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All cats in house getting sick.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH
Age: 2-5 years
Hi Dr. Marie,

I have a household of 6, normally healthy cats. Lately, we have encountered some health issues. Just a brief background(in case it is helpful), back in March Binx came down with a fever after a recent vet visit(just a checkup). It was determined it was Fever of unknown origin. I paid for every test(cbc, electrolytes, full chem, pancreatitis, FIV/FELV, the list goes on) except an ultrasound and everything was normal. The vet thought he might have a food sensitivity so we started him on a hypo allergenic food and I kept him on that for about 2 months. I wasn't fully convinced that was the problem so I put him back on the normal food and he has been doing fine.

Fast forward to about a month ago. Another one of my cats(Vigo) came down with conjunctivitis and was started on an eye ointment. About 3 days in he got a fever and was started on oral antibiotics. He is now happy and healthy, aside from being obese- working on that.

A week ago Pacino came down with a fever. I had some left over clavamox that a gave which helped bring the fever down. He wasn't drinking much so I gave about 75ml of subQ fluids. After that he perked up. I had him "quarantined" in the guest bedroom for about 4 days to monitor his intake and output. After he was eating consistently and using the litter box I let him back out to roam.

Now Binx is sick with just about the same symptoms as Pacino. It started out as just laying around and being "anti-social" for a few days and now when he walks he seems stiff. He is reluctant to jump and move at all. He does seem painful, he is a big baby so its easy to tell with him. If you pick him up or if he moves too much he will "whine" or if the other cats come closer he will lash out. So it is obvious he is not feeling good. He is still eating and drinking, although not much, he is interested in food though. Last night he was interested in playing but would not move to get the toy. He will still cuddle with me if i pick him up and bring him to me or if I'm close enough to him.
I know I should take him to the vet, I use to work in the vet field for 7+ years as a tech so I know what I would tell someone if they called up or asked me the same questions. But after a $1500 vet bill back in March on top of Vigo's vet bill recently for his eye I'm really trying to pay those off first. Of course, if needed, I will but I thought I would try this first and since Pacino is just about back to normal I would like to see if it can "run it's course" first.

All of my cats are indoors and spayed/neutered.
They all eat the same exact food - Felidea grain free chicken
They all drink from the same water
We are currently in the process of laying new laminate flooring on the main level, which we started doing just before Pacino got sick. It doesn't involving using any types of glue as it is a floating floor.
Both Pacino and Binx show the same symptoms, other than Binx not having a fever - Although I have not taken Binx temperature, only felt his ears. I know that's not an accurate way of telling a temperature but after his Fever of unknown origin in March I know his ears get HOT when he has a fever. I will take a formal temp this afternoon.
I have done some research on my own and discovered that Toxoplasmosis might be an option. But none of my cats are outdoor and are on dry kibble. Could they still be exposed to this and it be a viable option?

Thanks and I look forward to hearing back from you!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thank you for that detailed history.

This is probably going to be one of those cases, unfortunately where no cause is found for the symptoms. The fact that it seems to be traveling through multiple cats means it is probably something infectious. A virus would be top on my list.

There are likely viruses out there that we don't have names for and as such we may not be able to get an actual diagnosis for. The key though is probably to treat symptomatically. In other words, to try to keep him comfortable and eating. If his appetite drops significantly then really I would suggest having your vet take a look. While subcutaneous fluids can be helpful in cases like this, as you know, intravenous fluids are necessary in some cases.

You may want to ask your vet about repeating the feline leukemia and FIV test in 3-6 months for the cats. I really don't think this is what's going on, but in some cases these tests may not turn up positive right away.

This really doesn't sound like a parasitic disease to me and I think that toxoplasmosis is extremely unlikely. Toxo is not contagious from cat to cat. In order to get it the cats would have to have eaten raw meat that was infected with toxoplasmosis. This sounds extremely unlikely in your cats' cases.

It also doesn't sound like it is food related or related to your new flooring.

I don't have an exact answer for you. Keep an eye on him and if he has a fever or loses his appetite then have him see his vet.

Hope things work out 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. 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,

Thank you for the reply! I have been able to somewhat localize the pain. It seems to be in the hip area closer to the Ischium, in both Pacino and Binx. When I discovered that, my first thought was, "Oh, Anal glands!" but upon feeling them they don't seem out of sorts. Now he didn't appreciate me being back there and feeling around but they didn't seem like the main problem. I also find it odd that both cats would develop the same problem(that isn't super common in cats) within a week of each other. I know this can of course happen but could there be anything else related to pain in that location?
Both are still eating and drink and using the litter box so I'm not super concerned at this point but still enough to want to know try and figure out what is going on. I still have Binx in the guest room as he is still uncomfortable and taking it out on the other cats, but Pacino is roaming around. He isn't back to 100% but I think slowly getting there.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hmmm...that's an odd area to find pain in both cats. I can't really think of anything contagious that would cause this. Now, a lot of cats are naturally sensitive in this area so I wonder if perhaps this is what you're seeing?

Glad to hear he is improving though.

Dr. Marie.

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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.