Signs and Causes of Lethargy in Cats

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Signs and Causes of Lethargy in Cats

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Cats spend almost two-thirds of their life sleeping. An image of a cat taking a nap on a cozy sofa is the archetypal one. Because we often see our cats in various sleeping positions, we cannot easily spot the signs of lethargy in cats. But, feline experts suggest putting an effort and getting to know better our cat. When we become aware of her sleeping patterns we will be better at detecting the symptoms of lethargy. Cats also tend to sleep more during the winter months and when it is rainy outside. A poor diet can be one of the causes of lethargy in cats. Cats, who lack protein in their diet, will have less energy and not be very active. However, overfed indoor cats who do not exercise may also appear lethargic as well. For some cats, boredom can be a huge factor for their temporary phase of drowsiness and inactivity. Cat experts recommend providing several perches, a cat tree, and scratch pads to overcome boredom. They also believe that two playing sessions of 15 minutes a day can help a cat feel better and happier. At the same time, the playing sessions encourage a strong bond with a cat. If a cat appears reluctant to play, has no appetite and continues to sleep, then it can be a sign of a serious underlying condition. In that case, we should not wait too long. If it lasts longer than a day, then we should visit a vet. To find out more about the signs and causes of lethargy in cats, the article “Lethargic Cat – Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment” lists the possible health conditions.

Signs and Causes of Lethargy in Cats

• Acute or chronic kidney failure – Decline in the function of the kidneys.
• Addison’s Disease – Insufficient secretion of cortisone by the adrenal glands.
• Congestive heart failure
• Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
• Hepatic lipidosis – A form of liver disease caused by a build-up of fat cells in the liver as a result of anorexia
• Jaundice
• Liver disease
• Yellow fat disease
• Ruptured bladder
• Anemia – Reduced number of red blood cells.
• Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
• Pulmonary edema
• Pleural effusion
• Cancer
• Certain medications
• Constipation
• Dietary (inadequate amount of food, poor quality food)
• Heat stroke
• High blood pressure
• Hypercalcemia – High blood calcium levels.
• Hypocalcemia – Low blood calcium levels.
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Nutritional disorders and or deficiency
• Pancreatitis – Inflammation of the pancreas.
• Poisoning
• Pregnancy
• Gastrointestinal disorders
• Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets)
• Systemic lupus erythematosus
• Poisoning (zinc, ibuprofen, antifreeze, paracetamol,
• Gastrointestinal obstruction
• Urinary blockage

Many cats may show signs of lethargy from time to time. Usually, it is a transient phase. However, when the lethargy is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, it is not a time to wait. Immediate veterinarian care is necessary.

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