11 year old male cat vomiting yellow liquid, now lethargic

by Anne
(British Columbia, Canada)

Alaska, my 11(or 12) year old neutered male cat, medium haired tabby is sick. He's an indoor cat, has had all his shots and does not have fleas. He sometimes hawks up a furball or sicks up partially digested food, but this is much worse. He's sicked up about 8 times today, at first partially digested food, but the last few times just yellow liquid.

He's become lethargic and I think he has a fever. Normally he purrs frequently and is a real attention grabber, but now will just lie quietly in my arms. Muscle tone is slacker than usual, and he feels "bonier" than normal, but his co-ordination is good. His stools are somewhat hard, which is usual for him. He's not using the litter box as much as usual.

Alaska was interested in food this morning, but not since this afternoon. He normally gets 1/8 cup Hill's Science Diet Hairball Control for Seniors dry food about 6 times a day.

My other cat, Hawkeye, is an 8 year old neutered male, and is doing fine. They spend a lot of time cuddled together sleeping or playing, but today Alaska is only interested in sleeping and doesn't care if Hawkeye is with him.

I'm a disabled single mom, and by the time I pay the rent, utilities, etc. and one tank of gas for the month, I barely have enough for groceries for my family. I know I should take Alaska to the vet, but a vet visit plus blood tests or x-rays would use up all the money we have for food this month.

Ninety minutes ago I started force-feeding Alaska small amounts of water with a plastic syringe every half hour. So far he's kept it down. I'm thawing some chicken in the hopes that if I boil it he might be able to eat some and keep it down. He can't eat tuna or tuna juice. I don't know what else to do for him.

Please, do you know of anything else I can do to get him through this?

Answer by Kate

Oh dear what can i say, your cat may have a particularly difficult hairball to throw up and if it is too large to pass then it will be stuck and be making it impossible for him to eat etc and that is why he is so lethargic and thin. the trouble is if the hairball is too large to pass naturally then a vet may have to operate to remove it.

Are there no animal charities that could help you out. It is always worth ringing around and asking, no one likes a cat to suffer and i would have thought that there were animal friendly groups all over the world that can provide some emergency assistance, i know there are in the UK.

Other than that there are some lubricating cat remedies on the market that may help, that is of course if it is a hairball, see my cat page here about hairballs

I really hope you can get some help soon for your cat.


Sick pet? Bad food more likely than you think.
by: Anonymous

If your pet has been sick , please consider the pet food as the cause, EVEN if it has not been recalled. It may be recalled months later, but how will you know? Will the store you buy it from call you?

The food may never be recalled, but it does not mean the food is not causing illness or possible death to your pet.

Please, just consider the food.
No need to hear my losses, just get the pet something else to eat until you can figure out a new diet .

Thank you for reading

solution by: Anonymous

I can't say if this will be relevant, but what are you feeding your cat? Since I switched my guys from dry food to wet food only, the constant constipation and sicking up liquid have become things of the past.

The only exception was the night I let them have a very tiny amount of dry food.

It was a nightmare getting them switched over--my desperation over their health vs their belief I was starving them to death. Some things that helped--

I know you're supposed to make changes gradually, but if we hadn't gone cold turkey, they'd never have touched the wet food.

I found foods that had 'animal digest' in the ingredients. It's the same disgusting stuff they spray on dry food to make it attract cats.

I discovered they HATE paste foods, couldn't figure out how to eat cubed foods, but would and could eat flake type foods (Meow Mix Market Fresh and some of the Fancy Feast flavours. The most expensive ones, of course!)

Although I've done my best to find foods where the main ingredients are animal protein, I kept in mind something I read while doing research, "Even the worst wet food is better than dry food."

For my cats, the feeding guidelines on the cans are excessive. (Fortunately, given the cost.)

My boys are now happier, at a healthier weight, and more energetic than they were. Unexpected bonus--I used to gag cleaning their litter box, but now it has basically no smell.

Is very ill by: Jennifer

I have a four year old male-neutered cat who has been sick for a year now. I took him to the vet initially b/c he stopped eating, lost weight, salivated, and vommited bile. The vet did a blood test and found nothing (no leukemia, etc.). Well, he started to eat and got fat after this. Then he was fine for a while, just lethargic. For about two months now, he has become symptomatic again! This time, he has been salivating severely and vomiting bile at least once a day. He also has trouble chewing his food, has lost a little weight, shakes a little, has trouble walking,pees a lot, is constipated, and stopped using the litter box. I know this is horrible, and I do not have money to take him to the vet. He also stays in my back closet most of the day. When it comes to food, though, he does get very excited. I have thought about getting him put to sleep to end his misery, but he still eats and does not meow as if he is in pain or anything...it is really sad when you get a sick pet that you cannot help.

hairballs/vs. periodontal care by: Anonymous

I have a 16 year old mainecoon, he gets very lethargic after spewing up a hairball/yellow liquid. they can get lethargic apparently as the hairball can block their airways also. i do think it has a lot to do with their periodontal care also. they can get infections such as humans and it can knock them for a loop, they become very run down and lethargic/ my maincoons vet bill was 900.00 to have his teeth extracted.

Blocked Urinary Tract by: Anonymous

My 5 year old male tabby cat was perfectly healthy, then one day he started vomiting several times a day and meowing like he was in pain. He sat there and every time he moved he would meow loudly. I called the vet and they thought he might have eaten something and to wait and maybe he would throw it up or poop it out. The next day he was very lethargic and I took him to the vet and when she felt under his belly she said that his urinary tract was plugged and he needed to be put under and then they would put a catheter in him and drain him and then he should be okay. Well he was so weak he died that night.e did not com out of the anesthetics. That was a few days ago. I wish I would have known better I would have taken him in right away or sooner. But you trust your vet to know what they are doing. Apparently this happens to most cats that are male and over weight and indoor. It's from store bought cat food, even if you buy the more expensive store bought food. If you check on the internet about what it says about urinary tract infections in cats it will shock you. They need wet cat food other wise they will form crystals in their urinary tract and that's what will plug them and can possible kill them. It only took two days and he was dead. It broke my heart and I can't even begin to tell you the heart break we feel. IF only I would have known. I want to help whoever I can so they don't go through this heart wrenching experience. We will forever miss our

Cat Cookies Is Having Same Problem by: Nicole Hastings

this is exactly what's happening to my 6 month old cat. i'm very worried. he looks like he's dying. i know it's not hairballs. he has short hair. i'm in the same situation..i can't afford a vet although i'd do anything to get cookies feeling better. i put tuna in front of him and he only drank a little of the water. he was missing yesterday and my kids had flashlights out looking for him..i think cookies went to hide to die and then when he didn't, he came back. He's my son's best friend (they sleep together every night), and he is a family member. thank you.

Cat Is Sick by: Anonymous

My cat is 12 and he goes through the same thing. I have had him now for 8 years and now, more often, he goes through this funk where he has the bile issues. He has been tested different times in his life by his vet to no avail. The last time, I kept him at the vet to get him hydrated. Now, I'm using a syringe constantly. I read that the unflavored pedialyte is good too, so I JUST started that. He actually drank a lot of water on his own this morning, so that is a good sign. But he still keeps to himself and just feels in his funk. I don't know what else to do either. The vet said "he's amazing" because he expected to find something and did not. Just for some reason, he gets in a funk. He's not long haired, so fur balls are not an issue. Now, once in awhile, he might hack up a tiny bit of hair, but not with what he has going on now. This is a long holiday weekend and I'm home nursing my cat!!!! But, that's okay, have to take care of him.

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