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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 10920
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hi there I have just come home from work to find one of my

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Hi there I have just come home from work to find one of my cats not his normal self
He was lying very still on the bed. He is normally very active ( he is almost 2 and a half) and he does not want to eat, a sure sign something is wrong as he never passes up the opportunity to eat. I had noticed that there was some sick type substance, could have been a fur ball but with fluid and it was brown, he is also not purring as he would normally do. He was fine around 1pm and last night so not sure what has made him feel like this. Do you have. Any ideas at all? Thank you. Louise

Hello Louise, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about Alfie 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 additional questions to ask about him first, if you don't mind:

1. Can you tell me the color of his gums?

2. Can you take his temperature?

3. When was the last time he urinated?

4. Is he uncomfortable when you press on his abdomen in between his legs?

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.
Thank you Dr Deb
Alfie's gums are pink
I don't have anything to take his temperature with
I don't know when he last urinated. My husband left him at 1pm and he was fine
No pain when we feel his abdomen
He is just lying very still and earlier his tail kept going up and down on the bed which my husband thinks it's because he was getting annoyed
He is still not purring
What do you think?

Thanks for the answers to my questions.

Gum color is normal which is good. No pain when you palpate Alfie's abdomen is good; if he were experiencing a bladder obstruction, then I would expect him to be quite uncomfortable when you feel in this area. But, knowing when he last urinated can help to take this problem off of the list.

Whether or not the vomit you found is related to his current behavior will be hard to assess since it doesn't take much to trigger vomiting in a cat.

The following are going to be the most common causes for a sudden change in behavior such as you're seeing.

1. I do understand about not having a thermometer but if you manage to get your hands on one, then it will be very useful to know if he's running a fever or not. Normal is between 100 and 102.5. If it's normal, then we can take this off of the list of possible causes for his behavior but if it's high, then we'd have to wonder why.
The possible explanations include a bacterial infection, especially if he goes outside (he could have gotten into a tussle with another cat or critter and has an abscess) or 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. About 30% of cats with this condition will vomit.

We don't have a good explanation for why this condition develops 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. There are, of course, any number of possible reasons why a young cat might vomit but when they are also lethargy and don't want to eat, then I'd want to include a foreign body or possibly dietary indiscretion on the list.

4. Some cats will just have "off" days and return to normal within about 24-36 hours and we're none the wiser as to why. I suspect a viral infection in these cases but have yet to provide it.

I can provide over the counter options for nausea which may help if this is contributing to his behavior. Famotidine (aka Pepcid AC) can be given at a dose of 1/4th of a 10 mg tablet twice a day but may be hard to find in the UK. Another option would be Omeprazole at a dose of 1/2 of a 10 mg tablet once a day.

Maintaining hydration with water or Pedialyte is important, especially if there’s a fever. You can dribble this into the side of the mouth with an eye dropper or syringe every several hours if he's not drinking on his own. You could offer tuna or clam juice or low sodium chicken broth to tempt him but I wouldn't want him to drink a lot at one time (since it might stimulate more vomiting if he's really nauseous).

If he continues behave as you describe, then a vet visit may be prudent.

I hope this helps and that you see improvement soon. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for all of that and your help. We shall see what he is like in the morning. I have left a small amount of biscuits near to him in case his appetite receivers during the night and also some fresh water.
Hopefully it's something and nothing and like you say an 'off day' but will of course visit the vet if still the same tomorrow
Many thanks and goodnight
You're more than welcome although I'm sorry that I was off my computer when you responded back.

I, too, hope that he's just having an off day but if he's not a vet visit is a good idea.

I hope you'll keep me posted about him. Even after you've rated (if you do, of course), we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you. I can also send you a follow up email tomorrow to which you can respond when you have the time to do so.

Best of luck with him. Deb

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Dr Deb, apologies for my delay. I think Alfie may have had an off day. He ate his food in the morning and although he wasn't back to normal that day, he made a recovery the day after and all seems to be back to normal.
Since he goes out a lot more we will be getting both cats wormed this weekend
Thanks again and have a good day

No apologies necessary. I'm just glad to hear that there wasn't anything seriously wrong with Alfie and that he's back to his normal playful, mischievous self:)

Thanks for taking the time to let me know.
Hope you have a good day as well. Regards, Deb