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Cats not eating.

Species: Cat
Breed: Domestic Shorthair/
Age: 8-11 years
Viral Infection in Throat?


I have 3 cats at home (in Singapore, Asia).


1 cat came down with flu-like symptoms (fever, stopped eating) for 2 days. Now he’s back to eating, but showing signs of some irritation in his throat. No coughing, No vomiting, just frequent gagging.


2nd cat ended up with the exact symptom of throat irritation and has been hiding at 1 corner of the house. This has been going on for 1.5 days.


Both cats are still eating (less than usual, but still eating), but the 2nd cat is hiding all the time. He will only eat when I put the food bowl in front of him.


My 3rd cat is fine for now :)


As I just spent around US$1,500 on my cat’s constipation last month, I am reluctant to bring them to the vets again.


Can I monitor their situation for another 1-2 days, before I bring them to the vet? Or is it an emergency?


Thank you for reading my question and have a good day.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that your kitties are under the weather!

It's definitely possible that your cats have an upper respiratory tract infection. These types of things are contagious between cats. Of course there is a possibility that there is something else going on, but most likely an upper respiratory virus is the culprit.

Here are some criteria that I use to help determine whether a cat needs to see the vet for symptoms like this:

-How is their appetite? If they are eating at least half of their normal amount of food then it's ok to wait a few days. But, if it's less than half and it goes on for more than 24 hours then it's not a good idea to wait. If a cat goes without food for a couple of days then they are at risk for getting a serious condition called fatty liver.

-Is there any green or yellow discharge? If there is a green or yellow discharge from the eyes or nose then this may mean a bacterial problem in which case they would need antibiotics.

For now, it's probably ok to keep an eye on them. You can encourage them to eat by heating up some canned cat food. (Make sure it's not too hot though!). The heated food will be smellier and if they are stuffed up, they can smell heated food better.

If their appetites are getting worse rather than better then I'd have them checked out. We're making the assumption that this is a flu-like problem but it could be something else like ingestion of a toxic substance such as a plant. This wouldn't cause a cat to have throat irritation but could cause the hiding and lack of appetite.

I hope they improve soon!

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.

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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.