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Cat not eating.

Species: Cat
Breed: Long-haired (possibl
Age: 8-11 years
Hello, Dr. Haynes -

My cat Simon doesn't seem to be eating or drinking very much recently - and by recently I'd say the last two days.

I have seen him both eat and drink, but he doesn't seem to be doing much of either. He'll eat a few pieces of kibble and walk away.

I've not changed his brand or formula of food, water, or even his litter type recently.

I scooped his litter last yesterday and didn't see any feces, though there were a few clumps of urine (I use a scoopable litter).

He does not seem lethargic - he rolled around in catnip yesterday, and we've played, too.

He does seem to be meowing a lot, but it's doesn't seem to be a pained meow (at least not compared to, say, the kind of meowing he was doing when he needed his anal glands expressed - he was not happy about that, obviously).

I do have a local veterinarian, but these symptoms seem pretty vague. Are there things I should be looking or watching for? A problem with his teeth? Some sort of blockage?

Thank you!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. I always get concerned when a cat doesn't want to eat. It almost always means that there is a medical issue.

Does Simon go outside at all? If so, it's possible that he has received a wound (i.e. a bite/scratch) from another cat. This can cause a fever which can cause a lack of appetite. While most cats with this are lethargic, it can often be hard to tell until they get really sick.

There are a number of other conditions. At his age he is middle aged to senior. We worry about problems with the liver, kidneys or pancreas. Pancreatitis can cause cats to not want to eat well. Again, we usually see some lethargy, but not always, especially early in the disease.

It's also possible that he has a dental infection or some other kind of dental problem.

You mentioned you haven't changed his food lately. Is it possible he is near the bottom of a large bag of food? Sometimes food can go bad after a while.

My general rule of thumb is that if a cat has gone more than 48 hours without eating then they should see a vet. The vet will do a thorough exam and take his temperature. (If the temperature is high then this would go along with some type of wound or infection.)

If Simon seems well on the physical exam the vet may do something as simple as prescribe an appetite stimulant. However, most likely they will want to do some blood tests to determine if there is a more serious problem.

Because he is bright and happy today you likely don't have to rush in to the vet's today. It may not be a bad idea to try him with a really tasty food such as a can of fancy feast and see if he will eat that. But, if he is not eating by tomorrow morning then I would have him seen.

I hope he is ok!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Dr. Marie -

I'm going to pick up some wet food for Simon tonight, and we've got an appointment with the veterinarian tomorrow morning.

Thank you!!

Best,
Laura


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.