Species: Cat Breed: He looks like a Russ Age: 11-15 years
My 13 year old male cat, since yesterday is sick, and I don't know why. Yesterday he was at the top of the stairs howling (like they do for mating, or calling another cat, baby cry sound) he never does this. Since then a little over 24 hours ago, he won't eat, will drink water, but very little, and when he tries to stand he wobbles and lays back down. Sometimes after he's howled, he's thrown up, once only it looked like a very small furball, the other times he pukes up water or saliva type stuff. He's an indoor cat so he hasn't been into anything outside. he was his usual self the night before. This was all of a sudden. Could it be a very huge furball that won't come up? He's not really a long haired cat nor is he a short haired cat, kinda in between. The color of what he threw up that I'm thinking is part of a furball is gray like his fur, and like the furballs he usually gets up. I don't want to lose my cat, he is generally healthy all the time. If I could afford to take him to the vet right now I would, as you can see I could only afford the $5.00 bump up or I would have spent the $15.00 for a fast answer. Time is very important here since he won't eat and can't stand up. Never seen anyting like this before. I hope you can give me some kind of advise, or something to try. Like i said he howl's only sometimes but is usually followed with trying to throw up, and when he does it's watery. I'm so very scared for him, he's my baby. What can I do for him, please!!!!! Thank you so very much in advance for any help you might be able to offer me. My heart is hurting, can you help my little Milo??
Victoria Lawson & Milo
Dr. Marie replied:
I'm sorry to hear that Milo is not well!
Is he urinating ok? Often when cats have symptoms of yowling, not eating, and difficulty walking it can be because of a urinary tract blockage. If he has a urinary tract blockage then you should be noticing him visiting the box often trying to pee and also licking at his penis.
Unfortunately if this is a urinary tract blockage then this is really serious and needs emergency vet treatment.
I have seen cats have similar symptoms if they are constipated as well. While constipation is less life threatening than a urinary tract blockage, again, there is no at home treatment.
There are some cats that can have very loud meowing just before they vomit and it might be that there is nothing serious going on. However, from what you have described I do think that this is something serious. I don't like it when a cat won't eat or drink.
Another possibility for these symptoms is something called a saddle thrombus, or in medical terms an aortoiliac trhombosis. This happens when a blood clot forms and affects blood supply to the back legs. Have a feel of his front feet and back feet. Are the back feet cold? If so, this could be what is going on.
Unfortunately a saddle thrombus is very serious and even with treatment most cats do not survive for long.
I really wish I could give you some advice on what to do at home, but it sounds like Milo does need to see a vet right away.
If you are having trouble paying for vet bills, you may want to look into Carecredit.com and Medicard.com which are companies that help people to finance vet visits.
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Dr. 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.
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