in mind, we need to be proactive for her. To start, we can try to counter her nausea (which the lip licking and gagging suggests even without vomiting) with an OTC pet safe antacid. [ie Milk of Magnesia - 0.25tsp every 12 hours or Calcium carbonate - 60mg every 12 hours)]. Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if she has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Afterwards, we need to try to get her eating. Favorites are allowed, else we can try light options like boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. However, if she won't be tempted then we'd need to consider offering or syringe feeding watered down canned kitten food, Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are critical care diets that are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise and that will help get some fluids into her.

Since dehydration is a risk with her possibly not drinking, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check that she isn't dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. For that to also have a feel of her gums when you are checking their color, but also do make sure she doesn’t have sunken eyes and that she doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE ( If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue for her (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Finally, just to note in case you were keen to have your wee one seen today, some vets in our country have office hours today. As well, I wanted to mention that most practices have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are closed. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get in today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on contacting their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet, you can find a local one via the RCVS Register ( or Vets Now ( who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get this checked out sooner then there are options to do so.

Overall, her signs do raise a few concerns here. So, do check those other signs when your wife is home. But since Gracie has nausea signs, we'd want to use the above now. Of course, with her being older and so many serious concerns, once her vet is open we'd want an exam +/- bloods (to check organ function) so we can pinpoint this and treat her effectively with fluids, injectable anti-nausea medication +/- antibiotics and appetite stimulants to get her back feeling like herself.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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