Is my cat sick, bored, or just hot?
September 5, 2006 11:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm worried about my cat. For the last 3 days, he's been doing nothing but sleeping, it seems like. He has been eating and going to the bathroom, but not as much as usual in both cases.

He's about 2 years old, just had a vet check-up 2 weeks ago. His behavior in the past: When not asleep, he normally followed my b.f. and me around, mewing at us for attention, or trying to get us to chase him -- ripping up and down the furniture, etc. He also (up until now) would wake us up every night at around 4am to play.

I gave him a once over (gums, eyes, ears, looked at his butt) and everything there checks out. But he just sleeps. I know it's normal for cats to sleep 18 hours a day, but he's pretty much doing it 24, with bouts of awake time to eat and poop.

I also feel like I should mention it's been 100 degrees here, for about the last 3 days as well. And though we have an air-conditioner, it's a wall unit kind, so it's certainly not cool in the house. I know the heat is making ME lethargic. However, the cat still insists on sleeping in a sun patch, even though it's hot.

Should I take him to the vet, or am I being a paranoid cat lady? I do love his fuzzy little head...
posted by Kloryne to Pets & Animals (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For your own peace of mind, take him to the vet. And it is a sudden change in behavior.
posted by LeisureGuy at 11:12 AM on September 5, 2006

Call the vet and talk to someone at least. Call costs nothing. Tell them you gave him a cursory look-over and nothing struck you as abnormal visually, but he's been sleeping an awful lot, acting a little differently and not eating as much. They'll likely have you bring him in, I'd guess.

Good luck!
posted by jerseygirl at 11:17 AM on September 5, 2006

Thank you both. You inspired me to call the vet -- going in an hour. Better to rack up a bill I can't afford than worry about Mr. cat. Hopefully he's just hot, or in need of being confused.
posted by Kloryne at 1:56 PM on September 5, 2006

Our kitties came down with calicivirus last week, and had nearly identical symptoms to what you were experiencing. He likely has a fever, so call the vet ASAP. The viral infection will go away with a few days of TLC, but they will want to put the kitty on antibiotics to take care of any secondary bacterial infections.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 2:00 PM on September 5, 2006

For your piece of mind take him (which you are).

Not to scare you but something similar happened to one of my cats about 6 months ago. Went from crazy running around to sleeping a lot. We are not sure what triggered it but her red blood cell count was way down (probably ate a bit of onion off the floor). She was dangerously close to needing a full blood transfusion. The meds the vet put her on picked her up almost over night and she bounded back to normal levels within a few weeks. Good luck.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 2:03 PM on September 5, 2006

Definitely take your cat to the vet. Anything that is an unusual behavior should be looked at by a professional. With a diminished appetite and fewer B.M.'s than he usually he has, those also could be indications that something else is going on.

Hope it all goes well for you & your cat!
posted by PsychoKitty at 2:06 PM on September 5, 2006

I'm glad that you are taking him in. When my cat goes in for his shots he is very drowsy for a few days after. This is a natural reaction for him from all the drugs in his system. Did your cat get shots or a new type of shot the last time he was at the vet's? Just wondering.

It's good if he is still eating and pooping. That's a good sign at least.

Let us know how your kitty is!
posted by typewriter at 2:09 PM on September 5, 2006

Wow -- I am so glad I made an appointment. Thank you all. My cat really thanks you all!
posted by Kloryne at 2:14 PM on September 5, 2006

Typewriter -- yeah, he did get a booster, but that was a couple weeks ago. He was groggy for that day and the next morning, but went right back to spazzing around after that.
posted by Kloryne at 2:15 PM on September 5, 2006

We are not sure what triggered it but her red blood cell count was way down (probably ate a bit of onion off the floor).

Is onion really dangerous for cats?
posted by agregoli at 2:32 PM on September 5, 2006

Is onion really dangerous for cats?

The U.S. FDA Consumer magazine thinks so.

Good luck, Kloryne.
posted by Tuwa at 2:39 PM on September 5, 2006

also if it does turn out that its a heat thing, you might want to try what i used to do when i had a ferret in the summer. freeze a 2 liter bottle of water and wrap it in a thin towel and put it near where your cat is laying, it will put off a coolness that will help him not suffer so much. good luck!
posted by trishthedish at 3:56 PM on September 5, 2006

Good. I'm glad you're taking him in. Let us know how it goes, please!
posted by jerseygirl at 4:48 PM on September 5, 2006

A while back our cat got really lethargic compared to her usual activity level. I thought she had a kitty cold or something, but my wife insisted we take her to the vet and have blood work done.

I thought it was a waste of a perfectly good $100, but it turned out our cat had the beginning symptoms of liver disease.

She's totally fine now, but we do have to give her subcutaneous fluids (with a needle and an IV bag) every night or her levels go down.
posted by blahtsk at 5:14 PM on September 5, 2006

OK -- back home.

I sure am glad I took everyone’s advice and went to the vet. The doc felt something in his intestines so he X-rayed him.

(Next part not for the weak of stomach!!!)

He showed me the X-ray and every inch of his intestine was pretty much… full. Poor little guy. No wonder he felt like hell. He had been going to the bathroom, but not as much, like I said, in the last 3 days. But this looks like it was going on for a while.

The vet said if I had waited to bring him in another day this could’ve been a very serious situation.

So he got an intense enema and some laxatives and hopefully the blood work will come back OK as well.

Right now he’s giving me a pissed off look.

So, Ask Metafilter saves lives! Than you guys again. I really appreciate it so much.
posted by Kloryne at 6:08 PM on September 5, 2006

That exact thing happened to our cat. We learned that she had eaten a plastic bag (well, part of one), and it had gotten trapped in her intestine. Poor stupid kitty. Once they got her unblocked, she was back to normal.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:14 PM on September 5, 2006

So glad your cat is on the road to recovery & that you didn't wait to get him the help he needed.
posted by PsychoKitty at 9:26 PM on September 5, 2006

Croutonsupafreak -- do you recall how long it took before she seemed like her old self again?

Thanks PsychoKitty!
posted by Kloryne at 10:06 PM on September 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

Sorry for the delayed response. It was probably at least a week before Miss Jazzy felt better again, though it was several years back so my memory's a little fuzzy. I know that after the vet and enema, we had to watch her closely for a while just to make sure everything came out OK -- plastic can become lodged in the intestine, and there was a risk that we'd need surgery. But it did work its way out.

After that, we became neurotic about keeping plastic out of reach. So Jazzy started digging through the trash in order to eat the next best thing -- dental floss.

I miss that cat.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:58 PM on September 6, 2006

Thanks croutonsupafreak --

Good to know what the round-about recovery time was. Though, far as I know, nothing foreign is in there. I see a little improvement today, so I think things are "moving" along.

I love the name Miss Jazzy. I'll bet she was great.
posted by Kloryne at 6:58 PM on September 7, 2006

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