We have a one year old (stray) cat who is sick. About two months ago, the cat was eating very well and I was concerned about he getting too fat. He also used to drink a lot of water. About three weeks ago, the cat got sick, but did not appear anything too serious. Because it is cold outside, it enjoyed staying inside and was not very active. Gradually it started losing weight and eating less. Only about a week ago it became clear the cat is sick, although it was still eating, but not as much as before. Since last week, the disease started accelerating very fast. The cat seemed to breath with difficulty and was not moving much - staying outside in the sun or in the shadow. About three days ago the cat stopped eating. We took him to the doctor and he said the cat is very sick - by checking its gums, he said the cat is anemic. Considering what we told him about the cat drinking much water in the past, he suspects the cat may have a kidney disease. We told him we noticed the cat has fleas and he mentioned the fleas can also cause anemia, but they would have to be a lot of them (which they aren't). Also, the cat had bad breath in the past (now he doesn't anymore!). He gave the cat an injection with steroids, a pill to kill the fleas and another injection, which I am not clear what it was (but it was not antibiotics, because the cat had no fever). He said that we will probably know in about four days if the cat survives or not. That was really a shock, to see how fast the cat's health is declining. After the medicines, the cat seemed to do even worse. He clearly has difficulty breathing, did not drink or eat at all in the last day. Two days ago he licked some cat soup, probably just two spoons. Because he is anemic, we thought to keep him warm - but he appears to move away from the heat source and went to the coldest place in the bath which he could find - on the tiles.
The doctor did not take blood samples, because he said it would cost us a lot of money and if the cat has kidney failure or FIV or some form of cancer, there won't be much to do.
I read on the internet that some tape worms could also cause anemia. Since the cat appeared to be in good health until about a month ago, can indeed kidney failure or cancer be a cause?
I read that for kidney failure, sometimes the cat's breath smells like ammonia, which is not the case. Also the cat does not have jaundice. We are forcing him to eat some vitamins in a tube..
I don't know what to do - at least I would like the cat to drink or eat something, before the medicines take effect.
I am very sad because the cat is really young and I suffer a lot to see him in this condition.

I found out what the doctor gave to our cat - one injection with Depo-medrol, one with Lauarbolin and a pill of Capstar to kill the fleas.
It breaks my heart to inform that we had to put down the cat. On Sunday morning it became obvious to me the cat has problems breathing and is very weak. I tried to take the cat to the vet on Sunday, but there were not many vets open after 12pm. And the few who were open were charging emergency fees, which in Australia are around $170 at some clinics. So I decided to wait until Monday morning to see our regular vet. Already on Sunday I started realizing that the cat is in a much more severe condition than I imagined and I regretted for not checking on him at least on Saturday. Now, in the hindsight we know we should have paid a much closer attention to his health since my wife noticed he seems to drink too much water for a cat a few months before! I thought that drinking a lot of water can only do good to the kidneys, so I was not too concerned. And besides, I was convinced that cats have nine lives and if they get sick, they will recover in a few days anyway. Well, we dearly pay for all these assumptions and lack of interest for the poor cat. It would have deserved so much more from us and we did not care.
Even on Monday morning, when we went to see the vet, we were really hopeful he will soon get well. I would have not imagined that we will lose him by Tuesday evening. I feel pain and guilt for the fact I took him for granted. He was always there for us to enjoy his company, but we did not care for his needs and now we pay the price. There is nothing to bring him back.
All I can do now is to give advice to other people, to be more observant to their pets and realize they are in fact much more fragile than some of us may think. Because he was a young stray cat, in fact a guest of our other cat who befriended him and brought to our home, we sort of felt less responsibility for him.
But the pain of losing him and the feeling of guilt for not caring more and sooner put in real perspective how attached we got of him. Anyway, it doesn't make a difference now and I should suffer for losing a dear friend who loved me more than I loved him. If only I was aware of how much he meant to me earlier.
We will never know what caused his illness. I wish I could find what caused him to become this sick, but now it will not matter to him.

I'm so sorry no one replied to you sooner. I'm also very sorry to read that you lost him. It seems to me this vet is not really up to par on treatments as FIV is not a death sentence, even if that's not what he had. Just wanted to get that in there. I have many friends with FIV kitties that live long lives and can co-exist with other cats. Also, I don't know how quickly you put him on a diet but it must always, always be done very slowly with a cat. Their livers are much different from ours and they get sick very quickly and can stop eating and it can be fatal. Not sure again what happened here. it sounds more like it was the anemia. but blood work should in fact have been done. that really makes me mad that he didn't want to do that. I'm so sorry.
Your situation is exactly as my 15 yr old male. I wish I knew as well. Labordered breathing would not survive the gas he needed to calm down for sonogram.

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I am losing my 3 year old cat to the same thing. By the time we realized she was sick it was too late. She went from sleeping more than usual to "picking" at her food and drinking a "little" water still to one day just not eating OR drinking anything at all. I don't know what made me do this but I looked her her gums and they were almost white. I panicked and got her to the vet. Blood tests ruled out feline leukemia and feline AIDS. She is 100% indoor and has not been injured. She did have a "few fleas" but no infestation. Her red blood count was so low that he was surprised she was able to still be alive and alert. The vet gave her antibiotic and steriods to be taken one time per day. I gave her the first dosage as soon as we got back from the vet. That was day one. Still not eating and refusing water. Day 2 gave her meds and she struggled to get away. I managed to get the meds in her however it took the little bit if oxygen she had and when I put her down she walked like she was drunk and fell over sideways hitting the floor, started panting super fast, her tongue stuck out and her eyes wide open not blinking. I thought this is it and she is actively dying. I was wrong. She was still alive the next day (today) but won't drink or eat a thing. I've only been able to get a couple of eye droppers of water in her per day. I called my vet. He said we might need to put her to sleep so that she doesn't suffer. She just stays in the same spot all of the time, never budging from that spot. We have to drag her out to offer her water and food which she has no interest in. I will have to put her through hell again at 9PM tonight when she is due for her meds. The vet said even if she "can" eventually rebuild new red blood cells, he doesn't think she will live long enough for the meds to get her cured of the cause of the anemia and for the red blood cells to rebuild enough to bring her appetite and thirst back. This is a nightmare. The vet is open till 8 PM tonight and all day tomorrow till 6PM if we need to have her put down. I don't want her to suffer. But it sounds hopeless. I've spent all I can spend with the blood tests. If she is still alive I will give her the meds tonight. Only 3 years old and a week ago she was eating and drinking. Now she will probably die anyday now.

I wish I could have helped everyone on this thread sooner—honestly everyone’s stories seems to match mine exactly. We started out with three kittens, 2 females and one male. We got them from different homes but at the same time. We vetted them and kept them inside, fed them the best food, etc. they were the picture of health until about a year old when one female started showing issues. At the time we had a terrible vet and her death was quick and brutal with no medical help. A couple months later, we lost the other female. She was just too fragile to make it through the treatment. Now here we are fighting for my male. What they have battled is feline leukemia and anemia. The feline leukemia itself is not technically a death sentence but it severely compromises their immune system. They are highly susceptible to viruses and they can quickly become deathly ill. His symptoms started as rapid weight loss, drastic drop in appetite, peeing on himself, not pooping, laying in an uncomfortable position with eyes wide open, labored breathing, “drunk” walk. Treatments have included steroids, antibiotics, lixotinic vitamin supplement, a gel multivitamin supplement, gel lysine, mineral oil and clear pedialyte. He continues to make small improvements each day. We will continue to fight!!!