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I have a female cat that is 16-1/2 years old she has been an indoor cat since I found her when she was 5 weeks old.  Up until about 2 months ago she was full of life.  Almost over night, she looked sick.  I took her to the vet, the blood work said that her liver and kidney enzymes were up.  The only thing that was changed was my boyfriend varnished the bed he was making and after a couple of days he put it in the room.  I could still smell it.  She is improving, but has a ways to go, she was drinking water before, but now I have to manually get her to drink water.  I am feeding her a food from the vet called A-D critical care, it's all she will eat.  and if I try to give her water after she eats, most of the time she throws it up.  Do you think it was the varnish?  Can you give me any info?

I'm afraid it is impossible to say. However at 16 she is getting quite old now and so health issues can start to appear more often now and so it may be totally unrelated to the varnish. I would say though that strong smells can't do any harm they are just unpleasant. If she licked the varnish then this may have caused some tummy upsets but im sure your vet would have advised you if this was going to cause her any long term health problems. Just keep her out of the room where the varnish is for now.

At her age all you can do is what you have done and that is to give her more TLC than normal and to take her to see a vet as soon as any health or behavioral issues occur as the sooner she is seen as you know the better the outcome.

hope she is back to her normal self soon.

best wishes kate


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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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