Low energy (lethargy) in cats
- Does your cat seem lethargic (low in energy), quieter than usual, less interested in food, playing, hunting and going outside?
- Lethargy is a symptom that can be caused by many different problems, some minor and some more serious.
- Take your cat to the vet if they have been lethargic for more than 24 hours or book an urgent appointment if they are severely lethargic.
General information and causes
Cats save energy for hunting which means they often sleep for 12-16 hours a day (or more). However, if your cat is sleeping more than usual it could be a sign that something is wrong. Lethargy can be caused by many different conditions ranging from a simple cat bite abscess to more serious problems such as kidney disease, diabetes or poisoning. There are so many different causes of lethargy in cats that it would be difficult to list them all here.
Published: June 2020
Did you find this page useful?
Tell us more
Thank you for your feedback
Want to hear more about PDSA and get pet care tips from our vet experts?Sign up to our e-newsletter
PetWise Pet Health Hub – brought to you thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery
Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.
Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst