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.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Linda Simmon Your Own Question
Linda Simmon
Linda Simmon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 8494
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Linda Simmon is online now

Cat, suddenly very sleepy, not purring which is strange and

This answer was rated:

Cat, suddenly very sleepy, not purring which is strange and change in meow
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long has the cat been lethargic? Any changes in appetite?
Customer: it’s been a sudden change in last 30 mins
JA: Could the cat have eaten something unusual?
Customer: I don’t think so she hasn’t gone anywhere
JA: And what's the cat's name and age?
Customer: sue and she’s approximately 8 shes normally very affectionate and purrs
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Sue?
Customer: No

Hello, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet with 10 years of clinical experience working out of West London. It will be my pleasure to help you today.

I'm sorry to hear to this and understand your concern for Sue.

When was she last outdoors?

Is she breathing fast or does she have a bloated tummy?

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Tummy feels normal
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I have a small patio Area that she’s been outside to about an hour ago
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Breathing maybe slightly faster than normal
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Main thing is sleepiness she’s normally very awake and playful this time of evening
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
My neighbours are having a party not sure if that’s got anything to do with it, but she’s not normally a shy or scared cat and never been bothered by loud noises music before

Thank you.

Could you please count how many times she is breathing in one minute?

Are her gums pink and wet?

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
47 breaths per min

Thanks, ***** ***** this is very rapid. Is her breathing shallow, labored or wheezy?

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Gums pink, slightly dry, but her skin turgor seems normal
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Not wheeze, doesn’t appear laboured, no panting or mouth breathing, doesn’t appear shallow
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Or laboured she is sleeping now but I can wake her and she goes straight back to sleep

Sure thing, ok.

Any chance she has eaten a toxin such as a house plant, human medicine, raisins or wedkiller?

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I have no new house plants, I had a new insect repellent but it’s animal friendly natural ingredients
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I sprayed it at the ceiling

Sure thing, ok.

And she has eaten, peed and pooped as normal today?

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I’ve been at work all day so I’m not sure about toileting but eaten and drunk as normal
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I came home from work around 9:30 and she was her normal self
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
It was just when I came to bed just after ten I found her behind my bedroom door sitting which is unusual and when I picked her up I noted her meow to be deeper then she just sat at the end of bed and wasn’t purring when I was stroking her which is so unlike her

Understood, ok.

Please bear with me as I type my reply.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
She’s actually starting to purr slightly now when I stroke her

I'm sorry Sue has not been herself tonight and do understand why you are concerned for her, especially as this is so out of character.

The lethargy and fast breathing are a worry and, at her age, could be a sign if heart disease, lung disease or something else.

We would also consider stress from the loud noises (though this is unlikely if she has previously tolerated this well), an unseen toxin ingestion, internal bleeding, abdominal pain, a fever etc.

If she is not improving and her breathing remains rapid, it is important she is seen by a vet.

I'd want to listen to her heart and lungs and the vet may discuss some tests such as a chest x-ray.

However, if she seems to be acting more normally now and she is interacting with you and her breathing is settling, it should be okay for her to be seen tomorrow for a check up.

We want to ensure her gums remain pink (rather than very pale or white) and ideally her breathing should be less than 30 breaths a minute while at rest.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Thankyou, I will keep monitoring her but she is starting to have more normal behaviours stretching out and little chirps when I stroke her and more responsive to noises , maybe I’m just being an anxious owner, il will call a vet first thing tomorrow.

I'm really glad to hear this and fingers crossed she continues to improve.

Do you have any further questions tonight?

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Thank you I feel reassured that she seems brighter and is more responsive and she’s purring now, no further questions thanks

Ok, good!

Wishing you both a peaceful night.

I hope I was able to answer your question fully.  To add me as a favourite, after rating me you can go to your ‘My Questions’ page and use the heart icon labelled ‘Favourite Expert’. If you would like to ask me another question in the future, you can add me as a Favourite Expert then type @Doctor.Simmon at the start of your next chat.

Any future questions will be welcomed.

- You can check back into this window at any time with an update and further questions.

- Tips are never expected but always appreciated.

Linda Simmon and 3 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you