Pixie-Bob News Room

# 2 Reason Cats go to the Vet

From The Cat Crazy News Letter

By Petplace.com

A week or so ago, I told you the number one reason pet owners take their cats… is vomiting.

Can you guess what is #2?

Well, the #2 reason cats go to the emergency room is “not eating”.  Often the lack of appetite is accompanied by another symptom such as vomiting or lethargy. “Not eating” is a common symptom and can be caused by many different diseases and problems. Because it is so common, it is likely that it will affect your cat at one time or another. I want to give you some tips on how to plan for, prepare, deal with and prevent this problem in your cat.

Do you know what to do?

1. This is basic but very important. Make sure you know where your local emergency room is or how your vet deals with emergency. Keep this information (phone number, hours, address and directions) handy.

2. Next, make sure you know your cat’s medical history and any medications he is on. If on medication, has his medication changed recently? The emergency veterinarian will want to know when the last time your cat ate, and if his lack of appetite is associated with any other symptom such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, collapse, trouble breathing…or anything else.  Make sure you observe your cat during this time. Monitor the litter box and make sure he is urinating okay and observe the bowel movements for abnormalities. If your cat is indoor/outdoor – keep him or her in where you can keep an eye on him or her. Check the trash to ensure that he has not been exposed to any toxins or other objects.  Note if there has been any diet change.

3. What can you do? When an owner calls some veterinary clinics – they may hear some advice (depending on the clinic). Here are some tips on how to help a cat that is not eating.  You can try to offer fresh food and fresh water. Some cats respond to “fresh food” from the bag. If the cat is acting sick or the owner is concerned, the recommendation is always to bring the cat in for evaluation. However, if the condition does not sound life threatening sometimes you can try some different foods. Canned foods – especially the fish flavors, pouched food, different dry food or canned tuna will often stimulate a cat to eat. If the problem is minor – a cat may eat well and quickly be back to normal. If the cat doesn’t eat or still acts lethargic, the problem may be more serious.  The best recommendation is to have the cat evaluated by a veterinarian.

4. There is no good way to “prevent” the lack of appetite unless you can prevent the underlying cause. To keep your pet safest, prevent exposure of your pet to trash and other foreign objects that he may be inclined to chew on and possibly ingest. Make any food changes gradually and over several days. Buy only safe toys and ensure your cat does not ingest any objects (such as thread, ribbon or strings) that he would be unable to digest causing a possible obstruction.

How much will going in to see the vet for cat that is not eating going to cost you?  Because there are so many possible causes, most veterinarians will recommend some basic blood work and possibly a urinalysis as a starting point to help determine some of the possible causes. Additionally, radiographs (X-rays) may also be recommended. The prices at different clinics around the country vary but without treatment, the emergency fee, blood work and X-rays ranges from $325.00 to about $500.00. This does not include treatment.  If there is a substantial underlying cause, then the treatment cost is additional.

Unfortunately, pets can be expensive and this can be a substantial expense for some pet owners. If you don’t have pet insurance – how often can you afford to do this? How many times could you afford to cover pet emergencies out of pocket like this?  How about even more costly emergencies? Have you looked into pet insurance yet? If you have not done so, take a minute and find out how pet insurance can save you money – go to veterinarypetinsurance.com


One last thing, many emergencies of this type are caused by exposure to toxins, owners feeding pet’s table scraps and pets getting access to trash. Please be very careful what you feed your dog. Also, do not give any medications unless instructed by your veterinarian.

Until next time…

Dr. Jon




June 1, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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