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Why is My Cat Suddenly Lethargic and Refusing to Eat?


Dear VetBabble: Why is My Cat Not Eating and Acting Lethargic?

A concerned pet owner writes: “My 6-year-old cat hasn’t been eating for a few days since a relative stayed over. He’s acting really lethargic, lying around and hiding, which he normally doesn’t do. Additionally, he meows when I try to touch him or pick him up as if he’s in pain. My relative has left, but he’s still not acting like himself, not eating at all, and only drinking water occasionally. I’m very concerned for his well-being. What should I do?”

As an experienced veterinarian, I completely understand your concern for your cat’s health. In this article, I’ll address the possible reasons behind your cat’s sudden change in behavior and provide advice on how to help your cat get better.

Possible Causes for Your Cat’s Loss of Appetite and Lethargy

When a cat doesn’t eat for over 72 hours, they can develop a fatty liver, which can be fatal without treatment. This is why it’s crucial to act quickly and consult with a veterinarian. The primary causes of your cat’s anorexia and lethargy could be a systemic illness, infection, inflammation, or injury. Unhappily, these symptoms are both very general signs of many health issues, which is why it’s essential to seek professional help to pinpoint the underlying problem.

One possible reason could be that your cat is experiencing weight loss – a common issue among cats that are not eating properly. To learn more about this particular concern, take a look at this comprehensive article on Why is my Cat Losing Weight?.

Helping Your Cat Start Eating Again

If your cat refuses to eat, it’s essential to determine the underlying cause and address it. As you’ve noticed, your cat’s lack of appetite is already causing him to become lethargic, which could lead to other health problems if not addressed. One helpful resource to consult is this helpful article on My Cat Won’t Eat! What Should I Do? – it offers advice on how to help your cat recover and start eating again.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet can perform a thorough examination and recommend the best course of action to improve your cat’s health and appetite. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek professional advice when it comes to your pet’s well-being.

Considering Other Possible Health Issues

Several other health issues might be causing your cat’s loss of appetite and lethargy. For example, your cat could be suffering from kidney disease, which is relatively common in many cats. To further explore this possibility and learn more about the symptoms and treatment options for kidney disease, check out this useful article on Kidney Disease in Cats.

Another possible cause for your cat’s behavior could be that he’s experiencing gastrointestinal distress, leading to vomiting. This could explain the reluctance to eat, as well as the lethargy and discomfort when being touched. For more information on this topic, read this informative article about Why is My Cat Vomiting?, which can help you identify the signs and potential causes of vomiting in cats.

In conclusion, considering your cat’s symptoms, I strongly advise seeking immediate veterinary care. Getting a professional assessment and treatment plan will provide you with the best chance of nursing your cat back to health. Remember, it’s always better to consult with a veterinarian to address any concerns you may have regarding your pet.

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