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Sick Cat Question

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
We have 3 cats, all very healthy and between the ages of 8 and 12. In July we moved into a new home, the previous owner did not have a pet, but before that I don't know. The cats never go outside, however, while we were on vacation last week the cat sitter left the door open and one of the cats escaped. She couldn't find him and he spent a day outside before we arrived home. We broght him in the house after a lengthy search and he seemed no worse for the wear, his name is Louis. That was on Monday. When we arrived home we noticed that there was vomit on the floor - clear, frothy, slightly yellow. We assumed it was from Pushkin, who has lived with Louis his entire life. Pushkin was frantic when we arrived home; pacing, crying. He remained that way until we found Louis and then calmed down. Random, the third cat, seemed uninterested - which is his normal behavior.

On Tuesday and Wednesday the vomitting continued. We assumed it was still stress related and might have been because the cat sitter couldn't find their normal food (Iams weight control) and bought some generic store brand. We switched them back Wednesday night.

Thursday, I noticed that Random felt like he had lost some weight. His spine seemed bony. By Sunday he had lost enough weight to see it visually, then I saw him throw up what I assumed to be bile - yellowish white liquid. After Thursday I was watching him, I didn't notice him eating or drinking. His general mood was unchanged - though not as talkative as normal and not darting for the food dishes. I tried feeding him tuna and he ate a piece or two, licked the rest and stopped. He drank a little water.

This morning I called my vet and I have an appointment tomorrow. I hadn't even considered Distemper but then saw on a list of symptops that yellow vommit is one of many. I have a couple of questions:

1) Does an appointment tomorrow morning seem soon enough?
2) Can vomit be mostly bile based if the cat isn't eating? Would bile based vomit be yellow or does yellow vomit specifically indicate distemper?
3) After all of the stress of us being on vacation, one cat being lost for 24 hours, and then our returning - is it plausible that he's just upset? He's a very anxious cat.

Thanks for any insight or support.

~Minion to 3 cats
post #2 of 4
I am by no means an expert, but I would think feline vomit would be similar as to human. When a person hasn't eaten, and is vomiting, its normally a yellowish color because its mostly bile. I would think that a cat would behave the same way. Of course I don't know, I've never really had a cat that has vomited on an empty stomach. Hopefully Hissy will jump in here and help out, she is our resident kitty expert!!!

As far as what is too late for an appt, do you have emergency vet care that you could see? It would put your mind at ease to know its NOT distemper I am sure, so maybe you should see if your vet can squeeze you in today still.

I hope your kitty is ok!!
post #3 of 4
Distemper has an incubation period of 3-5 days before it really starts in.

There are a number of reasons why cats vomit, anywhere from stomach upset to worm infestation, to hepatitis, diabetes, poisoning. Any time a cat is vomiting in excess of more than once after a meal, the cat should be checked by a vet quickly. They are prone to becoming dehydrated quickly and how you can tell if your cat is dehydrated is two ways. One, gently grab the cat and scruff the neck then let go,if the scruff stays up your kitty is in danger. Also, to check the gums and tongue, if the tongue is coated and the gums are pale and bleached looking- the kitty needs fluids and subcutaneous fluids quickly.

You can try giving the cat Pedialyte to help over come the dehydration issue, but it is much more important to get the kitty to the vet as quickly as you can. The vet will perform diagnostic tests to determine what is going on, and it is helpful to him if you write everything down that you have noticed that is *off* about your kitty and give it to me during exam time. Good luck
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I took Random to the vet yesterday morning and he was jaundiced and dehydrated. They put him on fluids and presented a number of treatment options while we waited for blood and urine tests. This morning those test came back normal. He is feeling much better with the fluids and even ate last night and this morning (with the help of liquid Pepcid). They will be keeping him on fluids through the day today and tonight. We should be able to bring him home tomorrow.

Has anyone else had a cat stop eating and go through this?

~Minion to 3 cats
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