Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    An_221054 posted:
    Just wanted to thank the doctors for no replies to my post last light regarding my ailing feral cat -

    Thank you for all your compassion and assistance

    I'll ceratinly be vocal about this very informative site!
    srstephanie responded:
    Hi Anon_75683,

    This post is completely uncalled for. I understand your anxiety about your cat but you have a very wrong impression of what this site is for.

    This is not a PRIMARY care site. The vets here do NOT replace going to one's regular vet and it is not a means of avoiding paying a vet to take a look at one's pet. Frequently reminders are posted that if a pet is very sick and one feels it is an emergency, then one should take their pet immediately to a vet or emergency service.

    The vets here comprise some of the top vets available ... not only very knowledgeable and up-to-date general practitioners, but also board certified specialists (DACVIM = board certified in veterinary Internal Medicine; ABVP = board certified in a specific species such as cat or dog, etc).

    It would normally cost hundreds of dollars just to see one of these specialists ... yet, they all volunteer their expertise for free on this site. They are EXTREMELY BUSY people. Most vets I know struggle just to serve the people and pets in their own practice. But these highly trained professionals make time to check this service and do their best to answer questions and help the best that they can.

    Keep in mind that it is not only impossible but illegal for them to diagnose and treat a pet over the internet without physically seeing the pet or having a client-patient relationship. They can only give suggestions of things to ask your vet about or give information on common problems that fit the symptoms that are posted by owners who may not recognize all relevant symptoms.

    I checked your original post and it was just 16 hours ago ... not to mention that many of those hours are overnight when the vets are sleeping ... or maybe even want to reintroduce themselves to their own families.

    I understand the frustration but when one posts here you have to be patient. I've seen vets here respond to posts that are several days or even a week or more old. They do their best to reply to all posts but there is a limit to what one person can do in a day. The vets here have helped many many people and they are extremely compassionate people who give their time and expertise freely to try to help people they do not know.

    Back to your cat. You wrote that he is lethargic and appears to be in pain. I think you answered your own question ... i.e. the cat needs to be examined by a vet. The symptoms are too general for a vet to be able to give a diagnosis (which they can't do over the internet, anyway). If the cat is feral, you can check with a rescue group about getting a humane trap so that you can get him to a vet. If you are unable or unwilling to take him to a vet, there isn't a lot you can do other than give him a warm, comfortable place to sleep along with food and water. If he is in pain, as he appears to be, it could be a very sad situation for him. He really needs to be seen by a vet.

    Good luck,
    Stephanie in Montreal
    delight203 responded:
    Well said Stephanie.........
    Olivia_WebMD_Staff responded:

    It certainly sounds like you are frustrated and worried about your cat. However, as the others here have pointed out, this is not an emergency vet site. Our vets are here to answer general questions about pet health. They cannot diagnose over the internet anymore than a people doctor can.

    There is a note at the top of the board explaining that if you have an emergency please don't wait for an answer here but call your own vet ASAP.

    We hope that you were able to get in to see your own vet and get some real answers about what is ailing your cat.

    Yours in Health,
    WebMD Community Management

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    Learn more about the AVMA

    WebMD Special Sections