Lethargy Average Cost

From 226 quotes ranging from $200 - 2,000

Average Cost

$800

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What is Lethargy?

Because cats naturally sleep a large percentage of their day, especially older cats, you may not be immediately aware of lethargy indicating that something may be medically wrong with your cat. Lethargy is an indication of your cat not feeling well and could relate to a relatively minor medical condition or could be a sign of a more serious illness. Careful investigation by your veterinarian will be required to narrow down the cause.

Symptoms of lethargy in cats are abnormal sleepiness, low energy, and lack of response to surroundings. Lethargy is not a condition or disease in itself, but can be a sign that something is wrong with your cat. 

Symptoms of Lethargy in Cats

Lethargy is a symptom in itself and is characterized primarily by the following:

  • General inactivity
  • Lack of interest or response to surroundings
  • Lack of energy
  • Sleepiness or drowsiness

Other symptoms that commonly coincide with and are associated with causes of lethargy are:

  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Thirst/increase in urination
  • Jaundice
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Dull hair coat/loss of hair
  • Behavioral changes, e.g. aggression

In addition, there may be specific symptoms present that are indicative of a specific medical disease or condition.

Causes of Lethargy in Cats

Cats sleep a lot by nature, however, excessive sleep or inactivity could be a sign of illness. Rest is your cat's natural response to not feeling well and could be a normal part of recovery from a minor condition or it could be an indicator of a more severe condition.

Common causes of lethargy:

  • Being overfed
  • Being under exercised
  • Parasitic infection
  • Stress
  • Depression/too little stimulation
  • Medication side effects
  • Arthritis in older cats
  • Hairballs (can become serious if causing blockage)
  • Obesity
  • Infection with a minor common virus such as cat flu

Other more serious conditions that are common in cats and cause lethargy are:

  • Diabetes
  • Viral infections such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
  • Bacterial infection 
  • Abscesses from bites by other cats
  • Musculoskeletal injury
  • Heartworm
  • Anemia
  • Urinary tract infections

Less common but serious conditions that could cause lethargy in your cat are:

  • Protozoal infection
  • Cardiovascular disorder such as heart disease
  • Respiratory problems resulting in low oxygen levels such as asthma
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Heatstroke
  • Cancer
  • Organ failure (kidney or liver disease)
  • Poisoning
  • Neurological Disorders

Diagnosis of Lethargy in Cats

Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical upon presentation of a lethargic cat. Diagnosis is complicated as there are many possible causes of lethargy in cats which range from mild to severe, as lethargy is a symptom of most illnesses and disorders. Your veterinarian will require a complete medical history of your cat including detailed description of symptoms in order to narrow down a possible cause. In addition, you should let your veterinarian know about any changes to your cat’s environment or exposures they may have had recently. Your vet will look for injuries and abscesses, skin problems, swelling, and signs of pain or discomfort during the physical exam that may help determine the cause of the lethargy.

The following tests are commonly ordered to narrow down the cause of lethargy:

  • Urinalysis and blood tests to check blood count and look for factors that would indicate illness, bacterial infections, and viral infections
  • Fecal sample to check for parasites
  • Ultrasound to reveal abnormalities in organs or tumors
  • Chest x-ray to reveal tumors or fluid buildup
  • Diabetes test
  • FIV and FELV tests
  • Heartworm tests

Treatment of Lethargy in Cats

Treatment of lethargy will depend on the identified cause. General treatment of the symptom lethargy often includes an improved diet and supplements, such as iron supplements for anemia. It may also include intravenous fluids or oxygen therapy if required. Rest is also prescribed for lethargic cats that require it. Painkillers may also be prescribed if pain is a factor in your pet’s condition.

Common treatments prescribed for cats with lethargy according to their respective causes are:

  • Antibiotics for bacterial infection
  • Dewormer for parasites or heartworm
  • Surgery for removal of tumors or to repair injury
  • Antiviral medication for viruses
  • Antidepressants for depression or stress
  • Diet and insulin for treatment of diabetes

Further treatment specific to the cat’s medical condition will be prescribed as appropriate.

Recovery of Lethargy in Cats

Your pet will require follow-up care specific to the medical condition that was the cause of the lethargy.

Administration of any special diet and supplements prescribed by your veterinarian should be continued. If depression or stress were factors, a change to your cat’s environment may be needed to address this. 

A lethargic cat may be in need of recuperation and should be given a low stress, comfortable environment and be allowed to rest.

Lethargy Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Huxley
American Shorthair
8 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Labored breath
Clear discharge from one/both eyes
Lathargic

Huxley is a seven/eight month rescue, he’s had a previous eye infection that was treated, but may have been treated poorly (currently seeing signs of it again) Lately he’s been sleeping all day, he still eats regularly and drinks a lot more frequently. No sneezing, but when he is sleeping his breathing sounds slightly laboured. Not sure if this isn’t another upper respiratory problem or something bigger.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
863 Recommendations
Cats can be chronically affected by viral disease, and Huxley may need to be examined by a veterinarian to make sure that he is okay. if he is affected by viral disease, there are supplements that may help to keep him healthy, long term.

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Layla
Not sure
7 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Tired

My seven month old Kitten had kittens. It's been a week now. She is the same loving kitten, but seems to have no energy when she's not feeding her kittens.

(I found her as a stray and was not aware she was pregnant)

Feeding her a combination of wet and dry food (since having only feed her dry while she was pregnant)

Her weight seems normal (belly looks a little big) and I have food and water out for her all the time.

I haven't taken her to the vet yet.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
Nursing takes a lot of energy and nutrition from a mother and the diet should be increased to ensure that Layla is getting enough nutrition for herself and the kittens; there are lactation diets available from the main commercial food companies which are balanced for a nursing mother. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Grey
Rescue
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Sleepiness
no energy

My cat has always been skinny no matter how much she eats but the last 2 days she has lost more weight and doesnt do anything. She doesnt follow her normal habits and looks like she has absolutely no energy. She has also been throwing up some the pellets that she ate a while after. What could e the cause? Nothing has been changed in her diet or routine and no new pets have been introduced.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
863 Recommendations
Cats can be affected by parasites, infectious disease, intestinal infections or food intolerances. Since she does not seem to be thriving, it would be a good idea to have her examined by a veterinarian to have a good physical exam. They can recommend any necessary testing or treatments that might be needed.

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Maizy
Calico
3 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

will not eat
Will not eat or drink.
will not eat or drink

My daughters cat is sleeping all of the time and will not eat or drink. Her blood work and X-rays showed nothing. They gave her fluids , pain killers, antibiotics and just now Valium to stimulate her appetite. This cat has moved with my daughter in the last two months. Also she got a new cat which the sick cat has seemed ok with for 3 weeks. Could it be severe depression?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
The symptoms described are vague and may be attributable to various conditions; however this may be behavioural due to a new cat but I cannot say with certainty that this is the cause. You could try moving the over cat out for a week to see if there are any changes in Maizy’s behaviour and appetite; without examining Maizy I cannot really say anything else. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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cristopher nolan
Persian
6 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Drowsiness loss of appetite
Drowsiness

Hi,my kitten is a 6 months old boy
and he's been sleepy and drowsy for about a week and since yesterday he 's lost his appetite and he's not keen on eating
he doesn't seem to have any pain and defecates and urinates regularly and there's nothing unusal about it
recently he has been having some twitches in his face and tail
But he has been completely vaccinated and he hasn't been bitten by any animal

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
863 Recommendations
Kittens are prone to infectious disease and foreign bodies, and christopher nolan should be examined by a veterinarian if his appetite is decreased and he is lethargic. They will be able to determine what might be going on, and recommend any possible treatment for him.

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Ki Ki
grey tabby
19 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Very slow moving.

My 19 year old can has just recently become very slow in moving, hardly walks around and has a watery, darkened right eye. She’s an indoor cat. She does still eat and drink. Something just doesn’t seem right. When I pet her, she seems almost annoyed, but doesn’t seem in pain.
Is she just old and shutting down?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
At nineteen years old, there are many possible causes many of which may be age related; since she is an old girl you should visit your Veterinarian for a physical examination and have a blood test to check blood cell counts, liver function and kidney function at a minimum. Your Veterinarian can also check her eye at the same time as well. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jack
Domestic long haried
11 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

Hi,

Yesterday my 11 year old cat displayed a sudden case of lethargy and loss of appetite. He usually has a very healthy appetite. He slept with me last night and did not move until I woke this morning. Again I offered him food, but he turned it down and was content to lay on the floor. He did eat little bit of wet food when I presented it to him, but left most of it untouched. He is now laying in my bed in the same position I placed him in two hours ago.
He is purring now, which he did not do yesterday. And he seems a little more alert but this lethargy is extremely out of character for him. We have two other cats that seem to be feeling just fine.
He is not having any difficulty breathing, not vomitting, and doesn't appear to be in pain. Just completely lethargic and uninterested in food and water. These symptoms came out of nowhere 24 hours ago.

Thank you for your help!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
Lethargy is a very vague symptom and may be caused by a variety of different conditions, if Jack is also off his food it may be due to abdominal pain or something similar; without examining him I cannot give you any more specific information I’m afraid. You should ensure that Jack is keeping hydrated, but if there is no improvement I would recommend that you visit your Veterinarian before the weekend to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you for your advice. Hydrating Jack really perked him up. Unfortunately he is really sick . We took him to the vet and found out he has a very aggressive form of abdominal cancer and is bleeding internally. He was given a grim prognosis, but is not in any pain. We are trying to keep him comfortable and let him pass at home. As long as he drinks water he is perky and playful. But it is hard to convince him to drink. Thank you again for your advice and assistance.

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Bumble
domestic short hair
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

My cat is a but lethargic. He seems to be in pain when we pick him up but we can't pinpoint where he's hurting. He's about two years old. He just wants to lay down. He sits at his eater bowl but won't drink. Holds himself up strangely and when he gets into his litter box, he sits as if he's urinating but there's nothing there when he gets up. He threw up just as little bit as well.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
863 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. You should have Bumble seen immediately at your closest emergency clinic. he may be having a urinary problem, and blockages can be intensely painful, and life threatening. This cannot wait until the morning. I hope that he is okay.

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Gingey
Unknown short hair
3 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Constipation
Lethargy

Medication Used

Laevolac

Hi There,

My cat has been to the vet several times over the last few weeks. The initial symptoms were lack of appetite and extreme lethargy.

After some antibiotics and laxatives (as constipation could be felt) an x-ray was done and a blockage could be seen.

There was a week of about normal activity until lethargy resumed but eating continued as normal. At the vet again and laxatives have been prescribed for the next few weeks. However, our cat is still very lethargic (which is extremely uncharacteristic). Could the medication be causing this?

Sometimes he is also walking tenderly, however we cannot located a specific source of any pain.

Any help would be appreciated!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
The lethargy may be due to the discomfort of an obstruction, the discomfort may also have an effect on Gingey’s gait as well; medications used may also cause lethargy as well. Continue with the course of treatment given by your Veterinarian and once Gingey has recovered, it may be worth mixing a little plain canned pumpkin in with the food to keep the bowels moving. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Krispy kreme
Ragdoll
2 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

not pooping

My cat is 2 months old. She is not pooping. She always sleep. And everytime I gave her food, she will just eat a little and then she'll be sleeping again. I don't know what to do anymore. Can you help me? And everytime I wanted to carry her and when I accidentally touches her stomach she moans as if she's hurt. Her stomach is somewhat hard I mean when I'm trying to press it, it is hard not like my other cats' stomach.I don't know what to do. Can you help me?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
There are a few possible causes of not wanting to defecate and from your question it seems that Krispy Kreme isn’t attempting to visit the litter tray; obstructions, foreign objects, parasites, anal glands, tumours, rectal disorders among other issues may be causing a lack of defecation. In a case like this, it would be easy to say ‘give some plain canned pumpkin to get things moving’ but I feel that may not be sufficient and a visit to your Veterinarian is required, especially if it has been a few days since the last bowel movement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Ellie
Tortoiseshell
11 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Excessive Sleeping
Lethargy
Loss of Appetite

My cat who will be 1 year old next month is experiencing lethargy, over the last week or so she has been sleeping excessively, not as willing to eat, Not doing any of the normal activities throughout the day that she would normally do for example jumping up into windows and not interested in play you know just being a kitten, we took her to the vet last Tuesday because her breathing seemed heavier than normal, The vet and lesser of words said we were overreacting and she was fine however this Lethargy has continued and I believe has gotten worse I don’t want to waste the vets time or my money taking her back but she is not acting like herself what should we do?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
863 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. You know Ellie. If she isn't acting normally, you're not wasting anyone's time by having a recheck to have her temperature checked, make sure she's hydrated, and see if she needs any further care. I hope she is okay.

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Stray
None
9 Months
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargic

There’s outdoor stray cats that our neighbor feeds and today one of them(female) seems very weak and her eyes seem watery. She gets up to move to another place to be alone. I’m afraid she can be sick, but not sure what medicine to give her. Recently the cats around were mating with her, so now I️ don’t know if she’s pregnant or if she’s sick or even has worms since her stomach has been bigger than her sister cat. The bloating in her stomach has been for a few months while she has gotten bigger, even before she was in heat recently. Please help!
Thanks in advance.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
Without examining this stray I cannot say what the cause of her symptoms are and if I could examine her, her history would be vague at best; there are a few possible causes including worms, infections, pregnancy (either healthy or not), poisoning, trauma, foreign objects among many other possible causes. I cannot recommend any prescription medicines without examining this cat, but you should try to clean her up and ensure that she is wormed with an effective anthelmintic and her eyes are cleaned. However, if there is any doubt about her health you should take her to a charity clinic for a check over and possible spaying. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Midnight
Not sure
8 Months
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Crying
Sleepiness
Excessive licking in butt area
Purring

My cat is miserable. She's purring crying constantly licking back there.planting her butt in air.and like contracting she's banging and rubbing her head on things.what do I do

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
863 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining Midnight, I can't say for sure what may be wrong with her, but she may have an infection, or she may be coming into heat. She should be seen by your veterinarian as soon as possible for an examination to determine the best treatment options for her, which may include spaying her. I hope everything goes well for her.

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Tom
mixed
5 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Increased sleep
Lethargic

Hi. My cat has been been lethargic for a couple of weeks. Not moving just sleeping constantly. He only moves to eat and evacuate his bladder and bowel. His bowel movement seems normal and so does his urine. His breathing seems normal unless trying to purr (no noise produced) in which case it becomes very shallow. He also seems very scared (wide eyed) when woken or moved

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
Lethargy is a very vague symptom and may be attributable to many different conditions; pain, infections, parasites, malabsorption, hormonal conditions, cancer, organ failure, neurological conditions among other causes can cause lethargy. I would suggest you visit your Veterinarian for an examination and a blood test to determine what the underlying cause is, without examining him I cannot give much guidance. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Misha
Dont know
2 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Sleepiness

I adopted a stray cat, aprox. 2 months old.
She is very energetic and plays a lot.
I go to work from 8 to 16 and in that time she is alone. She is with me for 2 weeks and all was great until today when I came home from work and saw that she is slow, passive, unamused, didnt react to toys or my voice.. litterally nothing!
She wanted to sleep, waved her tail unsatisfied, drank just a little water when I put her in front of her bowl, ate only treats, pooped when I lift her and put her in sand (poop looked normal to me).
Normally, as said, she is really playful, vocal, runs and jumps alot, plays with her toy balls, loves to be pet..
I am really scared and confused how this happened all of a sudden?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
Misha could be just having an off day or there may be something happening with her which may include parasites, infections, foreign objects, poisoning among other causes; keep an eye on her for now, but if there is no improvement after a day or two I would recommend you have her checked over by your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Hearts
Cat
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

My 4 year old cat, Hearts, has been sleeping and laying in bed basically for 48 hours. He does get up at some point in the night but I don't know if he's eating or drinking then. I try to stimulate him to get up and move and stand him and he just lays back down. The dogs get into bed with him and instead of him darting out of bed like usual he just lays there and meows. What could be going on for him to have a lack of response to his surroundings and lethargy like this? This has never happened before. He has been losing some hair but I put that Off as possible food allergies and changed foods. Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
There are various different causes for lethargy to the level you’re describing which may be due to hormonal conditions, pain (hence meowing), intestinal obstructions, trauma, spinal disorders among many other possibly causes. Given the severity of the symptoms it would be advisable to visit your Veterinarian before the weekend for an examination to determine the underlying cause for this behaviour. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Santo
orange
less than 8 months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy. grumpy
Lethargy

My cat is lethargic suddenly. And he seems defensive. How can I make him comfortable? He stopped being playful. He has been sleeping all day. Does not want to be touched. Whines when disturbed.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
There are a few possible causes for why Santo has some behavioural changes which may include illness, pain, parasites, foreign objects, trauma (from a fall in the home) among many other issues. I would keep an eye on him for now and make sure that he is eating/drinking/defecating/urinating but if there is no improvement over the next few days you should visit your Veterinarian as his symptoms are quite vague. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Survire
Long hair grey kitten
5 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My kitten this morning was lethargic she just wanted to lay in her bed but moving around in bed she had a good stool no worms check to see if a tick and fleas none she past away tonight in her bed but puzzle what could happen?? Even drink some water

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2306 Recommendations
I am unable to think of a specific reason for the passing of Survire, the lethargy would have been indicative of something occurring but without performing a necropsy I couldn’t say what that cause was. Kittens may have congenital issues, infections, liver problems, worms and other conditions which are hidden and may cause sudden death; if you are looking for concrete answers I would suggest having a necropsy done. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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