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How to Tell If Your Cat is in Pain

January 26, 2010
DSH cat hiding her pain

Does this cat look like she's in pain?

Cats Hide Their Pain Exceptionally Well

Holly, a seventeen-year-old domestic short-hair cat came to see me for weight loss and not wanting to eat for 3 days (we call this symptom anorexia in veterinary medicine, but I prefer the term inappetence, because it does not resemble the psychological and physical disease many people suffer by the same name.)

She gradually lost weight over the past 6 months. Holly was 11 pounds in June, and only 5 1/2 pounds when this picture was taken in the hospital.

Holly died the following afternoon.

I do not mean to be melodramatic, but to illustrate a point. This cat suffered from pancreatic cancer for 6 months, without her family realizing she was sick until it was too late to help her or to ease her pain. Many, many people can miss the signs of illness and pain in a cat, because cats hide their pain from us. (Look at the first picture above. Holly knew I was visiting her, so she “faked it.” Many studies have shown pets will do this to please us, and then quiver in misery after we leave the room, as proven by hidden camera technology.)

When Holly thought I wasn’t looking, without opening her baby incubator I had set her in for warmth and extra oxygen, I snapped the following pictures:

painful abdomen, hunched up position in a cat

Note the hunched back and head down near to the floor with paws gathered up under the body.

Nose down, fur ruffled, back arched, this is how to tell a cat is in pain

Holly shows us abdominal pain by sitting up on her paws, back arched, nose to floor.

(In case you worry that I let Holly suffer in pain, rest assured she received strong opioid painkillers. Unfortunately, certain types of painful conditions, like pancreatic cancer, still cause pain unless the patient undergoes anesthesia. Sometimes a constant rate infusion CRI of painkillers works.)

5 Signs A Cat is in Pain:

  1. Behavior change. Noisy cat is quiet, quiet cat vocalizes.
  2. Hiding, withdrawn, reclusive.
  3. Sitting hunched with back arched, paws gathered under the body, nose resting on the floor, eyes closed.
  4. Purring does not mean a cat is happy! Some cats purr to comfort themselves when they hurt.
  5. Distant or faraway look to the eyes, like cat thinks about internal pain, instead of noticing the external environment.

5+ Signs a Cat Might be Sick:

1. Eating more or less. Or nothing. A fat cat can die if they refuse food for 3-4 days in a row (hepatic lipidosis.)
2. Vomiting.

Doc Truli summarizes recent thinking in feline internal medicine, “Vomiting hairballs is not normal for cats! Veterinarians used to believe hairball vomiting was a normal cat function; vomiting is abnormal. Something is wrong; see your vet!”

3. Drinking lots of water.

“Cats were desert animals thousands of years ago. They usually drink very little compared to dogs.”

4. Losing weight for no reason. This can be difficult to appreciate when you see your cat every day.

Look for: bony hips, spine prominent, shoulders visible, ribs visible, temples atrophied and gaunt-looking.

“If your cat is not on a weight control diet, and his or her exercise has not increased significantly (like you moved to a gigantic house), then weight loss is a sign of illness.”

5. Diarrhea, Coughing, Sneezing, Yellow or green discharge coming out of anywhere on your cat.

6. Signs of pain like hiding, change in verbosity, change in voice, eye pain like blinking and tearing, and squinting…

Get Your Cat to the Veterinarian You Trust With Cats!

If you know your cat is ill, and the question is more about quality of life, see Doc Truli’s Pet Quality of Life discussion.

See  How to Tell If Your Kitten Is in Pain for more pictures and symptoms to watch out for!

New! on VirtuaVet: How Do I Know If My Cat has Breast Cancer?

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522 Comments leave one →
  1. Alia permalink
    July 24, 2018 1:35 am

    My 10 year old male cat has recently lost interest in playing, has urinated on my clothes and carpet which hes NEVER done before, has extreme thirst and requires fresh water in his bowl 2-3 times a day as well as drinking out of toilet, and he still has appetite but there’s been significant weight loss and vomiting after he binges with food. I’ve noticed he’s losing claws, whiskers, sheddiny more.
    I know something is wrong but i do not have the funds to have him tested and dont know what resources can help him.
    He’s my best friend. I know something is wrong but what am i supposed to do?

    What do you tell people on fixed incomes(disabled, veterans,etc), or full time single mom still in the process of education. Or just someone down on their luck who makes sure their furry family has shelter love and food but no way can afford the $80 visit plus $300-600 in testing just to start.

    • August 29, 2018 10:33 am

      Dear Alia,
      Your cat clearly could benefit from veterinary care. I have found creative, persistent people over the years that “find a way.” They find local charities, low-cost clinics, go-fund-me, or even if a family can afford $600, perhaps the problem requires $5,000 to address it. A recent study suggests most families may have $250-$350 on hand for emergencies expenditures for the pets and the whole family. So this is a question for many, many families in America. The more you can research and connect in your community, the more you may find help for him. Try church, family, charities, low-cost spay-neuter places might know people who can help. Where there is a will, there is a way. Think what you can do, who you can call, not what you cannot do. Your help will likely be found close to home. -Doc Truli

  2. Mark Vachon permalink
    March 6, 2017 9:55 pm

    My cat seems to be trying to tell me something. She is leading me to the bedroom where she had her babies almost 2 years ago and two were still born. She has one that she has been constantly cleaning her and they are sticking together like glue which hasn’t been normal in the past. She’s been very vocal. She throws up her food now and again but not everyday. Could it be fleas because I do have to treat them its been a year since they have been treated. She’s an indoor cat along with her baby. I do have another cat that does go outside though. I’m going to treat them this week. It started last night and she’s doing it today too. Its not like she had another litter , she hasn’t been outside. I can’t figure out what it could be. She wants to be in her room with her baby on her bed. Please let me know if you know anything on what she could possibly be going through. I don’t think its pain she’s not hunching over with nose to the floor or anything.???

    • Mark Vachon permalink
      March 6, 2017 10:01 pm

      Ps…She is about 6 or 7 years old. Short haired. Black n white. She’s the runt of the litter she was born from..her baby is the runt of the litter she had. So they aren’t very big cats but they aren’t too skinny or anything.I don’t know what she’s trying to tell me.

    • March 27, 2017 11:04 pm

      Dear Mark,
      No idea. Fleas can make strange behavior. So can other illnesses. So can fleas spread illnesses. If it continues, get her vetted.
      Doc Truli

  3. Sara permalink
    October 14, 2016 7:23 pm

    Dr. Tulli,
    I just rescued a stray cat two days ago. I have been feeding him dry food and a little wet food for the past few days. I only refil the dry food bowl when it is empty and feed him wet food twice a day. He seems happy. However, I noticed that he burps after he eats. He purrs often, and does so while laying on his back, which he tends to do often. I’m not sure if he has an upset stomach now that he had a regular diet. Or, if there is something wrong with the food.

    Sara Thompson

    • October 28, 2016 9:49 am

      Dear Sara,
      Burping is called “rebellious” stomach Qi in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. I strongly suggest you take him to see your family veterinarian and take along a poop sample for them to test for intestinal parasites.
      Good luck!
      Doc Truli

  4. Jan permalink
    September 4, 2016 10:44 am

    My cat has been diagnosed with pancreatitis. He eats intermittently without the vigor he once attacked food with. He has thickening of the intestinal walls and rests a lot, lays on his side after eating. Today he has thrown up twice, clear pink fluid, but has eaten a 1/2 cup of Rad Cat, with brewers yeast, because he and his buddy have fleas, his are worse because he is sickly and older, 15 y.o., also added nutritional yeast and Aunt Jennys Probiotics. Vet suspects lymphoma. She has added Standard Process Pancreatrophin PG, Feline Immune Support, and added Feline Cardio Support pills due to his bellows breathing.
    He gets SubQ fluids once a week and B12 supplements to help with anemia and as an appetite stimulant. His fur is soft, eyes bright, with some yucky stuff occasionally at the corners but usually clean, occasional sneezes. He always weighed 16 to 17 pounds, dropped to 12 over the years, now is back to 13 pounds. For the first time, when a cranky cat housemate attacked him, as he does when food isn’t coming fast enough, the sick cat followed him out of the room and put him in a head lock. Never seen that behavior from him before.
    Stools have been runny for about 2 years and one recently had blood in it, sort of topical not really in it, but like it was from the sides of intestinal or rectal walls.
    Anyway, I’m working with my vet and am attempting to limit his diet to foods that do not have carageenan, xanthan gum and guar gum because it is thought that these substances coat the intestinal walls blocking nutrient intake. His shoulders are boney and his haunches are lean but he still has ok spinal muscle coverage. When he was about 9 months old, most of his housemates, except him and 2 other cats were exposed to FIP, wet type, and FeLV. Within 2 months of worming by a vet, of 7 cats, 4 of them died from one of the 2 diseases. He and a younger and an older female survived, the younger cat dying at 3 y.o., the older one dying a few years ago at 18 y.o.
    I’m writing all of this to organize my own thoughts, and to ask if I am missing something from his protocol, or doing too much to this poor cat? Do you have any suggestions or comments? Is nutritional yeast good or bad for cats? I can’t find anything on the Internet but my cats love the stuff.
    Is this inflammation beatable? Is lymphoma the beatable? What can I do to help him?

    • October 28, 2016 10:16 am

      Dear Jan,
      I am posting your comment because I think it will help other people in a similar situation as you are. I now practice 100% house call medicine and 90% Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. I see many cats and dogs with years of protracted diarrhea that veterinarians could not solve even when the family went to all the specialists and followed all the directions they were supposed to. Integrating Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine with your Western medicine diagnostics and pharmaceuticals gives good results that textbooks and statistics have not calculated. We are working on research and data to prove the assertions that Chinese Herbal medicine, food therapy and acupuncture are valuable in cases such as your cat. My personal experience says it is very valuable. There are precious few vets trained in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in the United States and around the world. You may find many of them at under the “resources” tab.
      Doc Truli

  5. August 17, 2016 7:19 pm

    I’ve had my cat for years now. I got a new bed the other day and since the day after that he’s been acting jumpy and sniffing everything, even things I’ve had since before I got him. Just today, I came home from school and heard a scratching noise. I looked down and he was hiding under my bed with his right paws on the side of the bed and his left forepaw stretched across his chest. I got off the bed and knelt down to look at him and he just kept staring at me and trilling. After a while, he ran at me, smacked my foot with his paw, and ran out of the bedroom. I’ve never seen him do anything like that before.

  6. Katie permalink
    August 3, 2016 11:58 pm

    Hello my name is Katie I am about 35 weeks pregnant. My cat Moo is about 9 months old. She has been hiding the last 3 days. I took her to the emergency vet last night they did blood work and everything was normal. She is still hiding and not eating or using the litter box. She also has no fever. I am so overly stressed because I know there is something wrong with her usually she is by my side 24/7. She is a very playful loving cat. She even growled at me when I was holding her. Idk what else to do. They told me to go see a internal medicine Doctor which I am going to if she is not herself in another day.

  7. Jennifer permalink
    June 7, 2016 10:03 pm

    Hi my name is jennifer i have a 10 yr old white and black short haired cat named chaose. Within the last 2 month chaose is worrying us he went from being a fat happy cat to skin and bones. He still eats but hes always sleeping . he whines when u pick him up 3 wks ago he has a seizure plus hes been coughing . anyone recommend what we should do.

  8. May 17, 2016 11:26 pm

    Hi I have a quick question that ive scoured the net for answers for without much luck. Hoping somebody on here may be able to shed some light! I have a 10yr old cat who is in good health. However he has this eye twitch/head jerk deal he does while he is awake. There isnt any meowing prior to it…no sickness or any other symptoms ive read that are related to this. The eye deal happens several times a day and is like somebody is trying to tap his head real fast and hes jerking back from it. It only lasts a few seconds. Then other times out of the blue he will have this violent head jerk back…then done! Keeps on about his business like it doesnt even phase him. I *have* noticed the eye ones have become more frequent so im a bit concerne over what it could *possibly* be?!

    • July 1, 2016 10:19 pm

      Dear Isa,

      That description of his eye jerky movements sounds severe enough to warrant a vet visit, especially if it is intensifying. Consider if you can find a veterinarian who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine or homeopathy to help you. Those modalities may be less invasive and more helpful than just Western medicine.

      -Doc Truli

  9. James permalink
    April 23, 2016 1:30 pm

    My name is James my two year old tabby her name is tiger got out the house the other DAT stayed gone for about 3 days came back she does not want yo eat or drink water she is walking around in circles and has gone blind she can not see me and she looks like she is in pain could she have been poisoned

    • July 1, 2016 10:27 pm

      Well, this answer is for anyone else reading this post. Does anyone else think that more people need to go to the vet hospital and less people need to be on the internet when their cat is suffering that much? (It seems to be a theme. Go to the vet with these questions…)

      Other answer, lots of people think someone poisoned their pet. Rarely happens.

      • DogCatMom permalink
        August 29, 2016 6:56 pm

        Maybe not poisoned on purpose, but the cat could’ve gotten into antifreeze puddles on a garage/carport floor, could’ve caught and eaten a poisoned mouse/young rat, etc. ==>Get to the vet STAT<==

  10. Julie permalink
    March 27, 2016 9:55 pm

    I took my female 11 yr old indoor domestic cat to vet 2 weeks ago due to bumps n cogh. She was given a shot of steroids n anti biotic. Well it helped abit. 2 weeks later I took her back with cogh n hair loss n swollen shut eyes n mouth n nose n not eating n lethargy n blood in her nose n sore on her paw that she liked till it bled. The vet xray ed her n did blood work on her n scheduled 4 biopsies on her but that’s to be done tomorrow. But would the blood work not say if she had cancer. I don’t want my cat being butchered with biopsies if she has cancer. So will the blood work confirm this. I’m devastated. N heart broken. Thanks

    • July 1, 2016 10:34 pm

      Catch-22. Can’t tell if cancer without biopsies. If you knew it was cancer, you would decline biopsies. This may be an irreconcilable conflict. Butchered may be a strong term. Skin biopsies are 6-8mm wide usually. They can often heal even without stitches. Chin up! Your cat needs you!

  11. Jennifer permalink
    March 12, 2016 1:32 am

    My cat Penolpe is playing normal, I did get her a new brand of food, but she is eating. She is just all of a sudden following me around everywhere so I’ve been watching her closely. She is yawning more lately and has thrown up twice in 2 days but also is shedding like crazy because the weather has changed dramatically from winter to warm. Is she ok? I’ve held her a lot lately and havnt noticed and pain spots or fleas or anything. Just the sudden extra attention and maybe yawning.

  12. Helene spear permalink
    March 8, 2016 10:36 pm

    My cat is 12 half diabetic insulin twice a day. Nephropy of his both back legs. Dosent eat his diabetic food anymore so now we are feeding him what he likes because of the insulin. I have him on main level now liter box bathroom catbed behind couch. Hallway food kitchen so he won’t have to walk far. He sleeps alot easily arousal follows you with his eyes walks liter box back kitchen lies by water bowl. How do I no when to let him go. Don’t no if he’s in pain still cuddles when I go to him. I don’t no to say goodbye or hopefully he goes in his sleep this is not our buddy anymore we love him so much don’t no what to do

  13. Anne permalink
    January 1, 2016 6:09 pm

    I just adopted a cat that I was fostering from the spca. She came to me with stomach issues, two weeks ago we found thyroid issue but she still vomits occasionally. I believe she is much older than 6. Holds her back arched at times as if in pain, very vocal. I take her to my vet on Monday to discuss quality of life.

  14. Juan permalink
    December 26, 2015 9:58 pm

    Hello so i have a 6 month old kitty and normally she is pretty quiet. She only really talks when she gets in the car but all of a sudden today she has been around a certain area of the house and she keeps trilling. At one point she started meowing very very loudly. So i went to go see what was up because she never ever meows in the house. When i went to pick her up she didnt want to be held upright so i held her sideways and she kept her legs stretched out and claws out. Then i set her back down on a nearby couch and she kept laying on her side trilling away continuously. Then she finally stood but she kept the front of her body down and kept her rear end in the air and wouldnt put it down at all. Any ideas on what it could be?

  15. July 31, 2015 3:15 pm

    My cat is 4 months old and he acts normal eats fine plays but I was petting him and I noticed a small yellow bump on his lower stomach and his stomach feels like something movie idk if that’s normal in just want to make sure he’s okay but I don’t have the money for the vet

    • November 22, 2015 1:39 pm

      Without a professional examination, the diagnosis may remain uncertain.

  16. tanya Cardenas permalink
    July 11, 2015 8:49 am

    Hey…my is tanya….we have three cats..we are some cat lovers…lol…my older cat “mowe”’s his name is alot older then the other two….we have had him longet then the other two…i woke up this morning and the first thing i do…is fill there food trays and give them fresh water…its the same time every morning
    …there use to it….so there usually waiting for mommy at there bowls all three…except mowe he was wasnt…mowe heard the bag came out fom under neath the kitchen table and just started moweing really loud and it look like it was hard for him to walk…he walk to the living room under neath the coffee table….still there…normally when i talk to moew he answers me back and he didnt….so i know there is something wrong…if anyone reads this can you help me out….maybe you may know whats wrong with my cat…thanks….my

  17. Colleen permalink
    May 25, 2015 10:11 pm

    Can anybody help me? My cat is 10 years old. He’s a orange short hair and all of a sudden I noticed his head was dropped and he was only looking down and looking very weak. It almost looked like a neck is 10pm and no vets are open and I’m afraid he won’t make it thru the night😞

    • July 11, 2015 3:59 pm

      Dear Colleen,
      I hope your cat did well. It’s been a while.

      My point in writing this is the let readers know I cannot give medical advice or act as a veterinarian for your pet without being your hands-on veterinarian. IT would be harmful, irresponsible and illegal. So I do not moderate the comments every day and nothing urgent will be addressed on VirtuaVet. Please, please, please see a trusted local veterinarian if you have any concerns about your animals.

      I try to be careful that no comments on here mislead other readers. So I do not allow any comments to post without personally approving them for publishing. It was a judgement call when I set up the site. You cannot have a lively, rapid-fire conversation on here. But you also cannot get trolled or attacked or terribly mislead.

      Enjoy the inspirational pet medical stories!

      -Doc Truli

  18. Janie permalink
    September 13, 2014 5:27 pm

    I have an older kitty, rescued him about 2 yrs ago from a shelter. He was found starving on the street and suffering from a horrible tooth infection – the damage was so bad they ended up having to remove all of his teeth!

    But that’s all behind him now he’s a family cat & knows how to take care of himself lol, He’s a great kitty, always quite and keeps to himself but I noticed a few days ago his arms, face & belly seem to have swelled. It feels like water all around his stomach and arms and around his chin.. His back legs & tail are the only parts not swollen looking/feeling. It’s mainly squishy on his face, upper arms and chest.

    I don’t know what could be the cause could be, I’m taking him to the vet but am trying to find out what I can do to make sure he’s comfortable and not in any pain in the meantime.. Thanks for any tips! Gene (my kitty) & I thank u 🙂

    • Krysta permalink
      January 8, 2016 1:44 am

      Hi, Janie. I know I’m late in replying but I was in here reading up on another condition when I read your comment. To me, it sounds like it was fluid retention, possibly systemic. I hope that your vet got down to what was causing it and I hope that Gene is doing much better! Any type of swelling on a cat’s body is abnormal and should always be evaluated by a veterinarian. To everyone else, never home treat an ill or ailing cat beyond the basics (comfort, warmth, rest, hydrate, observe, first aid if necessary). Giving a cat medication of any type is a recipe for disaster, as many meds can cause liver and/or kidney toxicity/failure, or at the very least make them extending ill. Kitties bodies are so different from ours and from all other animals, their systems are unique in how they metabolize food and medications, and their systems are extremely sensitive. Let your vet do the prescribing and treatments and do what you do best, love on them! ☺

  19. September 10, 2014 11:26 pm

    Just had my 3 yo cat to the vet yesterday for FELV/FVRCP vaccine, 1.50 Drontal Tablet for worms and given 1 Capstar Blue 2-25# fleas. He was fine before going to the vet yesterday and yesterday afternoon.This morning he seemed fine. Then this evening he was becoming more verbal and growling a bit, moving slow and lying on the slate floor like it made him feel better. Tonight after getting home from our Wednesday night Bible Study, he was extremely vocal and growling loadly at times. He is walking gingerly and I notice he has passed ferocious gas a couple of times, which seems very painful because he lets out with a load howl. Should I call the vet tonight, or wait to take him in the morning? He is breathing rapidly, too. Bottom line he seems to be in pain for some reason. Could the worming med be contributing to it, his he possibly trying to pass a worm?

    • September 11, 2014 7:59 am

      Dear Jacqui,
      What did your vet say?
      -Doc Truli

      P.s. never wait for an answer on a website. I moderate the comments for a long term discussion. Virtuavet is about philosophy and insight.

      • Bill & Jacqie permalink
        September 11, 2014 9:35 am

        I called first thing this morning and they said to bring him in to check him sometime today. He is a totally indoor cat so unless the wormer has upset his stomach? He almost acts like he is developing a blockage…maybe from dead worms??? Anyway, we are on our way to the vets an hour away. I’ll let you know what we find out.


        Jacqie and Boo

      • Bill & Jacqie permalink
        September 11, 2014 6:40 pm

        Turns out Boo had sandy/gritty bladder stones and they were blocking his urethra. First the vet got right to work on getting the stones out of the urethra so his bladder could empty, pushed fluids and gave 3U Humulin N once he got lab results. He used a lacrimal irrigation tube as a urethral catheter and stitched it in to leave for a day or two (I thought that was pretty cool of him to think to do that). His bladder was very distended, which made me think he was developing a bowel blockage related to worms…what with all the burping and passing gas. Anyway, his BUN , Potassium and glucose were very elevated. He was also very dehydrated. This afternoon his potassium was down and his glucose was too low, which was a good sign, because of the worry of diabetes…apparently stress induced > glucose. He treated the < glucose. The vet is keeping him until at least tomorrow so as to push fluid and clear all of the stones and rehydrate. He says he is critically ill but he thinks he will make it okay, although no promises…yet.

        Apparently this was coming on for a while, but not obvious, to me anyway.



        From: Bill & Jacqie [] Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2014 8:35 AM To: 'VirtuaVet' Subject: RE: [New comment] How to Tell If Your Cat is in Pain

        I called first thing this morning and they said to bring him in to check him sometime today. He is a totally indoor cat so unless the wormer has upset his stomach? He almost acts like he is developing a blockage…maybe from dead worms??? Anyway, we are on our way to the vets an hour away. I’ll let you know what we find out.


        Jacqie and Boo

      • September 11, 2014 8:59 pm

        Oh wow! Thank goodness you went back in and had him checked!

      • Ludie permalink
        September 11, 2014 7:03 pm

        I sure hope your kitty is doing better. I had experienced that in my kitty, his was not so far advanced though. Do they have a cone collar on him? My cat had to have one because he pulled his catheter out. I wish you all the best.

  20. Candra Willie permalink
    September 7, 2014 1:37 am

    Im trying to get answers for myself and I don’t seem to get the right answer.
    I have a kitten who I got from a friend, who was taking him to the pound, right now he’s probably about 6 months or less. He keeps Rolling around meowing like he’s in pain n I was wondering what pain he’s in or where he’s feeling the pain internally. In other words what is wrong with him.

    • September 7, 2014 11:14 am

      I know you said “him,” but that sounds like a female in heat.

      A veterinary visit can actually give you some answers. The internet rarely will. Please take your kitten to a veterinarian.

      Good Luck!

      -Doc Truli

  21. Ludie permalink
    August 29, 2014 11:46 am

    Hi, I’ve seen that some here have found answers to their cats’ issues. I have a cat named Jesse that I found outdoors, she was part of a stray litter, when I found her she had a high fever and a upper respiratory infection. I brought her inside since it was hot, she seemed to do better but later that night I found her circling around in circles and eyes darting back and forth. She was brought to a vet who wanted to put her down. We said no, and she was sent home with antibiotics, I did have to syringe feed her until she got her strength back. She has since recovered and been spayed. Only thing is when she gets scared she runs in a circle and is a bit off balance. What do you think happened? She is an indoor kitty now. Only thing I could figure is due to the high fever she had a little nerve damage, she eats and plays fine, she’s spayed too. The Vet can offer no explanation, only she is disabled. She has come a long way. Blood tests have come back normal as well. She is a great cat and she is happy, plays and eats well. I am just wondering if you had any idea as to what really happened to her.

    • August 29, 2014 6:11 pm

      Dear Ludie,

      She might have a middle ear polyp the vet cannot see on exam. If she does, a polyp could mess up her balance. See what your vet thinks about a “bulla x-ray.” I could be waaay off base because I’m not there to examine her, but I wonder…

      Let us know what happens!

      -Doc Truli

      • Ludie permalink
        August 29, 2014 8:31 pm

        Thank you so much. I will see what they say. Also I do have another question, do you know of any vets that have a GED and they became a vet? I am going to have one but I wasn’t sure if that would keep me from becoming a vet or not. I am not a drop out or anything like that, I was homeschooled so I never got a traditional diploma or transcript or anything like that. Please give me your honest opinion about it.Thank you again for your advice.

      • August 30, 2014 7:59 am

        Dear Ludie,
        I do not personally know a vet who started with a GED. I did know a pHD candidate in linguistics at an Ivy League school that never graduated high school or college. But he taught himself and was a genius, so they made an exception.

        My opinion is, if your GED scores were perfect or near. If your college grades are 3.65 GPA or above, depending on the competition your year you apply to vet school, maybe. Also, if you have a passion for large animal medicine or some other under served specialty, that helps.

        Frankly, too many vets are graduated into the US market and it’s pushing the pay and quality down. Carefully consider finances. On average, the new vet grads have $240,000 in debt and this year’s starting pay is about US$58,000. The debt should be $58,000-$120,000 with that starting pay. The average pay with experience is about $80,000. So, if you can see yourself doing anything else, it’s a better financial decision!

        (For example, a recent study found that a woman who will have children, factoring in cost of school and hours worked throughout their career because women work a little less than men at ages 35-45, would make more money over their career as a physician assistant than as a physician. Now, vets pay as much as physicians for school and make faaaaaar less money. The financial picture is ridiculous in the US!)

        My advice? Do something else. My other advice? Call the admissions office and ask how to optimize your application. Research each school like it was a sick animal you want to save.

        How’s that for an answer?

        -Doc Truli

      • Ludie permalink
        August 30, 2014 3:22 pm

        Wow. That is a lot of debt, an awful lot. I appreciate your honesty because I never could get a straight answer from anyone I’d asked. I will let you know what I decide to do. Thank you for all your advice.

      • August 30, 2014 4:52 pm

        You are welcome.

    • Krysta permalink
      January 8, 2016 1:56 am

      My only guess is that it either may be neurological or something called vestibular syndrome. It’s basically the sames thing as vertigo and it involves the inner ear. In no way am I making a diagnosis, just stating what I think it might be. I would go get a second opinion from another vet as the one your cat is seeing now seems apathetic, from what you said when you first brought her in and the first thing he suggested was euthanasia, rather than trying to actually treat her first.

      Please keep us posted on what you find out!

      • Darcie permalink
        January 21, 2016 5:01 pm

        Hi Ludie,
        We had a male cat who had a severe fever when he was a kitten and for the rest of his life (he passed away at 14 years old due to kidney disease and cancer) he was always wobbly and it almost seemed like his back end worked independently from his front end. He wouldn’t circle, but he definitely always tilted to the side in a semi circle when excited or scared. The theory is that the fever damaged his cerebellum, but other than his wobbly walk and balance issues, he lived a normal, pampered cat life. Not sure if that helps! Best of luck, and I’m glad you didn’t agree to euthanasia right away!

    • Tidoug permalink
      March 17, 2016 6:03 pm

      Ludie, sounds like your cat has cerebullar hypoplasia. My cat is the same way. It doesn’t affect their house in any way they just walk funny.

      • July 1, 2016 11:09 pm

        Dear Tidoug,

        I think that is a differential for Ludie’s cat. Still, a vet visit to check other possibilities is in order. This brings up the fact that sometimes, you go to the vet, maybe do a bunch of tests, and find out it is something you guessed anyway. Or there is nothing you can do anyway. Or your pet is just “like that.” I believe that is still a valuable outcome for the visit.

        -Doc Truli

  22. rebecca permalink
    August 28, 2014 9:21 pm

    thanks for being so nice charlie i really appreciate that he was a cool fat cat we miss him very much

    • Heather permalink
      August 29, 2014 1:01 am

      I’m so sorry for your loss! I lost my cat Wolfie earlier this month. It was very hard but I know he’s not in pain anymore and I did all I can, just like you did! Xo

  23. rebecca permalink
    August 28, 2014 5:41 pm

    just found out my kitty didn’t make it 😥

    • Charlie permalink
      August 28, 2014 6:20 pm

      Very sorry. Hang in there.

  24. rebecca permalink
    August 27, 2014 6:52 pm

    kitty not back its been two days he has kidney damage and internal bleeding they stopped the bleeding. Hopefully he is ok and hopefully he can come home tomorrow can yall pray for him please

  25. rebecca permalink
    August 25, 2014 5:50 pm

    took my kitty to the vet they said he had a clot near his kidney they got it out but we don’t know if he is going to be ok he has to stay for two nights he might have kidney damage

  26. rebecca permalink
    August 24, 2014 9:44 pm

    he now can’t even use the litter box he trys but can’t and he was even panting he has been drinking alot and is still not eating thats weird cause he loves to eat (he is a big cat )hope he is ok till morning when we can get him to a vet

  27. rebecca permalink
    August 24, 2014 5:09 pm

    ok i know i kind of told you a bit before but my cat moonie is not acting himself the other day he was fine then yesterday he wasn’t acting himself he ate but was walking very slow and laying down alot he looks like he is having pain near his back end (mabe his kidney but i don’t know) he meows whenever i try and pick him up like it huirts him and he is peeing or something because when i lifted him up there was something wet the and he may be having discharge comeing out of him today he hasn’t eat he is still drinking and using the litter box i don’t know whats wrong my vet is not open and we can’t take him tonight but we will take him in the morning what do you think it is??

    • chris permalink
      August 28, 2014 10:40 am

      i am no expert at this,but once at the vets a with my cat,there was a lady,and her cat was almost doing the same as yours,i asked her what was this due to,and the vets had told her because she fed her cat a dry diet only that this could have been the cause of the problem,i am sorry to hear of this with your cat,and i do hope moonie fully recovers,if he has been on a dry diet try frozen chicken strips £2,50 from icelands or farmfoods,add hot water to it to unfreeze,they love it a lill warm,so mix your4 cats diet up a lill,i do hope i really do that your mind is at ease as i see ur other 2 posts above,and i hope moonie is on the mend,

      • August 28, 2014 11:18 am

        I am an expert. The way to word it is this: the only thing scientifically proven the help feline urologic syndrome is increased water intake. Canned or wet cat food is one way to do that. Does that help?

        -Doc Truli

  28. rebecca permalink
    August 24, 2014 1:04 pm

    i don’t know that we can get him in a vet today i think we have to wait till morning

  29. rebecca permalink
    August 23, 2014 6:20 pm

    hi my cat has been acting weird he did wake me up like he usually does he finally eat and has been in the bathroom and when i try to move he meows in pain and he is peeing or something cause when i lift him up he has wet stuff under him and i think he has yellow discharge coming from him my vet is not open what should i do?

    • August 24, 2014 9:05 am

      Call your vet anyway (many will see you off-hours) Emergency clinic. Drive far if you have to, he sounds super sick.

  30. Hannah permalink
    August 21, 2014 7:51 am

    Hi Dr. Truli,
    My not-quite-2-year-old ginger kitty Gambit has been a bit unwell. Gambit appeared fine on Saturday. Sunday morning I woke up to find that she had puked a little, v liquid with some grass. Food bowl was half empty so I refilled – she was acting sweet and affectionate as normal – and went to work/out for the day. Came home at midnight to find food barely touched. Odd but I thought she was being fussy about stale food so I threw old stuff out and gave her fresh. Monday morning – food looked as though she’d eaten some but v little, less than 1/4 of the bowl. She was drinking water, no change in behaviour. Went to work. Came home in eve and same – no food eaten and no behaviour change. Monday night woke me up at 3:30am by puking on the bed: all bile, some grass in it too. Gave her water and phoned emergency vet who recommended no food at all. She was still being her usual self, maybe a little less energetic (tho I could be noticing it more bc I was worried/looking for it), spent rest of night next to me sleeping & purring.

    She was taken to the vet Tuesday morning, couldn’t find anything immediately wrong – said her kidneys were a little small, and that she’d lost a fair bit of weight since her last check up in January. The vet took a blood test and told to call back the next morning. On Tuesday she started eating plain boiled chicken and fish and seemed to have her appetite back.

    I called the vet Wednesday morning and she said the blood test results were normal, that she was a tiny bit dehydrated but that was normal for having not had any food/drink for 24hrs and that she suspected gastroenteritis and to expect diarrhea in the next 24hrs or so. Gambit has been acting fine – eating lots, drinking, playing – although a bit grumpy as she has not been allowed out of the house and she’s an outdoor cat. The only issue is she hasn’t used her litter box at all since I stopped her from being allowed out on Monday at 3am. She tried to go this morning but nothing happened. Obviously I know and you know that this is not a good thing. I am also worried about the weight loss. She’s eating normal, healthy amounts of food (boiled fish & chicken) and drinking, especially as I pour the water I boiled the fish in over the chicken to make sure she’s getting fluids and she drinks ALL of it.

    I did notice yesterday she was sitting hunched a lot and not stretching out as she normally does. She is very affectionate and loves attention and was cuddly as usual, I noticed some hiding from her on Tuesday but she seemed better yesterday. She has another vet appointment this evening but I am worried that the vet will not take my concerns seriously as her blood panel was normal and there is nothing ‘wrong’ that we can see. I had a bad experience previously with our family cat and a different vet that made some awful mistakes/didnt communicate/listen to us, that resulted in her having to be put down needlessly.

    I’m just stressed out and could use some advice – what to ask the vet, potential things to look for – so that I know my cat is receiving as much care as I can give! I hate not knowing what’s wrong.

    Thanks so much

    • August 21, 2014 9:49 pm

      Think about abdominal x-rays. Foreign body. Fecal parasites. Pancreatitis. These, just for a start, could show normal blood tests. Redo blood tests, might show problem now. But for sure, authorize some x-rays.

  31. Darcie permalink
    August 5, 2014 2:10 pm

    Hi Dr Truli, Our Tango is an 11 year old American Shorthair. She’s had some health issues in the past: feline vestibular disorder due to a severe inner ear infection, 9 bladder stones (she passed them all, bless her), and a mild skin allergy to scented litter. Recently, she’s started laying flat out on her side on the laminate floor immediately after eating. She also had one episode of diarrhea and vomited four or five times in two days. We took her to the vet and they did a geriatric blood panel and found nothing. They also tested for pancreatitis, the first test showed her level at 4.6 and the second test less than 30 days later showed 4.7 which my vet says is only a slight elevation. We did a round of antibiotics, anti-nausea meds and antacids, famotidine. We also changed her diet from a urinary food to a G/I food with ISO index. She vomited a bit more during the food transition, but hasn’t since then and seemed better. We are now doing 5 days of pain management (opiate cream rubbed on inside of ear twice a day). All her symptoms seem to be gone except the laying flat on her side, although it’s not immediately after eating and she’s not taking breaks from eating to go lay down then go back to the dish like she was before. Should we still be concerned about her laying flat on her side? If we go near her she sometimes flips over to her back and purrs for belly rubs… is this her normal way to lay down now?

    • Darcie permalink
      August 26, 2014 11:28 am

      Hi Dr Truli,

      Here’s an update on Tango – we changed to a G/I food that seems to cause her to lay down on her side for several minutes after eating, and it appears to give her gas as she makes burping and gurgling noises from her stomach immediately after eating. We changed from one G/I food to another, and still the same thing. We still had some urinary food left over and we mixed more urinary with the G/I and she didn’t lay down on her side after eating. We think it’s the food?? But if she does have pancreatitis, wouldn’t we have to keep her on a G/I diet?

      • August 26, 2014 7:01 pm

        Use what works. She’s showing you what she needs. Thankfully.

  32. Lori permalink
    July 31, 2014 5:57 pm

    I have 2 formerly feral cats that I brought inside. They have been to the vet to be spayed and neutered, and were checked then and found healthy. They also had shots and were dewormed. The female (approximately 4 years old) has since last night decided to go into hiding. I don’t see anything wrong with her… her eyes are bright, coat soft and shiny, she’s eating and drinking and using the litter box (though if I am right about whose poo is whose, she may be slightly constipated). She sometimes has a tendency toward hairballs, but I’m not seeing that, usually I just have to watch close when it’s shedding season. The younger male (1 year) has lately begun following me everywhere like a dog; he has become more and more tame lately, which is nice. I’m just worried whether the female is just jealous, or if something might be wrong? She tends to get a flea allergy, but I checked today and though there are some bumps, only one or two look scratched at (by her ears). Is something wrong, or is she just being jealous? (They play together some, but do seem very jealous of my attention.)

    • Lori permalink
      July 31, 2014 6:43 pm

      Oh, to add… she’s not completely hidden out of sight, so I can look back and see her. When I do she’s either grooming herself or seems to be resting comfortably. At times staring at me (which she does when she wants attention quite often… she won’t come to me; I am supposed to apparently telepathically understand she needs a pat). So I’m thinking just jealous, but wanting an educated opinion…

      • Lori permalink
        August 2, 2014 7:45 pm

        Took her to the vet this morning. I wish our doctors spent the time with us our vets do! Her sores have flared up again and her skin was infected. They checked and didn’t see any fleas on her. I had seen one yesterday and changed her flea collar because I figured where there was one, there was more. It is one she’s used before with no issues. So once her skin is healed,I’ll be flea combing daily to make sure that isn’t causing it to come back. If it turns out not to be the fleas, we’ll have to run more tests and possibly look at food causes (though I don’t change their food at all and this tends to be much better in the winter – not all the way gone though; fleas never die in south Texas lol). They checked her for FELV/FIV since she had a feral history to make sure it wasn’t something wrong with her immune system, but those came up negative, thank God. She had a fever again and was dehydrated, so they gave her some fluids and I had them take care of her for ear mites while she was there (she’s too wiggly for me to clean her ears well alone). They tried to get a stool sample, but there was nothing there to get. Gave her a B12 shot to help her immune system fight this off, and sent me home with antibiotics to give 2x daily (she’s easy enough to give meds to) and told me to wipe her down well once a day with baby wipes to keep the skin clean. I did it this evening, but they must have done it at the vet’s this morning because it was clean. We’re hoping once we get her past this that we can find/ eliminate whatever may be causing it. If it’s fleas and she’s THAT sensitive, definitely going to have to keep both eyes on her for those. Anyway, just wanted to give you a follow up!

      • August 3, 2014 8:21 pm

        Wow! Thanks for the update.
        Have the vet check her for bartonella. Check out That’s where I send the bartonella samples for testing.
        Yours, Doc Truli

    • August 1, 2014 2:45 pm

      Not jealousy.
      Not really a cat thing.
      Not happy cat.
      Learn how to set up the environment to please her.

      • Lori permalink
        August 1, 2014 5:22 pm

        Turns out she was sick. She started refusing food last night and had a low fever (she was very good about letting me take her temp; she’s good if I explain things too her). I gave her some hairball remedy and kept an eye on her all night. About 2 am she used the litterbox and it was more poo than I believe she’s done in awhile. It had hair in it. She accepted food around 3 am. Still was uncomfortable a bit this morning, so I gave her another dose of the hairball remedy. She’s back on her normal perch on top of the scratching post by the window now and ate a bit this morning too. I’m going to continue to watch her to make sure she doesn’t act sick again; if so, vet visit first thing in the morning (my vet is open Saturday mornings, thank goodness). I haven’t had a cat in quite a few years, having to get accustomed to kitty language again, but I am used to watching horses for signs of illness. They don’t hide it as well as cats do though, or I’m more used to reading them. 😉

      • Lori permalink
        August 1, 2014 7:54 pm

        She was fine and happy all day, of course waits til after hours to become withdrawn again. I’m leaving her be for now, though I did place some water nearby to encourage her to drink. They get fed at 9 pm, hopefully she’ll eat (or take some chicken if not her food). Either way, I’m going to take her to the vet in the morning. Something is up, I’m sure, and it’s not clearing up with just the hairball remedy. I haven’t seen any further poops from her today, though she doesn’t normally go much. I feel she has some sort of ongoing problem that’s going to have to be treated. I remember from seeing her outside last year she looked sick in the summertime. I brought her in around October and she’s been doing well in here up to now. I hate having sick babies! I feel so helpless…

      • Lori permalink
        August 5, 2014 8:41 pm

        Thanks for the link. I’ll ask my vet about that. The antibiotic seems to be clearing up the infection. She’s still hiding away, but I think that’s at least in part due to getting antibiotics twice a day and being irritated by that. I’m making sure she gets it with food, so hopefully isn’t upsetting her stomach. She’s eating well again, and drinking as long as I urge her to come out every so often. I leave her be for the most part, but do urge her to come out to eat and a couple other times a day to drink. I’ve been keeping an eye on poo and pee as well; everything seems to be getting back to normal. Your dehydration page is a help to keep an eye on if she’s drinking enough too. Thank you!

      • August 5, 2014 10:51 pm

        Thanks for the update, Lori!

  33. Kellie permalink
    July 28, 2014 3:55 pm

    my 3 year old cat jasper is throwing up twice (first was a hair ball) and had green loose stools (diarrhea)
    He wont eat or drink or go out side.
    he hiss at the other animals if they go near him.
    and he stays in one spot unless he’s bothered
    when i first took him to the vet in june he had a fever and had to take antibiotic

  34. Christie Fox permalink
    July 26, 2014 11:46 am

    what if your pet is ill, sounds like she would not live a couple years more, and you have no transportation or can get no transportation to the vet, or have no money to pay a vet who demands money when you get there. How to handle this type of situation.

    • July 26, 2014 8:36 pm

      First aid. Kindness of strangers. Ask for help. Be positive. Apply common sense. Bad things do happen to good kitties.

      If you have time to find VirtuaVet, you have time and passion enough to reach out for help. No one owes you anything, least of all the vets who “demand” money. You’re very wording is angry and adversarial. You are unlikely to receive help when you approach the problem with anger and despair.

      I have seen optimism and respect save a cat many times. Once I held an heirloom camera for 3 months as collateral on a US $300 lone that saved the cat’s life. Her person got one of only 2 jobs available in the county in his specialty and came and paid to get his camera back after he got on his feet for a few months.

      It is your responsibility to help your cat as best you can. You have obstacles to overcome, but they are just excuses. You can find a way! Good luck!

      -Doc Truli

  35. July 6, 2014 5:46 pm

    So glad we found these tips! Took our cat in to our local vet today and turns out he has got something trapped in his intestines causing him pain 😦 Potentially just trapped gas and hopefully he will be fine.

  36. Jonni b. permalink
    June 26, 2014 6:44 pm

    Hi I have some questions ….. my cat been acting weird and has a lump on the side of his body I very worried someone please help me get me some answers =(

  37. Tara permalink
    May 27, 2014 11:33 pm

    HELP! My cat Roxy (7yrs old ) turned ill about three weeks ago. She was curled up in a ball, throwing up and would not move, eat or drink for a full day! She was in pain. Of course I rushed her to the vet where he took xrays amd blood work. Everything turned up negative. I syringed fed her for two days and she started eating on her own again but very little. I have taken her back to the vet twice more. more x rays done and again everything negative. She now likes to go into the bath tub (one that no one uses) and licks and licks! I am back to syringe feeding her. What else can I try as this crushes me to see her like this!

    • May 28, 2014 8:03 pm

      Get a second opinion from a vet with deeper training. Ask your veterinarian for a referral to an internal medicine specialist. If they do not offer deeper diagnostics or a competent referral, find your own specialist. You need a diagnosis!

    • Jen permalink
      July 17, 2014 7:38 am

      She could be diabetic. Loss of appetite and excessive drinking are signs. They will take a simple blood test. I have a diabetic kitty, his symptoms started out: loss of appetite, lethargic, and excessive drinking.

  38. Denise permalink
    April 30, 2014 7:35 am

    Squeakers is my 13 year old Tabby. Always has been on the little heavier side, but very solid. He went from 15lbs to 11lbs in just a couple of months. A couple of years ago, he was diagnosed with diabetes caused by prednisone. We got that under control to the point where he went off insulin after a month and a half. Fast forward two years beginning in December, he started drinking more and after testing, I noticed his blood sugar was high/low. It didn’t seem consistent. I would give him insulin and it didn’t seem to change. My vet just recently replaced his insulin from Lantus to Vetsulin. We are on Day 3 and his sugar level was 221 this morning. 1 unit twice daily. His behavior has changed a bit and I’m not sure if it’s because we introduced kittens into the house 6 months ago. He’ll eat a little out of his dish, walk away and I have to bring him back to eat. The kittens are in another room locked away so there is no distractions. It takes him over a half hour to eat a can of food. I feel like he forgets what he is doing in the midst of eating and walks away. He sleeps in the same spot all day and night. The other night he was howling really loud to the point where I thought he was in pain and ran downstairs. It’s like he is delirious. I’m speaking with my vet twice a day on the readings but my gut tells me this is not diabetes and it is something else. Thoughts?

  39. Heather permalink
    April 29, 2014 10:56 am


    I have a nine year old cat who I love dearly. In January we took him to the vet because he was in obvious distress. He wasn’t eating, he was hiding, and he lost a lot of weight. Through xrays the vet found a large mass near his intestines and thought it was a tumour, he started on prednisone and it was a miracle. He went back to normal for a few months. Then we had a very long distance move from Nova Scotia to Alberta, 52 hours of driving, that was the end of March. He’s still on 5 mg of predinisone a day. About three weeks ago I noticed he was peeing on things, which isn’t normal for him, then I noticed the pee was red. Back to the vet and onto a round of antibiotics. He stopped peeing outside the litter box but started throwing up his food again. He gets sick until it’s just bile. Now today I’ve noticed he’s again peeing blood. I’m not sure what to do, I don’t know how long to keep him alive. I’m so conflicted, we’ve spent a lot of money on him, money we really don’t have, but would still gladly spend to keep him healthy and happy. I’m not sure if now I’m keeping him alive just because I REALLY think he can be cured or because I’m just too sad and scared to live without him. When do you KNOW it’s time to stop and let him go?

    I write this in tears, because I’m so so sad and I really don’t know what to do.



    • Heather permalink
      April 30, 2014 11:33 am

      I took Woflie to the vet last night and she said she’s concerned by his lack of muscles. He’s beyond thin, it’s worse than that. She did blood work and put him on pills to relax his urethra so he doesn’t end up with a blockage and now we wait. She said she suspects it’s either cancer moving more rapidly, diabetes, endocrine disease, or hypothyroidism. I will find out the results of his blood work in a few hours and then will have some decisions to make. I lucked out, the vet we were supposed to see had to cancel and we got this Vet. She’s about a year and half out of school and is very keen and seems very knowledgeable. We had him into the same office two weeks ago and no one noticed his muscle loss. The poor vet techs really earned their money getting a blood sample.

      • June 23, 2014 12:05 am

        Hey, I was curious to know what happened to your cat?

      • June 24, 2014 1:40 pm

        I’m Doc Truli. I write the inspirational pet medical stories on VirtuaVet. This kitty was a patient in the hospital where I worked. She passed away shortly after the pictures were taken. I was struck how good she acted, even arching her back to be pet, then acting hunched and on pain once she thought no one was looking. This is an excellent example of hidden pain in a cat.

        We did not perform a necropsy (autopsy on a different species than you). So I dor not know for sure what killed her. I suspect intestinal cancer.

        Yours, Doc Truli

  40. Marie permalink
    April 19, 2014 4:44 am

    Hello, my poor 5-yr-old Maine Coon cat quit eating for 4 days straight and kept throwing up clear yellow. He got very weak, dehydrated, and thin just in those 4 days. Sat in a hunched-over position and just stared at the wall. We took him to the vet and they found an obstruction in his intestine. Vet did surgery and found a large hairball lodged in the intestine, had to perform Intestinal Resection and Anastamosis + GIFB removal. My cat spent 2 days and one night there in recovery, receiving IV’s / pain meds / antibiotics. Today is his first day home. He is acting very happy to be home, purring and rubbing against me and giving me kisses. Sleeping a lot but I expect that considering everything he’s been through. Only concern I have is that he’s not eating yet. I got him to eat only TWO hairball-control Temptation treats, but that’s it. He approaches wet food and looks like he wants to give it a try, but then he almost acts as if he forgot how to eat. He’s also looking like maybe his throat is sore, or maybe he’s afraid of swallowing. Like something in his mind stops him at the last second and tells him not to eat. Am I expecting him to eat too soon after surgery? Surgery was performed exactly 48 hrs. ago…then he spent the next day and night at the vet for further follow-up treatment. I picked him up this afternoon. How long does it normally take (on average) for a kitty to start eating again after intestinal surgery? Thanks so much for any info/advice. I love this boy so much, he’s my whole world. Thanks again!

    • April 19, 2014 5:21 pm

      Great questions!
      Your veterinarian who did the surgery will know best how irritated/inflamed/long to heal. Ask them how long until they’d be worried about not eating. For my patients it’s 2 days.
      Let us know what your vet thinks!
      -Doc Truli

  41. Jessica permalink
    April 11, 2014 10:55 pm

    Hi there!
    My 11 year old female ragdoll was recently at the vet for a dental extraction which could not be completed due to her going into cardiac arrest on the table (she has a heart murmur and we did ultrasound and a blood panel prior and aside from high calcium levels (unknown why), she was given the all-clear), during the vet stay, they found a hard mass in her jaw/close to her throat (they could not get a tube down her throat). Unknown as to what it is and we chose to not biopsy or put her through any further stress. She has been on 5mls of metacam a day and an antibiotic for a week (now finished) and is eating (low protein canned food prescribed by the vet) ,she is still grooming, drinking/eating/litter box using etc..
    She has been rather clingy however (even laying with our 7 month old son and letting him pet her, which is unheard of), and paws at her mouth frequently after eating, has such a sad look on her face (I know that sounds strange, but her eyes just look empty) and sleeps with her face to the floor. I am just worried she is uncomfortable and these signs are confusing me quite a bit. Her brother died of congenitive heart failure and it was VERY clear that he was done fighting. She is the sweetest cat, I just want to make sure we are not letting her suffer. Thank you for any advice or opinion! We love our old girl so much and want to make sure the rest of her life is pain free.

  42. April 9, 2014 8:57 am

    Hi Doc Truli, I have an indoor semi-feral cat which i got from an animal shelter nearly four years ago. They had assessed him as being around a year and a half old when i got him, making him at least over five years of age now. He has always been small and thin, with chronic discharge from his eyes. But otherwise healthy. Three weeks ago he began to drool and his breath stank. I took him immediately to the vets who noticed an inflammation of his gums. They made no diagnosis, but gave me anti-inflammatories and antibiotics and told me to bring him back in seven days. By the fifth day he had stopped eating, so i took him in to the vet and asked them to keep him and put him on a drip etc to get nutrients into him. They kept him for five nights. At first they thought he was recovering, and then said he was not responding to treatment. They returned him to me saying he was not eating and I therefore should put him to sleep. I brought him home and immediately he began to eat. Over the course of the week, he has eaten for himself some days, or has been happy to be syringed mashed-up high protein food into his mouth. Today he is still in pain, although drinking water from the bowl and taking small portions of mashed up food. He is quite miserable, and has now taken to sitting in the shower cubicle, presumably because it’s cooler to sit on. He is still using his litter tray. The vet had him on Metcam for pain, but I am concerned that his losing weight is affecting the dosage and may be affecting his kidneys. I fear that he has feline calicivirus and stomatitis, but he is so weak that an operation to remove his teeth would be out of the question. The prospects seem quite bleak. Have you any knowledge of such cats pulling through after a couple of weeks, or am i prolonging the inevitable by just making him suffer a chronic problem? Many thanks.

    • April 9, 2014 9:28 am

      How terrible!

      Steps to diagnosis:
      1) is he tested feline leukemia, feline aids negative?
      2) calicuvirus – there are tests
      3) bartonellosis – there are tests. Antibiotic like doxycycline should be tried.

      There are full conferences about this at international vet meetings. It is very tricky.

      Consider buprenex painkiller, boost his strength, dental specialty surgery.

      Probably your vet went over this. But if not, worth sharing. Consider trying dental surgery. It would be better to try and to lose him than to put him down without trying, right?

  43. Alicia permalink
    April 5, 2014 1:59 am

    My cat Chance is 14 years old and over the past two years has lost some weight, to which back in 2012 I took him to vet and ran a blood test, which came out with nothing wrong. However in the past 2 months he’s gotten worse. He was vomiting almost daily and got to the point of where he stopped eating and drinking, as well he was straining to go to the bathroom and had diarrhea. After the night I noticed he had diarrhea I took him to the vet where he was held for 3 days on an IV to get his hydration back up. We’ve had him back for 2 weeks now and he’s on antibiotics, which seem to help. He has his appetite back however I haven’t seen him drink much. The vet suspects IBS, (and therefore he’s on low-allergen food), but what concerned me today was he started to rapidly shake his head and these past few days he only sleeps under my covers on my bed, or underneath my bed, which is abnormal for him. He doesn’t lay down as much, more of that hunched siting position, however his head stays up, but he does seem quite out-of-it sometimes and has been sleeping much deeper. I was wondering if you have any opinions? They would be greatly appreciated! Thank you tons ❤

    • April 5, 2014 8:05 am

      If he has new symptoms, the vet meeds to know.

      If there are new symptoms and poor response to therapy, the working diagnosis that directed the treatment may be wrong. Look deeper for a definitive diagnosis.

      Heat seeking and hiding may be useful symptoms for a Chinese medical diagnosis. Seek put a referral to a veterinarian who practices acupuncture.

      Good Luck! Let us know what the vet says.

      -Doc Truli

      • Alicia permalink
        May 30, 2014 4:57 am

        Just thought I’d give you an update. It’s been a week and half since putting Chance down. The head-shaking was due to a growth on his gums, however due to his low weight the vet was unable to do anything to remove it. However, a week and a half before putting him down he had his first (what I suspect to be) seizure. He howled and then proceeded to lose the ability to use his front two legs, which lasted for about 2 minutes. Then came the next one, which is the one where we made the decision to end his suffering. My sister had him outside in the backyard when suddenly he howled and lost control of all limbs, my mother layed with him (as I was out of town) for 20 minutes while he recovered and was finally able to get up and move again. I’m just wondering if those are indeed seizures or something else?
        (just some other details idk if this helps) The vet estimated him to be 4-5lbs when we put him to sleep, he was only 10% of the cat I knew and loved as a child by then, he basically lived in my room under my bed for the last few weeks, and would have some good days where he would come out. I miss him dearly and am currently paying as much attention to our only cat now to help her with the loss as well.

      • Ludie permalink
        June 6, 2014 7:55 pm

        Alicia, I am so sorry. You did the best thing you could, you let him go, as hard as it is, he is not suffering anymore.

  44. Tatiana permalink
    March 28, 2014 10:47 pm

    Hello, I have a 7 month old orange domestic short-haired male kitten named Jasper. For the last couple weeks, Jasper has been spending a lot of time hiding behind the bathtub and will often run away or yowl when we try to pick him up. I’m a bit worried about this. He’s eating normally and his litter box habits are normal as well. I’m not sure if he’s sick or injured, or if he’s just avoiding my younger brother, Demetrius, who can be a bit overenthusiastic when it comes to playing. He stills seeks my parents and I out and will lay down with us and will urge us to pet him. Do you think he is sick or injured, or is he just afraid of my brother?

    • March 29, 2014 6:52 pm

      Dear Tatiana,

      Thank you for reading VirtuaVet. I try to write stories to help people. I can’t tell if your kitten is in pain. If he’s eating, drinking, pooping, and peeing okay, and if he has a source of stress in his life, that is enough to make him act like you describe.

      Can your family be more aware of his needs for calmness and privacy? The American Association of Feline Practitioners website has a good section where you can read all about environmental enrichment to male cats healthy.

      Doc Truli

  45. sarah permalink
    March 28, 2014 9:47 am

    there is a cat where i live and she was a stray. I took her to the vet and get her all her shots i got her spayed. I brought her an outside dog house because i have two very big dogs that dont like cats so i cant bring her into the house. Today she has turned up and is in her dog house laying in her bed, she wont eat or drink and if i try to pet her she hisses and bites. This not like her as usually when i go outside she comes to me and loves to eat her food, she also tends to really friendly..the thing is i cannot get her out of her dog house because like i said she bites (or scratches) when i put my hand in.

    • March 28, 2014 2:31 pm

      She’s acting like she’s in pain. She needs a medical evaluation.

      • sarah permalink
        March 28, 2014 11:48 pm

        I took Katy to the vet and he gave her some pain medication, which she has to take for the next 3days. She is doing a lot better already, she is eating and drinking and has used her litter box. she is even playing a little. I’m buying her a lead so if she wants to go out ill take her for a walk. Im so relieved my baby is feeling better. Thank you for your quick response.

      • March 29, 2014 6:54 pm

        Dear Sarah,
        That’s fantastic news! Thanks for sharing.

        -Doc Truli

  46. Jessie permalink
    February 26, 2014 2:28 am

    I am writting because I’m concerned about my poor little cat. Recently I’ve noticed she lost weight, like her skin is alittle saggy but she doesn’t have visible ribs or hips or anything of such. As far as I’ve noticed she eats heathly and quiet active and her litter tray is always used, she hasn’t been going too little or to often. But she tends to wee around the house in different places , I figured this is only when she is season she does this I guess to place her sent around the house. She had her quiet days and she’d have her hyperactive mad cat moments where she runs around the house none stop for atleast an hour or so. But as I said she lost weight, sometimes very quiet and I’ve noticed she started licking her lady bits more often. When I stroke her she doesn’t seem in pain, I tickle her tummy and give her quiet a thorough check for any lumps or bumps etc. I’ve noticed her left side between her legs is quiet swollen compared to the other side, when I touch it she doesn’t sqeele, or meow so it doesn’t seem to be hurting her or effecting her. But I am really worried I’ve read quiet a few source from the internet saying about kidney failure etc, but she not even one yet so surely she can’t. She comes into season very often and her hair is molten quiet abit. Also like to add she’s a house cat and never goes outside due to her little mini heart attacks everytime she steps foot out the door.I am so worried she’s like my little baby, I am also exspecting my first child and I think she sences that I’m pregnant because she sits on my tummy. But might it be caused because of jealousy? Or something? Thank you in advance.

    • February 26, 2014 4:16 pm

      Dear Jessie,
      Your concerns are valid. Please take your cat to the vet. be prepared to leave her to be spayed. She will be so much more comfortable once she’s spayed.

      Cats are induced ovulaters. That means they release their eggs from their ovaries in ordered to be fertilized and make kittens only in response to the physical stimulus from “intimate social activity.”

      Until they get that stimulus, they stay mostly in heat all the time. Your kitty feels surges of hormones and a miserable impulse to do she-doesn’t-know-what. She is not happy in that state. Having her spayed is the best solution.

      Doc Truli

  47. jack halley permalink
    February 17, 2014 4:39 am

    I’m so mad at the veterinary profession I could just spit.after two and a half yr and over 8000 dolllars I finely figure out whats wrong with my cat and I can’t get anyone to even look and see if I’m right or not because one of my last vets said she has lymphoma in her chest .two other vets and a vet school “miss state” wouldn’t take a chance on Anastasia to do endoscopic surgery to try and remove a stomach full of hair.that is causing my cat to be in pain it’s been over four months since she was diagnose with this cancer she’ll die from organ failure do to malnutrition long before she dies from this cancer .to me this is animal cruelty.

    • February 17, 2014 9:14 pm

      Dear Jack,
      Please respond to my questions in 24 hours. If you do not, I will remove your comment due to the lack of sense in it.

      But you seem to be angry and in pain over how you are being advised (I think.)

      So here’re my questions:
      1) has your cat been definitively diagnosed with lymphoma in the chest?
      2) if so, have you declined an oncology consult and chemo?
      3) if you declined further testing/chemo, have you been offered nutritional and supportive care?
      4) if not, have you looked for a veterinarian who practices integrative medicine in your area?

      The american Holistic veterinary medical association is your best place to search for a veterinarian you can get your cat to who may look at the whole cat for you, instead of looking at your cat as just a diagnosis or a list of symptoms.

      I sincerely wish you patience and peace and not a little bit of luck.

      Doc Truli

    • February 17, 2014 9:23 pm

      Plus, bring her to Clearwater, Florida and I’ll investigate for you.

      You bring up a good point about caring for a pet with a terminal diagnosis. Just because one major thing is going wrong, vets shouldn’t ignore other quality of life issues. Like fleas, eye pain, ear pain, stomach pains, malnutrition, etc.

      Plus, even if removing a hairball is a high risk procedure for her, as long as it doesn’t cause her pain or anxiety, I think it’s your decision if you understand the procedure could kill her urgently. Sometimes it’s better to try.

      Other times, I think veterinarians might presume to know your values and priorities. For example,”He doesn’t wish his cat to have chemo, he must want her to pass away naturally.” Well, not necessarily. Maybe you just don’t wish some treatments for your pet, but you’d sure as sh*t take a drug that made her happy and wanting to eat! (I don’t think I’m off base here!)

      Folks, feel free to comment. It won’t show right away, because I moderate all comments. But you can sign up for notifications about comments to this conversation specifically. Also, slowing the conversation down decreases thoughtless opinions and increases committed opinions.

      -Doc Truli

    • Christine Giantsos permalink
      February 21, 2014 2:02 pm

      Jack I am so sorry you had to go through that and that your cat suffered. I understand completely I was in the same position with my first cat. but after realizing the vet wasn’t helping and taking all my money, found a vet that did the correct diagnosis and saved my cat. I was Lucky. You were not and I am very sorry for your loss

  48. Martha permalink
    February 14, 2014 2:53 am

    I ave a 15 year old beautiful sweet Cat,named Shiloe. She has been losing weight,for past 3 months and now is really thin, fur sticks straight up. Her physical 2 months ago, revealed nothing.Blood panel revealed normal thyroid functions, normal glucose level. I am concerned with large round soft feeling abdomen she had then and remains. At that time they prescibed antibiotics, but after one day she had loose stools, so I stopped giving them to her.

    She is eating well, drinking well, but is starting to pee on floor in our bedroom. Occasionallly will use her liter box, which is cleaned out daily.
    Starting to poop on bedroom floor also.

    Is this a sign of something strange. She has always been in great health without medical issues or behavior problems, She is quite lovely in temperment, friendly and social, but now remains in our bedroom, doesnt want to come out too often, remains hunched on floor in our bathroom on our bathmat.
    I am afraid she may have a tumor growth.

    • February 15, 2014 11:36 pm

      Dear Martha,
      Urinalysis? X-rays? Ultrasound? Gastrointestinal function tests? There’s so much more medicine can do for you and Shiloh. You need a veterinarian who will go there with you.
      Good luck!
      -Doc Truli

  49. Christina permalink
    February 12, 2014 4:03 pm

    hi i have an 8 month old male kitten, Lou, who has been acting a little weird lately. he is normally super active/hyper but this last week i have noticed he has been sleeping a lot and his body (mostly towards the head) has been twitching (as if he is cold or something) when he is laying down awake or asleep. also his tail is super twitchy!! i cant touch his tail at the bottom because it just starts twitching uncontrollably! he eats and goes to the bathroom normal. i have had him since he was a month old, and he wont drink out of a bowl but we leave one by his food anyway. every time someone turns on a faucet he jumps up and drinks water and i have recently found he likes drinking out of a coffee mug (i know hes weird.) but i think maybe he isn’t getting enough water? and i noticed a couple times yesterday and today him sitting with his back arched and his feet gathered under him. he will still play if you get him to, but he doesn’t on his own. i know there is something wrong and i have a vet apt. next week to get him neutered so i was going to wait until then to talk to the vet. do you think i can wait that long or should i take him now? and do any of these signs point to any kind of disease?

    • February 12, 2014 4:38 pm

      When he sits with his back arched, what is he looking at?

      • Christina permalink
        February 16, 2014 4:07 am

        he usually looks forward, but ive seen him look down a few times. i noticed yesterday that he went #2 twice yesterday but it was barley anything. i took him to the vet this morning and she gave me a laxative to give him for the next couple days, hopefully that works!! his weight hasnt chaged and is normal and he isnt dehydrated. he doesnt seem to have much of an appetite still but i will wait and see how he is tomorrow. are there any other signs i should look for to help make him better? or do you have any other suggestions?

      • February 16, 2014 10:25 am

        Try to keep him out of the coffee. It’s a bowel irritant. Maybe it set this episode off? Otherwise I would ask myself why he’s constipated. If you cannot find an external reason like maybe the coffee, then maybe there’s an internal reason like kidney disease, dehydration, intestinal worms, something.

        Return to your vet if he’s not 100% and let us know how he does.

        -Doc Truli

  50. Jennifer permalink
    February 6, 2014 10:55 pm

    Hi there – thank you so much for providing this information. I have an approximately 15 year old orange domestic short-hair male kitty named Maxx. Over the last 2 years he has lost a significant amount of weight. I first took him to the vet when I noticed the weight loss and his lack of interest for his hard food (he was never fed wet food). Blood work was conducted. All tests came back normal, no diabetes, thyroid or detectable kidney problems. He was put on a course of steroids and seemed to get a bit better. This past summer, however, he became incredibly sick, limp, unresponsive and had liquid stool. I took him to the animal hospital immediately where he was never officially diagnosed with anything, but kept for testing and observation for a few days. His ultrasound, however, showed thickening of the bowels, but was inconclusive. Once he came home he was back on steroids and put on the wet, novel foods diet. He hated the food and it kept his stool liquidy. Now he eats Friskies wet food only and he eats a lot, drinks a ton, but it seems to go right through him. His stool is now solid, but he is still losing weight. I’m particularly concerned lately because he has started to exhibit the posture you’ve described above (nose-down, arched up back) over the last couple of months, not all the time but more often recently.. He also falls asleep so deeply that he sometimes falls off of whatever he’s sleeping on. Since his episode last summer his back legs generally seem much weaker and he is much less steady. His one leg, specifically is noticeably weaker. He still walks around and jumps, but is sometimes off balance and doesn’t make it onto whatever he’s trying to jump on. In the last week, his purring, which is normally very loud and plentiful has become very quiet. He still purrs, but its barely audible. He’s starting on another course of steroids as soon as they’re available. Any suggestions, recommendations? Should I take him back to the vet? He was just at the vet this past Tuesday to have his anal glands expressed, which proved successful. I love my poor kitty and want to prevent him from experiencing any pain 😦

    • Jennifer permalink
      February 6, 2014 11:02 pm

      P.S. He is otherwise very interactive, friendly, and affectionate. His behavior has not changed at all. He still loves being snuggled and pet.

    • February 8, 2014 5:18 pm

      Dear Jennifer,
      Thank you for sharing your kitty’s story. You need to ask your vet how to get a diagnosis. Probably surgical biopsies. If you do not want him to have a surgery, then Western medicine can offer you palliative care. Holistic medicine could help. You could find a vet at the website of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (if you are in the US)

      Good Luck!
      Doc Truli

      • Jennifer permalink
        February 11, 2014 4:07 pm

        Thank you so much for your response – he has an appointment with the vet tomorrow!

  51. February 4, 2014 6:11 am

    Thanks a lot for providing he signs of the cat pain.

    • February 4, 2014 12:04 pm

      You are welcome. Cats are private creatures. It can be difficult to tell what they are feeling.

      -Doc Truli

  52. Blake martin permalink
    February 1, 2014 12:56 pm

    I have a gorgeous yellow short haired cat and i cant tell if shes in pain or sick. She has had soiling the last week around the house on many different objects including my 2 living room couches absoloutely ruining them and i chaned her litter about 5 days ago and shes been going in there and i havent seen any problems since but when she pers i get nervous now :/ and she doesnt have any eating dis orders or vomittin or drinking problems i have been doing alot to just prevent my parents from wanting to put her down 😥 is there anything else you would asvise me to do

  53. Tina permalink
    January 29, 2014 3:52 pm

    Hello I have an indoor 17 year old hyperthyroid rescue part Manx cat (was 13 lbs now 5 lbs) diagnosed a 15 months ago. I’ve had to change vets saw a vet that refused to treat my kitty because I refused rabies shot (previous vet had advised me of this & my own research). I called another local vet & asked what their policy was “receptionist” said they have several old, hyperthyroid cats that all get rabies shots and they are fine. I do live in a state that it’s legal to not vaccinate for medical reasons.My gut 100% disagrees! Poor kitty just needs a prescription he’s starting to vomit again. He still has much life in him. I hate that he’s suffering that can be easily fixed with an affordable prescription!
    I appreciate any thoughts and advise!
    Thank you

    • January 29, 2014 5:12 pm

      Dear Tina,
      In my jurisdiction, i can wrote a rabies exemption “for physiologic reasons.” Western medicine standard of care and the USDA licenses rabies vaccines for healthy pets. The guidelines leave it up to the veterinarian to decide how healthy is healthy. An old hyperthyroid cat might merit an exemption.

      There are other issues fir the vet to consider. If a hyperthyroid cat is fractious and may bite, without a valid rabies vaccine, the animal hospital workman’s comp insurance might take umbrage at the treating of a biting cat without rabies vaccination.

      An animal hospital’s workman comp could be dropped or rates could become astronomical.

      Be understanding and polite. And call around for a new veterinarian.

      Doc Truli

  54. Louise permalink
    January 20, 2014 7:50 pm

    Hi, i have a rescue cat named Lottie, we arent sure how old she is but we think shes about 12. Shes been licking her back legs alot and has removed most of the fur there, our vet told us that it was stress but now shes barely eating or drinking and seems to be struggling to urinate. Weve taken her back to the vet about it several times but he doesnt seem overly concerned. She stares off into the distance and doesnt realise you are there until you touch her, she also sits hunched up with her nose to the floor and growls if you try to shift her (she likes to lay on my paperwork!) Im worried shes in pain and that our vet is ignoring our concerns.

    • January 21, 2014 4:31 pm

      Dear Louise,
      I’m worried that you may be right. You need another opinion. Vitamin k or b12 deficiency, back pain, ivdd, etc could be going on.
      Did your vet run blood and urine tests?

  55. Carolina permalink
    January 19, 2014 3:49 pm


    My cat is 11 years old, he’s had kidney problems for the last year or so, he has lost a lot of weight and his behavior clearly changed, he is much louder now than he was ever before.

    We’re giving him special food for his issue and now he started eating cranimals to try to improve him a little bit.
    Still, we’re really worried he might be in pain.
    How could I know, and if so, how should I treat him?


    • January 20, 2014 7:52 am

      Dear Carolina,
      You have good questions!
      Generally, we do not talk about pain in renal insufficiency cats. Partly because most painkillers must be cleared through the kidneys and could hurt them.
      1) hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
      Dehydration makes you achey all over
      2) be brave about following your vet’s recommendations about dental care. Painful teeth often have no outward symptoms.
      3) treat any arthritis present
      4) go for regular check-ups. Your vet can find hidden infections, etc. and treat them. I like to see kidney cats every 3 months.
      5) the pain would probably be back
      And abdominal, which would look a lot like the picture.

      Good Luck!
      -Doc Truli

  56. cari m permalink
    January 18, 2014 8:00 pm

    My cat Ella is 7 months old and when I left today she was happy and playful but when I got back she has been withdrawn from everyone.she won’t let me hold her touch her or get near her, our other cat eli who is 9 months tried comforting her and she hissed and tried to attack him. I’m not sure if its tummy problems or my neighbors dogs got a hold of her but I don’t see any cuts or blood on her. what can I give her to help her?

    • January 18, 2014 10:36 pm

      Dear Cari,
      Do not “give her” anything. Humans medications and supplements can kill cats. If you think she’s in pain, seek veterinary care. If she’s not too different from usual, give her some space and peace and quiet.

      For everybody put there: get a diagnosis, which only a licensed veterinarian can legally and properly do for you, before you think about meds

      Now, that’s not precluding first aid and common sense.

      Doc Truli

    • Christine Giantsos permalink
      February 21, 2014 2:07 pm

      I know from experience that if a cat is withdrawn and hisses or growls yes growls at you not to touch them “they are in pain”

      • February 22, 2014 7:35 pm

        How right you are Christine. Thank you for your caring.

        -Doc Truli

  57. January 13, 2014 3:28 am

    My cat does this weird thing when i touch his back,if i touch it it will flinch and roll,if that makes sense, then if i scratch it he lifts his head and gets this intense look on his face,neck straightens and moves his head from side to side and after a while he smacks my hand to stop,normally he loves his butt scratched so i assume i found a sweet spot but ive been thinking lately and i wonder if i found a painful spot instead. what do you think?

    • January 13, 2014 4:43 pm

      Dear Amanda,
      Thanks for reading Virtuavet!
      1) sweet spot
      2) fleas (run a flea comb through to look for hidden fleas/flea “dirt”)
      3) arthritis
      A vet could help you determine which one.

      Good Luck!
      -Doc Truli

  58. Saybra permalink
    December 18, 2013 2:30 pm

    I have a buetiful cat Named Russell.He was always a boring cat, who ate anything.One morning I went to let him in before I went school.As soon as I picked him up,he began to cry in Pain.I softly put him down.He began to hiss.Itold my mom,and she said “it might be his Ribs”she says.I looked puzzled.Tht morning when I went to school.I asked my teacher he said..”Maybe someone was constantly kicking him or abuseing him”I thought to my self tht I would never hurt my Cat.I thought he might have broken ribs or buised ribs.The next morning I pulled on his tail while playing with him he began to cry louder.He been hurt in 2 different places for 3 days 😦 I really want to take him to the vet but a vet visit is a lot of money and its almost Christmas.Ijust need a lil advice so I can care for him.:( I hate seeing him hurt….

    • December 22, 2013 4:31 pm

      Dear Saybra,
      Russell is showing you he is unhappy and uncomfortable. Just because a cat hisses when you touch his ribs or his tail does not mean that is exactly what is hurting him. He may just feel impatient and edgy. He really does need a doctor if he is that different from usual. If you can observe how he eats and drinks, poops and pees, that information will help your veterinarian narrow the list of possible things wrong with him and save your family time and money. Good luck!
      -Doc Truli

  59. Joanna permalink
    December 13, 2013 11:30 am

    Hello, I have a behavioral question about cats. We adopted two cats when they were 3 months old (spayed and neutered), now they are 1.5 years old, named Ash and Misty. Since the beginning Ash has been a “scaredy cat”. I don’t know if it’s because something happened to him in his first 3 months of life, or it’s just his nature. He doesn’t seem to have health problems, eats well, etc, but he is constantly agitated, or hiding somewhere, or starts jumping and running like something scared him, and is afraid of people. He used to be scared of everybody, but with time he got used to 3 people that spend most time inside, so he is not running away (he runs away from two others, though he is never abused in any way), but he still absolutely can’t stand being picked up, he gets very twitchy and runs away immediately. I got a bit worried after reading the article, but other than acting paranoid, he does not seem to have any health problems. He is staring outside a lot, but will go out only if the door stays open. If he suspects that the door is going to be closed, he runs inside. His sister loves to play outside for hours. A few times, when he was left on a deck with the door closed, he dropped playing, stood on his hind legs and overall looked like a very agitated nervous person who is lost in a strange place. My question is – can cats be paranoid, like have psychological disorders? It’s not like he can tell, even if I take him to the vet – Ash is not going to sit comfortably in a chair and tell all about some child abuse or whatever. I don’t have any experience with cats other than these two, they are very different, and sometimes I have no idea if they act normal. I’ve read about cats, but I didn’t see anything about cats acting weird just because it’s a character trait. Is there an online source for it? Is it normal for a cat to hate being picked up? He wants to be petted, but he just cannot relax, he will start going away 2 seconds after somebody starts to pet him, and then he looks like asking for more, and walks away again… If a cat has been unable to relax since he is 3 months old (at least, or longer), with no apparent health issues, does he need to be checked for anything just in case? Thank you!

    • December 14, 2013 6:11 pm

      We know personality traits are passed largely from the father. Many studies suggest innate personality affects are cats more than environment or abuse.

      I had a cat that got vertigo every time you picked her up. It’s how she was. I’ll get your cat has his own preferences. You should honor them.

  60. Cora B permalink
    December 8, 2013 4:31 pm

    Hi there
    I just came across your page as I am very concerned about my Ragdoll. He’s just over a year and has battled eye problems and feline acne since he was 7 months. Vet had prescribed prenisolone (5 mg) which he took on and off until the vet put him on a longer course of roughly 2 months. This is when his ears started to itch and vet thought the steroids would help combat itching as well. He didn’t get better and we went for a second opinion where this other vet prescribed ‘Orydermyl’ which again didn’t work. At this point we had also switched to Royal Canin Hypoallergenic. I tried contacting previous vet but he was ignoring my calls so someone recommended this other vet. And off we went. The ear problem had by now worsened and was black inside. We’d clean it but it would be black again by the next day. Vet deep cleaned his ears quite a few times and prescribed Onsior, Antirobe and has recently prescribed Betamethasone. The cone didn’t quite help as the cat mastered the art of taking it off and scratching away thus infecting the ear. This has been going on for almost a month now and we’re at our wits’ end!

    • December 8, 2013 11:01 pm

      Food allergy does not respond to steroids. You need to give only hypoallergenic food for 8-12 weeks, no snacks or other protein sources to truly see if it is food allergy. Alternatively, perhaps he needs real food, instead of processed “food.”

      • Cora B permalink
        December 9, 2013 5:47 am

        Thank you! Will try.

  61. Fiona Kilburn permalink
    December 1, 2013 6:54 pm

    Hi my 17 year old cat Luke is not eating and is so thin and will not put leg down. His bloods have come back really good for his age but the vet thinks it is arthritis. He sleeps all day and night (but not confortably) and we have been given metacam for his arthritis. We tried to put it in his food but he really isn’t eating anything and he needs to take it with food. Really worried now as he is obviously in a lot of pain and only goes a few steps on three legs before having to sit down.

  62. Anna permalink
    November 10, 2013 9:01 pm

    Hi my cat Camino is around 10 yrs old and seems to be in severe pain by some of the things you describe. He has a steroid gel applied daily to his ears and since coming to live with me has gained 2 pounds and is now up to 9 lbs. He constantly makes loud yelping noises that send chills down my back and arches his back. He sits like you described and his feces is liquid. He has been to the vet multiple times and has had an xray and the only thing they found was some calcified fat. He’s always purring and that hasn’t changed but I know he’s been like this for a couple months. Any suggestions that the vet might not have thought of?

    • November 10, 2013 9:44 pm

      Dear Anne,
      If your vet is not delving further into diagnostics at this point, I would get proactive. Your description sounds like his quality if life is not so good, so he needs help. Perhaps your vet can refer you to a board certified veterinary internal medicine specialist. They are ACVIM certified in the US (if that’s where you are). You can also go to the acvim website and find one for yourself (I have it linked on the specialists page) if your vet office is not helpful.

      Good luck,
      Dr Truli

  63. dawna lutz permalink
    November 10, 2013 4:39 pm

    I have an almost 7 yr old Ragdoll cat. Shes my little furr buddy, I took her to the vet about a month ago for a flea allergy to receive a shot to help her feel better. During Sassys exam, the vet found a huge mass on her kidney, they took a few xrays and confirmed their findings that her 1 kidney is twice the size of the other. She was not dehydrated at that time. I guess im looking for how to tell if shes in pain, her eyes arent bright and shiny, and the other day when I petted her, she turned her body towards my hand like it hurt. I plan to take her to the vet asap to see if they can give her a shot for pain, but I dont want to have her suffer from pain if she is suffering. A 2nd opinion will help me make the right decision of what to do and when to do it.

    • November 10, 2013 7:08 pm

      Dear Dawna,
      You know there’s a human tendency to over interpret when you start to worry. I would take her to the vets and be certain they test her blood and urine (if they haven’t already) to see if her kidneys are functioning fine. A cystic or enlarged kidney may not be painful.

      Your vet can also feel the kidneys and see if they are painful. They are located up under or just at the back of the cribs by her spine. You may be able to learn how to gently feel them to tell of they are growing or painful. Or consult your veterinarian to teach you and advise you in this matter. That’s what we’re here for!

      Good Luck,
      Dr Truli

  64. Colby permalink
    November 9, 2013 7:28 pm

    Hello, My cat and dog usually play together normally but recently when they were playing the cat made a meow noise kind of like a leave me alone meow. But that usually doesn’t matter except she started acting well strange after they were done playing. The dog tends to “bite” the cat but not hard really softly, but maybe the dog hurt my cat accidently because for a minute or two it looked like she couldn’t move he back like she was in this weird pose where she tried to get up and her back legs were up but the front side of her wasn’t. And then she acted normal except for when I pat her near her tail. Her back kind of twitches. Is something wrong with her? she doesn’t seem to look in pain but I did notice that she might have peed because I went to pick her up and she felt alittle wet. But She acts normal now, but please tell me anything that might be wrong with her.
    Thanks in advance,

    • November 9, 2013 7:55 pm

      Dear Colby,
      I cannot possibly tell you what is wrong with your cat. But, the fact that you know *something* is wrong means you should seek veterinary care.

      For the readers out there: Doc Truli does not practice medicine anywhere except in person. So, questions about whether a pet is in pain or sick are valid Internet questions. Questions about what is wrong are not. We may close this thread if readers keep insisting on asking for impossible Internet advice.


      • Colby permalink
        November 9, 2013 8:17 pm

        Thanks and my cat is fine now I just got worried if this would have needed immediate care. But she is acting has if she has never gotten hurt.

  65. Lane permalink
    October 24, 2013 7:36 pm

    My cat has just gotten hurt. We think she was bitten but there are three holes on her skin above the leg. She is very noisy but now she is meowing barely. When she does meow, it is like a semi-meow semi-purr. Meurrrr. Like that. Is there something wrong? We cleaned it out with pet anti something. Does she absolutely need to go to a vet??

    • October 24, 2013 8:15 pm

      Yes! “Need” is a relative term. If you wish to avail yourself of medical services and you live in a civilized part of the world, helping your cat with painkillers, a diagnosis, and proper medical care are needed.

      Those bites can be very painful. Deep infection can set in. Does your cat have rabies vaccination? These are questions to cover with your local veterinarian.

      -Dr Truli

      • Lane permalink
        October 25, 2013 6:02 pm

        She does have a rabies vaccination. And thank you!

  66. October 16, 2013 12:37 pm

    Hello I have a rescued male cat, he is one year and 3 months already. He is around 2.5 – 3 kgs. He usually eats 4 small-medium sized fish. I cook for him, Then I tried to switch to cat food wet and dry. He sometime eat 1 pack of 85g of wet foot and 1 cup of dry food for one day. He is very playful and drinks water. Yesterday I’ve noticed he ate little of his wet food. So the next morning I gave him cooked fish and he ate it. Then later in the afternoon I gave 1 again but didn’t eat. In the evning I gave him half pack of the wetfood and ate it. Is it normal eating habit? He is not, I think he is thin. He had a history of dehydration when he was 4 months old and the vet gave me some meds and he’s doing fine. I am just concern about his eating habit. He is so picky or something is wrong?

    • October 17, 2013 8:36 pm

      Any time a cat changes his pattern, look for a reason. If you find none, he is likely ill.

  67. Emma permalink
    October 16, 2013 4:28 am

    Hi, my cat was diagnosed with renal failure 6 weeks ago, they diagnosed him at stage 2, however last week they told me he had got a lot worse and is now at stage 4 ( end stage ). He seems very restless and cries a lot, especially during the night and he constantly follows me around, he still eats and cries for food, he still jumps and uses his scratching post, do you think I should continue with how he is or do you think he’s in pain and needs help crossing the rainbow bridge?

    • October 17, 2013 8:34 pm

      Listen to your gut. Courage is following through and doing what your gut wants you to do.

  68. Mary Ellen permalink
    October 9, 2013 1:37 am

    My 23 year old cat is now hard of hearing (very) now I don’t know if he can see? How can I tell? He doesn’t move eyes when I put things in front of them can’t jump on bed or couch I have to put him on& very slow & getting skinny! He eats little but drinks a lot

    • October 9, 2013 10:10 pm

      Dear Mary Ellen,
      You could use a vet’s advice after a physical exam. Maybe some tests. Maybe a house call so your kitty is more comfortable.
      -Doc Truli

    • Melinda permalink
      October 17, 2013 8:13 pm

      Hi Mary Ellen, My name is Melinda and I have put my beautiful Girl Bala who was almost 22 years old to rest yesterday. 17.10.13 She had some tumours (cancer) removed surgically about 4 months ago. Over the past month two new tumours have broken through her little face. We believe she also had early signs of memory loss.. Over the years I often would read and research data about conditions. Her breathing had become very laboured. Difficulty in sleeping. She received vit B shots and go in for the day to have IV fluids and antibiotics, but all her signs were not great. Yes she meowed, yes she ate two t-spoons of food twice a day, yes, she went to the toilet okay, bit of an effort. But not knowing what pain she was in and how many more tumours were just going to burst out of her face. I made the gruelling decision to let her have final rest, my greatest fear was confusion and pain.
      I loved her with all of me, and am so so depressed, the vets said do it months ago, but she still had fight in her little weak body. My boyfriend was selfish and has attacked me yesterday for my decision that I have read up on, and observed her for 22 years. I have convinced myself in not knowing what her pain or suffering was, and NOT to allow my ego, or emotions make selfish decisions. I will not allow myself to have any regrets, but will always cherish every moment I ever had with her for the rest of my life, she was loved unconditionally. I can’t stop crying my heart may never mend over this decision, but I will never stop loving her. She is to be cremated today and she will be brought home. Good luck with yours and remember it’s not about you it’s about puss.
      Love Melinda in Sydney, Australia

  69. averi permalink
    October 8, 2013 10:47 pm

    My cat slipped of my railing (2nd floor) and lay on the ground a few minuets getting up like nothing happened then she sat on that very railing for weeks and meowed like she was in pain ecspecially when I looked at her then right when we were about to take her to the vet she dissapeared and has gone for a week I’ve searched but I can’t find her and I’m worried is there something seriously wrong with her?? Is she in danger???

  70. Chris Bibb permalink
    October 7, 2013 5:09 am

    I hope you can give me some insight on my cats strange behavior. She is 16 years old and does have a thyroid problem. We have her on special food and on a little chewable “treat”. It doe s not seem to be helping much. She goes to the vet every week for a b12 shot. The vet says she “might” have some arthritis. She seems to eat all the time but she is still losing weight. She drinks a lot of water however she does a very strange thing. When she leans over to drink, she paws at the ground like she is trying to get her footing. We have raised her dishes up a little bit in case she was struggling to reach the water. She doesn’t do this to her food. She has lost some of her teeth so she struggles with hard food, so we give her soft food and baby food. She does get regular blood panel work done, and it is almost time for another. Can her health change that significantly in just 6 months? Thee vet said her pawing at her water was just a behavior change. Also, she is pulling out clumps of hair, especially at the base of her tail and around her hind legs near her back. The vet said she is in pain and we need to put her down. I am really struggling about this decision. She doesn’t appear in pain, but I can’t really tell’ I know you can’t diagnose her online, but I was hoping you could enlighten me about her strange behaviors. Thank you

    • October 7, 2013 6:59 am

      Dear Chris,
      1) yes, their health can change action even in a week. 6 months is like at least 3 years to us.
      2) blood pressure? Hypertension can cause the hair pulling and decreased appetite and it’s common with hyperthyroidism
      3) check blood and urine. Urinary tract
      infections are super common in older cats.
      4) if her thyroid checks out under control, why not fix her teeth?
      5) if the vet suspects arthritis, she should be treated for it. Adequan ink (in the us FDA off-label use), therapeutic laser, even omega fish oil supplements could help. There are painkillers cats can take like tramadol and meloxicam. They have side-effects and risks, but painkillers are preferable to euthanasia for controlling pain, don’t you think.
      6) be certain she does not have fleas. I hate seeing loyal, loving older pets suffer with their illnesses and fleas when the fleas are so treatable!

      Does that help?
      Dr Truli

      • Chris Bibb permalink
        October 27, 2013 1:28 am

        Thank you so much for your feedback. These suggestions are very helpful and will give me better insight at our vet visit. She does not appear to have fleas and she never goes outside and we do not have any other pets. When we had her teeth cleaned is when she had to have 2 teeth pulled I asked the vet if this could bother h.,mer but she said probably not I’;m not sure I agree. Also, did you have any ideas about the pawing situation? I really appreciate your feedback. Thanks, Chris

  71. aston permalink
    October 5, 2013 3:12 pm

    i have a one year old cat, quite a few days back she started murring alot in the nights and i think grew some belly, i thought she was pregnant and took her to vet, the vet checked her and negated what i proposed…
    since last day she has stopped eating and wn t even drink water, am very worried, also since last days she is sitting a little ackwardly, not like she s used to…
    she also hides under sofas and when i try to pet her, she runs away…..
    what do uu think is the problem???

    • October 5, 2013 5:33 pm

      Dear Aston,
      You need a Veterinary exam and a list of differentials. Your situation is too vague and the possibilities too wide at this point. Your kitty sounds very sick, so try again and take her to a vet who gives a darn!
      -Doc Truli

  72. Diamond Rivers permalink
    September 22, 2013 5:09 pm

    I got a new kitten name Kash yesterday he’s about 6-7 weeks old. He used the litter box for the first time since I got him and right after he was done he started limping and meows as if he’s in pain. I have no clue what caused it. Any help?????????!!!!!!!!!!!

  73. Arlene permalink
    September 21, 2013 2:41 pm

    I had left a comment about my cat who had kittens 8 weeks ago. She is definitely in pain, “around her abdomen” Notice it more when I pick her up to help her up and off of the bed. She is eating, drinking, using the cat litter box. But, doesn’t want to play, isn’t as talkative as she normally is. As I said before her tummy looks okay. Sutures were removed on time and the area looks fine, healed. Is it possible that she may have pulled a muscle from “jumping about” ? She’s been playing with her only kitten. Unfortunately, she lost the other two. My cat’s name is, Bella. Bella has a tendency to flip in the air, over backwards. She does not have a fever. Just not sure what is bothering her and would like to have an opinion of what it may be. Please let me know. Thank you!

  74. Arlene permalink
    September 20, 2013 3:47 pm

    My female cat had kittens 8 weeks ago by C section and she was spayed at that time too. She isn’t feeling well. Possible fever. When picking her up she makes a noise “pain in her abdomen” I am suspecting an infection. The suture area is clean, healed well and sutures had been removed by us as instructed by our Vet. Would appreciate some insight. Thank you

    • September 25, 2013 11:10 am

      Dear Arlene,
      If you are worried she hurt herself or is having side effects from surgery, please consider investing the time and money in having your veterinarian re evaluate her. I do not want to misguide you over the Internet.
      -Doc Truli

  75. Heather permalink
    September 17, 2013 5:49 pm

    My cat LB who is a Tom, has just produced a beige colour liquid, he walks slow and hunched back he doesn’t eat as much as he used to, he drinks water, and Hes always sleeping, he’s only 2 years old, does anyone know what this is?

    • September 17, 2013 8:00 pm

      No one can tell you what is wrong with your kitty through the Internet.
      The symptoms you describe are not unique to one disease. There are at least 40 diseases that can cause the symptoms you describe. I Can tell you your cat sounds very ill, possibly deathly ill. Please take your kitty to see a veterinarian immediately.
      -Doc Truli

  76. Laura permalink
    September 15, 2013 11:22 am

    I would love some advice as my vet is no longer someone I trust (mine left and who is left working there, I’m not happy with). I am uncertain if I should at this point even switch. I have a 16 year old cat that had a horrible pancreatic attack over a year ago. Since then, she has continued to lose weight even though she eats like a horse (specialty food). She cries constantly, has water leaking from her eyes, has diahrea constantly, throws up about once a week, sleeps in the fashion you mentioned above. All her blood tests come back normal less her white blood cells, to which they just keep telling me, “she must be fighting an infection”. There is no infection that would last close to 2 years. If this was pancreatic cancer, I believe she would have passed by now. I no longer know what to do as doing massive testing on a 16 year old who in my opinion seems to be dying from some type of cancer, seems pointless. I already had an MRI 1-1/2 years ago that showed her pancreas was inflammed, to which she receive the pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer diagnosis; they could not be certain which. After reading that sleeping like this means they are in pain, it kills me, she has slept like this for 1-1/2 years. :o( I have struggled with the thought of ‘should I put her down’, as her tests are NORMAL, how can I? Yet, how can I not? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as I am at a loss as to what to do. I can’t stand to watch it anymore and I also can’t imagine putting her through various MRI’s, etc., if she is on her last leg. They tell me I am doing all I can to keep her comfortable, but if sleeping like this means she is in pain, then I am not and I need to get all my kids out of that vet.

    • September 15, 2013 12:40 pm

      Dear Laura,

      What a terrible time you are having!
      There are kitty diseases that fit your description of your cat which can only be diagnosed with biopsies. That would mean possibly surgery.

      There are also blood tests and deworming I would try before something invasive like surgery.

      Also, if you decide you are against surgery or further testing, you need to discuss palliative care with a vet who can see her in person.

      Palliative (pronounced pal-yeah-tiv, {sort-of, mostly}) care means making her feel better. It may mean symptomatic treatment, and not a cure. For instance, long-term diarrhea is uncomfortable. I’ll wager her Vitamin B12 is low (and can be supplemented in an injection). There are other pharmaceuticals and neutraceuticals your vet could help you with. They may require you to sign a waiver that you do not want further testing, or, even, better…do the testing if you and your vet feel it is right for your cat.

      I think I need to write a story about a patient I saw that had your cat’s symptoms. Check back soon to see the finished story!

      -Doc Truli

      • Laura permalink
        September 16, 2013 2:55 pm

        She has had various blood tests, checked for worms, and B-12 shots, antibiotics (which caused more loose stools), and nothing has changed her. We also tried giving her steriods, nothing. Bioposies are out of the question as she would not likely survive surgery. She was never more than 6 pounds and last checked was barely 5, I suspect even less now. Not a candidate for surgery. In other words, I have been down all the avenues I feel I can and I guess I need to find another vet to give her palliative care as I desperately think she needs it. Thank you.

  77. Snickers' Mom permalink
    September 12, 2013 1:37 pm

    Reblogged this on Reflections and commented:
    Very good information, just passing along. I wish I would have seen this sooner. I hope it can help someone!

  78. Rochelle permalink
    August 31, 2013 4:40 pm

    Hi! My cat is 14 years old and she never had any health problems and so forth she is always healthy with no problems, then recently a few days ago i saw she jumps on and off stuff and then it looked liked she struggled once or twice not a lot at all so i kept checking on her, but today when I got home I noticed she struggles completely . with her hing legs jumping on and off of couches, beds etc all of a sudden and when she walks it looks like her hing legs struggle. I have no idea if she got hurt maybe and or if it may be old age and that she may be going towards the end..? I am taking her to the vet on Monday though, cause that’s when the better vets are back again.

  79. Kristina permalink
    August 14, 2013 8:59 pm

    I don’t really know if this is the place to ask this, but maybe you can give a bit of advice. I have a 16 year old female cat named Groucho who has diffuse lymphoma of the small intestine (I think small cell?) and she was responding well to medication, but she’s been recently losing weight again. It’s been about 10 months since her diagnosis. I’m having difficulty figuring out if she’s in pain in order to maybe start giving her pain medications (veterinary ones, of course) or not. She isn’t exhibiting the hunching behaviour that I have seen, or at least not often. I can see her right now sleeping on the floor and she’s flopped on her side with her front paws tucked under her head. She’s been more cuddly than normal, which is the only behavioural difference that I have seen. She is still eating/drinking/eliminating as normal. She hasn’t been cuddling with her brother much, but they’re usually within a foot of each other. Is this enough to go on, or should I just keep an eye on her and wait for more signs?

    • August 14, 2013 9:58 pm

      Dear Kristina,
      Ask your vet about painkillers for a trial course. If you give the painkillers and she feels better, then, you know they benefit her!
      Good Luck,
      Doc Truli

  80. August 10, 2013 10:00 pm

    My cat Sam is about 15 years old, and I am struggling with whether to put him to sleep. He was diagnosed with a thyroid tumor about 6 months ago, and although he has been on several different medications, he is getting worse. He eats fairly regularly, but can’t seem to gain any weight (he should weigh 12 pounds – he only weighs 6). He used to be such a social cat, now he just stays in a corner in the basement, only coming upstairs to eat. He has pulled so much fur from his front paws and legs that I had to wrap them. He eats, but with difficulty. I want to keep trying different things to get him back to the way he was, but family members have suggested to me that this is cruel and that I am prolonging his suffering. I know he’s not happy, but is that the same as suffering? If there’s a chance that he can be made whole, shouldn’t I see it through? He eats, has control of his bowels, but has no quality of life.

    • August 11, 2013 1:00 pm

      Dear Robyn,
      I’m so sorry to hear the the tough times you and your Sam are going through. Thank you for sharing with us.

      1)If his T4 was above 25 when you started treatment, he may have a carcinoma of the thyroid, which is difficult to regulate.
      2) Be sure his blood pressure has been checked. If he has hypertension, it will make him not feel like eating. There is separate hypertension medication for cats.
      3) Why does he eat with difficulty? THat should not have anything to do with the thyroid. Maybe he has dental problems, too, which have to be addressed when his metabolism is more stable.
      4) Does he also have a heart problem? Many hyperthyroid cats develop cardiac illness, too, which makes then feel sick. Some of them need separate heart medication.
      5) Did your vet check for everything else? Like, does Sam have a virus like feline leukemia or feline aids? These additional problems can make his chances to return to a good quality of life less.

      As you can see, I believe in full medical investigation before we can really consider whether he is likely to be made whole again. You may have unanswered data points that you could get answers for, and then your decision will be clearer.

      Let us know how it goes.

      -Doc Truli

  81. R. Said permalink
    July 23, 2013 1:47 am

    i was playing around with my cat and i accidentally kicked him when we were running around! he kept sneezing a lot, then when i picked him up to comfort him i noticed a smell. when i put him down there was this weird discharge all over my arm and shirt. it drove him crazy he kept cleaning himself and sniffing around and then he just walked around frantically like hes looking for something 😦 is that discharge normal when a cat is scared? or in pain maybe? or does it indicate an injury of some kind? thanks in advance

    • Holly permalink
      July 30, 2013 5:04 pm

      If those things are not normal for your cat and they’ve just suddenly appeared, then yes, absolutely, get him to the vet! I am not a vet at all but I have had many cats and have never had them have discharge. The combination of things you’ve mentioned, smell, discharge, sneezing, odd behavior, all of that points to illness or injury of some kind, in my non-professional opinion. I’m not a vet nor do I work in the vet profession. But all of that points to something wrong, and my advice is get him to the vet pronto! They might say he’s just fine but the saying “better safe than sorry” has been around for a long time for a reason. =)

  82. Rasida permalink
    July 10, 2013 6:58 pm

    My cat is about 7-9 years now. I got her when my daughter was in 3rd grade, now she is in in 9th. My cat has always been playful & every morning when i open the door, she’d come running up to me and just purring & wanting me to pet her, she would go to the garage (where i put her food at) & she would just meow & ask for food, we would give her food, water & this friskie turkey gravy thing, which she loves alot. On monday she was still playful then on monday night i would hear cats meowing and fighting i didnt know it was her, because my cat hates fighting. then on tuesday her bottom eyelid had a red spot & she keeps laying down all day, she would lay anywhere, i gave her food and milk, & she denied it, but she loves milk, then wendsday came which is today, i gave her food and milk and she ate a little, right now she’s laying down outside, and its very hot , i tryed picking her up tuesday to take her inside but she hissed, like she was hurt. 😦 and she never hisses at me! She’s always nice. We cant take her to a vet because all the vets here are so so expensive. Help!

    • July 10, 2013 8:43 pm

      You can call the animal hospitals and inquire if they have a new patient special. Depending on your area, many animal hospitals have a free or discounted first visit. Then always ask for a written cost breakdown before they go ahead and provide any medicine or services, to be sure they fit your budget. You can also ask for a written prescription for any medicine, like antibiotics, so you can price shop and try to get them for a better price at a pharmacy. If the medicine your cat needs is veterinary only, a vet should not be offended if you ask if there is a substitute medicine or alternate treatment you can try that fits your budget.

      A vet you trust is worth every penny, but it sounds like you do not already have a veterinarian you like and trust. This makes an emergency or illness cost more because the vet you choose will have to get to know your kitty and your situation PDQ (pretty darn quick.)

      Please do not write off the idea of medical care for your cat!
      Good Luck!
      -Doc Truli

      • Rasida permalink
        July 11, 2013 1:09 pm

        She has eaten yesterday only a little. I tried giving her food today, but she just turned her head she started to squint her eyes, i think she’s hurt, but i really dont know how. Monday night i heard cats beating her up, not sure if it was her though. But im pretty sure it was, because after that night all she does is sleep. Do you think i should send her to a vet? Or wait for her to heal? I dont want her to pass way to scared :/

  83. Ariel permalink
    July 9, 2013 8:39 pm

    Hi, I’m not sure what is wrong with my kitten. I came home and found him under the couch with a bloody nose and he looked like he had diarrhea. All he is doing is sleeping and when you touch him in certain places he jumps or makes this really weird noise. He hasn’t eaten all day and he won’t walk on his one paw. We think maybe that one of the dogs living in our house could have been playing with him and maybe was a bit aggressive but we can’t really say that is the reason. I’m not sure what to do to help him or to figure out what is actually wrong with him. We’ve tried to apply for pet insurance but we weren’t approved for it. So we can’t take him to the vet. Any advice is appreciated.. Thanks

    • July 10, 2013 8:30 pm

      I don’t understand why you can’t take him to the vet. Is it because there are no vets that take money in your country? or you have no one to ask for financial help to get your kitty treated?

    • Kiki permalink
      July 12, 2013 1:14 am

      Give the kitty to a no-kill shelter or rescue- they will provide the vet care. Otherwise, the kitten is going to die. Please do what’s best for the kitten and surrender him/her to someone that will get him/her lifesaving medical care. In the future, never leave a dog that likes to “play” alone with a little kitten.

  84. July 5, 2013 1:08 am

    Our mom’s cat has been extremely constipated for months…we just moved in and have tried everything we can think of for home remedies to help him to poop: wet food, different kinds of food, a tiny bit of olive oil in his food(he wont eat it), a friend of her’s, a nurse(although a nurse for people) said to try tiny amounts of milk of magnesia because that worked for her cat. Still same old thing; he lays on his side for 10 minutes or more while straining and finally he poops out a scat hard as a rock. He also sometimes vomits while doing this and sometimes just vomits. Barely ever poops, like maybe every 2-3 days or more. He still uses his box to pee. She seems to be in denial that there is something wrong, she says he has to be fine because he purrs, i know this doesn’t mean he’s fine, but she cant seem to get past it. She brought him to the vet like 4 months ago and they said he was fine but i don’t think him doing this should continue for months and months. The last thing i want is for her to find him dead or something. Please advise.

    • July 5, 2013 9:41 pm

      Get a second opinion. There’s a condition called mega colon that he might have.

  85. Laura permalink
    July 4, 2013 1:09 am

    Hi, My cat is 14-16 and He’s generally very healthy. He’s a got a thick, healthy coat and a good appetite (perhaps too good as he’s a bit plump!) But tonight I noticed something a bit odd, I called him in and he didn’t come. I popped my head outside and saw he was lying on the driveway. I opened a tin for him and he still didn’t come. So, I brought him inside myself. But then I noticed he would only take a few steps, then lie down. I picked him up and he mewed a bit unhappily (as he doesn’t like being picked up) but when I set him down, once again he only took a few steps then lied down. Now, It’s very hot outside and this happened pretty late at night, So I’m hoping it’s just that he’s tired and maybe a bit overheated, but I’m worried nonetheless. Should I be?

    • July 4, 2013 7:27 pm

      Wow, Laura. He sounds like he needs to go to a pet emergency room right away.

      • Laura permalink
        July 5, 2013 10:41 pm

        Oh god! Well, since I posted that, he’s acting totally normal. Even killed a mouse…
        I may have misrepresented his age, I thought he was 14-16 (we got him when I was young kid) But I looked at his record and he’s only eleven. What kind of affects does heat have on cats? Because when he spent a night in my air conditioned room, he noticeably perked up.

      • July 6, 2013 7:58 am

        Your question about heat and trying to link one observation (heat) with another (cat’s illness) is an example of association. Most people base their personal experience and beliefs on associations like these.

        Science and experience as a veterinarian tell me the most likely reason your cat as sick was a cat bite abscess.

        Why would I guess cat? Again, usually cats fight with other cats.

        Not all cats read the textbooks ( as I am fond of pointing out), but “common is common” (I leaned that gem from Dr Dez Hughes, fabulous ER veterinarian.

        I’m happy your cat feels better!

        -Doc Truli

  86. July 1, 2013 3:51 pm

    I have a 19 yr old cat who has renal disease (controlled with Azodyl) and hyperthyroidism. She was doing really well with her dosage for 5 months. Then, the vet told me to reduce the methimazole to 7.5mg. She began getting a little agitated and sprayed, so since we have pheromone diffusers around the house and use the spray, too, I figured I’d get her a calming collar to augment the other things. She became very groggy, almost drugged, and had problems walking. I took the collar off after about 7 hours, and the grogginess continued.She was having trouble with her back legs. Took her to the vet, they did levels on her, nothing changed, in fact she was doing better than before we lowered the methimazole. Couldn’t tell me what happened and why. Maybe the collar made her woozy and she fell. Her right knee was swollen. They also prescribed Lactated Ringer, 150 ml every other day. I gave that to her in her THIGH area, 75ml on each side. She tolerated it the first 2 times, and she was getting much better, but then, after giving her a dose, she, could barely walk, even worse than after the collar. She fell completely over. Brought her to the vet and they think, again, it was injury due to either pain at the site of injection, or the weight of the water made her wobbly and she re-hurt her knee, which was more swollen than before. She’s getting slowly better, but she’s doing some of the thing you described, she sleeps with her nose down (only sometimes) and she’s doing something very odd. When she sits up, she has her head back and her chest out, kind of like a seal. Not all the time, but sometimes. Any ideas? I go to a group of vets and no one seems to be able to find anything wrong with her.

    • July 2, 2013 10:48 pm

      Check potassium, b6, intracranial. Something’s up. You need to have specialists look deeper. If you feel that’s the right thing for her.

      Good luck!
      -Doc Truli

      • July 3, 2013 10:58 pm

        Thank you! I will have them check all that! She seems to be a lot better, actually RAN yesterday, woke me up this morning for breakfast (something she hasn’t done in 2 weeks) and is walking better, but she’s still wobbly. I watched a video very closely that I took of her to show the vet, and I noticed her right leg spasmed and that’s why she fell. I don’t know if it’s ever happened to you but my pinky toe does that sometimes. It may be something else, but it appears that an injury on top of the arthritis may be a partial cause. Thank you again!

  87. June 30, 2013 11:13 pm

    Both my Mom and I read this…we are freaked out but both want to be realistic about our situation with the family cat. Her health has gone down hill since she was recovered after being lost for a week last summer, she went from being a slightly portly, beautiful cat with the loudest purr you’d ever heard (somewhere between an overexcited pigeon and a baby raccoon when she was happiest) to being scrawny (you can feel her bones when you pet her, her skin hangs like someone post gastric bypass or a severe illness) with a ragged coat, going between howling and being silent and sullen. She’s had some bouts of ataxia, won’t sit all the way down on her haunches, and we’ve recently discovered is peeing in random places. The biggest thing I’ve realized: her purr that convinced me to adopt her is gone, and I think has been for awhile, I just couldn’t put my finger on what was exactly so off about her. She recently tested as having hyperthyroidism and a benign mass on one of her thyroid glands (ironically I had the same diagnosis that lead to the severe health problems I deal with now) as well as compromised kidney function (the vet said it wasn’t good but she had seen worse). We were given phenobarbital to relax her as well as a thyroid suppressor (again, the same one I was given, boy this takes me back) but with her recent changes in demeanor and her openly peeing in random places I’m worried she is in pain and we don’t know. The problem is we don’t have the money for all the imaging the doctors are suggesting….it’s a bit of a catch 22: If she has something else seriously going wrong and hurting her, we think it’s best to put her down at this point (she’s an older kitty and not only do we not have the money for something like chemo we agreed it isn’t fair to put a pet through something so debilitating and painful when they won’t understand why and might not survive) however, we don’t want to put her down when she is not in pain or has a condition that could be managed….but, again, we don’t have the money for a cat scan or MRI….
    Sorry, I’m rambling…I guess I am wondering what route you would suggest for my poor Bella….she’s currently eating and drinking ravenously and keeping her food down, but she isn’t gaining even an ounce even though her thyroid tests came back normal (kidney function tests ‘not better but not worse’ were the words of the vet). I just don’t want to prolong her ordeal if she’s suffering, but I don’t want to do something drastic if she isn’t.
    Thank you and all the best.

    • July 2, 2013 10:45 pm

      It’s so hard when your kitty takes a turn. If her thyroid is under control, then you need to look for another reason for her condition.

      Has she been dewormed? (Just in case.)

      Have you gotten a second opinion from a specialist or a veterinarian with more credentials than your current advisor?

      Good luck with your decisions. I think you explained the difficult situation really well and lots of our readers feel the same.

      -Doc Truli

  88. June 24, 2013 9:47 am

    My 17 year old tortie has a tumor in her mouth from January. We have been taking her for steroid injections, anti-inflammatory non-steroids, painkilling injections. To date we have been feeding her royal canins food that we make with water as she stopped eating normal cat food even pate consistency. She was taking this liquid food from a bowl but then stopped and we were hand feeding her. She is in a bit of pain when eating now. This has progressed even to liquid food. We have been giving her painkilling injections every 8 hours. She is not eating very much at all now. Apart from this she is content enough (when not eating), purring, not hiding or anything but we now feel it is time to let her go and be pain free but we are finding it extremely hard to do. We have had her since a kitten and she is part of the family. It breaks our hearts. My husband took her to the vet at the weekend and I said my goodbyes but he then came back home with her as he said he couldn’t do it. Last year we lost our other cat but it was easier to make that decision because he had kidney failure and his body had given up on him but this time as she is still bright, alert etc. we don’t know when is the best time to let her go.

    • June 24, 2013 10:23 pm

      Dear Jo,
      Have you looked at VirtuVet’s quality of life pages? They can help you measure her quality of life somewhat objectively. If you put “quality of life” in the search box, you can easily find the section of VirtuaVet. Good luck. Deciding to put down another living creature, however warranted, is one of the hardest decisions we make as humans. It is normal to struggle with this situation.

      -Dco Truli

  89. Katie permalink
    June 19, 2013 6:22 pm

    Hi, my cat called Rosie. Had a recent opp, she was recently attacked by a fox leaving her with just 2 legs. She has been home for about two days now (19th June) and I’m aware she is going to be in pain… I know this sounds silly but all she has been doing is sleeping all day and not walking anywhere, she eats a lot off food but she is not willing on doing much walking etc, I really need help? Is she going to carry on with this behaviour or is it just a faze??

    • June 19, 2013 9:29 pm

      Dear Katie,
      These are excellent questions for your vet. They might have an email you could use to send questions when you think of them. Call them when they are open and ask if they do. Plus, go ahead and write down your questions so you can ask your vet.
      Good luck! I hope it’s just a phase for your kitty.
      -Doc Truli

  90. Valerie permalink
    June 11, 2013 8:59 pm

    My cat is between 12-15 years old. We know she is dying – the vet says there is some kind of growth behind/beneath her eye. For the past month and a half, she has been getting palliative care (steroids) to reduce the inflammation and hopefully offer her some comfort. For the most part, this has just looked like aging, but sped way up. Sleeping more and more and more, eating less. She hasn’t eaten more than a kibble or two for more than a week. Except for the last 24-32 hours, she has still been getting up to drink water once a day, will jump up on the bed, purr and stretch out when being scratched and petted. Yesterday, Harriet spent 24+ hours in the same spot. Refused water. This morning she had a steroid shot, and while her eyes look much perkier and she had the energy to move from the bed and hop up into her favorite chair, she is still not interested in water. She can’t be force-fed water, at least not by me. We have put off euthanasia because A) she is horribly traumatized by the kennel, the car ride, and the vet’s office. It makes me heartsick to think of those being her last experiences on this earth. and B) we have read about allowing pets to pass naturally, in their familiar spaces, surrounded by familiar sights and sounds and smells.

    I know you can’t make a diagnosis without seeing her, but can you speak in general terms about allowing a pet to die at home? Is it painful for a pet to die this way? Of course, the last thing in the universe we want is for her to suffer – that’s why we’ve made the choices we have so far.

    I know there is a C) option – vets who make house calls to put a pet to sleep. I am prepared to do this – if it’s the right thing for a kitty who is exhibiting no symptoms other than what I would associate with a human at the end of life: mostly sleeping, not eating or drinking.

    Thank you.

    • June 11, 2013 10:07 pm

      Look for my next VirtuaVet story about allowing a pet (with a diagnosis of an incurable disease) to die at home.

      • Valerie permalink
        June 11, 2013 11:55 pm

        Is this already posted and I’m just participating in an old thread? Or is it a pending post?

      • June 12, 2013 3:12 pm

        Hi Valerie,
        This post has fresh comments almost every day, so it is an ongoing discussion. I do not allow any automatic posts and curate every comment. It slows the discussion, but prevents spamming and negativity.

        I saw your excellent comment about your kitty and the idea of having her pass away at hone in familiar surroundings. I think your comment deserves great consideration, so I am composing a new post about the topic of arranging for pets to pass at home.

        VirtuaVet is not designed for urgent advice or quick retorts. It’s more of a slow, philosophical burn.

        Any other readers want to offer insight? Valerie would like thoughts on a kitty diagnosed with a terminal illness and whether passing at home is a good option for her.

        -Doc Truli

      • Lori permalink
        June 12, 2013 3:29 pm

        I would like to respond to the comments about animals passing at home. I live in a small community where the vets are used to making farm calls. When I put my first kitty down 25+ years ago I vowed I would NEVER put a pet down at the Vet Clinic. Way too stressful for everyone (kitty as well) involved. So now I pay the extra fee for them to come to the house. The best decision I have ever made regarding the end of life for my kitties when the time comes. I have since euthanized 3 at home and it has been less stressful for all of us. I often wonder if this will be an option when the times comes and I live a metro area. I hope my response helps….

      • Kathee Speigh permalink
        June 20, 2013 5:01 pm

        My 10 year old cat suddenly started having a green discharge out of one nostril. The vet thought it was a sinus problem and gave me meds. The next week, the discharge turned to blood. We tried another med. I then took him to a specialist who did 2 ct scans and a biopsy ($3500). After the biopsy, Bob’s breathing in head sounds like rocks in a can. The vet who did the biopsy said the sound was just a blood clot from the biopsy and would go away in 3-4 days. It has now been 4 weeks and the sound is worse, as is the nasal discharge (both nostrils now). No cancer or polyps, but he does have a mass in his nasal passages. The vet thinks there might be a bone fragment or something in there. Suggests I take him to UC Davis for surgery. Bob has never been outside. He has lost a lot of weight and eats just a little. I don’t want his head cut open. He just sleeps. His breathing is so awful, sometimes it sounds like he is drowning. Lungs are clear. I am still giving him meds twice a day. I guess I just don’t know what to do from here. I wish he could tell me if he is in pain. He has spent so much time at the hospital, I have him home now just to have him with me. I am not ready to give up on him yet, but I don’t think he is going to get better. UC Davis is about a 4 hour trip one way. Not sure how he would handle it.

      • June 20, 2013 8:25 pm

        Dear Kathee,
        You have some real-world, valid considerations here. UC Davis is one of the best hospitals in the world. If I could afford to go there and lived on the West Coast, I would go. Maybe your vet can prescribe some meds to help him with the 4-hour trip.

        Your dilemma brings up interesting, complex moral issues. Is it right to put a cat through all the tests and surgery? Is it right not to? I believe we should err on the side of life. It’s hard to know at is right to do. It is a very personal decision.

        I recommend listening to your heart. If your mind is quiet, what does your hart really think is right to do? If you know whatnot think deep inside, and you are the person responsible for the decision, then you can follow that inner feeling that tells you what is right to do. That is called courage.

        -Doc Truli

    • June 12, 2013 3:18 pm

      Briefly, Valerie, I think
      Passing at home is a good option for some pets. You do have some issues with it. One is, it is unpredictable. Unlike planned euthanasia, you do not know if the end will come with meowing, a seizure, heart attack, or what. I encourage planned euthanasia because we know what will happen.

      I also watched a friend’s cat not eat for a month until she eventually has a spasm and passed. She toddled around, licked herself, drank water, and generally just hung out for a month with end-stage liver cancer and jaundice. The owner did not have the heart to euthanize her, even though he was a veterinarian! It showed me how long a cat can linger. I prefer planning the end.

      A house call for the end would allow you to set up the sounds, smells, and sights you wish for her. Some people have a ceremony and I am one small part of it.

      Good luck! The attention and planning you are giving her is appropriate and honoring her. If you do choose to have her pass on her own, ask your vet how you can be sure she’s not in pain.

      -Doc Truli

  91. Shishir permalink
    June 8, 2013 2:04 pm

    Hi Guys,
    We’re in a big problem. We’ve a female cat and she is in her 10 months now. She is excessively meowing for few days. Her problem is in stomach. She had same problem 2 times before in every two months. This is the 3rd time. She was okay after few days when she had the problem. Firstly we thought that it may be happening for Worms problem and I searched for the tablet in several pharmacy but I couldn’t find it.

    I should tell you that I’m from Bangladesh and in here pet medication is not available every cities.

    I’m telling you the symptoms. She is meowing and touching her belly and chest in the floor and keeping her nose to the floor. We can understand that her meowing is so painful. And also it is painful to us a lot ’cause we love her as a child of us. Please help us by advising what should we do right now and please tell us some medicine names for worms problem and others. It is a humble request to you.

    We’re waiting for your kind reply. It is 12.23 at night and we both are awake for her meowing and my wife is so upset. Please help us.


    • June 8, 2013 6:16 pm

      Dear shishir,
      Your kitty does sound like she is in pain. I understand there are not veterinarians and medicines in all parts of the world. I also know that I have no idea what is wrong with her. There are over 50 common diseases that could be causing her symptoms. Also, the names of medicines are so different all over the world that my United States medicine names would be meaningless in your country.

      If you have the Internet access I think you do (you found VirtuaVet), then I would research at for reliable, general medical information that is written all by real veterinarians.

      Good luck, I hope your cat gets better,
      Doc Truli

    • zach permalink
      June 10, 2013 5:15 pm

      hey your cat is probably in heat! Get it fixed!

  92. Kyle permalink
    June 8, 2013 2:53 am

    My cat has been twitching her head for the past while now and I have no idea what is wrong. She seems to be all fine and happy but randomly has this little twitches were she blinks very fast and jerks her head back, sometimes somewhat violently. After that she doesn’t seem to want to be pet and somewhat wants to be alone. What do I do, my family doesn’t think its anything and doesn’t seem to notice what I see daily and they don’t want to waste a ton of money if its nothing… I have gone as far to try and record it but whenever I do my cat decides it freakin doesn’t want to twitch or if I get it my parents dismiss it as a little twitch
    The cat is showing no signs however of being in pain and continues her daily routine but i’m so scared for her, what do I do???????

    • Kyle permalink
      June 8, 2013 2:55 am

      Note: She isn’t a very old cat only 5-6 years

    • June 8, 2013 9:13 pm

      You are right, your kitty sounds sick. You have a human politics problem to solve. She needs a veterinarian and you need to think of a way to convince the adults to at least get a veterinarian consult. They do not have to approve testing right away. A physical can be very enlightening.

      Good luck!

  93. Kellie Edwardson permalink
    June 5, 2013 11:20 pm

    I have a sixteen year old female cat with a teeth disease, and has broken a lot of her teeth from biting something. We’re taking her into the vet soon to get this looked up, it’s obivious that she needs surgery on her teeth. I would like to know when a cat is too old to have surgery, were the stress is to much and will kill her. She has also lost a lot of weight from barely eating her wet cat food (the only kind she can eat at the moment) because it moves her teeth moving to much. I don’t want her to starve to death. So I’m asking if when a cats too old for surgery and cant eat, do I put her down or try and feed her by hand?

    • June 6, 2013 10:05 pm

      Dear Kellie,
      You are worrying so much without information on your side. Your vet can advise you about your kitty’s risk for anesthesia. I can tell you the oldest cat I performed tooth surgery on was 22 years old. She did great! I have often done surgery on 18-19 year old cats, even veterinarians cats!

      Get your cat to your vet ASAP. Bring along written questions so they can help answer your questions exactly.

      -Doc Truli

  94. S Henry permalink
    June 4, 2013 3:30 pm

    My grandmother’s cat is about 10-11 years old and has over the past few months began pulling her hair out, it has gotten worse and she has tried allergy medication, fish oil and a pillow/cone type thing that is supposed to restrict her from being able to reach her body to pull it out (she was told this could help correct a behavioral problem). In addition sometimes when the cat shakes her head she falls over and has recently become a recluse. There have been no changes to her environment, food, etc. Any suggestions besides hundreds/thousands in testing?

    • June 4, 2013 9:58 pm

      Follow the lead of the shaking head and falling over.
      She may be pulling her hair out in frustration/secondary to an inner ear/balance/infection/brain thing.

      So, ear exam
      Maybe sedation and x-ray the bulla-the inner ears at the base of the skull.
      If you really can’t spend money on tests she needs, then maybe try a therapeutic trial. That means your vet makes an educated guess and tries antibiotics or other medicine to see if it works.

      Honestly, it sounds like the kitty needs a bunch of tests beyond a really good physical.
      -CBC, blood chemistry panel, blood pressure, be sure she is felv/ virus negative, x-rays
      That’s a good start.
      Good luck!
      -Doc Truli

  95. Paige permalink
    June 3, 2013 6:11 pm

    My cat, Charlie, who’s around 10 years old, is usually a pretty healthy cat. He’s pretty large, but not overweight from what we can tell, and is very loving- he follows me around the house and insists on cuddling at night. A couple weeks ago, he seemed to have a little kitty-cold. He was sneezing a whole lot, and eventually the sneezing caused nose bleeds and made him hide out for a day or two. He recovered very quickly, though, and we never ended up having to take him to the vet as the whole thing lasted just a few days. I brought it up because it’s the only other incident since we’ve had him where he’s gotten sick. He’s generally not a puker, but did vomit up some grass just a few hours ago, and now he’s hiding in my mom’s room and won’t purr when I pet him- he’s definitely not feeling well and not acting like himself at all!! Naturally I’m very worried, but more so now because I don’t see any symptoms, it’s just his behavior that indicates something is wrong. All of our cats eat crab grass in the backyard and puke it up, it’s a normal routine for them. I put some food and water next to him but he hasn’t taken much interest in it. Maybe he ate something besides crab grass and got poisoned? He’s just randomly behaving like he’s sick and I couldn’t even begin to guess what caused it.

    • June 3, 2013 10:06 pm

      Dear Paige,
      My educated guess is dental disease possibly broken through from the tooth root to the floor of the sinuses. Sneezing look is not a good thing. Plus, if it is not dental disease, it can be tricky to discover the actual cause. Take him to a veterinarian you trust for a thorough going-over, especially his teeth.
      Doc Truli

  96. Chloe permalink
    May 27, 2013 4:07 pm

    Hi, my cat has been acting very strange, like he is in pain. He limps most of the time, but when he walks, his back legs go inwards. I’ve also noticed that he has had difficulty getting up after he has been lying down. But he is eating normally, from what I have seen, but he has been having trouble going to the toilet. He keeps going back and forth to his litter box but nothing seems to be coming out. Its only been like this for the last couple of days though? Tazz, that’s his name, would always jump on my bed when its bed time, but he can’t jump onto it anymore. He is 10 years old. I am really worried about him, because he is my little baby and my best friend. My family and I are taking him to the vets but I am just wondering if anything popped into your mind when reading this to maybe give us a heads up? Thanks for reading

    • May 27, 2013 8:10 pm

      He needs the vet. You are describing non-specific sings of I’ll health, which means the list of what could be wrong is long. Feel free to comment after your vet visit so readers know how it went.

      • Chloe permalink
        June 18, 2013 9:01 am

        well, the doctors didn’t know what it is, but they gave him some steroids and that seemed to work. However they said to bring him back when he is having another bad episode

  97. Neil permalink
    May 25, 2013 6:24 pm

    I have a 9 year old male cat who is neutered, he eats a little less lately and his stomach is very hard and bloated, it seems as if he’s having a hard time peeing. His stomach is bloated and purple. Any ideas. We been feeding him Blue Buffalo soft cranberry food and it seems to be helping a little. We can’t afford to take him to the vet.

    • May 26, 2013 5:40 pm

      Wow! I fear he is not long for this world without a veterinarian’s help. Many vets will do a free first visit. Even so, you need to think the “cannot afford” part of your reality and try “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Google charities, see if your county lets you sign him over for treatment (some do, you lose your cat, but save his life), beg and borrow some money for a budget to try and help him, set up a donation page on Facebook. No one can really help you by reaching through the fiber-optic cables of the Internet. You need to figure something out, or I fear for his life.

      Good Luck. I wish you all the luck and ingenuity in the world,
      -Doc Truli

  98. Ashley permalink
    May 24, 2013 10:12 pm

    Is there anything a person can do to help a cat in pain? It’s Memorial Day weekend and of course I could use a vet about now. I have a 7 month old kitten who has started not acting right. She tends to be on the lazy side compared to her siblings but she won’t hardly move today. She has been sitting very much like the cat you described. Arched back, paws tucked under, nose facing down. She will tolerate being picked up but doesn’t show any indications of liking it. I layed on the floor with her for a bit and she shies away from me. She doesn’t wince or anything when petted but she moves ever so slightly away from you. I saw her get a drink of water this morning & she did eat about 4 treats as well. She’s usually very talkative but I haven’t heard a peep out of her today. The other two kittens play pretty rough so I’m wondering if they didn’t hurt her last night sometime? I’m really concerned for her right now- she’s not my happy little squeaky cat that follows me around all day. Any advice? I live several hours away from an emergency vet so that is not really an option right now.

    • May 25, 2013 5:00 pm

      Some first aid techniques can help. Like if you can figure where she is injured, you can use ice packs in the first 24 hours for 10 minutes twice a day. A heating pad set so it is safe for your wrist skin could soothe her and help her feel better. If you have homeopathic remedies at home, they can also be used for cats, too.

      As you know, pharmaceutical painkillers are not metabolized by cats. For example, tylenol is absolutely deadly to a cat and should never be given.

      Also, even though it’s a Holiday weekend in the US, try calling all the vets I. The phone book that you can get to. You might be surprised by on-call service. For example, in most US states, if you are a registered client at a vet hospital. They are required by law to provide access to them for emergencies or have the. Umber of an ER close by for you. Close by is defined by the courts as within 30-40 minutes. If there truly are no emergency rooms within hours of you, then, if you are a client at a vet hospital, they will have services for you.

      Good Luck,
      -Doc Truli

      Ps. Our readers would love to hear how it turns out.

      • Ashley permalink
        July 4, 2013 9:00 pm

        Hi, sorry it’s taken me so long to reply back. Thank you so much for your suggestions and your prompt reply!!!! Of course, because I needed it, I couldn’t find my heating pad. So I threw some heavy towels in the dryer for a bit & got them nice & warm. I made a ‘nest’ out of them and placed my kitten there and just changed out the towels periodically. Also, I quit picking her up and trying to comfort her. For as much as it made me feel better I think it only aggravated her symptoms. I still don’t know what was wrong but your suggestions helped her and it also made me feel more confident in taking care of her. I could see a noticeable difference (positive) by the following afternoon and after a few days she was much better. I am happy to report she is back to her happy, squeaky little self. Thank you again!!

  99. Dave permalink
    May 21, 2013 8:03 am

    My cat Olivia has been lying down strangely, she has ashma and is over weight and is 10 years old. she is sleeping on her side with her head in a strange position and she has been lying on her stomach with her chin on the floor, this isn’t how she normally sleeps. She doesn’t like our other pets and at times she looks like she feels rejected so me and my family pay more attention to her- she also drinks a lot. Should I be worried?

  100. Brianna permalink
    May 18, 2013 8:33 pm


    My cat is 20 years old.

    Recently there was a new cat in the house, who we have since let back out, that we took in from outside to her have fixed.

    While the other cat was in the house (in a cage) our cat stopped eating. The day we let the stray cat back out, our cat ate well and drank.

    Now today my 20 year old cat is barely eating or drinking again and threw up a small amount of clear liquid twice after drinking water.

    Do you have any idea what could be causing this? Or is she was just bothered by the other cats presence?

    We are so worried about her, I have had her since I was a year old.

    • May 18, 2013 10:16 pm

      Take your kitty to a trusted veterinarian. She undoubtedly was rattled by the other cat, but it just made her how you symptoms. She didn’t make them happen with her mind. O find out what’s up so you can decide how to be sure she’s comfortable.
      -Doc Teuli

  101. May 1, 2013 10:09 pm

    my 2 year old black cat Mina will do this thing where she walks around my apartment and does kind of this low meow almost like a caterwaul. She is fixed and as far as I know she is perfectly healthy,but could something else be wrong? She eats fine and is drinking fine although I sometimes find vomit and I’m not sure whose it is because I have another cat besides her. I have been giving her medication for upper respiratory for a almost a month when I had my first appointment for Mina after she had been finally found after missing for a month! my vet told me to.

  102. Annette Lee permalink
    April 24, 2013 6:23 pm

    I’m a bit concerned after reading this article. For about a month now, my female cat (domestic short hair) who is about a year old has been sleeping sitting up normally but with her nose to the ground. She seems to be a very happy healthy cat. her weight is normal, she has a good appetite, she’s not vomiting. Her bowel movements and urine habits seem normal, she’s very happy and playful and social with all our other animals. Should I be concerned. If there is some way to post a picture of her doing this. I am happy to do so. We just thought she was being quirky and weird, which is normal for her. Please give me your opinion. Thank you.

    • April 26, 2013 10:17 pm

      Dear Annette,

      It’s a whole picture. The picture you paint is a happy cat who sleeps in a semi-strange position. Plus, a change from how you normally know her to be is more indicative of hidden pain than any one thing she does.

      Dare I say, it does come to the elusive thing called common sense. I can tell you love her very much because of your thoughtfulness and attention you pay her. But worry helps no one.

      She would appreciate if you took part of your Internet time each day to play with her more! It would be good for you both!

      Thank you for reading. Happy kitty times.

      -Doc Truli

  103. Juliette permalink
    April 23, 2013 7:56 pm

    How do I know if my 2.5 year old female spayed cat has a UTI? She has no blood in urine. She has been peeing on pillows and blankets, thus far. In the past 2 years, she has never peed on anything, other than in her litter box. I rescued her as a 7 week old kitty. We moved one month ago into an apartment. She has peed on a bed, blankets, and pillows. Prior to our move she had never acted this way. She has a clean litter box. I do not have the funds to have blood work drawn, etc. I want to say this is a behavior issue. Her pee does not have blood, nor does she whine. Do you think she is stressed out? Prior we(2) use to live with a family of 5. At the new place I carry her around to make her feel at ease. She had been laying in the closet (her blaket) for the past 6 hours. I did shake her “treat” bag out and call out her name and she did come out running and meowing. She ate the 2 treats, purred quite a bit and layed next to me for the remainder of the time. The night before she barfed up hairballs, is this normal?

    • April 24, 2013 11:21 am

      You cannot logic your way to a diagnosis. You need more data. You need a physical examination and a urinalysis and culture obtained by cystocentesis. Some things cannot be figured out at home by yourself.

      Also, about 85% of cat “behavior problems” are really physical. Your veterinarian can help you a lot with this problem.

      Good luck!

  104. Tam adams permalink
    April 17, 2013 10:32 pm

    Another big sign of deteriorating condition besides weight loss is……if they have to open their mouth to breathe, no cough, they are in extreme pain. Cats win the academy award for hiding pain.

  105. linda permalink
    April 11, 2013 8:43 am

    hi, i have a cat thats about 4/5 yrs old. he is healthy and jumps as he normally would eating and drinking fine.My concern is that touching his limbs seems to cause him at pain at times, no apparent swelling or wounds no limping etc. a light touch can set it off at times maybe he is just getting grumpy now that he is older idk any suggestions?

    • April 12, 2013 7:04 am

      Dear Linda,
      When you say that touching your cat’s limbs causes him pain sometimes, what does he do when you touch him?

  106. Marta permalink
    March 30, 2013 4:10 pm

    We have a six year old cat and for the past couple days he has been sick. Since Wednesday night he has been eating very little (still drinks water), has a prominent spine, and had been more lethargic than usual. My mother thinks this may be because she fed him some Tilapia with ginger sauce. I’m not sure. Is it urgent we take him to the vet? Any suggestions? Thank you.

    • March 31, 2013 8:24 am

      Dear Marta,
      If your cat does not eat, something is wrong. Sometimes, it passes in a day or so and a cat will go back to normal without a doctor’s help. But mostly, cats hide their pain when they feel sick. Then, when they are very, very sick, they show you they stop eating or vomit or have diarrhea or hide and do not play.

      I’ll bet you should talk to your mom about taking your cat to a veterinarian.

      Good luck!
      -Doc Truli

  107. February 27, 2013 5:39 am

    Hello. My 5-year-old orange kitty boy has been having vomiting issues. He is indoor, neutered, and an only cat. Early February he vomited 6 times and week took him to a (emergency) vet. He was not dehydrated, received anti-nausea medicine, ate wet food and drank that night. For the next week he had some diarrhea so he saw another (cat only vet). He was in good shape, no dehydration, etc, The vet recommended new food ( Royal Canin GI) and an antibiotic 2x day for 1 week. For the next 2 weeks he had normal poops, but I hate to say we didn’t really administer the antibiotic 2x day– probably only 1x day at least half of the week, plus spit it out. I thought all was well but tonight he threw up 4 more times ( from mostly-digested food to clear liquid). I checked his skin and he is not dehydrated, and he is now sleeping. He seems weaker. I am very worried about him but I do not know what could be going on. His issues seem to be infrequent but traumatic. Could it be that he is suffering when he seems fine? He has been more vocal since we moved (September), but he seems generally happy, energetic. However, today even between vomiting he was rolling over to have me rub his belly. I’ll be calling my vet when they open in 8 hours but I am not sure how to proceed. Should he go to the emergency? How long before I should be worried about his water/food intake?

    Your blog is very helpful but also feeds my worrying. Thank you for sharing expert information.

    • February 28, 2013 12:52 am

      As you know, I am a full-time veterinarian treating my patients. I spend 5-10 hours per week working on VirtuaVet. Therefore, I cannot respond to emergency-type questions in a timely manner. So if anyone is wondering if their cat is sick and needs emergency care, the they probably do.

      That said, this little kitty sounds like he needs further diagnostic work. Radiographs, a barium series, blood tests, parasite tests, perhaps ultrasound. If all or some of them have been done, he needs to be reevaluated. Some conditions (like intermittent foreign body obstruction) can wax and wane. Some illnesses progress so that they do not show on tests at first, but then they do. So if a veterinarian prescribes more tests, often the reason is to see if something has become apparent that was not diagnosable before. If you need further advice, you can also ask your veterinarian for a referral to an internal medicine specialist.

      A specialist can help logically chart a course of action so that you know each test you have done is worth it. Let us know how your kitty does.

      -Doc Truli

  108. Jonathon permalink
    February 5, 2013 10:49 pm

    My female cat is 11 years old. For the past week shes been having hard times to breath and now she is mowing and looks like she is in deep pain? Does she have much time left?

    • February 5, 2013 11:04 pm

      Wow! She sounds really sick! Can you take her to a veterinarian? I’ve seen cats live and suffer surprisingly long.

  109. December 27, 2012 2:02 am

    My cat is around 17 yrs old. She was a rescue cat and had gone through alot of abuse. She goes so crazy around other animals that I decided not to take her to a vet. Strictly an inside cat. She was perfect and always used the litter box. A few months ago she started acting weird. I would find her hiding upstairs in a corner with a look in her eyes that she was scared and didn’t know where she was. She also started sleeping weird with her butt up in the air and now she is peeing and pooing around the house. I have to make special apointments to get her hair trimmed when there aren’t other animals there, about twice a year. Just got her hair done and she looks skinny and sickly. I’m worried. I feel so bad for her and don’t want her to be in pain. I’m going to take her to the vet….I worried about what I’m going to hear.

  110. Tiffany R permalink
    December 10, 2012 3:28 pm

    My cat has been doing this for years but has recently done it more often (allday everyday) & more louder.
    he Hides Down stairs & howls & has started to get bloody noses again… I say again because he had really bad teeth (which we have gotten removed) had he would sneeze all the time and have a regular bloody nose. After his teeth were removed he was good he didnt howl or have nose bleeds. but within the last 5 months its unbearable. He does not sit or lye funny & vets dont know what is going on??
    Do you have any insight.
    Thank you

    • December 10, 2012 10:02 pm

      Hi Tiffany,
      In my experience, when a cat owner says the vets do not know what is going on, it is because of insufficient diagnostic testing. And they truthfully cannot guess any further.

      Bloody nose? History of dental disease? Where there dental radiographs (x-rays)? Only 10% of animal hospitals in the US have dental x-rays. The x-rays require anesthesia and they are invaluable.

      Was a CBC done? (complete blood count?) bleeding could cause anemia. There could be clotting problems, platelet problems, or blood parasites. Has your cat ever had fleas? Bartonella infection can cause Severe nasal symptoms.

      These are just a few thoughts. Perhaps you need to make clear to your veterinarian that you are very concerned and you want a diagnosis and your budget is _____.

      If you are not giving your vet a budget in order to run more tests, you may be stuck with no answers.

      Plus, just a thought-remember that 5 months is like 3 years in people years. Another physical and consultation is appropriate and not excessive.

      Good luck. Please let us know what course you take.

      -Doc Truli

      • Tiffany R permalink
        December 10, 2012 10:39 pm

        I reside in alberta canada and am lucky as vets in my city have use to Xray… an xray was done and blood work. After reading this site i when home and watched my cat and have book a vet appointment to have an extensive blood test tomorrow & we will go from there. My cat is my little baby and mind you hes about 13. if simple steps I need to take then I will take them but i have an feeling that there will only be one soloution. I appreciate your response & suggestions. Thank you again

      • December 11, 2012 12:25 am

        Have a good vet visit. I hope your kitty pulls through and is happier than ever!

  111. Elaine Moreau permalink
    December 4, 2012 11:55 pm

    My 10 year-old cat Zoe is peeing blood. I took a urine sample into the veterinary clinic. I was called to told that there was too much blood and they want to see her tomorrow. I am so scared. She is my furry baby. I am so terrified that she is suffering. Today, all she will do is lay in my bed. I do not want to lose her but I do not want her to suffer needlessly.

    • December 6, 2012 8:26 am

      Dear Elaine,
      Your job is not to worry. Your job is to stay calm and try to do what the veterinarian thinks will get her better. And figure out how to pay for whatever she needs.

      My next story is going to be about a 19 year-old-cat who was urinating frank blood that clotted. She is doing great now. Please do not dwell on the worst!

      Doc Truli

      • Elaine Moreau permalink
        December 6, 2012 9:42 am

        My Zoe has been diagnosed, she has a non-operable bladder tumour. She now taking piroxicam, in hopes that it will shrink the tumour. My biggest concern for her is pain control. I was told that piroxicam will handle her pain and 1 hour after her first dose, she seemed much more relaxed. I realize the piroxicam at best will give her a better quality of life for a little longer and at worst, it will do nothing for the tumour. Thank you for your website, it has been very helpful.

  112. Holly permalink
    October 19, 2012 4:45 pm

    Hi my cat Pebbles has recently started showing some of these symptoms: Hunching over with her paws tucked under her, hiding behind the sofa and enlarged pupils. I know it’s probably nothing but I am worried – Any ideas what this could be?

    • October 19, 2012 8:45 pm

      No ideas. She does, however, sound abnormal. See your veterinarian. Also, observe her eating, drinking, urination, and defecation to help the vet pinpoint the problem and help minimize diagnostic testing expenses.

      • Holly permalink
        October 30, 2012 6:41 pm

        Thank you – we have not noticed any change in her eating or drinking patterns but we are unaware of her urination habits. She has, however brought up two furballs this week. One of her eyes is very weepy but we think this may be down to another cat who she plays and playfights with regularly. Thank you for your feedback x

  113. liz hartranft permalink
    September 16, 2012 10:00 pm

    Hi, My Maine Coon kitty is 15yr old & has yearly check ups with our vet. My question is that for the last two years she has slowly lost weight (16.5 lbs to 13.9 lbs) without any change in diet. In fact she acts more hungry within the last six months than in previous years. She has had “her senior blood work up” completed in 2011 & on 9/13/12; nothing showed up in the blood work. She also had a full exam & urine tested. No change in her litter box habits, she does sleep a lot more and she seems to want to avoid the sunlight. The vet wants to do another blood panel for IBD, pancreatitis and lymphoma. My cat also wakes up somewhat disoriented and meows loudly until I pet her (I did tell this to the vet, & the vet thinks it might just be old age). Any advice ? Thanks

    • September 16, 2012 11:03 pm

      It’s worth it to run more tests. Something is up. There are plenty of diseases that don’t show on regular screening tests. Let us know if your vet finds why she lost weight.

  114. maranda permalink
    September 14, 2012 2:40 am

    My cat is 5 months old and we were going to bed and my kitty started to scream from in the spare bedroom were her litterbox is and come to find out she had her foot hung in the curtain like the/string on it and my husband had to cut the cutain off her foot it was so hung up she isn’t crying anymore but she does have some blood in her mouth from eating the curtain and a small cut on her foot and she limping around on that foot she was hanging upside down do you think it broke her foot she was only hung in it for a bout 2 minutes while my husband was cutting it off but she was going crazy so I don’t know if that made it worse do you think I should take her to the vet

  115. carly permalink
    September 12, 2012 3:03 pm

    hey well my cat we lost her and when we found her she wouldnt eat now she has yellow stuff buyy her eye i thought it was hair falling out and getting in to her eye.and she dosnt seem to be going to the bathroom and she dosnt lie to move any more.i thought any of you guys would know what going on with my cat.thank you

  116. cha-lee hall permalink
    August 28, 2012 10:04 pm

    hi, my cat whisky is in pain, when you pick him up beause his right back leg is in pain, so when it hangs i think it hurts him even more. i think the pain is around the area of muscle bicepts femoraus to semi-tendinosus,(i got thoes wordes from a picture) even when i put light pressure on it he cries in pain and lightly bits me to stop me touching it. He limps as he walkes around and is not eating that much. I REALLY want to take him to the vet but have to wait till pay day. He still manages to jump on the bed etc. I dont think it is his spin as i went down it and he didnt mind or the top of his pelvis but his pain is in the middle of the top of his leg so it may be his pelvis? he still is walking around outside but im worried about that so i have kept him inside in the mean time, he just lays in the sun and he isnt purring like he normaly does which is understandable. also when he sleeps he curles his back tucks his feet in and head is on the floor which i read is a sign he is in pain but im not sure? thanks hope there is something i can do for him!

  117. August 26, 2012 9:08 pm

    my cat is 13 years old. She was about 3.8 pounds about 3 days ago… She also has wet eye boogies(it reminds me of snot or something), whenever I notice it, I get tissues and wipe her eyes as best as I can (and of course she doesn’t like that). She is really scrawny and I can feel all her bones when I pet her. I feed her about three or four times a day with soft food (because she has issues eating hard food)and give her water, and she eats a lot, but it doesn’t seem to do anything. She can’t jump very high anymore, and just the other day when I let her in, she sat and shook for a little bit, then continued walking. She tends to cough as if she is going to throw up. I’m not sure if she is just tired or her legs ache, but she will take a few steps, then plop onto her side and just lay there. She purrs a lot, so I figured she was ok, but I can’t help but want to cry when I look at her. She breathes heavily and her fur is matted (though she doesn’t usually get brushed). I refused for my mom to put her down, but if there is nothing else I can do, and if she is in pain, then, I just want to do what is best for her. I don’t want her to be in pain… If you need more information in order to help me figure out what is wrong with her, then I will do my best.

  118. Jeff permalink
    July 16, 2012 3:02 pm

    My cat has not been eating much lately–he will eat out of my hand, but not out of the bowl–and has been throwing up about once a week. Sometimes there is just hair, and other times it is just yellow liquid. He has always been an anxious cat, but since I moved (8 months ago) he has not transitioned well and it has just seemed to get worse–his anxiety–every week. He has seemed also rather irritable lately. He will sometimes cry when touched, and has even hissed a few times.

  119. linh permalink
    July 14, 2012 12:45 am

    Hi there,
    I have a 2 month old cat. She has slimmy stuff coming out of her rear end. Maybe its discharge.I don’t know what it is. She’s breathing really hard and sticking out her tongue. She has diarrhea and she pooped in her cage. I don’t know what to do. She was fine when I left to work this morning. I don’t know what’s wrong with her.

    • July 14, 2012 7:36 am

      The colon (the large intestine) has mucous glands that make the slime. Your kitty desperately needs a physical exam and treatment. Kittens (and children around the world) die from diarrhea every minute. Get your kitten some medical care!

  120. Nancy permalink
    July 13, 2012 1:47 pm

    I have a cat (age is ~14) who has had numerous problems with his ear (infections, burst blood lines, palops etc) in the last 9 months. We have brought him twice to the vet where he was put under to clean his ears. His ear bleeds/clots and we find the rements around the house. At the advice of our vet we brought him to a surgeon to get a second opinion. The surgeons suggestion was to remove the entire ear canal for 1 (maybe both) ears. After determining that this surgery was not a good option for us. Our vet said that we had two options. 1) put him down, 2) just keep cleaning his ears and removing the dried blood. We went with option 2 and think about option 1 when he is in pain. But after 4 months of constantly cleaning his ears and watching him shaking his head (we notice this mostly at night), we are wondering if maybe we should go to option 1. I will only go with option 1, if i know my cat is in pain and there are no other feasible options. The issue is how can we tell he is in pain?

    • July 14, 2012 7:40 am

      What do our readers think?

      I think you have a hard choice to make. One other option would be to find a naturopathic doctor to consider homeopathic treatment.

      Plus- Can you explain how the conclusion was reached that your cat can’t have surgery? Was it a cost/benefit analysis? Because if you have the money and the surgeon has the courage, it may be better to try than to put your cat down.

    • Hazel permalink
      June 1, 2013 7:34 pm

      My cat is 13 years old, and I have been having the same problem with his ears for two years. He has been on steroids, has had his ears flushed, been given numerous medications. After having his ears flushed the vet found that he had polyps, and the only way to eliminate the polyps was to remove the entire bone of the ear canal which was suggested to you. My cat has liver and kidney problems and probably wouldn’t survive the surgery. I took him to a different vet and after taking a biopsy of his ears found he has a cancerous tumor. I’m so upset with the first vet because I think after his ears were flushed out, this should have been found and maybe something could have been done. I am currently giving him pain medication and TLC. He is still eating and active, but when the time comes to put him down, I will know.

      If your vet didn’t do a biopsy of the ears, I suggest you have that done.

      The operation is very serious and my personal opinion is that I would only have it done if the cat is in good physical condition.

      Good luck!

  121. July 2, 2012 2:57 am

    My cat is 15 months, and she’s always had a big appetite but now, for the past 2 days she doesn’t seem to be eating, her food bowl is still the same amount from when I filled it & she also has diarrhea. Other than that, she seems normal, just sleeps…
    Should I be concerned?

  122. jill hanson permalink
    June 23, 2012 4:31 am

    I just got home from work and I know my cat got in a fight I found a claw stuck in his fur and he’s just laying on my bed normally he greets me he doesn’t seem to be bleeding but when I pet his back I can tell it hurts him, should I be concerned about taking him to the vet or could he just be a little beat up , not sure what to do and worried, thanks

    • June 26, 2012 2:32 pm

      Please take him to a vet. (Sorry it’s 3 days later, I read comments weekly, not daily) I’ll write a story about this to help all the people who are not sure if it’s worth taking a cat to the get after a scuffle. Tune in Sunday!

  123. logan smith permalink
    June 18, 2012 11:09 pm

    hi i had a cat and his name was sammy, he was layed back and really nice. He always went over to my neighbors that had dogs but he never went inside the fence. One day we were having a cook out and he was inside the fence and running from the dogs, so he climbed up the screen and the screen fell so he fell off. the neighbor got the dogs inside but didnt tell us to get him but instead he grabbed sammy by the front of his neck and sammy started scratching and biting his arm so he slammed it on the concrete/grass. when he got back up he wouldnt let anyone get 2ft close to him and he was bleeding out of his eyes and mouth and his back was hunched over and he kept opening his mouth and we watched him for about 15 min and he didnt move. my dad told me he probably got brain damage and that we should shoot him to put him out of his misorey so we did. Is what our neighbor did to our cat considered animal abuse and why would sammy freak out like then when he was never that way and sammy never went inside the fence. Plzz answer becuase we are thinking about filing a report for animal abuse and what he did to our cat.

    • June 26, 2012 2:42 pm

      What a tragic story! I am not a lawyer to advise you what is abuse. But a person has a right to defend themselves, especially if they are being hurt.

      Your kitty probably panicked. Cats can freak out. I saw a picture once where a frightened cat bit a vet student 70 times on her head in about 2 minutes!

      Just food for thought- someone could think it’s animal abuse to euthanize a cat to prevent pain. I once saw a cat hit by a car with one eye hanging out and his jaw broken. The owner could only afford painkillers, not x-rays or surgery. The car made it! He was blind in one eye and he ate funny, but he lived another year!

      Animal accidents, like with your kitty, can be traumatic. Everyone gets very emotional and upset. Consider forgiving everyone. You may be happier.

  124. Sally Adler permalink
    June 3, 2012 10:51 am

    Thanks Doc. I found the site today, looking for information on how much volume to syringe-feed my poor cat at one time. She’ll go to the vet in the next couple of days, for the last time, but I needed to support her nutrition while I watched her for a few days. I think her thyroid and kidneys have finally done her in. We thought she was going a year ago, but she’s a tough old bird (!). Your information has been so reassuring and has really helped confirm what I’m seeing. I needed the virtual handhold. I’ve euthanized 4 in the last 5 years and it doesn’t get any easier to decide that the time is right.

    • June 3, 2012 6:30 pm

      Dear Sally,
      I am honored to virtually hold your hand. You did find the post about syringe-feeding a cat, right?
      Good Luck, sweetheart.

      • Sally Adler permalink
        June 3, 2012 6:57 pm

        Yeah, found it. I’m all too well versed in syringe feeding, feeding tubes, sub-Q Ringer’s…. I’ve jump-started anorexics with baby food in syringes before but this one is different, and I just couldn’t remember how much I could force into her at one go. You’re an incredible resource. By the way – she’s an incredibly bad tempered old lady who seems to love being fed while on her back – who can figure a cat!

  125. kathy permalink
    May 29, 2012 6:13 pm

    My cat is laying around. I think because its hot, but now shes not getting up much. When I pick her up she growles or meows. I worry about her, she also walks very slow, and hides in dark corners. Is she in pain or is she depresed? she also dosent eat alot, only drinks. shes only 3 years old. What do i do? please reaply

    • June 3, 2012 10:30 am

      Dear Kathy,
      I do not mean to sound crass and flippant, but, for all my dear readers world-wide, if your cat is in pain, get to a veterinary professional as soon as possible. If you do not have one in your town or your country, then I’m really sorry, I will not be able to make your pet better over the internet.
      -Doc Truli

      • kathy permalink
        June 3, 2012 1:31 pm

        i know but dose it sound like shes in pain?

  126. AlexJ permalink
    May 21, 2012 5:19 pm

    Hi. We have an 18 month male cat Barney. He was a rescue cat but we’ve had him for about 6 months now. He’s allowed outdoors when he wants via a cat flap. I came home from work today and stroked him as usual but he meowed at me (v unusual. Unlike our other cat – who is a Havana brown cross – Barney isn’t very chatty). I picked him up as normally he likes a cuddle and he freaked out. Hissing and scratching – just like he was when we first rescued him. I left him alone for a couple of minutes when he ran away so he could calm down then went to check him out with my boyf. He was fine, lying on our bed and purry like normal as long as I just scratched behind his ears. But as soon as I touched his lower back or hind legs he meowed again. We tried one of us holding him while the other checked him out but we couldn’t see any lumps or open wounds. He has a few small scratches e.g. on his nose but that’s really normal for him.
    I rang the emergency vet who said as long as he’s eating and running fine he’s ok. He’s doing both of those – he even started to play with ur other cat like normal until suddenly he miaowed in the middle and ran off to the other room. Am I right to worry though? The vet said it could be infection if he has a lump but we couldn’t find one. Could infection cause his back to become tender to touch and yet let him still move absolutey fine? I’ll probably take him so my usual vet tomorrow anyway but it would be great to get some input from someone else too!
    Thanks, Alex

    • AlexJ permalink
      May 21, 2012 6:20 pm

      Apologies for posting twice in a row but after googling lower back sensitivity I came across feline hyperesthesia. Barney doesn’t normally flip out but he often has v dilated pupils and regularly has ‘skin rippling’ on his lower back. I never even consider the skin rippling could be a problem. Could it be? Also I see from online it’s not rare for a cat to have a sensitive lower back but Barney does seem to be in considerable pain and it only started today which is why it’s worrying me. Thanks for your time on this! Alex

      • May 23, 2012 5:23 pm

        Ah! One of the problems with consulting “Dr. Google” is the ease with which an item comes up in a search and the subsequent familiarity we gain with the terms we learn, leads our human minds to distort the relative frequency and likelihood of the diagnosis.

        In simpler terms, did you ever read about how, if you are asked a question you do not know the answer to (like the capitol of same country you don’t know) guessing a familiar-sounding name or word is usually right. Seriously! The mind has evolved in this way to know how to guess these things.

        My theory is- the advent of search engines on the internet has altered our realm of the familiar through marketing and other manipulative practices. The adaptive strategies of the brain may lead us astray in a digital environment.

        Such is the case with lower back sensitivity in a cat. The most likely and overwhelmingly common reason for the sensitivity is flea allergies or even just one flea bite. Feline hyperthesia is incredibly rare. It is a syndrome. Do you know what I think of a syndrome as a diagnosis? It is a catch-all term for a collection of symptoms that science and medicine cannot find a causative agent and a mechanism of action and a reliable cure for. Otherwise- it would be a disease. Like fibromyalgia is a syndrome. Good luck finding a physician that can explain your fibromyalgia to you in 2012. Maybe in the future. Now? I dunno.

        So I ask again: how did the vet visit go? We all want to know!

    • May 23, 2012 5:15 pm

      Hi Alex,
      You probably figured out, I read these comments about once a week. So my replies are usually not fast.
      Yes, cats can have an abscess and move just fine.
      How did the vet visit turn out?
      Doc Truli

  127. marthajack permalink
    May 14, 2012 8:03 pm

    I tried to post this comment several minutes ago, but don’t think it went through. I apologize if it appears twice.
    Thank you for this excellent article. Now that I’ve read it, I realize that my cat is showing these signs of being in pain. I’ve been in denial about her condition, which makes me feel very sad and guilty.
    She has had a sore that won’t heal on her chin for more than a year. I took her to 2 different vets last year and they couldn’t tell what the sore was, but prescribed several different treatments: ointments, medications, change of diet, all of which I followed but there was no improvement. The second vet said that the next thing would be to get a biopsy and determine if it was skin cancer. My cat is elderly and I knew I wouldn’t want to put her through surgery and chemotherapy, so I didn’t take her back for the biopsy. Now I’m sorry I didn’t try more things, but each visit and treatment hurt her and I thought it wouldn’t be worth it to cause her more anxiety and discomfort. She’s been fine for the last 8 months, except for the sore slowly getting bigger. About a week ago she began to sometimes shake her head or act as if her chin itches. Then she stopped eating, and hasn’t eaten a regular meal for about 4-5 days, though she does eat little treats if I give them to her one at a time. I thought I just needed to tempt her with the right food, and have tried lots of different kinds but with no real success. She still jumps up on the couch to be petted or sit in my lap, still goes outside and sits in the sun, seems to still be enjoying life. But her fur looks as you describe, her eyes often half-lidded and not alert (I thought she was just sleepy), sometimes she turns her head away.

    I am sad to think that evidently she is in pain, and I am trying to face making the decision to let her go peacefully so she doesn’t suffer.
    Thank you for your helpful website.
    I wish you were a nearby vet so we could come and see you!

  128. Stephanie permalink
    May 6, 2012 9:41 pm

    The positions when the cat is trying to relax are very accurate. I was looking a few months earlier to see what might be wrong with my Maine Coon before I took him to the vet. It turns out he had kidney failure and had to be put to sleep. 😦 Anyways I noticed he was relaxing in those positions… if it wasn’t for this I would have never known to take him in and put him out of his misery. Thank you.

  129. melissa permalink
    April 29, 2012 4:18 pm

    My cat Tasha was diagnosed with lymphangiosarcoma last month. She has a lesion on her leg that wouldn’t heal and after a number of treatments we had a biopsy done and received the sad news. I know it is very rare and very aggressive. We were told to expect 2 to 6 months life expectancy. My vet said the lesion will move up the limb and into her abdomen. She said there isn’t a lot of information on this cancer because it is so rare. She suggested whole leg amputation but mentioned the surgery could be a disaster….non healing wounds are symptoms of this cancer. We opted not to do such a traumatic surgery since it doesn’t seem to increase life expectancy that much longer. Tasha’s wound seemed to heal up for a about a week. It has started draining again. She eats, sleeps and plays just like before. She was a rescue kitty about three years ago and has been slowly warming up to our furry family (we have 3 other cats). She will now jump up and sit next me or my husband. This affection seems to be increasing and I am wondering if she is starting to feel pain. Are there tests or xrays to tell us where the cancer is? Should I just start her on pain meds??
    Thanks for any input or suggestions.

    • April 29, 2012 4:28 pm

      Dear Melissa,
      I am so sorry for the illness your kitty is going through.
      You are in the realm of Pawspice care-it’s like Hospice care for people in the respect that you try and manage her symptoms and keep her quality of life up.
      If it would help you to know where the cancer is, your vet can advise you as to follow-up bloodwork, x-rays, or ultrasound. It may not be possible to see disseminated cancer that is nonetheless causing discomfort.
      You need to speak with your vet and schedule a recheck consultation about antibiotics, painkillers, physical treatment you could do…anything that might make her comfortable. Your vet can also set up a recheck schedule to try and guide you through her remaining time.
      Good Luck!
      -Doc Truli

  130. Holly permalink
    April 24, 2012 12:53 am

    Hi, I’m a bit concerned about my 2 year old cat, George. He’s been licking his “chops” [basically like when a human licks their lips] quite frequently. I don’t know if it’s just a quirk, or if something is wrong.

    Some facts about George:

    He is overweight – around 15-17 pounds i think – though he doesn’t overeat. He’s a bit of a lazy cat, so i think that’s the main reason he is overweight, but his weight concerns me as well because he started off as a sleek, fit cat. He engages in playful behaviors with my other cat, and he will run and chase after tossed toys a fair amount of the time, but overall he just likes to lounge around. I’ve poked his stomach and sides firmly, but not too hard, to see if he seemed to be in pain and it didn’t seem to cause him any discomfort.

    He has bad plaque. My mom and i try to brush his teeth [as well as our other cat] but we’ve slacked on it quite a bit.

    He is a purr machine. I don’t think this is cause for concern since he’s been what i call a “purr baby” since he was a tiny kitten. From the first day i rescued him from under a neighbors shed, he has loved to purr. He often loves to have his hind-end scratched, as well as his tummy sometimes & his face and ears, and most of the time he starts purring away and ‘encouraging’ you to continue. He also frequently lays on my bed and purrs heavily while he kneads his paws on my fleece blanket.

    He doesn’t particularly care to drink from his water dish, but he loves to drink water from the bath tub faucet & kitchen sink faucet.

    I don’t know how helpful this information will be, but i just thought some background info to go along with the concerning behavior might help you get a better idea of what’s what.

    • April 29, 2012 4:16 pm

      You cannot replace a veterinary doctor’s expertise with your home physical. I’m not sure if yur cat is sick or not, maybe some of our other readers have seem their cats do similar things. You and your mom can decide when it is the right time to take him to the vet.
      Good luck,
      Doc Truli

  131. Emma permalink
    April 18, 2012 4:05 pm

    Hi, me and my female cat are the same age (15) and I’ve noticed that she is acting very strange. She takes short and deep breaths the intire time and it sounds like she is purring at the same time (maby of pain?). She comes to sleep on my desk every night wich is unusual, because she is normally outside, I think she is trying to show me her pain. She is still eating, but less (usually she eats like a pig!). My father only thinks that it is because of her age and wont take her to the vet untill it is necessary, but I am extremely worried about her. She is also sitting hunched over with her nose pointing down. Do you by any chance know whats wrong? And thank you very much for your time!

    • April 20, 2012 1:24 pm

      Of course, I cannot tell what is wrong from the internet. Why don’t you fill out VirtuaVet’s visit checklist to see what objective, factual things are wrong with her? Perhaps sharing the finished checklist with your dad will show him she really is sick. Also, perhaps your dad does not know how well cats hide their symptoms until they are dying.

  132. Meredith permalink
    April 17, 2012 5:34 pm

    Hi Doc,

    I am writing to ask you about an eye issue one of my cats is having. Just yesterday, I noticed a little bit of gunk in the corner of her eye, and I wiped it with a Kleenex. I thought it was strange since she never has gunk in the corners of her eyes. I also started to notice her squinting that same eye yesterday evening. Today, she had more clear-colored stuff in the corner of the same eye and she is still squinting it. I have no issues with taking her to the vet, other than the fact that the vet is very traumatic for this cat. She absolutely hates going to the vet, being poked and prodded, etc.

    My question is whether this eye thing that I described to you raises any red flags. I don’t want to overreact and traumatize her by taking her to the vet if the issue will just eventually clear up on its own. How long do you think I should wait? I appreciate your time and help.


  133. Nikki Chadd permalink
    April 10, 2012 11:00 pm

    Hello…I have an important question and I know you’re going to say “take him to the vet!” but please if anyone has any idea it would really help, my Dad wont take him unless I can convince him of what the real possibilities are..anyway my 18 mo. old male black longhair siamease cat was attacked by a pitbull. The dog jumped the fence and grabbed the cat by the head and after a struggle the cat ran away and almost up a tree before the dog grabbed the cat again by the neck/head and during that my Dad and the owner of the dog broke it up…the cat had dirt all in its mouth but is walking around and my Dad says theres no swelling or visual external signs of injury other than him looking shaken up EXCEPT his tongue is sticking out and just wont go back in…he says its not swollen and he’s not drooling but theres SOMETHING wrong.. PLEASE does anyone have an idea?? Thank you for your time..

    • April 15, 2012 8:45 am

      Dear Nikki-
      You questions bring up two issues for me.
      1) In regards to possibilities: if your cat’s tongue is sticking out, there’s a good possibility his jaw is broken or dislocated. Watch to be sure if he can eat over the hours and days. If he cannot, or if food is dropping out of his mouth when he tries to eat, then he needs to go to the vet.

      2) Many young people whose parents will not take their pets to the vet write questions on VirtuaVet. Partly, I am so sad for the kids who seem to be more in touch with their pets than their parents are. Partly, as an adult, I understand there are probably other issues at stake. Money and time, for instance. I think many parents tell their children one thing, but the real issue is–there is no money or time for the pet. Or worse, the pet is not a high enough priority for the parents o spend their time or money making the pet feel better.

      I think sometimes kids have more compassion for animals than their parents do. What kind of an example do adults set when a cat gets shaken in a large dog’s mouth and the parent does not engage their children’s concern well enough to keep the child off the internet looking for answers? Real life is at home.

      Nurse your cat by keeping him enclosed where you can monitor eating, drinking, urination and defecation. Observe your cat’s behavior closely so you can reach a better understanding of how he feels. And honestly tell your dad how you feel. No one on the internet can help you like you dad can.

      Good luck, I hope your kitty is okay,
      -Doc Truli

  134. Jason Richards permalink
    April 7, 2012 12:33 am

    I have a male fixed cat, age 19. Recently (in the past few days), he’s started meowing a lot, and in a dire tone, and he won’t keep food down. Also, he appears to be straining, as if he has to relieve himself, but nothing happens. This has happened before, but not to the extent that it has recently. I want to take him to a vet, but I certainly don’t have the money to pay for treatment, I don’t want to lose my cat, He was born in my bedroom when I was 7 years old.

    • Bonnie Cloutier permalink
      April 15, 2012 9:12 am

      Jason, I’m not a vet but I’ve had several cats over the years and it souds like he may have a blockage in his urinary tract. Fixed male cats sometimes get crystals in their urine and it hurts when they try to pee. Then eventually they get blocked. I know you said you don’t have the money for treatment but this USUALLY only costs $150 or less….if you catch it in time….if you don’t take him him right away it could mean a very painful death for your kitty. Maybe your vet will take payments via post-dated checks….mine does when I need it. I hope you can get him the care he needs. Good luck!

  135. Kelly permalink
    April 2, 2012 6:57 pm

    My male cat who is fixed, has been acting weird. I noticed it today. His fur isnt as smooth any longer, seems to have dry gums, moaning a majority of the time when someone comes around. He tenses up as if he has to poop but nothing happens. I notice he’s licking himself more, but he wont take anything to eat, not even tuna! He cries if he has to walk anywhere. However when he lays, he lays on his side, sometimes curled up like they do when they sleep. Any thoughts?

    • April 6, 2012 4:07 pm

      Get to the vet!!!!!
      The most likely diagnosis is urinary obstruction. He could die quickly.

  136. jkm3734 permalink
    March 28, 2012 10:09 pm

    So here is my situation and I have no idea what to do. My baby boy was 8 yrs old. I had a cleaning company come to my house to help me clean and they let my cat outside. I came into contact with the family that had him and they told me on Wednesday March 21, 2012 at 9:00pm that my cat may have broken his back leg but they were not 100% sure but he was sitting up, shifting his weight (just not putting weight on his back leg), drinking water and eating some food. They called the local animal shelter and had him picked up by a field officer. The field officer told the family he was going to have him checked out when he returned to the shelter but instead he put my cat down. I understand I was in the wrong for not having my cat chipped or had him wearing a collar with tags but the shelter had my information and a picture and knew I was distraught and looking for him. The office did not check the reports or check to see if anyone was looking for him before euthanizing him. He was close to 30 pounds and was neutered and de-clawed. The officer’s report said “Cat had green discharge from eyes, was very unresponsive when I picked up as injured and back leg was thrashed, possibly hit by car.” The family that was taking care of him said when the officer arrived to pick him up my cat was sitting up looking around, would let the children pick him up and move him around. The ironic aspect of the story is he was found in a fenced-in back yard but was said to have been hit by a car. I don’t understand how my cat was hit by a car had a broken back leg but was able to jump a 6-8ft fence. I also don’t understand how him having an injury to his leg was justification to euthanize and take his life. Does anyone have any advice?

    • March 30, 2012 8:19 pm

      First, let me express my condolences on your cat’s passing.
      Next, the report said he was “very unresponsive.” As a veterinarian, I would be concerned that whomever wrote that felt the cat was majorly injured and metabolically or internally failing. It’s an agonizing part of an animal control officer’s job to be put in the position of deciding whether an animal is suffering or not. It’s hard enough for me, and I’ve had years of medical training! I hope and believe in my heart, they thought they were saving your cat from suffering.
      Third, I treated a dog once in the ER for “limping.” She had been on the enclosed porch and then she was holding her back leg up in pain. Guess what I found out the next day? She broke her pelvis! What?? Apparently, she jumped over the railing, got hit by a car, jumped back up onto the porch (over the railing again, this time with a fractured pelvis). Any other scenario involves a pelvis being broken while a dog sits on a porch. Hmm… (bothers me to this minute…)
      Finally, I’m not sure why a quick call or check to see if he is owned could not be done, unless he was howling in agony or imminently dying. It could be difficult for a non veterinarian to decide the health situation, but most cities and counties in the United States do not have the resources to have a veterinarian on call and the laws authorize an animal control officer to use their best judgement.
      Again, I’m so sorry for your loss. It must come as a shock and you have lots of questions because you were not given the opportunity to be there. Can you meet with the officer or their supervisor in order to get some closure?

      -Doc Truli

  137. Kate permalink
    March 28, 2012 2:04 pm

    I’m worried about my Kitty. She is 14 and has always gone through phases so I think I’ve been in denial of her illness. The past two weeks she has eaten very little, (She likes to eat a spoonful of chicken baby food, but vomits her hard food), drinking lots of water, and has become less playful, and meows when i stop petting her as well as if I try to pick her up – she no longer enjoys being held, just petted. She appears to have a hard time with her back legs, avoiding jumping down from her favorite perches and mis-stepping when she climbs the furniture. For a while now she has gradually been sleeping more and more and acts quite listless. She is still very loving and attentive, and in fact purrs more than usual – she sometimes purrs and her whole body quivers…. I’m afraid this is a bad sign too… How will the vet know what is wrong with her? Is it too late? Can cats that have cancer/ tumors be treated?? Any advice is greatly appreciated as my heart is breaking watching her sleep so peacefully right now….

    • March 28, 2012 3:47 pm

      Dear Kate,
      It sounds like your kitty is very sick. The vet knows what is wrong by the history, the physical exam, some test results, and at least 8-12 years of their life in college spent just learning how to know what is wrong with your cat. Plus however many years in practice spent learning more. Many cancers can be treated. Please get your kitty to a doctor and get off the internet.
      Doc Truli
      P.S. Please let us know what the vet finds.

      • Kate permalink
        March 28, 2012 3:59 pm

        Thank you for your quick reply. I have an appointment for her for Friday. I hope that is soon enough. I did switch her hard food recently and she hasn’t thrown up since then (The past few days) but she is certainly not well. I will keep you posted and again thank you…

      • March 30, 2012 8:09 pm

        How’d the appointment go?

      • Kate permalink
        March 31, 2012 10:18 am

        Hi Dr. Truli,
        An update on Kitty: I brought Kitty to the vet yesterday and she suspected either arthritis or a tumor or something, or GI inflamation. We had an xray done that revealed that she was severely constipated. We were so relieved it wasn’t anything worse! However, the enema didn’t work and they had to manual extract (she was gased and given an opiate for pain). The rest of the night Kitty was all drugged up, but still seemed quite uncomfortable. Overnight (after her pain killers had worn off) she would let out a howl from under the bed whenever we got up. She has yet to poop but has peed a few times. She seems very uncomfortable still so I am a bit worried about her. She ate a spoonful of chicken baby food yesterday when we got home and today she has yet to eat. We’ve been instructed to mix a small (1/4 tsp) miralax into her food for a few days until she gets back to normal. I wish it wasn’t the weekend as I would be calling the Vet since she seems so uncomfortable. Will definitely call Monday morning, but any advice you have in the meantime would be greatly appreciated! Overall we’re relieved. Her xray showed that she is in supreme condition for her age (spine, heart, lungs, kidneys etc) which was really great news.
        Thank you so much for caring for Kitty and her unfortunate circumstances. It’s so helpful for us to have someone to ask about her.

  138. kirsty permalink
    March 22, 2012 5:28 pm

    my cat is 8 and half. She has been herself. We had to take her to the vet as when she went to the loo she couldn’t get it all out. The next day they told us she had a tumor and its past surgery also that because it is the tummy it is risky. They have given us the option of bringing her home on steroids or putting her to sleep. We choose steroids. Since being home she has been getting back to herself but seems distant. We have another vet tomorrow for a second opinion. I just don’t want her to be in any pain. She is a very playfully cat and people often think she is still akitten . Please advise

    • March 25, 2012 8:51 am

      I think you are doing everything right. You are trying to help her and getting a second opinion because you suspect she may be suffering. I think medicine works best when you know what you are treating. If she has a lymphoma, you are trying to shrink it and maybe even get rid of the problem for weeks or months (with single-mode drug therapy). If she has some other tumor, like adenocarcinoma, then you are torturing her. Perhaps the second vet can image it or obtain and ultrasound-guided biopsy to diagnose it.

      More information will help you to know if you are allowing temporary discomfort and she will be a lot better, or if she is just going to continue downhill.

      I perform abdominal surgery on cancer cats all the time. It really depends what the vet felt and saw in her. Sometimes I meet a really sick kitty with a large, multi-lobulated tumor and the images show it is in several organs. I do not recommend surgery in those kitties.

      Good Luck with your decisions,
      -Doc Truli

  139. mackenzie permalink
    March 22, 2012 3:03 pm

    my cat is 11 years old like me and she has been purring a lot, hiding in my closet a lot too, and i picked her up and when i gently toutched her belie and she kept meowing. i know she is not pregnant because she is fixed. is she sick in any way? please let me now.

    • March 25, 2012 8:52 am

      Dear MacKenzie,
      Please speak to your parents about your observations about your kitty. They can help you decide whether or not she needs to go to the animal hospital.
      -Doc Truli

  140. Michael permalink
    March 18, 2012 4:30 pm

    hey my girlfriends cat is a bengal male and 2 years old he has been sleeping a lot and it is odd because this cat is very vocalized and energetic. when ever bastet (cats name) is walking he has an arched back and walks straight legged with a limp. last night he went pee in the litter box my girlfriend noticed that it was only a few drops. he is eating and drinking water but seems a little disturbed and lasy. we just got a new female cat for him to play with, bastet is usually playful and outgoing but in this case he is hissing and growling and avoiding the new cat. what do i do?

    • March 25, 2012 9:05 am

      Dear Michael,
      The symptoms you are describing indicate a possibly life-ending condition. Any time a cat is urinating just drops, get to a vet, preferably within 12 hours or less. You urinate to get rid of toxic waste from the body. If it stays in the bladder too long, you reabsorb it and die.

      Sorry to be so blunt, but veterinarians see this almost every day and we still can’t believe why it isn’t obvious how painful it is not to be able to urinate.

  141. Charlie permalink
    March 18, 2012 6:44 am

    I just need you to please help me answer some questions. Did I do the right thing? I love all animals more so dogs than cats, but cats are ok also. Mittens was 15 and her health seemed ok just getting older. I didnt name her by the way. Lately she would cry sometimes when she used the litterbox and I thought it was dirty and would immediately go clean it. I thought she was just mad because it was dirty , but I kept it clean. Also, recently she started pooping in my weightroom and not using the litterbox. If an animal is crying then there is a problem. I should know that. Did I not recognize the signs of kidney problems? Other than that she seemed very happy and affectionate. She was one of the greatest most loving pets I have ever had a true loyal loving friend. No matter whether my exwife got on to me or we lost a football game I knew there was one person that still loved me. Putting her down yesterday, and I am telling ya, I consider myself a tough guy but it was as painful as any loss I have ever experienced, and is continuing today. Please let me tell about the chain of events that lost the game for us. About a month or so ago I picked her up and felt a lump on her chest. For 2 weeks I was in denial that it was cancer. Was that another fatal mistake on my part. I checked the lump hoping it would be gone about 2 weeks ago and it was bigger. Thus started very emotional battle to save her in this last 2 weeks. Now, we are gonna save her, now we are gonna step it up a notch. Had to wait because I was afraid it might be cancer. What was I thinking I had cancer myself that had to be cut out, was it mysterously gonna go away? You see how I feel. Well we took her to the vet for blood work. It came back she had cancer and also a kidney infection. She never showed a sign of pain. I took care of her well. We had the cancer surgery which was extensive because there was more found alot more. Had to take all her mammary glands out and a spot on her head. Also ordered the kidney medication. Her surgery was on March 8th. Spring break started the 9th so I would have plenty of time to nurse her back to health. Everything started out great the first 2 or 3 days, on to a speedy recovery and probably 5 or 6 more years of good life. I would lay by her and pet her and she started getting back up on the bed and I would cover her with a blanket and she would purr loud. Things were just like they were and I was afraid of nothing. We had beaten big bad cancer twice. Don’t mess with US we will kick your rear you sorry cancer. But remember don’t spike the football, don’t dance in the endzone don’t awake the sleeping giant. About the middle of the 3rd day she started to fade some and would stay very close to the space heater and not do much. I would call her to come up on the bed–nothing. I gently picked her up put her on her favorite pad right by me and covered her up again and started petting her. She got up immediately and stumbled not walk but stumbled to the edge. I quickly ran over by her and helped her down because she wanted to be by the space heater. I called the vet everyday. I bought her that real good expensive cat food. It was Tuesday morning and I fed her the good food and she ate it right up and I thought ok she is on her way back good appetite and things were looking up good times are ahead. About 10 minutes later she was crying in pain and throwing up , throwing so hard she peed, and when she was done just laid in it. That was heartbreaking to watch. I cleaned her up and went and got some almond milk, she drank it right up and alot of it. I stayed with her and petted her to see if she was going to throw up the almond milk. She didnt throw it up. Again I am thinking we got something here maybe it just the food , but I called the vet anyway. They were out at the time but called me back around 3 pm and they said get her back in as fast as possible. I said how bout tomorrow morning at 8:30 am cause I told them about the almond milk and they said ok see ya then . I was hesitant to go back to the vet cause before we went to the vet she was fine. I dont blame the vets they are great people but thats why I was hesitant. Up early on Wednesday morning I call the vet and cancel our appointment the vet talks me in to coming in anyway just to check her so we make the appointment for 11 am. I feel like I can get her right myself with the almond milk and alot of love. I give her more almond milk she does not respond I put it right in front of her so she doesnt have to move,,nothing. She just lays by the space heater trying to stay warm. I have the heating pad, blankets, food where she doesnt have to move to get it. She didnt move. That was right at 8:30 am, I said screw it we are going right now. They got her in and put her on a IV. The cancer biopsy came back and it was malignant breast cancer, but they said they think they got it all. They checked her blood. I stayed with her for a while then went home. The vet called right when I got home, and said her kidney’s have shut down and they are going to keep giving her fluids to restart her kidneys. I went to go check on her that afternoon. I told the vets I was just in the neighborhood , but really, I was deeply concerned. She meowed and was glad to see me but she did not look good. The vet said if she makes it through the night and is not any better in the morning then we need to make a decision. I thought makes through the night? She’s that bad off? The vet said they would call first thing in the morning to let me know what would be the best thing to do. Did not sleep at all. Don’t spike the football. Big bad cancer wasn’t beaten yet. Went ahead and lifted weights around 6:30 showered and was on my way , not waiting on the call I am going to be there when the doors open. The vet calls me while in route. She’s not any better. I said I will be there in minute. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Our 15 year friendship is coming to an end today. She was an outstanding pet and brought nothing but love, affection, loyalty, and happiness to the table and required very little maintenance. I get there , they take me to a special room and bring her in. The vet tells me the best thing to do is put her down, that she is experiencing some pain now. I pet her for a while take a few pictures. They come back in the room everyone is real sorry it’s very emotional. I said when will you do it? They said now. I said, I don’t think I will stay and watch. They said few pet owners do. I said when again will you do it? They said right when you leave. I did not mean for this to be so lengthy. I don’t blame the vets they did the best job they could do. I am just wondering what I could have done better. If I would have picked up on the space heater. She never laid by it before. I studied later that afternoon and for animals feeling very cold is a symptom of kidney failure. 2 weeks ago she seemed like the happiest kitty around now she is gone. I spent some money but I don’t care. We gave it one heck of a shot to save her. I just feel guilty. Because of my own fears did I wait too long to save her? The cancer surgery was too much for her and that caused her kidney’s to shut down. Cancer 1 and 1. US 1 and 1. Again I am sorry for this message being so long, but writing it is like therapy.


    • March 25, 2012 9:14 am

      Dear Charlie,
      Thank you for sharing your journey with Mittens. I can tell you loved her very much. Cancer is tough. It can be unpredictable and it can surprise you. Cats are tough to read, too. Even a cat you have known for 15 years can fool you and hide symptoms from you. Cats do not want to stick out in a crowd. They want to blend in and not be noticed. Especially when they feel sick. I hope you feel better soon. Mittens had a good friend in you.

      The amazing thing to realize is this: that cancer didn’t just show up one day. It was in her, probably for a while, but she felt fine. She lived a long-happy life and then in the end, you did everything you could for her. You gave her a fighting chance, she just didn’t have it left in her.

      If I were your vet, I would recommend you to a rescue group or a breeder as a good pet parent who deserves another cat in his life.

      Doc Truli

    • Bonnie Cloutier permalink
      March 25, 2012 10:14 am

      Charlie, I had to write you a reply after reading your post. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can tell that you loved Mittens very much. I went through a similar experience with my best friend. He ended up with colon cancer and it was inoperable and I had to put him down. It was the worst experience of my life. I stayed with him and did find some peace by helping him go but it was heart-wrenching and I do not judge you for not staying as you had already experienced so much emotional pain. One thing I did want to say that I hope will help you cope with your feelings is that I’ve known a few humans that have found out that they had cancer (pancreatic) and they had no idea because they weren’t feeling too ill either. And they were dead within a month of being diagnosed. So in my non-expert opinion it is most likely that Mittens had cancer for a long time and was fine….there was no way you could have known. My heart goes out to you and please know that you were a good parent to MIttens and he/she was lucky to have you!

  142. Laura permalink
    March 17, 2012 8:21 pm

    I have a 15 year old kitty, Boomer, who at his healthiest weighed 16 pounds (probably a little overweight). He dropped to 12 pounds when diagnosed with hyperthyroid 4 years ago & was cured with radioactive iodine. He never regained the weight, but was fine until 7 months ago when his kidney values became abnormal (39 bun, 3.1 creatinine) and he had dropped to 11 pounds. The vet suggested a kidney diet, which I tried for about a month and stopped because he refused to eat it and lost more weight (down to 9.5 pounds). I’ve been giving him what he wants to eat (Natural Choice dry and Fancy Feast wet) and he seemed to be eating well. Three nights ago he threw up at least 10 times in the span of 8 hours so I brought him to the vet. He was down to 7.5 pounds and the vet felt a large tumor on his left kidney and re-ran the blood. He also talked about cancer and said it was probable that Boomer had cancer and that he may have multiple tumors. The kidney values didn’t change much-46 bun & 3.1 creatinine, but AST went from 17 to 101, amylase went from 1714 to 2090. He gave him fluids and something for his stomach and sent him home. He said that we could do xrays to see if there are more tumors, but it would not be fun for Boomer and would be purely “academic” because if there are, there is nothing we can do but try and keep him comfortable.

    The next night, Boomer began throwing up again and went into his litter box 4 times in a row to no avail. I brought him to the emergency room. They said neither his bladder or colon were full, but he had blood in his urine (+4). They gave him fluids and sent me home with clavamox, phenoxybenzamine, buprenex and pepcid in case it was an infection. They too felt the kidney mass and said it was possible that cancer was causing the issues.

    Yesterday and today, Boomer has barely eaten or touched his water. Until 3 nights ago, he was eating well and loved dry kibble but now puts his face in the bowl and appears to be hungry but doesn’t eat it. He does eat a few bites of wet food and takes a few sips of Catsure when I bring them to him. I am so afraid he will lose more weight and starve to death.

    I have three main questions. 1) Boomer seemed fine 3 days ago. Is it normal for things to shift so suddenly and dramatically? 2) Is the medication causing his disinterest in food, water and activity? Could it be harming him more than helping him? How long should it take before I see improvements if the medicine is working? 3) He is not currently laying in any of the typical “cat in pain” poses, but he’s quiet and doesn’t move around much so I know he doesn’t feel well. He gets so scared and stressed when I take him to the vet that I don’t want to bring him again unless it’s absolutely necessary. I don’t want to give up too early and I don’t want to torture him unnecessarily. Is there any non-invasive way (preferably without taking him in) for me to tell if he is in more pain than a good mom would allow, and if the end is near so I can resist more treatment torture?

    Thank you for your help.

    • March 25, 2012 9:24 am

      Good questions. What do our readers think?

      Doc Truli weighs in:
      1) Yes. It’s called “decompensation” in medical terminology. It is shocking and common.
      2) Maybe. Clavamox can cause stomach upset (did they have Convenia? It is an injection that is FDA-approved for use in cats with urinary tract infections, lasts for 2 weeks. Not sure if indicated in your case, but maybe an option. Also not sure which country you are in if it is available.) Phenoxybenzamine to relax bladder, not usually an appetite issue there. Buprenex, excellent painkiller, can sometimes suppress the appatite. Pepcid, I’m not sure he has an acid stomach with BUN and creatinine not being super high. I would suggest Cerenia (maripotant) as an off-label use in cats. It is an anti-nausea drug that also works on NK-1 receptors on the capsules of the internal organs. There could be pain from a stretched kidney capsule and Cerenia might help that and get him back to eating.

      Was his blood pressure checked? The kidneys are intimate with blood pressure regulation, and hypertension can cause his appetite to go. One way it causes it is my destroying his sense of smell (possibly). Cats will not eat food they cannot smell.
      3) It sounds like he’s not getting better. So… are you hoping time will make him start to recover? It doesn’t sound like he’s getting food, water, or anything that will help him heal except time and body massages. I’m not satisfied with his care at this point, are you? If not, see if you can speak with a nurse about further nursing acre. And those questions you posed are excellent questions to ask your animal hospital where you take him.

      Good Luck, you are asking all the right questions. He’s in such a tough place with that enlarged kidney. Is ultrasound an option geographically or financially? It can really help in these kidney cases.

      -Doc Truli

      • Laura permalink
        March 25, 2012 12:20 pm

        Thank you so much for your response. An ultrasound is an option geographically and financially (I’m in Los Angeles), but the vet says ultrasounds and xrays would be “academic” at this point, as he’s convinced Boomer has terminal cancer coupled with kidney failure and says there’s nothing we can do for it. No, his blood pressure has never been checked (and I’m wondering why!), but the smell thing makes sense. As it turns out, a couple days after writing the last post, I happened upon a brand of really smelly food (Weruva Asian Fusion) that he is eating. It’s the only thing I’ve found that he eats. I also spoke with a holistic animal nutritionist who has been having me squirt a mix of chamomile tea (cooled) and aloe juice in his mouth several times a day. After a couple of days, Boomer started drinking on his own. And two days ago I weighed him to discover he gained a half a pound. I was so excited, thinking he was on the road to recovery. He was becoming more affectionate again and playing a little, no more vomiting and getting back to his old self it seemed.

        But that afternoon, I saw him straining in the litter box. He had a bowel movement then promptly threw up a brown liquid. His bowel movement seemed to be covered in mucus. He did the same thing that night–bowel movement followed by vomiting brown liquid. After each incident, he seemed to be okay-eating, drinking, alert, jumping on my lap for cuddles, jumping on the sink, etc. Yesterday he seemed fine again until late afternoon. No bowel movements though. Then he got quiet and crawled under the covers to sleep for 5-6 hours. He ate a little in the evening, but seemed a bit off. Shortly after midnight, he had another bowel movement, this time it was runny (which ruined a theory about constipation), and he again threw up brown liquid right after. And at 3:30 this morning, he threw up again twice, only a little bit, but it was white and foamy this time. I offered food and water but he refused it, so I squirted a syringe full of water in his mouth to try to prevent dehydration. He was hungry and ate a little bit around 7:30am and a little more around 8:30am. He did jump in my lap and on the windowsill this morning, but he’s very quiet with that distant look in his eyes and when he lays down, he does it slowly and gingerly.

        In answer to your question, no, I am not satisfied with his care. No one seems to be giving me legitimate treatment options. He has been to six different vets in my area and I haven’t been satisfied with any of them. Not one of them has ever checked his blood pressure, which seems to be a logical thing to do! And again, he gets so scared and stressed when I take him, that I hate to keep doing it to him in search of someone who knows what to do.

        So my questions are: When you suggest speaking with a nurse about nursing care, what exactly is that and where do I look for that kind of thing? Is that some kind of in home care? Is there anything else you can suggest at this point? Any ideas what’s causing the vomiting after bowel movements and/or the white foamy vomit on its own?

        Thank you again.

      • March 25, 2012 6:29 pm

        When I suggested nursing care, I meant this:

        Sometimes you are at a point where you are not diagnosing a patient or prescribing medicine, yet you still need medical care advice. You need advice on how to provide care for your kitty at home. A veterinarian could give you that advice, but they usually do not know how to charge for the time. A few all-holistic vets I know charge by the minute to answer your questions and guide you. That’s why I suggested asking your animal hospital if you could speak with a technician (a “nurse”) about things you could do for your kitty. If they have experienced technicians, they will know a lot of the nursing care the vets routinely do.

        Also, there are some Pawspice vets around the US. Their practice is to come to your house, set up a plan. Then they send veterinary technicians (they are like nurses) to help you do the plan.

        If your kitty has kidney cancer and is sick to the point he is vomiting and has bowel disregulation, there may not be good treatment options. Also, if he stresses at the animal hospital, it may be worthless to measure his blood pressure. It will be falsely high because of the stress of the hospital visit.

        It sounds like you need a veterinarian you trust to provide you with explanations of what he is going through so you can wrap your mind around how to help him. It takes a team – a veterinarian and a pet parent – to figure right answers in your difficult situation.

        Good Luck!
        -Doc Truli

      • Laura permalink
        March 25, 2012 12:24 pm

        Also I forgot to mention that the urine culture came back negative for an infection.

        Sorry for the lengthy posts!

    • March 25, 2012 12:57 pm

      HI Laura,

      My cat and I are going through the same thing. She was diagnosed with a bladder tumor a month ago which we have been managing with steroids and antibiotics. She’s also supposed to be on a low protein diet but I’m feeding her whatever she will eat. In the past couple of days her litterbox output has practically halved and she’s been vomiting so I imagine the tumor has shifted or grown and it won’t be too long now.

      A couple of things you might want to look into:

      Mobile vet or house-call vets. My vet would not let me bring my cat in after a disastrous visit. From then on they did a house-call. When I moved and called a new vet to request a house cal they did not do them but recommended two different “mobile vets”. I’m in a smaller city than you so I imagine these exist where you are two. I know I will value this service so much when the final visit comes and Ki will be allowed to be in her home and comfortable (as can be).

      Pawspice (like hospice but for animals). Their website has a great HMMM questionaire. It’s a quantitative way of assessing the animal’s pain and quality of life. I’m taking it every couple of days of looking at the progression. It helps me since I’m very emotional about this and fear my feelings could be blocing my ability to make the right decison

      • March 25, 2012 6:35 pm

        The quality of life scale is very helpful.

      • Laura permalink
        March 25, 2012 7:09 pm

        Thank you Doc Truli & Iunipera. I will check out the quality of life questionaire/scale, Pawspice and mobile vets now.

        Iunipera: my heart goes out to you and your kitty. I know full well the emotional roller coaster you’re on. Having a subjective questionnaire sounds so helpful. I have the vets telling me I need to put him down and I keep wondering if I’m torturing him by refusing. I just don’t feel it’s time yet, but it’s possible my emotions are clouding my judgment. It’s such a final decision and I want to make sure I’ve done everything possible. If/when the time comes, I do like the idea of it happening at home instead of in a cold vets office so thank you for that. If your kitty’s time truly is coming soon, I wish her a peaceful passing. It’s clear she has been well loved in this life.

  143. Michelle permalink
    March 15, 2012 11:33 pm

    I think my 10 year cat has been alittle weird lately. She sleeps alot more and even though she will eat it’s not that much, though recently two days ago I switched her back to soft food (since usually the majority of the time I give her hard food) and she eats that up alot so maybe she was just being picky? Twice though while laying in my bed (she loves to sleep there normally) she’s woken up and started meowing and and purring at me and wants to cuddle up next to me and will actually wait sometimes for me to sleep. She uses the bathroom normally too.

    She’s not spayed though and she just got off her heat cycle so I’m thinking she could be going through false pregnancy. Do cats who go through false pregnancy act alittle depressed or sleep alot sometimes? She acted exactly like this both times when she got pregnant years ago (due to my family members not watching her and letting her escape). If she is going to false pregnancy what are some always I can help her? Do I have to comfort her in some way and how long does false pregnancy usually lasts?

  144. Kris permalink
    March 13, 2012 10:41 am


    I’m 26 yrs old, and i’m completely racked with guilt , because my cat (he’s older) has lost a large amount of weight. He eats/drinks either alot or not at all, has bathroom issues, and before I had any extensive test/drugs given to him the vet believes he shows signs of having cancer. I’m trying to decide if any treatment will be worth it–he is in fact in a great deal of pain before I even read this article i knew he was -he’s hunched, hair bristled, and crying–especially if you lift him for a moment and he’s skin and bones..would it make me the worst person if I put him to sleep, I do not have the money to try and sustain his life, but I’m thinking that if I did– I think he’s at the point where it would only hurt him more…

    • March 15, 2012 7:42 pm


      Separate from the money, is your kitty so far gone that it would be kitty torture to try? And how will you be at peace with your decision if you do not try?
      There is no correct answer. You have to feel your heart and listen quietly and then do everything you can to follow your heart.
      What is your heart telling you?

      -Doc Truli

  145. Minna permalink
    March 12, 2012 10:08 pm

    I have a kitty that is 17 years old and I am struggling with the decision of having him put to sleep. I have taken him to the vet and they said that there was an issue with his pancreas and that without doing more invasive tests there was no way to determine exactly what. He does not enjoy things the way he used to, no longer wants his cat treats, has started with complete liquid poos, power pikes almost everything he eats and is only urinating every 3-4 days. I am terrified to make this kind of decision for him. He still likes his catnip even though he falls asleep in it. He also does not talk as much as he used to, he has become more withdrawn. I don’t know what I should do for him.

    • March 15, 2012 7:46 pm

      I feel you do know what to do. Listen to your heart and not your head and then do it. It is a tough decision, but if you think about our roles as human beings in this life, part of our job as humans involves making a decision of life or death for another creature. It is part of the journey of humanity to take these decisions seriously and make them to the best of our ability. You will regret stalling more than you will regret taking that power, that responsibility into your own hands and letting it work through you. You have a tremendous opportunity to prevent further pain and suffering. If the decision was not terrifying, then I think you would be jaded and perhaps not taking your growth and development as a human being seriously. Instead, you are struggling with the big question. Good Luck. I’ve been there and you will be okay.
      -Doc Truli

      • Minna permalink
        March 15, 2012 10:10 pm

        Thank you for the advice. On 3/13/2012 I made the HARDEST decission I have ever had to make. I had our vet come to my home to put my baby boy to sleep. I am having such a hard time with it right now. It is hard to think about him or see the small things that remind me of him. I find myself just thinking about him and it makes me cry. My biggest fear and regret is the possibility that I made this choice and he was not ready. I am having such a hard time getting over that one hurdle. I am trying to figure out how to get past this. Any advice on how to get through this would be great because I don’t know if I can.

    • Bonnie Cloutier permalink
      March 15, 2012 11:55 pm

      Minna, my heart goes out to you. I had to make the same decision with my baby boy on Halloween last year and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. From your description you made the most loving and caring choice for him. It’s possible he was in more pain that you knew. I have come to terms with that now with my kitty. They can hide it well. But I know that if i were a kitty and I was in pain that couldn’t be cured I would want my mother to help me pass a well. Take comfort that you did the right thing by alleviating his pain. And I truly believe that we’ll be reunited with them some day. As for getting past this….I tried by adopting an “elder cat.” i told myself I was helping this 12 year old cat (I got at a shelter) by taking him in and loving him. We only had him three months before he was diagnosed with kidney failure. We had to let him go too. As a fellow cat lover, I would recommend giving yourself some time. If you have other cats, LOVE them with all your heart. Give them extra attention. It will make you feel better and it will make them happy. If you don’t have other cats, I would recommend adopting a kitten from a shelter. Then that kitten can grow up with you and in time you will get over the loss of your baby boy.

      Hope this helps. It’s NEVER easy.

  146. Chris permalink
    March 12, 2012 1:54 am

    Very interesting stuff. I have one cat that randomly starting limping on his back left foot, stopped eating, and was more irritable than usual. We took him to the vet, they gave him a physical exam and she said that it might have been something wrong with his urinary system. There was no Improvment after that. The next our other cat got the same symptoms. Except this time it was the front left leg and the back right that we’re issues. Barely any eating too. This cat is very happy and relaxed most of the time and is never angry, now she is. They are both outdoor cats and never had a problem like this before. They are both realitivly young the male is 4 and the female is 2. Any idea what could be wrong? Thanks for the help!

    • March 15, 2012 7:53 pm

      Hmm. I do not have a differential from your description. But I would say you need a creative veterinarian. For instance, bartonellosis could cause symptoms in both cats and can cause strange manifestations of disease. Basically, once the CBC/Chem/UA/T4/fecal are normal, or at least do not explain the limping/crankiness, then you are in the realm of the specialty testing. It can get expensive, but if you are willing to find an answer, a good veterinarian should be able to help you.

      The most common reason for an outdoor cat to limp is a cat bite abscess or wound. They can be hard to find. They are so common, I would not doubt both of your cats could get them. If you are in West-Central Florida, I would love to see them!

      -Doc Truli

  147. Matt permalink
    March 9, 2012 4:14 pm

    My cat seems to be favoring his left front leg. Not wanting to put any pressure on it, he has begun walking with a limp within the past 2 days. He also seems to be resting a lot, almost like he is dead or something. I am not sure if this is a sign that he may be sick or if it is just something strictly with the paw itself. After reading on here for the symptoms I can tell that it is paining him as he has it curled up underneath when resting. Is this something that could be taken care of by itself, or would it be recommended that I take him to the vet?

    • March 11, 2012 8:49 am

      Veterinary medicine prevents pain and suffering, not just illness. Your kitty is not functioning well and could use some medical help. Please take him to a vet for an evaluation.

      Here’s the thing: if it were you, you can decide if you can take the pain or if you want to risk whether or not you will take a chance on getting better without a doctor’s help. Your cat only has you to look out for him. I believe we have a moral obligation to help animals and children, maybe even moreso than we would help ourselves.

      -Doc Truli

  148. Jen permalink
    March 9, 2012 1:18 am

    Thank you. Holly is so much like my kitten. I say ‘kitten’ but she’s 14 and I never even knew her as a kitten. She will interact with me and head butt me but when I leave the room she is “meatloafing”. The mobile vet has come and found a tumor in her bladder. We’re doing what we can with the mobile medicine such as subQs, antibiotics, supplements, steroids and k/d foot. She has always been a high anxiety cat so trips to the vet were out of the question. So with all her spirit and the pain she is hiding, I’m trying to figure out what’s best.

    The quality of life survey is so helpful. I will photocopy a stack and fill it in every week. It will help me look objectively at the situation and see the progression. Then I can act most lovingly and fairly for my good friend.

  149. hendrik permalink
    March 7, 2012 1:16 pm

    hi cat is laying don’t know what injuries the cat have don’t know if a car drove over him can you feed the cat with a serenge?

  150. Lori permalink
    February 28, 2012 5:19 pm

    My Kitty of 16 yrs has been diagnosed with mouth cancer. She used to weigh 17 lbs and now 11.3 lbs. She has always purred ALOT and still does. Has always talked ALOT to me and still does. Her eating is fair at best but continues to drink water, sleep with me and my husband. She acts fine. How do I know if she’s in pain? I have made the decision to put her down when she quits acting “normal” or quits drinking. I am struggling if thats the right train of thought. I have always had cats and have put down (2) in the past and I think I waited too long for both and don’t want to do the same with this one.

    • Jen permalink
      March 9, 2012 1:22 am

      Hi Lori,

      I am in the same position as you. Wonderful, lovely cat being wonderful and lovely despite a terminal and painful diagnosis. I don’t know if you have had a change in your situation but I found this checklist through this site and I will use it. ii too have waited too long in the past. I’m hoping I will see the progression better through this checklist.

      Click to access Quality%20of%20Life%20Scale.pdf

  151. Jose permalink
    February 27, 2012 12:05 am

    My cat has been with many of these symptoms for 2 days now. We are very worried but although she is not eating as much she is still drinking and eating a little. She has been laying down alot sleeping under the kitchen table, I think she is doing it to hide as you said. Please respond quickly and we plan on taking her to the vet as soon as possible.

    • February 27, 2012 1:15 am

      Good luck at the veterinary hospital. I hope you cat gets well soon.
      -Doc Truli

  152. Theo permalink
    February 26, 2012 10:17 pm

    My cat is 8 months old and she is unspayed i will be getting her spayed in the next 3 weeks, so over this weekend she started to do this grunting thing now instead of meowing, but at first it happen when i called her name and she grunts, now she grunts and then it turns into a meow, then back to a grunt, her grunting is like she doesnt moves her mouth, i can tell it comes from her throat, its really hard to explain, but i know that she used to grunt when she jumps down off something sometimes, or when i pick her up sometimes, i always ask whats wrong and she just grunts, she does comes towards me when i call her, and i pet her and she purrs, although when i do pet her she lifts her butt up really high. This is my first pet ever and so i dont know to much, i have had her though since she was 3 months old and she has been fine and she had all her shots. She plays with her toys, eats her food and drinks her water,uses the bathroom in the litterbox, and sleeps normally, so what does this mean, could this be from the fact that she is not spayed, or what?

    • February 27, 2012 1:14 am

      Seriously, does no one know that cats go into heat around 6 months old and they act like Theo’s cat? Get her spayed! Unspayed female cats are not great companions. They are outrageously seeking a mate much of the time, some of them spray foul-smelling discharge on your house and/or you, and they begin to lose weight and not eat well because of preoccupation with finding a mate.

      • Theo permalink
        February 27, 2012 9:09 am

        thanks for the answer, like i said im new to this game, i never had a pet so thats why i was asking to make sure she wasnt in pain, looks like im moving the spaying date up immediately

  153. Lacy permalink
    February 25, 2012 2:01 pm

    I thought I would seek some advice for my current kitty who is behaving strangely.

    She is a 16 year old tabby, and a solely indoor cat. She has been relatively healthy all of her life until recently. Within the last month her behavior has changed, the most bizarre being that she nearly lives in her litter box. This is typically disturbing as she’ll use the litter box, then proceed to lay right in it afterwards (we try to keep it cleaned out as much as possible, but there are times where she will use it during the night, and we’ll find her in it the next morning.) We thought that she might be seeking the comfort of a box, and got her a card board box, placed a towel in it, and moved her over to it after cleaning her up. She instantly took up with the box which was great, until she started using it as a litter box and laying in it afterward, despite her actual litter box being right there.

    We have been keeping track of her eating habits, which have not changed. She eats well, usually two cans of cat food a day along with some dry food and water. There hasn’t been a change in her bowels or anything, and she uses the box daily with ease. All fluids are clear. She has gradually lost weight over the last two months though, she weighs around 4 pounds now compared to the 9 she weighed this time last year.

    She is very affectionate, more-so than she has normally been. She’ll typically stay in the box until I enter the room, and she’ll hop out and try to crawl up around my neck, purring the whole time and rubbing her face against my head. Sometimes she’ll latch her claws into my shirt, and lean as far back as possible, staring at the ceiling, moving her head in circles while meowing loudly. She is very, VERY vocal. If she hears our voices in a nearby room she’ll meow several long, drawn out meows that have a different pitch to them than normal. She still knows how to use those claws though, especially when trying wash her long, matted fur after laying in the box. Her eyes also seem different, somewhat dilated, and kind of glossy. The few times she does come out of her box, she’ll try to jump up on familiar objects and sometimes misses.

    I’m not really sure what is going on, I’m planning a trip to the vet soon, but I fear for the news. I lost a cat about 10 months ago to an enlarged liver, which was a heart-breaking experience (he wanted to eat so badly but would instantly get sick, he had lost over half his body weight in two weeks, seeing him deteriorate before my eyes like that was very painful.) It seemed to happen all so suddenly. I’ve also had my other cat go missing about a month ago. After fliers, e-mails, postings and searching, I’ve got nothing.

    Any insight as to what might be going on would be appreciated, and possibly prepare me for what I may hear from the vet. Thank you.

    • February 26, 2012 12:10 pm

      Dear Lacy,

      I hope you have already gone to the vet. Your kitty is coping with some sort of illness, or she would not be losing weight so much. If a human you knew lost almost 50% of their weight, you would drive them to the doctor yourself, wouldn’t you? You would be shocked and scared. It is normal to feel that way about your kitty. Weight loss is such a non-specific symptom; there are 100’s of disorders and diseases that could cause it. That’s one reason you need a good physical examination and some tests to find out what is wrong.

      You know you should have made the vet appointment a long time ago. I can tell from your post. I understand you are afraid. We all are afraid to go through the journey of illness with our loved ones. We are also afraid that we may have to face losing them at the end of it. You are experiencing added stress and thinking way too much. It sounds like you (and many people who have posted to VirtuaVet) are trying to think your way to a solution for a problem that requires action, not just thinking. Be brave, we all know it is difficult, and you will feel better taking action and knowing what you should do, instead of trying to reason it out alone.

      Good luck. Please let us know what the vet said.

      Yours in sympathy,
      -Doc Truli

      P.S. There’s no perfect preparation for life’s news. Just dive in!

    • Gary permalink
      March 12, 2012 8:20 pm

      My heart goes to you and your beloved ones and so sorry about your missing-one and loss!!!! I just also too suddenly lost-passing-away my 16yo ragdoll-like female Sweety suffering with frequent urination thirst less-eating and hyperthyroidism which required daily methimazole, while I loved and cared about her with all my heart providing her all the healthiest cat and people foods possible I was sadly too slow and late to get medical care and brokenhearted regret it!!!! Your tabby sounds like the sweetest loving 16yo love from your sweetest loving description of her and hoping you can get her back to good health for many more!!!!

  154. Vicky permalink
    February 21, 2012 12:54 pm

    My 15 year old Siamese cat has not eaten properly for 2 days. She is drinking lots of water and sleeping a lot. She has Dermatitis and is very small and petite. She has not lost any weight but we are worried because of her age. Any idea if she is okay?

    • February 26, 2012 12:12 pm

      You already know the answer. Of course she is not okay. (Do I sound a little bit like Morpheus?) Please seek medical services for your family member.

  155. queenhobart permalink
    January 31, 2012 10:29 pm

    My cat is about 10 and has never drunk water–he had some kind of bladder blockage from it when he was a kitten, yet continued to refuse water, so we were instructed to make sure he had wet food w/gravy. Which is fine–that was 8 year ago. Lately he isn’t eating as much (though ordinarily he overeats), just draining the gravy and eating a little. Should I be worried? It’s hard to tell if he’s in pain because he’s kind of a jerk, he’s always been bitey and continues to be bitey.

    • February 5, 2012 11:21 am

      Sounds like he is sick. Call your vet for an appointment right away.

  156. Sharon permalink
    January 31, 2012 5:07 am

    Hi, we came home from work yesterday to find our 5yo ragdoll much quieter than usual. He ate half of his dinner and disappeared upstairs. He lay on the corner of the rug from 1900hrs – 0500hrs without moving. As we were leaving for work I picked him up to put him on the bed and he cried. Since he has laid on the bed barely moving. His 3rd eyelid is not retracting properly. The small movements he is making he looks very stiff (although he was moving OK when we got home, just subdued) As he was out all day yesterday, we have no idea what happened to him, but something clearly did. He is eating a bit (by hand feeding him) and in the last few hours he does appear to be perking up mentally but not physically. What should we do? give hime more time? leave him alone(thats what he seems to want)? Taking him to the vet is not straight forward as officially he is a neighbours cat who has adopted us (if he was mine he wouldnt be out all day!) If we approach the neightbour, she’ll just say “oh he’s OK” and do nothing. – HELP !

    • February 5, 2012 11:26 am

      You already know you want to take him to the vet. If you are taking responsibility for him, then you pay the bill, too. If he is out in the community and spending time at your house, then he is not strictly the neighbor’s cat. You can and should follow your intuition and help him. Do not wait-you are describing symptoms of a life-threatening urinary tract blockage (possibly).

      Years ago I lived in a neighborhood with no stray cats. Then I found out why. A neighbor was scooping up any cats wandering outside and without an ID collar and getting them spayed or neutered and then bringing them back to the neighborhood. A few crabby neighbors accused her of having surgery done on their cat without their permission. But they were breaking local law by letting their cats wander and they were not being responsible. She prevailed and in time, everybody appreciated quieter, cleaner surroundings without cat fights and oodles of homeless kittens.

      -Doc Truli

  157. Denise Reddekopp permalink
    January 29, 2012 9:39 pm

    My Kittens are suddenly very vocal……they haven’t been loud kittens before. all the time they will meow and meow. The one kitten walks around crouched, like her bum is in pain. I haven’t seen her poo lately, and I think she is constipated, but don’t know for sure. Also the weird thing is that I gave them a bath and they were fine for about 4 days, and now they are back to meowing. I am at a loss, I dewormed them last october, with dewormer from a vet, so i don’t think it’s that. please help any advise will be great, I can’ t afford to go to the vet.

    • January 30, 2012 8:43 am

      VirtuaVet is not a replacement for going to the vet’s. Please take your kittens for medical care.

      -Doc Truli

      • Denise Reddekopp permalink
        January 30, 2012 3:06 pm

        Nobody said it was a replacement. You managed to give other people advise, and all i get is a go see your vet. Thanks a bunch

  158. NeedHelp permalink
    January 26, 2012 3:22 pm

    My college roommates adopted two cats and basically abandoned them when we graduated forcing me, a current graduate student living off a very modest student stipend, to become the sole provider for these two animals. Around Thanksgiving, I noticed that one of the cats was using the litter box very frequently, attempting to urinate outside the box, and vocalizing while urinating. I immediately took him to an emergency vet clinic since the other cat has had a UTI two years earlier, and I knew that this could not wait. Nine weeks later, after being examined multiple times by a total of four vets between two vet clinics and undergoing five rounds of antibiotics trying four different ones, I still have not noticed any improvement in his behavior, and at his last vet visit, his urine was still red with blood. He has been on a high quality dry cat food for the past couple of years, and I’ve even started giving him half a can of wet food mixed with equal parts distilled water and two capsules of Cosequin everyday, but nothing seems to be helping. I refuse to give up on him, but I have just about emptied my bank account caring for him and fear that soon I will have to choose between paying my bills or taking the cat back to the vet to try another unsuccessful round of antibiotics. I am at a complete lost as to what to do. No one has ever even hinted that this could be anything other than a UTI, but I don’t understand why none of the antibiotics he’s tried is working. Recently, I started noticing that he’s been drinking more, so if this is just a very bad bacterial infection, then I’m afraid that renal failure is just over the horizon. Is there anything else I can do to help his recovery or some other diagnosis that I could discuss with his vet? Thanks.

    • January 29, 2012 2:34 pm

      Bladder X-Ray looking for bladder stones (underlying predisposing cause?). Anti-anxiety treatments, like Feliway pheromone to help relax him. I also prescribe painkillers and anti-anxiety meds to good effect in some of these cats. If you are in the US, these incidents are antibiotic responsive maybe 5% of the time. In Europe, a recent study, showed maybe 15% of the cats needed antibiotics.

      Blood work would show if the kidneys are going. Also, there are other reasons for urinating in the wrong places. Like diabetes mellitus, etc. So, instead of spending money on antibiotics, you need an excellent general practitioner who will look at the whole picture and help find some tests that will bring the most answers for the lowest price tag.

      Good Luck, I know it can be tough and you just want to help the kitty.

      -Doc Truli

      • NeedHelp permalink
        January 30, 2012 7:14 pm

        Thanks! We just did an X-ray, and there are no visible bladder stones. All his urinalysis so far showed normal urine glucose levels, so we don’t think it’s diabetes, but I guess we should do a blood glucose test at some point if things don’t improve. We are currently trying an anti-inflammatory, so I’ll give it a week or so and see how that works.

  159. Madison permalink
    January 24, 2012 7:39 pm

    Hello there,

    I have a cat who used to be very playful and energetic. Lately, she stopped eating, and she pees but I’ve noticed a decrease in poop in the litter box (i have two cats). I took her to the vet and they said something about a heart murmur. I make very little money and they wanted to do 400 dollars worth of test. I did a organ blood test and they said they couldn’t find anything wrong. She’s very sluggish, and hunched over and doesn’t want to move at all. I started syringe feeding her baby food (meat based) the last few days and now she’s throwing that up.. Today I picked her up and she cried like she is in a deep amount of pain in her intestinal track. So i don’t think that has anything to do with a heart murmur, but I don’t know what to do cause I barley have enough money to eat for myself. I make sure they get the best food (wellness or natural balance) she doesn’t eat human food… I’m in so much stress that I don’t know what to do!!! Please, someone help me!!! I don’t want her to die… and I don’t want her to be in pain either….

    • January 29, 2012 2:37 pm

      You are in a tough position. Sometimes, we cannot tell what is wrong on physical and then the blood tests come back normal! If she is vomiting food, then you must make a decision. Often, the change and progression of symptoms really helps your veterinarian narrow down the tests, so it is worth the recheck fee as long as the vet looks at the whole case again, with fresh eyes, instead of just trying to convince you to follow through with the first plan.

      What I am saying is- a few days later – and new symptoms later – your kitty deserves a fresh look.

      Doc Truli

  160. Nicole permalink
    January 23, 2012 3:43 am

    I have a cat that is about 12 years old and I am very concerned about him. He recently started walking with his back legs closer to the ground and he doesn’t like to go for long distances. When I watch him walk from behind…it kind of reminds me of a cowboy who just got off his horse. He can’t jump onto high things anymore. He now needs help when he jumps onto to my bed or when he jumps up into my lap, I have to grab him quickly to not let him fall because he does a lot. He has lost some weight, but I see him eat and drink daily. When he poops in the cat box, it’s always attached to his backside and then drops outside on the floor. There was a small amount of hair loss behind one of his ears but it’s fine now. I am thinking something is wrong with his spine? Could he have cancer? I love this cat so much. I have always had cats in my life, but he is special, and always will be. So, I am worried about him. I have been told by my mom that she thinks he may need to be put down soon if it worsens. Or, that he doesn’t have long to live. I can’t even think about doing something like that. I can’t even imagine putting him down when he would need to be. All this scares me. What’s your opinion on possibilities?

    • January 29, 2012 2:47 pm

      I’m sorry your kitty doesn’t feel well. You are right to think he is sick, because it sounds like he is. When you ask “opinion on the possibilities,” you are actually asking for a “differential diagnosis.” This can only be adequately reached after a physical examination in person.

      Many people take what they see in their cat or dog and look up the keywords on the internet. This is a far-cry from what a doctor does in her mind before she recommends tests and medications and therapies for your pet. “Dr. Google” – as some people call this internet medical search – can be frightening and misleading. It can even cause you not to go to the veterinarian because you think it is hopeless, or expensive in any case.

      VirtuaVet is supposed to give you hope that what you see is fixable. Or in the least, VirtuaVet is designed to guide you through common misunderstandings and help quench your fear.

      See if your mom can or will take your cat to the veterinarian. He needs a doctor.

      Doc Truli

      • Nicole permalink
        January 30, 2012 11:28 pm

        My beloved Galligher was put to sleep this morning and I am beyond all words to try and describe the pain I feel. It was all of a sudden that he just downhill and stopped moving around. I would pick him up and he wouldn’t purr like he normally did and when I put him down, he stayed where he was. He was sluggish and his pupils were dilated. I was so scared and sure he was going to pass away during the night that I put him on my lap while I went to sleep. I thought it would be nice if he went peacefully in the arms of someone who loved him. I woke up when mom got home from work and I told her I think he needs to be put to sleep. Speaking those words were vinegar in a wound, but I knew he was hurting, so I knew he had to go.

        I took him outside before she left (I was way too hysterical and upset to watch his last breath) and let him enjoy the outside and grass. He immediately started purring when outside and started chewing on some grass. I took a video of him enjoying the grass and broke down when he was leaving thinking, “bring him back, I want him alive, I want my baby back.” I dug a grave for him which was brutal. I was crying the entire time I was digging, in fact, I haven’t stopped crying all day. My eyes are puffed out to the max. This has been by far the worst and hardest day of my life in my 33 years. I can’t imagine life without him, him not jumping onto my lap while at the computer like now, him following me around everywhere, taking a nap together in my room, hearing him greet me at my door when I wake up in the morning, jumping up into my arms from the floor, him sitting on the side of the tub while I take a bubblebath like I did last night with him. It was so odd, I got into my bubblebath last night, he jumped up to sit beside me while he licked the water off my shoulders when I would sit up, and then all of a sudden he crashed a few hours later. It was like his body gave out on him and the Galligher I knew disappeared. I had him for over 10 years. This is a pain I don’t wish on anyone. I feel like I lost a child.

        I would like everyone to think about this when they decide to get a pet, that they are committing themselves to that pet for their entire life. While, it’s a joy to have their companionship, we must also be prepared for the time that they have to leave us, and that is never an easy thing.

        Dedicated to my love, Galligher 01-30-12

      • Mantodea23 permalink
        January 30, 2012 11:40 pm

        I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words i could say that can make this any easier for you. If anything happened to my Wilson i would be heartbroken and devastated as well. A pet is like a best friend who sticks by you no matter what and never judges you for your mistakes and who loves you unconditionally. Just know that you gave him a very happy life and you did everything you could for him.

  161. kayloni permalink
    January 18, 2012 10:12 pm

    I just got a russian blue kitten two to three weeks ago and he was just a little one. My daughter’s friend pretty much pawned him on us. Ive never owned a pet as an adult, let alone a cat.

    Anyway, the cat always follows me purrs loudly meows and head butts me circles around my chest and kneck area rubbing against me, and meow. Will lay on me at first while I pet, nuzzle, and kiss him. Yesterday I heard a girgle noise in his stomach and also today. No I didnt put my ear to his stomach. I heard it without that. He is still playful. Im trying to get him to stop biting and scratching me; just being playful. He is a total sweetheart but very active and jealous of my laptop. As Im typing this he was trying to sit on it.

    Anyway, is purring loudly and him rubbing against me while meowing normal for a young kitten? Is the girgling noise which I heard once yesterday and once today normal? He did just eat a meal I noticed soon after now. I didnt notice it yesterday.

    As of now I have no money so I cant take him to get examed. Got to come up with the 38. I know it seems small but Im really struggling and dont have it.

    Like I said right now he pouncing around playing.

    Please help. Im in tears. Now he is curled up next to going to sleep. It seems he is sleeping more today. I have no experience and unsure whats normal to the developmental patterns of kittens.

    • kayloni permalink
      January 18, 2012 10:16 pm

      I know he is trying to get my attention somehow. I played with him and fed him. Maybe he is jealous of computer? IDK.

      • kayloni permalink
        January 18, 2012 10:19 pm

        Oh and ever since I got him he sneezes once or twice a day. No discharge coming from nose or eyes. I called vet and explained and they said probably allergies since he wasnt lethargic or showing discharge while sneezing. I need to do some research to see if there is any vets that will check him out for free.

  162. Lynne O permalink
    January 18, 2012 3:03 pm

    My 15 month old male cat was hit by a car 5 days ago, we took him to the vet immediately. The vet says he has a broken leg and damage to his pelvis. He has been eating small amounts and passing urine ok, but as yet has not passed faeces (the vet says no sign of obstruction in the xray, and unlikely that the bowel nerve is damaged and not the bladder nerve. I’ve been calling twice a day for updates, but the vet says he want s to wait and see if he passes faeces before deciding to treat his breaks. Given that it has now been 5 days and the vet now says he wants to give it a few more days.. I’m at my wits end and very worried that the vet is not being very informative and just keeps saying we have to “wait” and see…he also said that today he hasn’t had any food and hasn’t passed urine… Why do I feel like this Vet is being vague ?.. my cat is insured so money is not an issue.. I told him on day one to do whatever was necessary to help him through this… should I be getting a second opinion ?

    • January 20, 2012 8:36 am

      Dear Lynne,
      Generally 5 days without a bowel movement, especially if a cat has been eating enough warrants a radiograph or other means to determine if an enema is warranted. When a cat is hospitalized, he or she may not eat normally. I would make certain he gets his food for healing through syringe-feeding (if possible). Some cats are not touchable in the hospital; they change into tigers. In that case, the healthcare team cannot service them fully and a decision about whether the side effects of sedation are potentially more damaging that “wait and see.” Sedatives can make a cat relaxed so he can be touched, but they can also suppress the appetite and be constipating. So you can see how it’s no easy decision.

      Please let us know how your kitty does. Good Luck.

      -Doc Truli

      • Nonie permalink
        March 1, 2012 3:21 am

        Dear Lynne and Doc Truli
        I just want to share what happened to our cat as that may perhaps help. She had an accident (a cut) and was in the hospital for just a day for suturing. After that we brought her home but she had to make a daily trip to the vet for antibiotic injections. Kitty did not poop. When it went on for 4 days we were very seriously worried. The vet advised a mild laxative but said to wait just one more day. On day 5, for some reason the daily trip to the vet was not needed. That very day she pooped – without us having given any laxatives. Basically our 11 month old, injured cat was finding the vet trips so very stressful she was stopping her bowel movements!
        Hope your cat gets well soon.

  163. Brittani permalink
    January 16, 2012 5:45 am

    My cat is acting strange, she’s not as active/loving as she usually is. Quiet, very unaffectionate, hides, hasnt been eating lately, staring at things deeply not minding any of her surroundings, sleeping alot more, and ugh I got her declawed and spayed last week (which I regret doing…. )’: ) i was wondering if that has anything to do with her acting like this? /:

    • January 20, 2012 8:37 am

      Did your vet prescribe painkillers? She could use them. And did you call the vet about follow-up? Most veterinarians will see your kitty to follow up and make sure everything is okay after the surgery.

      Doc Truli

  164. Heather permalink
    January 16, 2012 1:09 am


    I know my cat is in pain, but I do’t know what to do to help her. I adopted her 5.5 years ago and she had loose stools, but seemed to get better over time. When I introduced a new kitten, she started having loose stool again and over a period of about 2.5 tears the loose stool developed into consistent diarrhea with blood and mucus. I have taken her to several vets and had a full screen of tests done. It was a few hundred dollars, but all they told me was that she tested positive for Chrones, most likely due to a food allergy.

    Even before the vet visit I suspected food allergy and fed her an limited ingredient diet, but it didn’t help. Then I started feeding her the PX food recommended, but it didn’t help. They had me give her pregnisone(?) for awhile, but it didn’t really help either.I recently started feeding her raw food- from some special pet food company, and she seemed to be better. However, I know my poor kitty is in pain all the time. Her little but is always raw and bleeding and often her eyes water or she walks slow or howls if you touch her the wrong way.

    I finally thought maybe the raw food was helping because her poo, though not solid was no longer liquid, but then today a dog attacked her. He didn’t break the skin, but he really got a hold of her little body and hurt her. I took her to the ER and they said she would be okay, but that she was traumatized and very sore. After the attack she came in and pooed on the floor, it was once again liquid and there was a lot of blood, she also vomited twice. I told the vet this, but they still thought she’s probably be okay.

    All night she has just laid there curled up, she won’t eat, though I got her to drink some water (which by the way, both my cats drink a lot of water- the other cat seems very healthy- large and beautiful.) Anyhow, I guess I have 2 issues, but any advice on what I can do to help my kitty is appreciated. Btw, she also took some kind of medicine that’s like an anti-biotic for awhile, but that didn’t cure her problem- However, I worry that her problem might be caused from the stress of the other cat. They seem to be friends, but they argue too and he is a lot bigger than her, but usually a fraidy cat.

    • January 20, 2012 8:46 am

      Dear Heather,
      Cats with long-term abnormal intestinal function and abnormal stool like your kitty are a challenge for medicine to figure out. It takes a steady relationship with a veterinarian who works through the problems with you. You did not mention if your vey prescribed probiotics for your kitty along with the antibiotic, prednisolone, and special diet. Sometimes you need all three, together, for 12-16 weeks.

      Think of it this way: you are trying to rebuild the balance in your cat’s intestinal lining. The fluids, nutrients, toxins, etc, need to stay in their proper places. I would suggest you find a good integrative medicine vet. Someone who can prescribe supplements to rebuild your cat’s intestines while helping the body process her food. Homotoxicology, alternative, integrative, or complementary veterinary medicine would be good search terms, or good questions to ask if the vet will take a holistic approach to your kitty. (I do not specifically endorse these medicines, I am giving you ideas for research.)

      If you are in the United States, then the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association is your best place for references to good vets and info.

      Good Luck!
      -Doc Truli

      • P.M. Capwell permalink
        March 1, 2012 1:50 am

        13-1/2 Years I dealt with my cat’s intestinal problems .. smelly diarrhea, loose stools, going outside the box, obvious inflammation. Many thousands of dollars spent in tests, x-rays, injections, special diets and numerous Vets. No one could come up with anything other than colitis or irritable bowel. “We’re done. There’s nothing else we can do.”
        Poor Bukki. I tried every food known to cat-lover, every type of litter, changed my carpets, household cleaners, shampoos, everything.
        THEN I FOUND IT … Wellness canned food. In 2 weeks, she’s absolutely normal, no pain, the cat box does not have odor. It is absolutely incredible and I came upon it purely by accident … just trying something else.
        She loves the turkey and salmon in purple can (it is grain free .. tried in other diets .. did not work) ..Wellness Core food did not work; turkey & chicken work. Anything else (like I tried this week) and it’s back to the beginning. I hope this helps anyone.
        Oh, she is now being tested for hyperthyroidism, but it was the food that helped her intestinal distresses.

      • March 2, 2012 4:42 pm

        That’s fantastic! I have often seen a food clear up a problem. It takes apersistent pet parent sleuthing to find the right food. If I am lucky, it is the first food I recommend. Sometimes it is the tenth one a person tries for their cat.

        No one food is perfect for every kitty or every situation. Wellness works for many cats because it is organic, high quality, or often novel ingredients that have not already aggravated the body.

        Good job helping your kitty!

        -Doc Truli

  165. Gina permalink
    January 14, 2012 4:50 pm

    I have a twelve year old cat that has hyperthyroidism and gets meds for it twice a day. About the same time he started the meds (about a year ago) he started getting this terrible rash and he’s losing more weight. We took him to the vet. Over the course of the last year he has been at the vets several times for the same thing. They have tried steroids, antibiotics, and they’ve had me change litter, his food, the bowls he eats from, you name it. Today his whole stomach is practcally an open wound. I’ve decided to take him to another vet but has anyone else had this situation? Could it be he’s allergic to his meds? Is there another med for hyperthyroidism? What ould happen if we took him off it for a few days? Thanks.

    • January 20, 2012 8:48 am

      There is a possibility it is a reaction to his medicine. In the US, there’s a new food called Y/D for hyperthyroid cats. Perhaps he could replace his meds with the food. Talk with your vet about if the rash is a reaction to the medication and what alternatives will work for you.

      -Doc Truli

  166. Gina permalink
    January 14, 2012 4:38 pm

    My 8 year old cat used to have uti’s regularly when he was young which caused several odd behaviors. Once I started him on a special diet specifically for urinary health he stopped having problems and has not had any issues for over 6 years. I also make sure he has filtered water but I ‘m not sure if that has any effect or not.

  167. Shaina permalink
    January 13, 2012 1:48 am

    I have a male cat who is 5 years old. He has history of UTI. He vomits quite frequently, I have brought him to the vet and they said he just eats to fast. I just noticed today that he is walking with a slight limp and an arched back. I know I have to bring him to the vet, I will be doing so tomorrow, but I just want to see if anyone on here had an opinion about it. Thanks

  168. Mantodea23 permalink
    January 10, 2012 1:41 am

    I have an 11 1/2 year old neutered male tabby. He is normally very active, vocal, playful, and affectionate. The only odd thing is, whenever my boyfriend uses the blender in the kitchen he becomes very spooked and jumpy and remains that way for many hours after. When he gets in this mood he flips out when we try to touch him and calm him down. I kept thinking that maybe he pulled a muscle when he initially flipped out and that perhaps he is sore now and doesnt want attention. After reading the symptoms of cat pain above, i realize that he doesnt seem to be in pain. But why is he freaking out everytime we try to touch him. I cant imagine the sound of the blender would traumaztize him to this degree.

  169. suzanne permalink
    January 3, 2012 6:57 pm

    We have a kitten that has been limping, withdrawing, and in pain. We have taken to vet 3 timrs. The did exray of her leg snd the found nothing. Fr. Said we need to accept as a behavior change. I knie Im not a Vet, but someting is wrong. Very loving kitten is afraid of us….seems to be scared we will pick her up. She lives under our bed and ignores her best pal, another Q yr old kitten. Limping on back left foot. Seems to walk on tip of paw. Wimpers when she gets uo. Drags legs behind her when she moves under the bed. We have contacted another vet, any guidance?

    • January 9, 2012 8:07 am

      Dear Suzanne,
      Be persistent. Plus, sometimes, empirical treatment makes sense. Meaning your veterinarian may want to try some medication even without knowing a firm diagnosis. You can’t always find an answer, but you can still make a kitty feel better.

  170. sophia permalink
    January 3, 2012 4:48 pm


    My 1 year old ginger tabby has been acting a bit strange lately. She is a very outgoing and affectionate cat (who thinks she is a dog) when me and my partner come home she runs to the car and follows us in, when we go to bed she comes up with us and sleeps in her bed all night then gets up with us, is this normal? her recent change in behaviour is that her skin is twitching ( she does not have fleas as we took her to the vet and she has 70 pounds worth of treatment and i have checked her reguarly) her tail is always flicking. She also seems to be going off into hiding places a lot more. her tummy is bigger and she has been extremly touchy if we go to comb her. I have also noticed she is staring at things a lot as though she is deep in concentration.
    She has not been spayed yet, she is very small for her size people look at her and think she about six months old but she is 18 months old!

  171. mindy permalink
    January 2, 2012 10:18 am

    My cat meows every time I touch the lower half of her body. (like by her tale) I know something is hurting her. She has harldly ate. hardly walks. I pick her up and she cries. I am not sure why. I was helping my sister move yesterday for about 5 hours. My mother was at my apartment watching my son. I came home and my mom was asleep, I saw my cat on my bed, and I picked her up to lay close to me and she let out a loud cry like I hurt her. I didnt want to wake up my mom, So I dont know if she got hurt or something while I was gone. I called my boyfriend to see what I should do. He said give it a day. I leave for work at 4 in the morning. She sleeps with me every night and I woke up this morning and now She is now hiding somewhere. I called her name and she didnt reply. I had to leave so I didnt search for her… She was a stray so I don’t know if she is spayed, she has gained weight. So I am not sure if she pregnant.I am at work now and I can’t stop thinking about it. Should I take her to the vet?

  172. December 29, 2011 11:55 pm

    I have a new question. I had to put the cat down that I asked you about earlier…turned out he had colon cancer and crashed the day I took him to the vet. I waited a week after he died and couldn’t stand it any longer so I got a new cat. This one is a 12 year old spayed male and he’s very loveable. Last week I was sleeping and he woke me up crying. I sat up and he came running up the bed and attacked my shoulder (no claws) and bit my cheek (not hard). It only lasted about 30 seconds and then he was fine and normal again.

    Well,tonight he was sleeping beside me and all of a sudden he woke up and started crying again and started attacking first my arm (no claws) and and then he climbed up my arm and bit the hair on the back of my head. After about 5 mins he finally let go and now he’s fine again. His penis was hard too….like he was mounting me?

    He did the same thing to one of my other cats when she jumped on the bed and woke him up a few days ago. He grabbed her by the nape with his teeth and pinned her to the bed. I had to physically remove him from her….then he was fine again.

    Tonight’s episode lasted longer than the other two and I’m worried he may have an illness that’s making him act this way.

    Oh, and for the last week he wakes me up 3-4 times a night crying and scratching at my door, though my door is open….very strange.

    Any ideas??

    Thanks again!


    • richard permalink
      January 3, 2012 7:18 pm

      male cats can be aroused by simply a human simply by rubbing their tummy and a male cat does nip and bite a female when in ‘arousal mode’. however an older cat can become more grouchy, one of the reasons being deafness. best thing to as with all worries, small or big, drop by the vet and explain your story,oh and by the way bad behaviour can be treated with cats too!

    • Mantodea23 permalink
      January 10, 2012 1:46 am

      My 11 1/2 male neutered tabby does the same thing, only with my daughter’s stuffed animals. I have to keep her room shut when we are not home. Also, if we fail to make the bed and leave the blankets in a pile on the bed then he will hump the bedding. I just think he is horny by nature. He has never tried it with me though thank goodness. I spray him with a water bottle when i catch him violating my daughters stuffed animals

  173. Alex Bancroft permalink
    December 27, 2011 12:15 pm

    Lily – my 9 month old kitten has started acting strange. She is laying on her back with her legs spread and sometimes pushing on me or the couch with those legs and she is sleeping this way. Every once in a while she does a little meow in this position and has her eyes open even though she is breathing heavily as if asleep. She is not playing around with her sister and seems lethargic. She is eating and drinking, but I can’t tell if she is going to the bathroom other than urinating (which she is doing that). I almost think she is trying to tell me she is in pain. I am taking her to the vet this afternoon, but was wondering your opinion. She does seem to be licking her lips a lot as well.

  174. chelsea permalink
    December 23, 2011 8:06 am

    hi/ today my mom woke me up and she told me our car is acting weird and it was scaring her because she was attacked by our last cat. He has a few of the signs that was described on this website but i want to double check just in case. so, this morning my cat was laying in his litter box, back hunched with paws under stoomach. he’s sort of quite now even though He was growling at my mom whenever she would go near him or say hi patches. when we looked at him, it looked like he had a far away look on his face. he was moving slowly and everyonce in a while he was squinting his eyes. i cant even remember the last time he ate and he threw up yesturday and went to sit in the litter box after wards but then he got up and did something. wow, this looks bad. a couple minutes after we stared at him today he went behind our excersise machine. i think its so he can hide. i heard some animals hide when they’re going to die. my mom’s friend’s cat had black dots in its mouth and turned out the cat had a brain tumor. my cat has the same black dots in his mouth. do you think it means he’s dyeing, in pain or just wantes to be alone? we can’t afford to take him in to the vet. do you think it’s best we out him down?

    • December 25, 2011 12:38 pm

      Dear Chelsea,

      It sounds like your cat is very sick. I understand money is very tight, but search your soul and see if you can’t find a way to get a doctor for your cat. Is there a free clinic in your area? A friend who can help? Something you can sell or give up to help the cat? I’m not suggesting you go hungry or homeless, but it is cruel to let the cat suffer.

      Here in America, there is often a Humane Society or SPCA where you can take a sick cat and turn them over to the authorities to handle. They are often as cash-strapped as you are, and they usually do not let you know what happened to your cat, but they can put him down if needed or treat him if appropriate. At least it might be a way to prevent suffering.

      Everyone reading this, especially if you are young, and have not had this experience before…think hard before adopting a cat or a puppy. It costs money and is a responsibility to care for them. What are you going to do if and when they get sick? Not planning ahead is not an excuse for causing an animal you love to suffer. Love involves more than emotion, it involves planning and saving and preparing and caring for every aspect of the living being’s life. The romantic idea of love that you see on television, the idea that you can overcome all odds by believing in love, is sweet and attractive, and unrealistic. True love involves planning and commitment and sacrifice and hard choices.

      -Doc Truli on a Soapbox

  175. Michelle Winters permalink
    December 16, 2011 4:38 pm

    For kidney disease in cats, go to, click onto cats and order Tripsy – you can read all the testimonials, your cat has a very good chance of recovering, please pay extra to get it fast, kitty will start to feel better immediately.

    Good luck!

    Fellow kitty lover

    • de car permalink
      January 23, 2014 6:28 pm

      no my kitty died right after giving her the kidney petwellbeing. be care ful be safe order 3 products from them. trying one toxic mold right now tried thyriod, made my cat worse, my other just died 4 say giving her the kidney formula please research first.

  176. tasha permalink
    December 14, 2011 9:42 am

    my cat is about 3 months, she was givin to me, she had all her shots n stuff,, well thats what they told me,, last night she was fine, this mornin she was hollerin like she was in heat but it was brief, so i start talkin to her n i notice that she rockin but she’s in a ball, then when she blinks this white or gray look eye pid comes from the bottom of her eye,, n it scared me,, what should i do? its my first cat, ima dog kinda gal, but even then none of my dogs got sick, but my cat is really scarin me,, never saw anythin like it

  177. Ellen connell permalink
    December 13, 2011 9:00 am


    My cat is about 12 years old and she is overweight. We have tried dieting her. She is very picky with her eating. She licks the gravy off her food recently. For the past 3 days she has not been eating very much and will drink more water then usual. Today I noticed her legs shaking and she looks drowsier than normal she then threw up yellow. She has for a few years crouched on her stomach and put her head down to sleep. Today she has been acting very strange and won’t move as much and seems to be in pain when I move her. I have also fed her milk and she has drank it down well and not thrown it up. Will the milk help er as she hasn’t been eating? Please help. I’m taking her to the vet first thing in the morning but is there anything else I can do to help her?

    Thank you for your time



    • December 18, 2011 9:51 am

      Dear Ellen,

      Please let us know how your vet consult went. She needs a doctor desperately.

      If anyone has a cat who has not eaten in 2-3 days, a veterinary physical exam and consultation is really needed. You are waiting too long.

      Good Luck, Ellen, I hope your kitty responds well to treatment!

      -Doc Truli

  178. Sumaya permalink
    December 12, 2011 1:47 am

    Hello my 12 week old kitty acts really strangely and I dont know what this behaviour means. She likes to sit on items of my clothing such as my scarf, jeans or even my own hand and with her nose she smells and at the same time keeps stepping alternatively with her front two paws. Putting her weight from one foot to the other and swapping. What does this mean?? She tends to do this before eventually falling asleep on the item of clothing.
    Thank you

    • December 18, 2011 9:52 am

      So, everyone who reads this who has raised cats, please chime in and help Sumaya with this question.


    • Dara permalink
      December 18, 2011 11:35 pm

      ( : She is making you biscuits. You should enjoy them.

    • motherof2cats permalink
      December 18, 2011 11:35 pm

      your cat is just kneeding…it is completely normal! have fun with your new bundle of fur 🙂

    • richard permalink
      January 3, 2012 7:04 pm

      agreed, this cat is kneading, or as some say ‘patting’ it’s a happy thing, your kitty is just getting cosy.

    • Nonie permalink
      March 1, 2012 3:28 am

      She is kneading. its like kittens do to their mother cat when drinking milk. Its a sign of affection, so enjoy it 🙂

  179. Twiggy permalink
    December 11, 2011 11:22 pm

    my 10yr old male cat all of a sudden started hiding under my bed stopped eating and drinling nad going the litter box. Took to vet theey said constipated and did an ademma on him and also was dehyidrated. He has been home with us now for about 4 days still hides under bed and I basically have to force him to eat and drink. act very very differnt towards everyone like he doesn’t love us anymore always looking at us mad and meowing at us. Could it be someething else? Someone said maybe he had stroke … He meows when ever touched what should I do will he ever be the loving cat he was before?

    • December 18, 2011 9:53 am

      Did he have a blood test and urinalysis? Basically, did your vet investigate why he was dehydrated? Perhaps the problem is still there even though the constipation was relieved.

      -Doc Truli

      • Twiggy permalink
        December 18, 2011 1:14 pm

        On Monday December 12th Taz was put to sleep due to an enlarged liver the first vet at same hospital missed. Taz’s liver was 4x’s it’s normal size. The vet we saw 5days earlier missed this so for 5 days were put Taz through a Hell he did not deserve with forcing him to eat and drink and giving him medicine. We told first vet we saw if he had a life threating sickness we did not want t ocarrying on any treatments. They did blood and urine and told my family it was dehydration and constipation and charged us $500 for an enema and fluids. This should never had been done the second at same hospital vet told us that Taz’s liver was too large to save him and doesn’t know how first vet missed. Well I do the vet saw a family willing to do whatever it took to save a cat so she “missed the enlarged liver on the xray” and only saw a constipated cat.I cried my eyes out knowing the pain I put my cat through…not a cat my family member through! So everyone out there get a second opion. PLease Please especially if you feel there is more wrong than what the vet says so your family member does not suffer as ours did.

      • December 18, 2011 10:35 pm

        Wow! How sad and frustrating.

        We are taught that more diagnosis are missed through lack of looking, rather than lack of knowledge. Perhaps the “tunnel vision” of seeing only the constipation blinded the first vet to the liver. I learned, as a doctor, to always wonder “why” or “how” something was going wrong. Oftentimes we cannot find the reason. But if a reason is in front of my eyes, I can only hope I recognize it in order to prevent suffering. It is the practice of medicine after all.

        I wish for healing and peace for your family in your time of sorrow.

        -Doc Truli

  180. maria vodola permalink
    December 9, 2011 6:44 pm

    My 15.5 year old cat is drinking a lot of water. He eats well and is affectionate. I am almost sure from what I read that he has renal disease. Other than diet change is there anything I can do? Does anyone know a good diet? How will I know if he is in pain? Is there really anything the VET can do to help the condition. I don’t see much about what can be done to help except diet and that is not of course a cure.

    Any help?

    • December 11, 2011 3:38 pm

      Have you gone to a vet for a diagnosis? There are specifically, 42 diseases that can cause a cat to drink lots of water. The physical exam, your history of describing what you see going on, and the minimum database of a complete blood count, basic biochemical profile, urinalysis, thyroid screening blood test can help your veterinarian narrow down the problems.

      Please do not confuse internet research with medical care. It’s great to get educated and get informed. It’s deadly to replace a health care provider with your own logic. You cannot replace 8 years of university and umpteen years of experience with logic or internet searches.

      But you know that already, right?

      Good Luck!

      -Doc Truli

    • Carole permalink
      December 13, 2011 11:50 pm

      Google ASTRO oil for CRF. My 18 yr old cat is on this diet.

  181. Cindy permalink
    December 8, 2011 11:03 am

    My 2 y/o male cat has been acting paranoid the past few days. His back will ripple as if something is biting him and his tail will flicker. He’s acting skittish and will all the sudden go into panic mode and lick himself profusely as if he has some sort of tick. He has also been hiding behind and underneath our couch a lot like if he’s scared of something. His appetite has changed a bit, I’ve noticed he’s eating less but he is still going to the bathroom as usual. All these behavior problems aren’t normal for him. Normally he’s a great eater finishes all his food will even ask for more. He’s never been a skittish cat not even as a kitten given the fact that he’s a stray we rescued from the streets. He is a indoor only cat, has been neutered over a year ago, nothing has changed at home that would cause this all of the sudden strange behavior. Oh and he also doesn’t have any fleas, we have him on medication for that and I give him regular baths which believe it or not he loves! Please help! What could be causing my usually calm/relaxed cat to turn into a paranoid/skittish cat? Could it be that he’s in pain and that is his way of showing it?

    • December 11, 2011 3:42 pm

      You need a veterinarian to examine your pussums.
      Let us know what they find.

    • Dara permalink
      December 11, 2011 9:32 pm

      Did he get into chocolate?

  182. Ali permalink
    December 6, 2011 4:13 pm

    My 9 month old kitty, Ellie, has always been a very friendly, playful cat and is always always purring. Ellie is strictly an inside cat. She follows me everywhere I go in the house and every time I sit down she jumps on my lap to play, be rubbed, or even nap… up until 2 days ago. Now, Ellie barley comes out of her room and when I grab her to rub her she jumps out of my arms and runs back to her room and gets on her cat tower. She has been just laying down in her room and doesn’t come out anymore. BEFORE I noticed a change in Ellie’s behavior, I could only count on one hand how many times i HAVEN’T heard her purr since I got her at 7 weeks old. She has not purred since Saturday Morning. Her eyes have been wide open lately and her pupils are really big. Can you help me and tell me what is wrong with my Ellie?

    • December 11, 2011 3:43 pm

      Dear Ali,
      Something is definitely wrong with your baby Ellie. I cannot hazard a guess without a physical. Please see the veterinarian.


      • Ali permalink
        December 14, 2011 4:51 pm

        Ellie had 103. fever.

        Thank you!

  183. Meredith permalink
    November 26, 2011 4:32 pm

    My cat has been sick since last january with what sounds almost like a bad cold or infection. Shes constantly sneezing, sounds extremely congested, and has lots of mucus/snot. Our vet has no idea whats wrong with her obviously because they keep giving us meds that wont work. What is there left to do?! Shes been on lysine powder, clavamox drops, changed litter and food also (incase she was alergic), nothings worked. Getting verrrry frustrated and worried!

    • November 29, 2011 5:31 pm

      Dear Meredith,
      You did not mention diagnostic testing.
      Has your kitty had–
      a fecal, chest x-rays, blood and urine tests, heartworm blood tests, feline leukemia, feline aids test (in my order of importance, which is only a guess as I can’t feel your kitty)?
      When a vet prescribes medicine for the common reasons a kitty might be congested, often you save a ton of money and your kitty gets better. Sometimes, however, you need a diagnosis so you can target the therapy.
      If your kitty has a sinus infection, it can be bacteria, fungus, virus, cancer, and can be very frustrating even if you do all of the diagnostics. If your vet has covered the basics, have they tried anesthesia and skull x-rays? Also, there’s rhinoscopy (nose scoping) and flushing. Honestly, sometimes, after even all of this, a kitty is still snotty.
      There are whole days at veterinary conferences devoted to sneezing, snotty kitty cats because it can be so frustrating.
      Let us know how it goes,
      Doc Truli

      • Dara permalink
        December 11, 2011 9:38 pm

        Because of the amount of cats dropped off at my house. ( Dead end street) When one has something like runny eyes and nose and because I can’t afford hundreads of dollars of testing- I first ask for a quick exam cost and then antibiotics. You can tell when its allergies or infection just by the way they act- of course as Doc Truli knows- and anyone that has allergies- it can turn into an infection which needs antibiotics. So, if you cant afford right yet the test- get the shot and see how it pans out.. if not than it probably is something serious.

  184. Jenn D permalink
    November 18, 2011 2:01 am

    Greetings Doc,
    My 5 yo cat, Boobo, has exhibited a behavior I’ve never seen in a cat before: while walking forward, she stops suddenly, crouches down, cries and growls and backs up with her belly on the ground. This happened the first time a few days ago and I looked her over but found nothing wrong. After that she seemed fine. She did it again this evening, and again, a few minutes later seems fine. Her appetite, water intake, urine and stool have all been normal with the exception that she does seem to put a bit more effort into defecating lately. Her food has not been changed.
    Her only health issue that I’m aware of ( i only adopted her about 9 months ago) is that she is overweight (15lbs on a relatively large frame). I adopted her in that condition and have been working to help her loose. Her foster did mention to me that she used to trim her claws. I did it for a couple months then stopped because it seemed an unnecessary trauma. After she was crying tonight though, that was the only thing I could think of that would cause her to behave that way so I scooped her up and cut them.
    Is there anything you know of that would cause that sort of reaction? I moved a couple months after I got Boobo and have not found the “right vet”. Does it sound like I need to step up the search effort?
    Thanks in advance for any advice you might have,

    • November 22, 2011 7:03 pm

      Dear Jenn,

      Well, step up your search for a veterinarian you can work with just because you don’t want to find the wrong person during an emergency. You know what I mean?

      The behavior you are describing sounds unique. I’m not sure what your kitty is trying to do. Is it abdominal pain? Is it hip pain? It’s probably not nothing. I’d find a vet you like to see if you can work through the problem.

      In the meantime, monitor the urination, defecation, eating and drinking very well. They can give you clues to what may be ailing.

      Doc Truli

    • December 5, 2011 8:01 pm

      is she fixed? It sounds almost like heat.

  185. michelle permalink
    November 13, 2011 9:44 pm

    I have a question my cat has been losing weight and his mouth is all inflamed and his breath is really bad. He’s eating but not very much. We took him to the vet and they gave him antibiotics and they didn’t work. This is the second timE this has happened what could be wrong with my cat? Any ideas?

    • November 14, 2011 9:56 pm

      Dear Michelle,

      Research feline stomatitis-gingivitis. There’s a picture of an extreme case at Sometimes azithromycin antibiotics help. About half the time steroids help, but it comes back when they wear off. At least half the time, it can be cured with surgery to remove all the teeth in the mouth, except usually you don’t have to remove the canine (fang) teeth. Rarely, it cannot be cured, just managed with daily steroid meds (budesonide is good for this because it has fewer side effects than prednisolone.)

      No one knows why some cats develop this horrible hyperactivity of the immune system The current thinking is maybe it is a hypersensitivity reaction to plaque. There is even a juvenile form of it where a 6-10 month old cat gets very red, inflamed gingiva after teething. Daily toothbrushing helps these kittens.

      Good Luck!

      -Doc Truli

  186. Ash permalink
    November 7, 2011 12:06 am

    I just had a question regarding my cats health! She has always been extremely vocal (she was born deaf) but lately she has been unbearable. She is a strict inside cat and is only 2.5 years old, but has only just started walking around the house yowling and making really strange noises, particularly at night. It is to the point where I can’t sleep because she is so loud and she’s locked up in the family room/kitchen/laundry area. She has also started licking herself constantly down there and a small amount of blood is present in her urine. I don’t know if this is because she is on heat? Could she have a UTI?
    Also about 3 weeks ago she stopped eating properly. She doesn’t seem to be able to eat anything other than small biscuits. She still looks excited for food but after a couple if bites she just stops eating. I think she’s still hungry though as she gets excited if i bring out any other food! It’s like she can’t eat. I have taken her to the vet twice and they put her on antibiotics the first time I first noticed her change in appetite (a few months back) and things didnt get any worse. Then it got to this stage and I took her back and they did blood tests and looked down her throat and in her mouth and said they don’t know what’s wrong and they might need to take her to a specialist. I can’t really afford this though.
    Do you have any ideas?

    • Ash permalink
      November 7, 2011 12:12 am

      Sorry just to add, I have tried her on three different brands of cat food and all different consistencies. She doesn’t seem to like bigger biscuits or canned food that is loaf style. The only food she eats for longer than a mouthful are the small purina biscuits or canned food that has tiny bits in gravy (flakes of tuna seem to be ok too). It’s almost as if something is causing her pain to eat but she has no inflammation or abnormalities physically or in her blood work!

      • November 8, 2011 8:24 am

        Most people do not realize “blood work” consisting of a complete blood count, chemistries, electrolytes – is a minimum screening set of values. They do not find “everything.” (Many people come to me and say , “My vet checked everything.” Well, no- they got a good start.) It can be time-consuming and expensive to delve deeper into the diagnostics to find out what is wrong with the kitty.

        Almost all kitties have significant dental disease. Also, most cancers do not show on the blood work. Foreign objects in the intestines, bleeding stomach ulcers, motility disorders of the gut, etc, etc, etc. Veterinarians attend university for a minimum of 8 years of 70-150 hr/week schooling in order to try and figure out what’s wrong with your kitty. And it’s still called medical “practice.” You need to continue working with your family veterinarian to truly help your cat.

    • November 8, 2011 8:25 am

      Did they X-Ray her bladder for stones? Is she spayed?

      • Ash permalink
        November 8, 2011 8:30 pm

        They didn’t xray her no, they said the next step would be to take her to a specialist and have her put under anaesthetic so they can look right down into her oesophagus. She isn’t desexed yet but we were planning on it.
        As of yesterday she also hasn’t been producing proper sized stools. They look about the size a kitten would produce. What would this mean? Her personality is still the same, she is running around and playing with the other 2 cats we have. The vet just seemed totally perplexed by her problems and said we could either leave her for a little while and see how she goes or opt for the specialist intervention. We decided to see how she went as the vet said she saw nothing wrong with her. Like you said I know this doesn’t mean anything without further investigation, I am now more concerned.

      • November 10, 2011 4:42 pm

        Thank you for your honest and raw description. I think sometimes, a vet visit can leave you feeling more confused than not. I’ll bet many people reading this have felt the same way at one time or another…I know I did before I was a veterinarian!

        You might be skipping ahead steps. An X-Ray usually is a step before a specialist. Your vet’s idea to keep her at the hospital and watch her symptoms is a great idea. Sometimes a medically trained eye can see what’s going on and then you don’t have to do extra tests, or you can target the tests more specifically.

        Let us know how it turns out!

        Good Luck,
        -Doc Truli

      • Ash permalink
        November 10, 2011 11:02 pm


  187. Corinne permalink
    October 31, 2011 7:42 am

    HI, I am new to the website. My cat is 10lbs plus a little. She went to the vet recently due to tape worms she got from fleas. We will be moving back to california in 5 wks and she has been acting weird the last 5 days. We recently got her a kitten because we were keeping her inside and she warmed up to her and they play. The last week or so she has been very pissy for no reason. At first I thought it was that the kitten just annoyed like crazy but it’s not. When we went to the vet last week she threw the biggest fit I have ever seen her throw. Never has she acted like that. She was angry the entire time. She has been spending all her time outside and when she comes in she just wants to lay on our bed and in our room. Which is normal except when we love on her the growls at us and acts all mad. It’s not a certain that hurts her. I’ve checked multiple times. I don’t want to find out in a few months something is wrong but we don’t have money to throw on a bunch of tests with a vet. Is there any advice or ideas about what is going on with her or what I can do? She is only 3 1/2 years old.

    • October 31, 2011 8:49 am

      Dear Corinne,

      You let her outside, right? I’m going to bet there’s a new cat in the area that is upsetting her, is probably bigger than her, and she can do nothing about it. That said, 95% of the time, if someone brings me a cat with a behavior change, there’s a physical reason like a broken tooth, urinary inflammation, fleas, impacted anal sacs, or some other annoyance. She goes outside so you have to add intestinal worms to the list. (You need more tests for more diseases when your cat goes outside.)

      I recommend a physical exam and consultation and go from there about whether or not to authorize tests. She may need a sedative to go to the vet’s for her comfort.

      That said, do not aggravate her and love on her if she doesn;t want it. You want to avoid having her think you are part of the problem.

      Good Luck,
      Doc Truli

      • Corinne permalink
        October 31, 2011 9:03 am

        Thanks, We have taken her to the vet. They said she was fine physically. They did the physical exam gave she recieved two shots for the worms. She eats. I haven’t seen any new cats but I am not sure. I have been working a bunch. We just started letting her back outside a few weeks ago and she loves it. She hated being cooped up but we couldn’t deal with the fleas anymore. The vet didn’t mention anything she saw wrong with her during her exams.

  188. October 24, 2011 10:35 pm

    I have a 10 year old cat who has been sickly since he was born. When he was younger he had diarreah often but as he gold older that cleared up. Then about 5 months ago he started limping and dragging his hind foot. I took him to the vet and had xrays and blood work done and everything was good except that he was very constipated. The vet things the constipation caused nerve pressure and damaged his nerve. The vet did say that it was possible his leg wouldn’t get better, and it hasn’t. I stated him on wet food twice a day with a little bit of fiber in his food once a day. I also gave him his own cat box. We have three other cats and he does get stressed out sometimes around them so I now keep him locked in my bedroom alone during the day. But the past month he’s been losing weight. He’s hobbling more and where his leg didn’t seem to hurt before, it seems to hurt now. When he lays down he sometimes acts as if he can’t get comfortable with his leg. He’s lost weight and he’s become very bony. It reminds me of how our hamster looked when he got old and died. I’m not opposed to caring for him in whatever way I can to keep him happy and alive but I’m worried about his qualify of life. I did take the quality of life test and came up with a 35. I’ve noticed the past couple of days he won’t drink, and he licks his lips when I put water near him but he won’t drink. I hate to say that I’m low on cash for a vet, but the truth sucks. I spend my evenings in my room with him and most of the time he curls up next to me or crawls up to sit on my chest, curled in my arms. His breathing seems normal. It’s just that leg that really seems to hurt and I’m wondering if the pain is what’s keeping him from drinking. Though he does eat well…he has not problem with that. Oh, and he’s always had a problem with throwing up…ever since he was a baby. That hasn’t changed…though he only throws up once or twice a week, that I see….I am going to call my vet but I was wondering if there is anything I should ask about…since last time all they found was the constipation.

    Thank you for listening.


    • October 30, 2011 9:50 am

      Dear Bonnie,
      As I read your comment, my heart goes out to you. You have a beautiful way of describing what’s going on and I clearly feel the love coming through your words. I know you will choose the right thing for your buddy.
      One thought-remember that wet food is 75% water (or so), so he may be drinking less because he’s getting water in his food. You can test if he’s dehydrated. If he is, your vet can help teach you how to give him fluids under the skin. Even in an incurable cat-those fluids can make him feel much better. I doubt that pain keeps him from drinking when he’s eating.
      It sounds like he really needs a re-evaluation at your vet’s. Perhaps they can feel what’s wrong with the leg. Maybe they need to recheck an x-ray. Did you have some bloodwork done? Many times, if I have a constipated cat patient, they are constipated because the kidneys are not working great and they are stealing liquid from the colon. So maybe the kidneys ned help. Even though money’s tight, a recheck and repeating some tests is necessary when the health situation has changed or deteriorated.

      Please let us know how it goes. Over 900 people a day read this website and I’m sure many of them would like to know how you decided what to do for your kitty, even if it’s not the happiest ending.

      Thanks and good luck,
      Doc Truli

      • October 30, 2011 9:57 am

        Thank you so much for your reply. I have had blood tests done, an MRI, xrays….and they couldn’t find anything two months ago. But I do have an appointment for him tomorrow morning. I will let you know how it goes. Oh, last night I was petting him and I did find a lump….not sure if it’s just poo in his colon that’s swelled out or not…but I’m definitely going to show the vet tomorrow morning.

        Thanks again!


      • October 30, 2011 11:56 pm

        Good Luck, Bon!

      • December 29, 2011 11:50 pm

        I have a new question. I had to put the cat down that I asked you about earlier…turned out he had colon cancer and crashed the day I took him to the vet. I waited a week after he died and couldn’t stand it any longer so I got a new cat. This one is a 12 year old spayed male and he’s very loveable. Well,tonight he was sleeping beside me and all of a sudden he woke up and started crying again and started attacking first my arm (no claws) and and then he climbed up my arm and bit the hair on the back of my head. After about 5 mins he finally let go and now he’s fine again. His penis was hard too….like he was mounting me? Any ideas??

    • December 4, 2011 7:34 am

      Please take her back to a veterinarian and have her heart looked at, our cat had exactly the same problems and he had a blood clot and we discovered he had quite advanced heart disease after visiting 5 different vets. He is now on daily medication and though has not improved is very comfortable, plays with us, and is eating well again.

      • December 4, 2011 8:47 pm

        Thanks CC but I did take him to the vet on October 31st and it turned out he had advanced colon cancer. Not sure why it didn’t show up in the blood work 3 months before that but he was in a LOT of pain by the time I got him to the vets and I had to put him down. He went peacefully with my face buried in his neck as he went. I still miss him every day but I’m really glad he’s not in pain anymore.

  189. Janice permalink
    October 4, 2011 11:21 am

    Love this site-I have a vet however I think age has a lot to do with caring for animals-not their age but mine. I get information from this site and
    then can be a little more informed with my questions. I was very interested in finding out about steroids. One of my cats had gum desease and had to have her teeth pulled to try and help it. But I had to get more blood panel tests and the test (1) was good and the other came back showing 3 other things wrong. All in all she kept getting the bleeding back in her gums the second blood panel showed she had clamedia(spelling wrong) after one liquid made her foam profusely and run through the house , they gave her a steroid shot and this stopped the bleeding
    and her appetite came back. She had a shot about once a month for 2 or 3 months. I moved and changed vets . They requested the records of
    her but did not get them. I did not know I might have to pay for them. Anyway I’not a pro. so I can only ask a lot of questions and dig further into
    finances to pay for all this. Thank You for being where I can see others have the same problems. Like rashes with no explanation.
    Thank You again Doctor

  190. chris permalink
    October 2, 2011 7:20 pm

    hi i wonderd if u could help me my cat has been sneezing and losing weigh so i decided to take him to the vets ,the vet gave me penaclin for his sneezing but he said i would like to put him to sleep because he found a little lump on his side , i dont know what to do ? i love my cat to bits , hes 10yrs old now , should i get a second apion? he said he has leukemia but how can he say its leukemia without any bloody tests or an x-ray ? i really hope u can help me thanks

    • October 9, 2011 7:45 am

      Hi Chris,

      I know it may be expensive, but if you’ve told me everything in your comment, then I think you should get a second opinion.

      -Doc Truli

  191. hanna permalink
    August 31, 2011 5:22 pm

    We have an adopted female cat that is 18-20 years of age. She has had health issues for the past 1-2 years. She has hyper thyroid (is getting medicine which has lowered her levels) and has a UTI every time we go to the vet. She keeps loosing weight and eats and drinks like crazy. Vet also says that she has kidney issues. Every time we go to the Vet we spend hundreds of dollars on blood test, urine analysis and other tests. The result is always that the cat is really old, and that they can’t really do anything for her. It feels like we are just spending and spending on this old cat… Do you know of a knowledgeable, honest Vet in the Dallas area that will honestly tellus if we should put her to sleep or not?

    • Holly permalink
      September 3, 2011 11:07 pm

      I don’t know anything about thyroid issues, but I do know from experience about kidney issues. I was told by a vet (at Petsmart) that my cat had kidney disease and would likely die soon. Whenever she got dehydrated and very sick they would give her IV fluids and she would be ok for a while and then she would go downhill again and we would go through more tests and more fluids. I wanted to be more proactive, rather than waiting for her to be on death’s doorstep and then they would do something, so I went to a cat specialist hospital in Tulsa, OK where I live. They did a $45 ultrasound on her kidneys (which the other vet said I would have to go to our veteranary college to get and would cost $300). Anyway, they discovered she only had a kidney stone, but it unfortunately blocked her kidney and basically killed it. They taught me how to give her fluids at home a couple of times a week by placing a needle under the skin on the scruff of her neck and pushing a fluid bag into her to keep her hydrated and flush her kidneys for her. The results were AMAZING!! She was back to her old self, although only functioning on one kidney. They only rechecked her kidney values aka expensive bloodwork every 6 months then as long as she was doing well. Also, kidney issue cats need to be on a specific low protein diet because their kidneys can’t process it well.

      • September 4, 2011 11:00 am

        Dear Holly,
        Thank you for sharing your story about how you found a veterinarian who taught you how to help your kitty at home. Fluids under the skin at home is a cornerstone of cat kidney management!

        Everybody: remember to specifically ask about prevention of recurrences and push your veterinarian about what you can do at home to help your cat in between vet visits. Ask your vet for a schedule of rechecks (ideally, what the next year will look like). so you can tentatively plan your time and expenses. We all understand the kitty might change his or her mind and not heed the schedule, but it helps a lot to have a mental picture of the future!

        Thanks again, Holly, for your own inspirational pet medical story!

        –Doc Truli

  192. August 18, 2011 1:47 pm

    my cat is 17 – she is an inside cat, has a thyroid issue but won’t take the medication no matter how it is given. she has always been loud. but now is extremely loud – and doesn’t want to be alone at all… she used to be independent. now she cries and wakes me up at 2:30am, 4:30am and 6:30am – on the nose… she likes to be fed fresh food at 4 hour intervals, won’t eat what is left in the dish – and I know she is either losing her sight or balance… because she won’t jump high anymore – or walk along the edge of something… but i realize that she fairly old for a cat. is she just getting older and that is causing her to be more afraid – and therefore loud to wake me up because she needs attention by way of cuddling – because she indeed loves to be petted – i think she would let me pet her 24 hours a day = if i would do it.

    sometimes she goes a day without eating, but not often – and usually that picks right up the next day. she has never gone 2 days without eating. She fills up the litter box everyday – and goes in the same spot – even if the clumping litter is piled high in that spot, but never goes out of the litter box.

    I guess i want to know if this is just her getting old, or if she is maybe dying? i really can’t afford a visit to the vet – when she goes – she requires sedation every time – and that adds 350 dollars to the bill automatically… so i can’t do that.

    • August 25, 2011 9:54 am

      Dear Linda,
      There’s a gel that you rub on the inner surface of the ear that carries the thyroid medicine into your cat’s system. Has your vet tried that?
      Plus, do not give up too soon. My Hill’s Science Diet representative just told me that Science Diet is just about to market a diet that hyperthyroid cats can eat and hopefully not need their medicine anymore! I can’t wait to see if it works like they say. Keep our fingers crossed!
      Doc Truli

    • August 29, 2011 4:53 pm


      My cat is also hyperthyroid and I left him untreated for so long he suffered serious heart damage. He would also not take pills so we used the ear gel for about 2 years before it stopped working. Now we crush the pills and mix it either with a couple of tsps of his favourite food or treat. Currently he loves Heinz sweet potato and turkey baby food (those are the only ingredients) but my other cat liked the creamed corn baby food. If you use baby food only those 2 are safe… or perhaps a pain meat… it’s impt that there are no spices or onions or garlic in the food). I was almost in despair as he would not take the pills in anything until we tried the baby food. (Prior to that he did take it in a few spoonfuls of recovery canned food from the vet.) Good luck!


  193. Eli permalink
    August 4, 2011 9:15 pm

    Ginger my 12 yr old americann shorthair has been hiding out lately and losing weight he does seem to squint and we brought him to the vet, and he was supposed to geet put to sleep today but he seemed to do better today lots of purring and didnt seem in any pain so we decided to postpone having him put to sleep, he is on pain meds and appetite stimulants right now and he is anemic 18% red blood cell count, we’re not quite sure if we should put him down yet or not because we dont know if hes in any pain, the vet said putting him to sleep could be a viable option. im 12 yrs old. we really love ginger and want to do whats best im just looking for a 3rd opinion. What do you think we should do? please help! Thank you

    • August 5, 2011 7:34 am

      Did you see my Quality of Life pages? Especially the one where there’s a chart listing things to look for and help you decide if it is “time.”
      You are being very responsible, as a human should be, in helping a cat in your care by trying to provide the best life and death possible. I believe humans domesticated cats and we owe it to them to help look after their needs, especially when they can’t help themselves. Good luck, and I’m sorry you’ll be losing your kitty friend soon.
      Doc Truli

      • Eli permalink
        August 5, 2011 9:28 am


  194. Mary permalink
    July 28, 2011 3:35 pm

    I have a female 18 year old himalyan….she has been loosing weight the past 6 months or so but still eats quite well. She does seem to drink alot but usually meows for cold water so we change it quite often. It has been a long time since she has jumped high up or down so we use alot of items around the house to help her get up or down but now and then she does fall. This morning she must have cause she seems to be limping and slowly walking….her face is squinted and eyes somewhat closed as she sits all crotched up…………..She feel one other time and seemed to be fine in a day or 2 and not sure if this is the same type of illness?. I guess I am afraid to take her to a vet cause they may tell me she is old and I should put her to sleep and I dont want to hear that so I sort of baby her myself and pray for her to heal……any suggestions from you? thanks

    • July 30, 2011 4:37 pm

      Wow! 18 is a grand old age. She needs a veterinarian. Expect some blood & urine tests & maybe x-rays. If someone tells you to put her down, do not listen. Don’t let your fear keep her from a potentially simple answer.

      -Doc Truli

  195. kristin permalink
    June 12, 2011 11:42 pm

    Thanks doc truli
    but you misunderstood that I have 2 cats I only have one she got out of the house the other night but thank for advice I will try to get a vet and 1 more litter box I will try to raise money too for a better cat toys and stuff
    1 more thing how do you train a cat with treats

    • June 13, 2011 12:32 am

      Hi Kristin,
      You can read a lot of great articles (and see some videos) about how to train cats at You do need to sign up to be able to read the articles, but then it’s free. I have a lot more experience training dogs, but I have read the articles on cat training and helped friends train cats using their tips. It’s also a great way to increase your cat’s confidence, have fun, and bond. Here’s some info to get started:

  196. kristin permalink
    June 12, 2011 2:51 am

    Is it ok for a person who does not have enough money for a vet let a cat go without one for 1 year

    • June 12, 2011 10:55 am

      In the United States, we recommend a vet visit once a year because it’s like 7 years in a cat’s life. Your vet can pick up on physical examination findings that non-doctors would be hard-pressed to notice, let alone interpret. For instance, heart murmurs, dental disease, eye disease, enlarged kidneys, masses in the abdomen, etc.

      Is it okay? That’s a personal question depending on your life circumstances and your beliefs about your responsibilities toward a small furry animal you have promised to care for.

      Some people say, “Heck, I don’t ever need a vet, it’s a cat!” These people are rarely my clients. I pity these cats.

      Other people, no matter how little money they may have, believe they owe their cat the best care because they chose that cat to keep in their lives. These people come up with resources for their cats, no matter their own circumstances. I admire these people, they truly are the subjects of many of my VirtuaVet Inspirational Pet Medical Stories.

      There are also ethical people in between these points of view that find a kitten or rescue cat, know they can’t afford it, and work hard to find the kitten or cat a better home, rather than selfishly keeping the cat and hoping it never gets an expensive disease. I respect those people.

      • shooby permalink
        August 19, 2011 10:59 pm

        Its difficult when you have a lousy humane society that will put cats down after a week. People neighbors abandon their cats and they have babies.. I try to give them away.. some I have . .but now.. there are 7 left which five I had fixed…can’t afford them.. and bc of the economy no one wants them.. so its either do best I can w/o the vet or give them up to be put down.. horrible society. And at least I cared for them when the neighbors who GOT them left. I live in Georiga. If anyone would like to have a pet cat that is fixed let me know. Prince York is 2 1/2 white/ with gold markings, Lily is a manx calico/no tail 3 1/2 yrs. old, Twisty her daughter is a manx tortie, 2 1/2, Cheetah is grey and black tabby, 2 1/2 her sister Sylvia is darkish black grey with white undercoat. The two who have yet to be fixed is 1 1/2 old, Pepi is long hair black with a tiny white tip tail, and Mimi is bluish grey manx stub tail. Any help would be appreciated. thanks so much- Just know I didn’t ask for them but, it was better than the alternative. I do have one that I had in Nashville.. 15 yrs. ago.. she stays indoors.. let out in the back while others are put up so she can chew on the grass and sun bathe.. ( : she is my bedside pillow. Love my Itty Bitty …her name.

  197. kristin permalink
    June 12, 2011 2:49 am

    Um well I want to know if my cat is in pain because she is always hiding and she almost got attacked by another cat but i stopped it then when she was in the house her eyes got big then small and looking all over the place I just want to know because I really care for her

    • June 12, 2011 10:48 am

      Dear Kristin,
      Your kitty could be in pain. But your description makes me wonder if there is too much stress for the cats in your house.

      Some cats are stressed if there are any other cats in the house. Most cats are stressed if you do not have enough litter boxes. You need litter boxes enough for each cat + one. Even when they all insist on using the same pan, the extra pans are for their mental health: you give the cats the choice. That kind of choosing reduces stress. Also, do your part top make sure the litter pans are cleaned at least every day. My cat, VirtuaCat (his picture is my avatar) is happy when I scoop his pan out 2-3 times a day. It’s the least I can do fore his health and happiness.

      Make sure all of your cats have access to hiding places and escape routes. You need several favorite places for each cat, otherwise, they will interact and stress about who gets which good spot.

      If you are still worried about whether your hiding kitty is sick, then you have to monitor her much better. Any information about her eating, drinking, vomiting, bowel movements and urination habits will help tell you and your veterinarian if she is sick or not. Many people tell me, “I can’t tell because I have several cats.” If that’s the case in your environment, then separate the cats and give her her own set up with food, water, bed, and litter so you can monitor her. Don’t forget to give her exercise and visit with her several hours a day if she is locked up in a bathroom, large crate, or quiet bedroom.

      If you are still worried, so a veterinarian. Just remember, the better you have observed her behaviors and patterns, the better the vet can help you with less expensive tests. See VirtuaVet’s pages about preparing for a vet visit (links at the top of the page.)

      Good Luck,
      Doc Truli

  198. Richard H. permalink
    June 6, 2011 6:37 am


    I moved to a new state back in January, and just a week or two ago, I noticed that one or both of my cats have started pooing and peeing in my bedroom. About two months ago I switched to a natural kitty litter made of corn, and several weeks ago, I noticed fruit flies or gnats hanging out by the litter and sometimes were even in the litter. So, I changed litters to the one made of newspapers thinking it was the corn element the flies were after. I was right, the flies are all but gone, but it’s been a few days now and the cats are STILL going in my bedroom. I’ve spotted both doing it, but Toulouse is doing it more than Andy, and I suspect Andy is just doing it out of competition (I’ve also seen Andy go in the kitty litter, but haven’t seen Toulouse use the litter since this started except for the time I pushed him in after getting the new newspaper litter and he went.)

    Everything else seems normal. They both eat regularly; drink regularly; behave the same as usual; and, judging by my bedroom, catching Toulouse in the act, and how often I have to clean the litter, it seems like they’re both urinating and defecating pretty regularly. It seems to be just this new behavior with peeing in my room (and I’m thrown off by the fact that this started a good month or so after getting this new corn litter and several months after moving). There’s no blood in his urine, but I’ve watched Toulouse pee and I can’t tell if he’s in pain when he pees other than his puts his ears down (but since my litter box is covered, I have no idea if this is a usual thing for him). Either way, do you think this is simply being picky about the litter or could it possibly be UTI (the lack of other noticeable symptoms has me doubting this, but as that can be very serious, and a common reason for a disturbance in litter habits, I have to ask)? I can’t stand clay litter (and I’m not a huge fan of this newspaper litter either), but I’ll gladly go back to clay if it puts a stop to me constantly cleaning my carpet.

    One other thought… a bit of a long shot but still worth mentioning. I keep their kitty litter in a bathroom in the tub. About the time this all started, a knocking sound started coming from the bathtub drain whenever the air conditioner is on. Living in Texas, the A/C is on a LOT. Could a simple, repetitive knocking be enough to unnerve them from using the litter box?

    Thanks for any input,


    • June 12, 2011 11:07 am

      Dear Richard,
      Yes, that knocking sound would probably put VirtuaCat in the hospital with bloody stress diarrhea!

      Also, the litter change could cause substrate aversion and inappropriate elimination. Have you tried the crystal litter? It’s round pellets, which feel better than the corn or newspaper.

      Perhaps the new bedroom had a pet soil the floor before you moved in and they smell it. I would use enzymatic action cleaners, like Nature’s Miracle, to ensure no smells that they are being attracted to.

      UTI’s are about 2% of cats in America with urinary tract symptoms. Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (Feline Sterile Cystitis, Feline Urologic Syndrome, etc …it’s got about 10 names) is likely and could lead t urinary tract obstruction. It’s a noninfectious irritation of the bladder thought to be induced by stress. Hmmm…moving, litter change, noises by the litter pan. These are all top cat stress triggers.

      You could get some Feliway – feline pheromone spray or diffusor – to reduce the moving stress. You could use Bach Flower Remedies Rescue Remedy 15 drops/bowl water/day. (The flower remedy is thought to contain nothing by modern science. I think modern science doesn’t know much about weak molecular bonds like Van deer Waals forces that align the water in the remedy according to the flowers it has been exposed to.)

      If it’s FUS, it takes 2 weeks to settle down and the scientifically proven treatment is increasing water intake through canned food and water fountains.

      Monitor your kitties well, and get to a vet if they drop weight, stop eating, get bloody urine, diarrhea, or can;t urinate or urinate small amounts at a time compared to the usual. Urinary tract blockage is a life-threatening emergency!

      Doc Truli.

      • July 22, 2011 2:40 pm

        ” I think modern science doesn’t know much about weak molecular bonds like Van deer Waals forces that align the water in the remedy according to the flowers it has been exposed to.”

        What a load of rubbish. The only time water is aligned to anything is when it is frozen; that is, when enough heat is removed to prevent the breaking of hydrogen bonds (a Van Der Waals intereaction) between water molecules. In the liquid state, these bonds are constantly breaking and forming over and over again, denying any chance of any kind of “alignment”.

      • July 24, 2011 10:10 am

        Thank you for reading!

        Admittedly, this is a blog, not a newspaper or a textbook, so I try not to write anything I haven’t seen firsthand. This comment I made, obviously, is not a personal observation. I’m trying to remember how I reached the idea. My idea is I believe we need to look to water chemistry and we need to look beyond the currently measured phenomena to understand why certain remedies like Bach remedies or even homeopathic remedies work. That’s why I wrote “like” Van Der Waals. I know the answer doesn’t seem to lie with that exact reaction.

        I remember I started this thinking after reading Robert Becker’s “The Body Electric.” Becker was discredited in the 1970’s and lost his laboratory. His work is being revisited in the 2,000’s, because many of his findings, like the piezoelectric activity of bones and electrical current to stimulate healing have proven true. I’ve read about “water memory” several times in the past few years, never in the context of homeopathic or flower remedies, but the concept that water was different, depending upon its recent history and precise handling, made me think, if I were a chemist, I would want to investigate further in that direction.

        I apologize for triggering your rubbish meter. Conjucture often is rubbish. But it can be useful to start a conversation that develops into workable ideas.

        -Doc Truli

  199. meredith permalink
    June 5, 2011 3:12 pm

    Hi, I hope you will be able to respond to this.

    My cat a female about 8 years old and recently (after changing to a new food for “adult cats 7 years +” made by Purina (the same maker of the food I had previously been feeding her), she began dragging her butt around on the carpet. She’s done this before, but has eventually stopped on her own. This time, she seems more agitated than usual – she is also licking herself and is generally dirtier down there. She is a very sweet cat, and continues to purr and snuggle with me as if nothing is wrong. I rubbed her anus with a warm paper towel to help her clean it and noticed some brownish liquid coming out of it.

    What do you think? I have no problem taking her to the vet, but I would appreciate your opinion.

    What do you think?

    • June 5, 2011 8:31 pm

      Dear Meredith,

      Are you familiar with anal sacs in cats? They are under the skin at about 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock around the anus, with ducts that open up at the brim of the anus. They make a yellow-brown to brown foul-smelling liquid. Ideally, a little bit is squeezed into each bowel movement. Sometimes they get overactive and they leak, or they get blocked or the ducts get inflamed and they get impacted or itchy. When you saw the liquid, it was probably from the anal sacs, and that is normal.

      There are many reasons she could be uncomfortable and scooting on the carpet. I recommend you take her to your veterinarian and explain exactly what you wrote to me. Take a fresh poop sample (ideally less than 12 hours old) so they can test for fecal parasites without probing her too much – if a fecal examination is recommended by your veterinarian.

      Doc Truli

      PS Let us know what happens!

      • meredith permalink
        June 10, 2011 3:59 pm

        Hello Doc Truli,

        Yes, I am familiar with what the anal sacs are. I actually know more than I’d like to about that subject, thanks to this experience! 🙂

        I took my cat to the vet and had her checked out. The vet didn’t seem to find anything wrong and said that everything looked normal. He thought that the change in diet was causing her some discomfort but that it should pass in about 4-5 days. The vet then expressed her anal sacs and everything came out normally.

        Since bringing her home, I’ve only seen her drag her butt around a few times, and she is licking herself down there less. I think whatever was wrong was due to the diet change and is now (hopefully) getting back to normal. I still notice an unpleasant odor, which I think is coming from the anal sac fluid. Hopefully, the smell will go away soon!

        Thank you for your advice!


  200. matt j permalink
    April 18, 2011 10:32 pm

    my kitten got stepped on and is hurt no cash for a vet whats the best i can do for him he is sleeping but still breathing if something is wrong like internal bleeding will he die for sure man this sucks he pooped when it happened and he acted like the wind was knocked out of him please help….

    • April 19, 2011 7:02 am

      Dear Matt,
      I’m sorry your kitten is hurt. Keep him quiet and warm and dry. I cannot turn you into a veterinarian over the internet! Most of what I do as a veterinarian is hands on!

      Do not panic and give him medication, as most medication is poisonous to cats. If you cannot find help through friends, relatives, neighbors, to raise money to get him checked out, then keep him calm and as comfortable as possible. After the first 12 hours or so, if he needs help eating or drinking, then you can bring the food and water to him. You can perform good nursing care at home, like using a dropper to give him water. But, in the first several house after he is hurt, do not stress him out by making him eat or drink; his body will be busy trying to preserve core functions like the heart and brain (not digestion!), and repair.

      I advise you to get off the internet and find friends and family to help you care for the kitten and perhaps help you raise money for official medical care.

      Doc Truli

  201. Confused in what to do?? permalink
    April 16, 2011 12:59 pm

    i accidently stepped on my kittens paw what should i do to treat it
    should i it take to a vet. can i give it paracetamol?

    • April 17, 2011 10:44 am

      Dear Ayesha,

      As you know, you cannot get diagnosis, prescription, or surgery help on the internet because that is the practice of veterinary medicine and must be done in person. You need a real-life veterinarian to help you with a diagnosis of your kitten, prescription for medicine, or surgery if you need it. Never give any medication to a kitten or cat without a veterinarian’s okay, they die from many common medications.

      Good first aid involves immobilization, cold therapy within the first 24 hours, and professional veterinary help if your kitten is suffering or in pain.

      Good Luck,
      Doc Truli

    • Confused in what to do?? permalink
      April 17, 2011 12:42 pm

      Dont Worry it will hopefully be better by to orow if not take it to the vets for a check up

    • Nonie permalink
      March 1, 2012 3:49 am

      I hope you know that one is NOT supposed to give human medicine to cats without a vet’s advice, as much of human medicine can be fatal for cats. Please take your cat to a vet. Good luck!

  202. February 16, 2011 1:24 pm

    Not trying to scare you, but to second Doc Truli’s advice. I’m not a doctor of people or animals, but I have zoonotic diseases, which are diseases people can get from their animals bringing the disease into their home. One of my diseases is bartonella. There are many strains, but the most familiar form (not the strain I have) is called “cat scratch disease.” I’m not saying you have bartonella, but I do have a friend who got it, and she thinks it was from a bite from a stray dog (although she might have gotten it from a tick bite, which is how I got it).
    My point is, you got a bite (however minor) from a stray whose health history you don’t know, who died from unknown disease, and now you are feeling sick. Any decent physician will take this situation seriously and evaluate your symptoms and do some bloodwork to make sure your cold or flu is just a cold or flu, and not something that requires other treatment, such as antibiotics.
    Please get yourself checked out. If your doctor does not take your questions seriously and treats you like your stupid, then they are a lousy doctor, and you will need to see another doctor. Hopefully, and more likely, however, your doctor will listen to you, evaluate your symptoms, run some bloodwork, and possibly refer you to an infectious disease specialist if they are uncertain about further steps.
    Take good care. I’m very sorry about the loss of your kitty. My partner’s cat died a week ago, and we are very sad, too. 😦

  203. Anna permalink
    February 14, 2011 4:21 pm

    we took in a stray kitty, she seemed 2 months old, one day her third eye-lid covered half of her eyes and she was very lazy ,and her right hind leg was also swollen,she kept it in air (before she was active and playful)she started sleeping here and there, we took her to vet who said she has fever and gave her a dose of ibuprofen, next day she seemed better but her pain on her right hind leg was still not better,i took her to vet again, who checked and said she had no fever however gave her a pain shot in the neck, she did not eat or drink anything for the rest of the day, and would not come out of her basket, next day she died, now once during this last week, she tried to bit me, leaving just a single dot mark of her pointed teeth on my skin, it did not bleed, but the skin was off that dot and i cld see red, i rem washing it,the spot wound healed in a few days,no mark anymore after a few days i had flu and have sputum cough, my doctor diagnosed bronchitis, so i am kinda worried, do you think there is a possibility of my kitten’s death caused by Rabies (she died peacefully, no agitation or abnormal sounds,she was just sleepy all the time)?

    • February 14, 2011 8:24 pm

      Please accept my condolences on the passing of your kitten.

      If you are asking the question about Rabies, then you should call your veterinarian and your physician and ask them that question. In America, anytime a person even suggests their pet may have been exposed to rabies or an animal that carries rabies, or no one knows and the pet has not received a rabies vaccine (like your kitten was probably too young,) then I must report the incident to the local Animal Control Authority. Sometimes even the Centers for Disease Control get called into these situations.

      Call your veterinarian and your physician. Let them make the call; it’s what they are trained for.

      Doc Truli

      • Anna permalink
        February 15, 2011 6:32 am

        the vet did tell me ,that my kitty will need rabies vaccination, I am thinking if he saw something out of ordinary he would have mentioned, in fact he seemed pretty surprised how my kitty died, as she was getting better,its just that i tried googling what might have been the cause and saw all the hype about rabies and got scared : (.It might sound silly but just wondering if a person does catch rabies and symptoms like flu start to appear, then how soon and quick is the virus progress?I don’t want to go to a doc sounding all stupid 😦 (I hope you understand)

      • February 16, 2011 8:21 am

        As a veterinarian, I do not give professional advice about human health. I hope you understand.

        You do not sound stupid. You have good questions. Ask your physician.

        “all the hype about rabies” is not just hype. Rabies is deadly. There is no treatment, there is no cure. (There was one girl in Minnesota a few years ago they cryogenically lowered her body temp and she survived, but she has massive damage and will never work and her family takes care of her.) Bat rabies can spread from a lick through unbroken skin, you don’t even need a bite wound.

      • Anna permalink
        February 16, 2011 10:51 am

        you are right, its better to be safe than sorry, right, i got immuno globulin and anti rabies vaccination, 4 more to go RIG was very expensive but certainely not more tahn my life, I appreciate your help and request everyone to please be very cautious regarding yourself and kids concerning stray and abandoned animals.

    • Anna permalink
      February 17, 2011 6:33 am

      i have had antibitoics course of claritek,augmentin and now finally avelox for 5 days, my flu is gone, sputum has dried ,feeling better now.Yes we do miss our kitty, my daughter 6 yr old, would not stop crying and she stayed by her grave for so long.But now after knowing all this, I am pretty scared to take a pet in,its a huge responsibility.Thank You for you concern and advice,much appreciated

  204. Kiersyn Miller permalink
    February 9, 2011 10:03 pm

    My kitty has been laying down for two days. He will get up to eat food about two times a day but I am still worried about him. He was in aright with another male a few days ago and his front left paw is injured. We took him to the vet who said that it just needs sometime to heal. At the moment he is laying down in his bed and he is breathing heavily. Should I be worried?

    • Kiersyn Miller permalink
      February 9, 2011 10:04 pm

      I meant to say a fight

    • February 9, 2011 10:10 pm

      Get a second opinion.

      • Kiersyn Miller permalink
        February 9, 2011 10:13 pm

        Thanks for the help. Hopefully he will be ok.

  205. Kelly permalink
    January 5, 2011 3:56 pm

    my cat is an indoor/outdoor cat and does really well with being outside. Last night he spent the night outside. This morning around 8am, when I let him in he seemed fine — he was even up on the roof of the neighbors house and climbed down their fence like he usually does and he seemed completely normal.

    However, since I have returned home around 1pm, he has been acting strange. He has not wanted me or my other cats to come near him and he growls and meows loudly when I act like I am going to touch him. I think he is in pain. I gingerly touched his back near his left leg and he meowed extremely loudly! I don’t see any wounds on him. Now he is curled up sleeping on the couch. I don’t understand what could have happened when I was gone when he seemed fine when he came inside. Should I take him to the vet?

  206. Lindsay permalink
    December 28, 2010 12:38 am

    Hi, I’m hoping maybe you can help me since I can’t seem to find any kind of other helpful sites on the internet and I’m beginning to get very worried about my cat. He is a very quiet, fat little cat who, just today, has started to be very vocal when trying to use the litter box. He seems like he’s in a bit of pain, and when he tries to go he usually runs away bellowing and leaving tiny little splotches of what I can only assume must be blood behind on the floor around the box. I can’t tell if he’s constipated or if it’s his urinary tract, so I gave him a little flavored mineral oil I had around for hairballs, thinking it would maybe loosen up his bowels. I went to work and came home and found no change in him. My vet isn’t open, and I really can’t afford to bring him in, although I guess I will if he doesn’t improve… Is there anything I can do at home to help him?

    • December 28, 2010 10:59 am

      You’re describing classic symptoms of a urinary tract blockage. You need a veterinarian to assess him, possibly sedate him and unblock him.
      As you’re aware, the body urinates toxins. Urine is a carrier for waste products. When these toxins, like nitrogen and creatinine stay in the bladder, they get reabsorbed, along with potassium and other substances that cause heart attacks, seizures, and death if they stay in his system.
      You need a veterinarian right away; do not delay!
      Good Luck,
      Doc Truli

  207. Kathy P permalink
    December 12, 2010 12:51 am

    Thank you so much for the picture – my 18 year old kitty has dementia and has been declining. Her main problem has been not using the litter box appropriately, anorexia and just general aging – we’ve tried everything. I just let her be on the screened porch if I’m away – easier to clean. If I’m home I put her in the box when I think she needs to use it. Now, she looks like she is in pain, more than just mild arthritis. I thnk it is time. I’ve been in regular contact with my vet. We’ve held off because I thought she still had some QOL, but the pain is something else altogether. Thank you for this forum – it made a difficult decision easier.

    • shooby permalink
      August 19, 2011 11:12 pm

      I’m sorry you lost your kitty. It hurts when you’ve had them that long. I know it’s been awhile.. but I think of my cat I lost three years ago to lung cancer when she was 13. Just wanted to let you know.. I was thinking of you and your cat had a good caregiver I know she adored and was happy to have. wow.. 18

      • August 25, 2011 9:52 am

        Dear Shooby,
        Thank you for your kind thoughts and words. Every living being deserves to be cared for. It’s part of what makes us spiritual beings.
        Doc Truli

  208. Samantha permalink
    November 14, 2010 12:38 am

    My cat has not been eating since 2 days now. She won’t eat or drink anything, even when i put it in front of her. She has also been throwing up white stuff for atleast once a day. It started 4 days ago. Her whole body is cold to the touch and she has all the symptoms of being in pain. We took her to the vet today and he said he couldn’t find anything wrong with her. He gave her antibotics and I.V. But hours later, she is cold again and hasn’t looked any better. What should I do?

    • November 14, 2010 12:14 pm

      Hi Samantha,
      Call your veterinarian. Your comment does not make a lot of sense unless I am missing big pieces of the puzzle.
      Your cat sounds awfully sick. “Couldn’t find anything wrong with her”? Are there laboratory tests pending? Or are there budget constraints so your vet wasn’t allowed to look deeper for answers? I don’t think you gave me the whole story.
      Based on what you wrote, there’s a lot wrong with your kitty. If she hasn’t eaten in 2 days, and you can afford it, and your vet where you are hospitalizes cats, she should be in the hospital on intravenous continuously until a diagnosis is made.
      If there is no hospital, and/or no finances for hospitalization, then you could check out VirtuaVet’s stories about How to syringe feed a Cat and Why to syringe feed a cat.
      Good luck. Call your vet back!

  209. August 21, 2010 3:15 am

    hi, my cat has recently started being very jumpy and he is scared of things lying around on the floor like shoes, he has also ran into the sofa twice in the last week. do you have any ideas of what is up with him and wheather it is worth booking him into the vets?

    thanks matt

    • August 23, 2010 6:27 pm

      Whoa! That’s really weird.
      Dear Matt,
      I’ve heard of the jumpy and scared thing before. Combined with the sofa running into thing, whoa.

      List of Reasons a Cat Might Become Jumpy All of a Sudden
      The jumpy thing has been *decreased or lost vision,
      *fear reaction after a trauma (1 case was a car backfired right in front of the house when the cat was thinking about putting a paw up to move the curtain. The exact timing spooked him very badly for several months!),
      *Extreme itchiness of internal discomfort coming out as decreased tolerance and jumpiness of things in the environment, especially plastic bags on the floor, and things like that,
      *any illness that’s messing with his internal calm.
      Matt: the Jumpiness Combined with the sofa running-into makes me concerned for his vision.

      If I saw you and your kitty, we’d do a thorough physical, including blood pressure and eye and retinal examination,
      baseline bloodwork,
      including Complete blood count,
      12-25 chemistry (depending on age, and physical exam),
      urinalysis (with culture if he’s 10 or over),
      thyroid screen if he is 3 or older,
      parasite checks (can cause nervousness or unsettled feeling).
      Feline leukemia/feline aids test is indicated if he hasn’t had a negative test in the past year.

      Book an appointment with your fave vet. Notice his eating, urination, defecation, and grooming habits to help the vet narrow down the list of possibilities (and maybe narrow the test list.)
      Think about activities at the house. Anything new, strange, people in or out, construction, work outside? Big storms? Is the jumpiness worse at night or in low lighting? Something you can figure out that might have directly triggered him in the day or days preceeding the weirdo behavior.

      Oh! You wanted the “short” answer! 🙂 Yes! Call your vet for an appointment right away; time’s a-wastin’!

  210. July 16, 2010 9:55 pm

    A painful reminder. My cat died of pancreatic cancer, and even the vets didn’t figure it out until he had a huge tumor. It was horrible.

    I’ve been waffling on asking you about this, but having read this post, I’m asking for your help: A family member has a 13-year-old cat that doesn’t live with her due to another’s allergies. She went to visit her cat (and family) and discovered that she had lost two pounds! She looked scrawny and bad, and my friend was very upset. The person who cares for the cat loves her, but she doesn’t really understand pet care very well. She told her she had been eating a lot less lately. She normally gets kibble, so they bought wet food, and she ate quite a bit.

    They took her to the vet, who ran blood work. I thought, based on what I’ve read on your blog and other lists I’m on, and the fact that she started eating again, that it might be pain from dental problems (and hopefully not diabetes or kidney stuff, etc.).

    The upshot is that the vet said all her bloodwork is normal (though he did not give them a copy of it), and that “she doesn’t have any teeth”! When my friend asked what that meant, he said that she was missing half or more of her teeth, but the ones left look fine, and that therefore it can’t be her teeth. (Essentially, what can you do for teeth if there are none?) He said he has feline patients who have no teeth and can still eat kibble.

    Although she is eating more now and has regained half a pound, there are still times she doesn’t act entirely herself, which seems like it’s connected to food/eating. I am concerned that this is not a good vet and that either the cat does have something dental wrong that requires dental x-rays, or that there is something else wrong that maybe can’t be gleaned from bloodwork.

    What would you suggest? Does what this vet said make sense to you?

    • July 25, 2010 4:32 pm

      Dear Sharon,
      Please excuse me for my delayed reply. I had to carefully think of how to answer your questions.
      To the main question, basically, do I think that a cat that “…doesn’t have any teeth” cannot have oral or teeth problems leading to weight loss and inappetance, well, I think the opposite of that! The missing teeth show clear evidence of oral disease, perhaps feline resorptive lesions. I would investigate that mouth very carefully. If the cat can withstand anesthesia, a thorough oral exam and thorough high-quality oral radiographs will answer the question, “Is it her teeth?” It overwhelmingly, most likely is a dental health problem!
      To the discussion of “blood work,” well, there are tests and then there are tests! Veterinary medicine, at this time, does not have an over-arching standard of care to guide veterinarians in recommending what blood work is reasonable for what age and infirmity of cat. With that said, I will share this:
      VirtuaCat has had a CBC, Chem 25, Feline leukemia, feline aids, urinalysis, microalbuminuria, thyroid screening “T4” test and a urine culture an sensitivity done each year since he was 8 years old. I advise this panel for my feline patients 8 years and up. For cats 10 and up, valid research shows that 1 out of 5 has an asymptomatic, hidden urinary tract infection, hence the expensive, but helpful urine culture and sensitivity test.
      [By the way, the blood must be obtained using good technique and good blood sample handling to give the most accurate results (highly trained, state certified veterinary technician, ideally), and the urine must be obtained by way of needle cystocentesis (a needle placed directly through the skin, thin body wall muscle and into the bladder) if the cat can safely be positioned for sampling. A urine culture and sensitivity test run on a “free catch” sample from the table, floor, or litter pan is useless. It will show bacteria not-native to the body, or no bacteria, even if there’s a problem, related to cleaning chemicals, etc, from the environs. Do not ever let a veterinarian submit a “free catch” urine sample for culture and sensitivity testing!]
      Go ahead and request a copy of the test results. That’s a reasonable request. Also, if you wish, request a referral for a second opinion. A referral request is a reasonable and polite way to let the veterinarian know you want to dig deeper into the problem. You won’t burn any bridges, and can keep a good relationship with the veterinarian.
      Lastly, I know your allergic family member is feeling horrified and guilty for having to leave the beloved kitty at a person’s house in which 2 pounds was lost and no one noticed!

    • It is normal for people to not notice gradual weight loss in a cat.
    • Most people miss the subtle signs. I secretly wonder if cats *glamour* their caretakers into not noticing. Let your family member know it’s okay to let the guilt go. Investigate the kitty’s weight-loss further. There is a reason! “Old age is not a disease.” And the foster family, I’m sure, will be more observant in the future!
      Doc Truli


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