What You Can Do
Whether your cat is sick, anxious, or just plain picky, remember that a complete refusal of food can have devastating consequences. So, even if youre trying to make your cat eat a doctor-prescribed diet, never starve your cat into eating a certain type of food.
If illness is the reason your cat wont eat, work with your veterinarian to design the best regimen for you and your pet. This may include a change in food type or consistency some cats may be enticed to eat by offering canned foods when they are unwell. In more extreme cases, veterinarians may prescribe medicines that act as appetite stimulants or recommend syringe-feeding your cat a liquid diet. Or the vet may recommend placement of a feeding tube to ensure adequate nutrition.
When illness is not the culprit, there are things you can try to encourage your cat to eat.
You may have discovered that certain foods, such as liver or canned tuna, can act as appetite stimulants for certain cats. Remember to only offer these foods in small amounts. Large quantities may harm your pet by causing deficiencies or an overabundance of certain vitamins.
If your cat has been eating human food exclusively, be sure to transition your pet over several weeks by mixing together your pets favorite people food with cat food. Over time, you should be able to change the ratio until your pet is eating only cat food.
Cat Has Vomiting Or Diarrhea
Sometimes a dying cat will experience serious gastrointestinal issues near the end of their life.
Whether its due to a chronic medical condition or not, these symptoms can cause a serious drop in their overall health.
If your cat is experiencing chronic vomiting or diarrhea in their old age, it may be time to let them go.
What Changes Would I See In Coat Appearance And Amount Of Shedding
Cats that are not feeling well do not tend to groom themselves very well. Therefore, you will usually see a messy or greasy coat, mats of fur, or clumps of loose hair. In some cases, you will see a difference in the coats shine or an increased amount of dandruff.
Cats that are grooming themselves excessively may also have a problem. Excessive grooming may be a reaction to a skin problem such as allergies, a parasite such as fleas, mites or ringworm, pain such as that from arthritis or a bladder problem, or a response to stress. These cats might over-groom on all parts of their body, or they may lick themselves in one area so much that they develop bald spots and the skin beneath may be red and raw or may have a rash.
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Keeping Up With Your Kitty Care
Once your cat is properly diagnosed and a treatment plan is developed, it is important to follow through with all recommendations. If your kitty is prescribed medication and seems better after a few doses, keep giving her the medicine until the course is complete, and keep your follow-up appointment with the vet.
If your cat had fleas, be sure to deep-clean your house and vacuum the carpets well. Flea eggs can live in dark corners of your home for months. Since cats clean themselves and can ingest flea eggs it’s important to discuss with your vet the best methods for flea control and prevention in your individual household. Homes with several pets or a lot of carpet may require different flea control methods.
If your cat is having frequent digestive issues, she may be allergic or sensitive to something in your home or her cat food. While you’re in sick kitten care mode, try to keep her on one kind of vet-approved food, and also make sure other people in your home aren’t sneaking your cat tasty treats.
When To End Home Isolation Of Your Pet
Follow your veterinarians advice for when it is safe for your pet to be around other people and animals. Your pet can usually go back to normal activities if:
- The pet has not shown symptoms for at least 72 hours without medical care
- It has been at least 14 days since the pets last positive test
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Is He Eating Drinking Urinating Or Defecating More Or Less Than Normal
Cats who don’t feel well usually don’t want to eat. Some illnesses, however, can cause increased appetite, so don’t ignore your suddenly ravenous cat. Increased thirst and urination may indicate kidney disease, diabetes or other illness. Frequent, sudden attempts to urinate, especially if only small amounts are produced or if accompanied by signs of pain , may indicate a urinary tract infection or blockage. Inability to urinate is a life-threatening emergency that is all too common in cats, especially males.
How To Know When Diarrhea Is A Medical Emergency
When in doubt, call your vet or an emergency hospital for advice.
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Other Things That Can Help With Diarrhea
In addition to rest, fasting, and a bland diet, there are some other things you may find helpful in dealing with diarrhea issues at home.
Probiotics may be helpful when dealing with diarrhea. Since the digestive tract makes up about 60 to 80% of your pets immune system, keeping it healthy is important. Probiotics help support a healthy immune system by keeping the intestinal bacteria in good balance and aiding in digestion. You can try regular, unflavored, probiotic-rich yogurt , or you can pick up a probiotic like Purinas FortiFlora, Nutramaxs Proviable, VetriScience Fast Balance GI Paste, VetriScience Probiotic Everyday, Under the Weather Ready Balance Gel.
What To Do If Your Cat Is Sick
If your cat is displaying any unusual behaviors it’s worth a trip to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and treatment of illnesses can help to prevent conditions from becoming more severe or potentially life-threatening.
Cat injuries or illnesses often require urgent medical attention, surgery or even emergency care. It is essential to seek professional veterinary advice as soon as possible. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner your furry friend will be acting more like themselves again.
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Signs Your Cat May Be Sick That Warrant A Call To The Vet
Cats are notorious for hiding signs of illness. Though your feline friend probably spends most of their time curled up on the sofa rather than prowling the jungle, domesticated cats have retained many of their wild ancestors mannerisms. In nature, sick cats are easy targets for larger predators. It only makes sense that they would want to hide signs of illness and perceived weakness.
Unfortunately, this means that pet owners often do not realize that something is wrong until a problem has become serious. As veterinarians, we frequently see feline patients suffering from late-stage disease and have to deliver heartbreaking news to their owners.
You do not have to be a vet to recognize when something is not quite right with your pet, though. By learning to recognize the signs of sickness in cats, you will be better equipped to detect problems with your companion. And when you detect signs of trouble early, we can begin treatment much sooner and often offer a better prognosis. Weve rounded up seven signs your cat may be sick that you should watch for at home, and shared them below.
How To Find A Lost Cat
If your cat is lost, you may not know where to begin, but you do know you will do everything in your power to reunite with your cat and get them home where they belong. According to ASPCA, if you have a missing pet you should do the following:
- Search your home and your pet’s favorite hiding places carefully
- your pet may or may not be hiding in their favorite spots. Be sure to search your home thoroughly before proceeding with an outward search.
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How To Know If Your Cat Is Dying
This article was co-authored by Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD. Dr. Nelson is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion and Large Animal Medicine in Minnesota, where she has over 18 years of experience as a veterinarian in a rural clinic. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1998.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 63 testimonials and 90% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,267,548 times.
A cat nearing the end of his or her life may exhibit certain behaviors that will let you know it’s almost time. The cat may refuse to eat or drink, have a lower energy level and experience weight loss. Many cats instinctively seek out solitude during their final days. Recognizing the signs that your cat is dying will help you provide the best possible end-of-life care for your pet.
Change In Mood/suddenly Cranky
A sudden change in your cats mood, like suddenly becoming cranky, may be caused by a few underlying conditions:
Persistently larger or dilated pupils may be caused by hypertension, retinal disease, or a tumor affecting a cranial nerve or the brain.
Persistently small pupils may be caused by disease in the brain or Horners syndrome.
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Feed And Hydrate Your Cat
Your sick cat may stop eating however, it needs good nutrition to recover. Monitor your cat and ensure he is well fed. Make clean water and food available, preferably in small quantities.
You can offer your sick cat special food rather than their regular diet. Usually, canned food is ideal for sick cats that are reluctant to eat it is easier to swallow and helps to keep them hydrated.
When To Say Goodbye To Your Dying Cat
So how do you know when its time to say goodbye to your dying cat?
Choosing to let your furry friend go is one of the hardest decisions in pet ownership, especially when you are unaware of the signs to look for.
To help you make the most informed decision for your cat, we will get into the signs of when you know its time to say goodbye.
- No longer eating
- Chronic vomiting or diarrhea that wont resolve
- Extremely weak or always sleeping
- No longer getting up to use the litterbox
- Extreme weight loss
- No longer responding to supplementary veterinary care
If your cat is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it may be their way of telling you they are ready to let go.
Euthanizing your cat can be the kindest thing you can do for them at this point, as they may only continue to suffer as the time passes.
If you are ever unsure of what is best for your feline friend, your veterinarian can offer the guidance you need.
Saying goodbye to our feline companions is hard, but it can be the purest form of love when they begin to suffer.
Be sure to review the information we discussed above on the signs of a dying cat, and you can better understand your senior cat going forward.
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Cat Has Extreme Weight Loss
Is your cat so skinny that you can feel their bones when you pet them?
Well, weight loss is another common sign that a cat may be dying.
Many chronic conditions can cause weight loss in their later stages, as well as improper absorption of nutrients.
If your elderly cat is experiencing severe weight loss, it may be time to think about saying goodbye.
What Do You Do If You Cant Afford A Vet
Your course of action depends on the situation. Have you already gotten the bill or are you thinking about not even going to the vet because you dont think you can afford it?
Heres a summary of what you can do in various common scenarios.
At this time, the resources in this article are only relevant to people in the United States.
Ultimately, we want this to be a global guide that will help pet guardians around the world. Were always on the lookout for international resources.
If you work with or know of an organization that may be able to help provide financial assistance or other forms of aid to pet guardians in need, please contact us.
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More Serious Causes For Vomiting
These are some of the more serious causes, where vomiting occurs on a more regular basis
Ingestion of foreign bodies
Cats are more particular about what they eat than dogs but we do occasionally see cats with blockages. Cotton or string can cause a blockage or trauma to the gut.
Ingestion of certain toxins
We see fewer toxicities in cats because of their fussy nature, with a few exceptions.
Some cats like to nibble on grass. If unavailable, or out of boredom, they may eat house plants such as Dieffenbachia and lilies which are toxic. Ask your vet before bringing new plants into your house or garden.
Cats like the taste of antifreeze but its especially toxic to them. Never use it in ornamental water features, keep bottles secure and labelled, and wipe up spills immediately. Vomiting, increased thirst, lethargy and lack of appetite may be signs of ingestion. Ingestion is usually not witnessed, partly why its often fatal. Call your vet immediately if you suspect ingestion.
Food allergies or new foods
Not all foods suit all cats and any diet change should be slow, taking at least a week. Its also thought some cats may actually be allergic to certain proteins in foods. If your vet suspects this, they may recommend a hypoallergenic diet using hydrolysed proteins. These are proteins that are broken down into very small pieces so are highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.
Parasites roundworms, tapeworms and fleas
Caring For A Sick Cat
Being sick is just a bummer for us humans. Cats feel it as well. We know how to care for ourselves when were feeling worse for wear, but what about our cats? Caring for a sick cat take time and patience.
If your cat is ill, its essential to learn the basics of comforting care for them. With a little help from Catonsville Cat Clinic, you can help make your furry friend feel comfortable while you make the best decisions about their care.
Here are so basic tips to help comfort your cat:
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How Do You Recognise A Sick Or Injured Cat
To recognise when a cat is sick or in pain, you need to know what a healthy, happy cat looks like. A healthy cat is active, with clear, bright eyes, a good appetite, is pooping and peeing normally, has smooth fur and clean skin. A happy cat moves with comfort and grace, and breathes without any strange noises. If there is a sudden change in one or several of these areas, it may be a sign that the cat is ill or in pain. Read more about the symptoms of a sick cat here.
If you recognise symptoms of illness or pain, consult your vet. But what should you do before you go to the vet? In case of accident or illness:
What To Do If Your Cats Not Eating
Since cats as a species are quite good at hiding when they are in pain or not feeling well, its important to pay attention to any changes in your cats habits, especially when it comes to eating.
Contact your veterinarian if your kitten has not eaten for one to two days or if your adult cat has not eaten in two days.
Adult cats, especially those that are overweight, can develop a serious disease called hepatic lipidosis if they stop eating, so prompt action is important.
If your cat stops eating and also has these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately:
Hospitalization and fluid therapy
Medication to treat nausea or to stimulate the appetite
If your vet determines that your cat is healthy, but is just a picky eater, follow these tips:
Try feeding your cat foods with different textures, flavors, or shapes, and make sure to warm up wet foods if they have been refrigerated.
Buy only as much dry food as your cat will eat in a month, as some foods will go stale or become rancid if the package has been open for more than a month.
Its always best to know what is normal for your cat and to watch for signs that your cat is not eating so you know when to seek help.
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