October 12, 2019, 05:00 | Animals
How to help a pet, and when a doctor is urgently needed.
Sometimes cat owners have to face such a problem: the animal refuses water and food, sleeps all day, its condition is lethargic and apathetic. Such a sign cannot be ignored, if only because as a result of such a "diet" the pet can become very weak. But the root of this condition can be hidden in a serious pathology, when urgent measures should be taken, informs Ukr.Media.
Reasons why a cat or cat may lose its appetite
The desire to eat is natural for any living being. Food gives energy to the body not only for activities aimed at the outside (any movements), but also for the work of internal organs. So, the lack of food for a long time is harmful to health.
And then you notice that your pet, who until this moment was active and ate on schedule, suddenly ignores the bowl, and most of the time spent in a drowsy state. The cause of the cat's changed behavior should be determined in order to provide it with the necessary help. Factors leading to the refusal of food and water along with a decrease in activity can be psychological or medical.
The causes of the psychological plan should include various stressful situations for the animal state:
- Moving to a new place of residence. Until the animal gets used to the new home, it may not only not want to eat, but also not to go to the toilet. It is believed that an adult animal can behave like this for 2 days, while its condition does not require correction. Everything is still unfamiliar to the cat in the new apartment, she needs time to get used to it
- Change of host. Contrary to the popular opinion that a cat is attached to the house, and a dog is attached to the owner, “own” is also important for mustaches. man. Many cats choose a master once and for all, and separation from him can cause deep stress for the animal.
- Change in diet. If the cat was transferred to a new diet abruptly, it may refuse food altogether, and lethargy will be a logical consequence of weakening the body.
- The appearance of a new pet or family member in the house, as well as guests (if they came for several days). Not all cats are friendly and easily accept any changes in their territory. That's why new people or animals are a stressful situation that you have to get used to. If people are noisy, and the animal psychologically suppresses the pet (for example, the owners got a dog that does not like cats), then the stress can be prolonged.
Usually, even in a state of stress, a cat has a normal body temperature. But the appetite is completely absent, that is, the animal will not even touch the "deliciousness".
A pet's wet nose can serve as a relative indicator of general health (although it can be dry after sleep, which is also the norm).
Another group of reasons for feeling bad and refusing to eat is related to the development of some disease. The main factors can be:
Infectious-inflammatory diseases accompanied by an increase in temperature. Fighting the infection, the body mobilizes all its reserves, so a pet may not eat or drink for several days (just as a person, when he feels bad, may not feel the need for food or the desire to eat).
- Diseases of the urinary system. They are mainly associated with the formation of stones in the kidneys and their movement along the ureters or blockage of the latter. The animal may feel severe pain and may not approach the bowl, preferring to lie down in a comfortable place.
- Gastrointestinal poisoning or disorder. A pet can be poisoned not only by poor-quality food, but also by household chemicals. Pets have a high risk of eating any poisonous insect or mouse that may be poisoned. Against the background of intoxication of the body, the cat does not feel the desire to eat or drink, but it will have other symptoms (increased temperature, vomiting, diarrhea).
- Injuries Most often, injuries manifest themselves visually – the animal limps, feels pain when moving (may scream sharply or even bite when trying to pick it up). A type of injury can be a foreign body stuck in the throat. But then the pet will also cough, he may have vomiting and wheezing when breathing.
- Diseases of the gums, teeth, oral cavity. At the same time, the animal does not eat or drink simply because it hurts to do so. Older cats may refuse solid food due to the inability to chew it.
Also, loss of appetite and lethargy can be caused by:
- worm infestations;
- infection with ectoparasites (fleas, subcutaneous mites);
- allergic reactions.
Medical reasons are very diverse, each has specific symptoms. Only a veterinarian can accurately establish a diagnosis, and sometimes only based on the results of tests and examinations. Therefore, self-medication in this case is not possible, it is better to hurry to see a specialist.
The main goal of the owner is to observe the animal and record various events that occurred before the pet's behavior changed and could play a role in its current state. All this information will be needed at the appointment with the veterinarian in order to most fully describe the clinical picture of the cat's well-being.
In small kittens, the cause of lack of appetite and lethargy can be any diseases of an infectious nature, as well as parasitic infestations (infection with fleas can even cause severe anemia, which practically does not happen in adult animals). For a small body, this condition is more dangerous and can lead to death due to the imperfections of the immune system, faster dehydration and weakening of the body.
However, stressful situations usually do not have a strong impact on babies. They adapt much faster to any new conditions and, on the contrary, show increased curiosity. And if the symptoms of food refusal are observed for more than a day, then the reason for this should be looked for elsewhere.
How many days can a cat live without food and water< /p>
The lack of water is more harmful to the pet than the refusal of food. An animal can live without water for no more than 2 days without obvious health consequences.
It has been noticed that cats can live without water for up to 5 days. But at the same time, they will already experience irreversible changes in the functioning of organs and systems (first of all, cardiovascular, excretory and nervous).
Cats can live up to 10 days without food, provided they drink water regularly. If the animal does not eat or drink, then after 5 days health problems will begin, up to the failure of vital organs (first of all, the kidneys).
When to rush to the vet
During the day after discovering that the cat is not eating or drinking, you should simply observe it, paying attention to other symptoms, if any. But even if the overall condition of the pet does not cause concern (refusal of food and drowsiness are the only signs), it is still worth consulting with a veterinarian, because many pathologies have a hidden course (for example, the presence of malignant tumors becomes obvious only in the later stages).< /p>
If the following symptoms are present, you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible:
- vomiting and diarrhea – usually always accompany poisoning or infectious diseases, and also increase the risk of rapid dehydration;
- increasing temperature, it should be remembered that a temperature of up to 39 degrees is normal for cats, and only exceeding this indicator indicates a fever;
- rashes of any type – we can be talking about both an allergic reaction and infections;
- hair loss – can be a symptom of an infectious lesion or parasitic infestation.
Especially should alert if the pet hides in secluded corners and avoids contact with the owner – only very sick animals behave this way.
How to help the pet
The best help for a pet will be to consult a doctor. An exception may be situations when you are absolutely sure that such a condition is caused by stress. For example, a recent move to a new place of residence or the arrival of a new pet or family member. But even here your cat needs help.
Only a careful attitude to the animal will allow the owner to notice the symptoms of illness in time. If the animal does not eat or drink, shows signs of being unwell, then it is not necessary to treat it at home. You should consult a veterinarian so that he can identify the cause of the cat's condition, and then prescribe adequate measures to treat the pet.