A Lethargic Cat, Is Something Wrong?
All cats are individuals.
They all have their own personalities and they all have their own energy and activity levels.
Some cats are born loafers. Doing nothing is what they like doing best and they take every opportunity to laze around.
Other cats are highly active. If they are awake, they are on the go.
Run there, climb here, chase about, energy packed.
Most of our feline friends though, fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, sometimes active and sometimes chilled out.
Whatever your cat's normal energy level is there will be times when she or he will be inactive, flopped out and not interested in doing much. Is this a sign that something is wrong? It may be, but not necessarily so.
Listlessness, or lethargy, is one of the symptoms of many sicknesses and illnesses of cats. But inactivity or sluggishness on its own may not be too much for concern.
You know your cat the best. Is she normally quite active or usually on the lazy side?
Cats spend part of the day sleeping and some Cats Sleep for much of the day. How long does your cat spend napping? Is she sleeping more than she normally does?
A cat dozing for longer than normal may not be something to worry about.
Maybe she overtired herself a little the previous day or during the night.
How active and responsive is she when she does awaken?
Does she respond to a favorite toy after she has had time for a yawn and a stretch?
Is she eating and drinking normally? Or even after much slumber is she listless and disinterested in being active?
Just like people, cats are affected by the weather. If it is hot, hot, hot, your cat may not, not, not, want to be charging and chasing all over the place. Likely she will find her self a cool shady spot and laze around.
When the weather is cold and miserable, kitty will possibly keep herself indoors and curl up in a nice warm spot.
Your cat is very likely to be lethargic after receiving any sort of vaccination. Your veterinarian will tell you what to expect, the lethargy can last for up to 36 hours.
After any sort of surgery your cat will want to take it easy. Naturally she will not be moving around much. Medications can also cause a cat to be drowsy.
A pregnant cat will likely spend more time snoozing and chilling out.
Usually lethargy is not the only symptom of a cat being unwell, (although it may be the only obvious one.) Other signs, when coupled with listlessness, that indicate your cat may be ill are:
(list not exhaustive.)
If your cat is not her usual self, not just sleepy but unresponsive for any length of time, it maybe wise to give your veterinarian a call. Don't leave it more than 12 hours even if your cat is showing no other signs of illness.
Of course, if your lethargic cat is showing other symptoms you may need to make that call a lot sooner.
It is possible that a listless cat could have been poisoned, either accidentally or purposely.
Lethargy is not likely to be the only symptom of cat poisoning. Some other possible symptoms are:
This list is by no means exhaustive.
If you fear your lethargic feline may have ingested something poisonous contact your veterinarian right away.
There are many cat illnesses, diseases and conditions that lethargy can be a symptom of, including:
Kidney failure, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, heartworm, anemia, liver disease, blood pressure, feline infectious peritonitis, jaundice, cancer, pyometra and many more. Also see Feline Leukemia Symptoms.
As lethargy is not an illness or disease itself but a symptom, any treatment depends on the cause of the listlessness.
Don't ignore a lethargic cat. If you are sure that the inactivity is not due to temporary tiredness or some other harmless cause, do not leave it too long before getting your cat help.