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Lethargic cat with dry mouth and loss of appetite

Lethargic cat with dry mouth and loss of appetite

by Jennifer

These are some pertinent details: Cat 8 years old, not eating for 2 days now. Sleeping more than usual and not usual playful self. Dry mouth

I need a reply right away? We’re terrified for our cat.

Please contact with suggestions at:


Your cat seems to be dehydrated hence the dry mouth. In this instance you do not mention that the cause might be diarrhea.

But dehydration is caused by a loss of both water and electrolytes (minerals such as sodium, chloride and potassium).

This loss is due to inadequate fluid intake. This in turn is probably due to not eating or drinking. Cat food is 80% water.

Fever increases the loss of water. Your cat is lethargic (sleepy) indicating that (s)he may have a temperature.

The gums are tacky and dry to the touch. The saliva is thick.

If your cat is “noticeably dehydrated” (s)he should receive “prompt veterinarian attention”.

The vet will ascertain the cause and treat that plus threat the dehydration. An electrolyte solution can be given by bottle or syringe to the cheek pouch. A balanced electrolyte solution for children acceptable.

In the US, Ringer’s lactate with 5 percent Dextrose in water and solution of Pedialyte is suitable for a cat.


Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook page 5.

Good luck.

Lethargic cat with dry mouth and loss of appetite to cat health problems

Comments for
Lethargic cat with dry mouth and loss of appetite

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Jan 10, 2011 TO THE VET U GO
by: Kathy W

Please get ur cat to a vet. Cats cannot go 48 hrs without food or drink and they will go into kidney failure. I know I learned the hard way. I almost lost my Lias father that way. I nursed him back to health but it wasnt easy. It was 24 hr care for about 2 months.

Dec 30, 2010 To Jennifer
by: Ruth

The others are right and give you good advice.
Please take your cat to the vet urgently if you haven’t already been by now.
A cat not eating for 2 days is in serious trouble as he can go into organ failure and die.
(Retired vet nurse)

by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

My Sadie was dehydrated and a fast trip to the vet had her on a drip for about an hour!

DO NOT FOOL AROUND! Get this cat to the vet now before it is too late! Your cat will thank you and you will have peace of mind.

Dec 29, 2010 Michael is TOTALLY RIGHT!
by: Jo Singer

The symptoms your cat is demonstrating really needs immediate veterinary attention. Lethargy in cats, and “dry mouth” are symptoms that if this were my cat, I would be at the vet immediately.

It does sound like your cat is dehydated for sure.. but what is the cause of this condition? You must get to the root of the cause before your can can receive the appropriate care.

I really feel for you. Having a cat displaying unusual symptoms is worrysome. I err on the side of caution all the time. Even if my vet ascertains that it is nothing serious, at least I can breathe a sigh of relief! And if it is something to be concerned about, we are moving in the right direction.

I have a cat that is chronically dehydrated for a reason that my vet has not been able to diagnose, as all of his blood work is normal. He gets 5CCs of Pedialyte several times a day via oral syringe.
Since this is not really a huge amount of fluid it cannot hurt him, and can help a LOT. This product can be found at most super markets in the baby department. Get the unflavored variety… but don’t do anything until your vet gives your cat a thorough check up.

Good wishes, and the best of luck


Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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