Help Please! My cat won't eat,drink or use the litterbox

by Raven

I have been dealing with a flea infestation, and have been doing what our bug guy has said when he was here a few months ago and various others. I vacuum everyday, and keep my 5yr old, an 8yr cats away when time to spray the carpets and when I found out flea collars could hurt my babies I took them off right quick, and started bathing them every other day. Now here’s the problem my cat Geisha is the 8 yr old and when I gave her the last bath she thrashed around in the tub violently I don't wash near the face and only hold her upper arms behind the joint, so her back end kept hitting the tub. generally she just meows her head off because she hates water ,but this time she what going nuts before I could get her out, and she had hit her side a few times already and yowled her voice hoarse. I got her out and wrapped her in a towel to dry off and I cuddled her as I do after every bath, but for the first time she looked traumatised. When I let her out of my arms she hides under my bed which is not uncommon for her after a bath. Now this was on Thursday the 5th, on the 6th I found geashia still under my bed, but that’s not so uncommon ether, she was acting normal when I went reached under the bed and petted her, she purred, scratched herself and curled up and went back to sleep, later when I shook the food bag and pour my girls come running, they don't once in awhile but most of the time they do. On the 7th I knew something was wrong my baby was still under the bed , I thought she was doing her thing when I went to sleep ,but when I changed the litter box my girls always have to go right after, hoshi my 5 yr old came as she always did, but still no geashia. I got under my bed and got geashia out, she looked real tired, but she was responsive and alert though she looked like she was in pain. I took her over to her food bowl and water and tried to tempt her to at least get a little something in her cause by then I figured out she probably had not ate. All she did was lay down and stare. I waited to see if she would do something and after awhile, I went on the computer near there dishes so I could keep an eye on her at the same time. Well she kind of stood unsteadily after awhile and went over to her dishes, but she only hung her head over them and sniffed a little at them a bit, she didn’t eat or drink. For me this caused some big-time concern my geisha eats her food religiously she is a big cat! I thought maybe her throat was sore from all that meowing, so I got her a bowl of wet food. She at least ate some of that and a little had a tiny bit of water. when she was done she got up and walked away to were my TV was at, this worried me cause she was walking funny ,her back end was walking a strange kind gait or walk, she wasn't limping more like slowly walk and crawl. I thought she might have pulled something as well from the bath when she thrashed around her lower end in the tub and hit her side really hard that’s why maybe she was acting funny. I stayed up most of the night that night to keep an eye on her, but all she did was do that slow walking gait right back under my bed and stayed there, and she still hadn’t gone to the litterbox.By the 8th when I had gone to bed and woke up she was still there, I reach under and petted her she purred. I checked the litter box and she still hasn't gone, she also hasn't touched her food or water. Hoshi my other cat has been just fine, but just in case I took their dishes trough out any food that was in them cleaned them thoroughly and put new food and water in trying to get geshia to come out and eat. I do think she has pulled something, what I do not know. By then I had a dozen different ideas running in my head on what could have caused this. I don't know if it's the new cat shampoo I used "Sergeant's Gold Flea & Tick shampoo after I ran out of Hartz advanced care 2 in 1 cat shampoo." I thought I might of poisoned her, cause a bit of the bath water got on her face when she had trashed even though the bath water wasn't high enough to cover her underbelly I don't know if she had swallowed any and I had just finished shampooing her and drained the tub while I hold her and had the facet pouring new water in while the old was draining when she blitzed on me

I use a cup to rinse her with fresh water after shampooing and allow the old to drain away so she doesn't

Get any icky stuff from the bath. After I told my mother she said it was unlikely I had not done that, because after so many days by now I would have been able to tell if I had. My cats are indoor cats so I know it not outside influence. An only geashia is acting this way and it was after her bath. So it must have been something I have done, but I don't know what. She has only blitzed at bath time on me 4 times in her life this is the 5th and hit the side of the tub when she trashed the last two times but that was years ago and she was fine and when the vet looked at her last time I was there they said she was doing good. “That was 7 months ago, before I moved into our new home."Before all this stuff with the flea thing happened. Generally before this I’m able to get my babies to the vet, but now things are hard. Well on the night of the 8th/last night she did crawl out from under my bed and go into her cat enclose toy and layed there on her own ever so often meowing a high pitch moan/meow after awhile she just went to sleep. Later on I was in the kitchen doing dishes and she did that slow waddle/gait to the kitchens floor and she just laid there when she got to it, she look like she was in pain and exhausted. She still hadn't touched her food or water, I checked the litter box to see if she at least had gone, but it was untouched still when I had previously cleaned it from when hoshi used it. Before I went to bed I went to pet and check geshia again, and she had moved herself to under my coffee table. She was aware/alert and purred, her purr has an old sound to it for the last few days there is a weird sound to it like a slight catch/to it? I don’t know if it’s due to a sore throat or something else. Well today is the 9th and she still is under my coffee table I got two dishes I put under it with food and water and she still won’t take any, she still hasn't gone to the litter box and even though I pet go and pet her and she still purrs that purr and I tried to get her to move a bit to see if she has that abnormal walk and she does. Every once in awhile she will meow that high pitched moan and fall quiet and go back to sleep. it's 1:48 pm my time and I tried to get some water in her by using a very small spoon cause I don't have a dropper, I was able to get some in her mouth ,but she looked like it was hard to get it down. She still hasn't eaten, drank, nor used the bathroom/litter box. I just don't know what to do. I have no money at all, until next month and even that’s going to be stretched thin and if I think there is something wrong with my babies I generally go to the vet, but I'm on hard times and I don't have any idea what to do. I called just the vet and they won't charge me and to see her will be 35-500$ I have no avenues to get money so I’m out of luck there, please; please do you have any ideas?

Answer by Kate
Firstly it is not a good idea to bath cats very often at all even if they have fleas. It dries their skin out and strips the fur of their natural oils. On top of this it is rather distressing for the cat.

When treating for fleas it is better to give them the spot on flea treatment once a month this is very effective if you buy the best stuff not the stuff they sell in the supermarkets as this is useless. You need something like frontline.

Then you need to treat the house with flea powder and vacuuming every day for a week.

Doing these things to geather will stop the infestation.

As for your cat’s health, well it is difficult to say, she may have ingested some of the shampoo etc that you used and this has caused her problems or perhaps the flea bites have made her anaemic. It really is difficult to say. All I can say is that she really does need to see a vet if she has stopped eating and is unsteady on her legs. Call your vet to see if they have any payment plans or know of somewhere in your area which can help with costs etc.

I have several pages on my site all about fleas and how to treat them. The more you know about them the more effective you can be at getting rid of them. Here is the first page

Best wishes Kate

Comments for Help Please! My cat won't eat,drink or use the litterbox

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my cat is doing all the same things!
by: Anonymous

My cat is doing all the same things!! I don't have money for either..did u everfind out what was wrong with ur cat?

I know your pain
by: Anonymous

Just recently my boyfriend and I noticed that our 5 yr old male cat was acting odd. He had started to sleep on an out of the way shelf behind a box. He started to just stay there all day and night. We never noticed him eating, drinking, or going to the bathroom.

He's part Siamese so he is usually a very vocal cat, but he wasn't doing anything. On the 3rd day of this, we were worried. We pulled him out of his hiding place and gave him a good brush. We thought that maybe his shedding was getting to him. While brushing, we noticed that his whole body had small red scabs. Then we saw the fleas.

Aeris is a complete black cat, and rather fluffy. I went to the vet and bought a month by month flea applicator, Hartz, but nothing was happening. One night Aeris started to Yowl, a pitiful pain meow that he only uses on car rides.

That morning we went to the vet. He gave us Frontline and said that Aeris may have an allergy to fleas as well. After 30 minutes went by after we applied Frontline we noticed a big change. Aeris was on his raised cat bed, awake, and actively cleaning himself! That night he continued meowing in my ear, but there was nothing I could do, except pet him, he loved that. However I noticed that the fleas started to jump off of him and onto me. I don't think they liked the death-to-fleas medicine!

It's been about a week, and Aeris is almost free of all fleas! Now his scabs just need to heal. But now Aeris wont leave his raised cat bed stand. He wont leave there for food, water, or bathroom. If i place him next to those things and pet him the whole time, then he will use them, and then bolt back up to his cat bed. We believe, and so does the vet, that Aeris is afraid that the fleas will get him if he is down there. I moved his food on his cat bed stand and now he eats and drinks just fine, now I just have to pet him when he uses the bathroom.

Your cat
by: Anonymous

Dear kate,

your cat is dehydrated, she wont drink or poop are signs of it. you must find a way to get water in her or she could die. pour water in her mouth and rub her through starting from the tip of her "chin" and down to the back. she is not pooping because her body is taking moisture out of her body to help keep her alive, that may be why she is walking strangely. make sure you get water in her and fast!

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