Kitten not eating or drinking...

by Nell
(Joshua Tree, CA)

I have a 6 month old kitten, a rescue, who has not been eating or drinking for over 24 hours. He was vomiting and defecating mucus, after a short bout of diarrhea. This came on very suddenly - in the morning he was fine; by 1 pm he was very ill. He is lethargic as well. He is an indoor cat; it is possible he was able to eat some barbecue sauce I left on the counter for a moment, though I don't know why he would, or if that would be enough to bring about these symptoms.

I have been giving him Pedialite and some kitten formula with an eyedropper. This has helped somewhat - his eyes look much better, and he's marginally less lethargic. He did not vomit or emit mucus for 12 hours, and I thought he was on the road to recovery, but just recently he vomited again, as well as pooped more mucus. He still seems marginally more aware, and his breathing is steadier than it was yesterday.

Before I close - I KNOW what you're thinking. I KNOW, I know, he needs to go to a doctor. But there's no way to do that - I'm one of the long term unemployed, I've tapped every resource there is to tap, I can't get credit, I don't know anyone I can borrow from, there are no charities who'll help - I've looked and looked. I don't even have the rent, and it's the second, and I have 6 other rescue animals ( all but the kitten from long before I got so broke...) I don't even have a working car. Not to cry poor, or be pathetic, I just want to be clear, a vet, far and away the best answer, is just not an option. There are no vets who'll work w/ me, or no kill shelters w/ room. All I can do is try to help the little guy as best as I can. Please help me anyway you can....

Dear Nell,

I understand your situation and sympathize with you. However, I can't advise you on what to do for home care for a cat that is clearly so ill.

In a situation like this, the only thing I could advise, aside from bringing your cat to a veterinarian, would be to keep him comfortable. Provide lots of soft, dry, warm bedding. Keep your cat not too hot or not too cold.

It is impossible to get enough water into a cat by mouth to meet a cat's fluid requirements, but trying to give water with an eye dropper might be better than nothing. Having said that, though, it is possible that your cat is vomiting because there is something wrong in his stomach, whether an obstruction or any other number of possible causes, and perhaps he should not be given ANYTHING, food or water, by mouth. Again, it is impossible for me to advise you with such severe cat illness symptoms.

The absolute best and only thing to do for this cat is to get him some veterinary care in some way. In the meantime, all you can do is focus on keeping him comfortable.

Kindest regards,
Dr. Neely

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