old cats

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PeanutsFriend
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old cats

Post by PeanutsFriend »

Those of you who have the old cats, do your cats get thinner along the spine, as well? I have three geriatrics now. I just noticed my twelve year old received that old cat body look recently. I was just wondering if its my care or that is what everyone's cats does???
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bobbys girl
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Re: old cats

Post by bobbys girl »

I have a couple of cats, Willow and Tom who are getting on in years. Willow is 12, not sure about Tom. Just recently Tom has lost a lot of weight, especially around his face. We thought he might be hyper T. Just found out he has kidney disease.

Has you cat lost weight fairly quickly (weeks)? If so I'd get him/her to the vets and get them checked out.
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Lilith
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Re: old cats

Post by Lilith »

Years ago I knew someone who managed a big household of rescued/rehomable/resident cats/kittens and she described her geriatrics, when showing their age, as being 'smally-faced'.

Having had many geriatrics of my own since, I reckon that's a fair description. Many elderly animals do get thinner but in my experience this is more of a 'shrunken' quality. Like people really.

Like my old Finn, of whom people used to say, 'He's Finn???? But he's phat!!!!' Lol. His local nickname was 'Garfield'. Although he retained his portliness he seemed to get smaller and more doddery.

It's sad to see them get like this and know we won't have them for ever, but mostly they do have many happy years ahead of them; they eat well and sleep a lot; a vet check up might be needed now and again and of course any untoward symptom requires the vet (as in any cat of any age) but a geriatric cat in a safe and caring environment can be very content :)
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cathyday
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Re: old cats

Post by cathyday »

Boris has gone thinner along his spine & back end in the last year. His face is thinner too. He's 17 next Saturday so it's not unexpected really. He spends all day asleep only waking for food or toilet duties. He's happy though :-)
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Re: old cats

Post by PeanutsFriend »

Personally, I have had sixteen cats in my lifetime. Or should I say my life has been enriched by sixteen cats.
In any case, I started to wonder if it was something all cats do. Start losing mussle mass when they age?
I am not sure how old they are when it starts? Maybe it is different with each cat.
My Meuzette looked like dead cat walking for so long, I was wondering if I was being fair to her keeping her with me? The only cat I put down was the one that ended up paralyzed one morning. I still feel like I betrayed his love by doing that. The guilt eases some when I remember Angel's love pattern. He understand s what I was trying to do.
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Jan
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Re: old cats

Post by Jan »

Glad I came across this topic because in the last couple of weeks, I've been asking my OH if he thinks Blackie (aged 12) is getting thinner. Running my hand along his spine it seems to protrude more than it did (or maybe I've only just noticed it). He was weighed a few weeks ago and came in at 5.19kgs - having lost 0.100gms when weighed during a visit 2 weeks earlier. I was a bit concerned about this because I hadn't cut down his food, but the vet didn't seem unduly bothered - only told me to get him weighed in another 4/6 weeks (which I'm going to do next week).

In all other respects he seems as he always has, and looks healthy enough. His last urine sample came back 100% clear too.

Perhaps like me, he's starting to sag :D
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Lilith
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Re: old cats

Post by Lilith »

They are - definitely - all different!

My Emily arrived as a young feral adult, with 5 kittens in tow - she brought them to me and though I tried my best to build her up she was a skinny ginger girl for ages despite kitten rehoming and spaying. Now she's my chunky marmalade, great walloping lass in magnificent condition - but she's 14 this year and becoming 'smally-faced'. Will be getting her checked out soon.

My first Siamese Jacinth arrived as a well-cared for kitty at 3 months. Later I knew she would die at 14. (Why do we get these premonitions?) I have pics of her on her 14th birthday...6 months later, although apparently a cat in good working order and not even underweight, she had a day of not eating so, in view of her age, I felt I had to get her straight to the vet. Non-existent kidneys. There had been no alarming symptoms; I had been keeping an eye on her drinking but although she was thirsty sometimes this wasn't dramatic - but seems it was enough; don't wish to alarm anyone but seems that even the slightest symptom can be an indicator - that or simple old age and the body's degeneration. The very good vet (Mrs Lee of Castle View Wakefield, brilliant vet) agreed with me that we ought to let her go.

I think we do know when it's time to let them go. And when we can let them take their own time in their own home, their own bed. Bless them, they trust us. We won't let them down eh?
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PeanutsFriend
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Re: old cats

Post by PeanutsFriend »

For myself, I fed my old cat Meuzette, kitten dry, O.N.E.
I know, wet food is better. But I left the house for work and she hungry and skinny. I fed multiple degrees of food. I cooked baked chicken for her once a week. We had clicky fest.... I tried raw, but that was a no go. I fed what ever she wanted, no matter what. I have found that cats are very wise about what is good for themselves. Especially Meu. My mommy cat. She took care of all of us. I had ten cats back then. She was in charge...
I don't relay on vets so much..there isn't one here that are worth the money..my animals are better off with just me. I wish I could find a vet that I could pay for what they KNOW not to practice on my pet. Big difference.
Now a days the three old cats I have now, they are getting regular food. Nothing special. He eats very little. He has days when he just wants whatever dry we are serving that day.Other days he will eat can too. He eats some human food. Not enough
Speedy, my latest oldie, he likes everything that is served that is cat. No people food for him.
My current oldest is different. And has been from day one. She was kicked in the head one too many times. So her head damage is worse some days than others. She is off balance, always. Her pupils use to be different. Better now. She will fall off stuff she is sitting on. That use to bother my youngest. You just have get use to it...she is a lot like Willie food wise But she loves gnawing on bones. She sucks them dry. Yes of course I let her have whatever gives her pleasure. Good or bad in theory. I am so surprised she has lived this long. She is fourteen years strong. Skinny but she is here. My Ray is one special gal.
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Re: old cats

Post by Lilith »

I think they do know what works for them - I had a feral tom who would only eat dried food; when he first moved in he was dirty and skinny and he blossomed into a magnificent beast. He'd have a bit of chicken sometimes but otherwise, dried.

Meuzette sounds like a cat in a million, bless her. You must miss her.

I once knew a cat (not mine; he'd been rescued by an incredible woman who took in every waif and stray under the sun, from baby hedgehogs to pigs) who'd been badly brain damaged (cruelty, won't go into details) and he too was wobbly...he'd run down the path to greet you and flop down on his backside, pick himself up again and carry on. Luckily she had a smallholding and he had a safe environment; he went mousing despite his disability and lived to a ripe old age.

Yeah I don't go near vets myself unless I have to - or just get that feeling that I have to. The surgery I go to these days is ok though - hope you do find a good vet :)
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Re: old cats

Post by Crewella »

All of mine have indeed gotten thinner and bonier as they got older, but it's happened to them at different ages. Of my current batch at 11/12/13 (only Daz is under 10, DEFINITELY not losing weight....) nobody seems to be losing weight as yet, and of my original cats, they only seemed to start looking 'old' after about 15 - some as late as 17.

Recent addition, Pugwash, is estimated to be around 15 and arrived as a starving stray at 1.7kg. He has malabsorption issues and is on gastro-intestinal food, and in spite of the fact that he's more than doubled in weight now, his back end remains pretty bony - the vet and I have decided to give up worrying about it and put it down to his age.

Makes all the difference having a good vet - I was without one for a long time, but my current vet is a godsend, has seen me through the demise of my original cats in their late teens, Alpha's glaucoma, blindness and then oral cancer, Daz's urinary problems, Basil's broken leg and now Pugwash.
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Re: old cats

Post by PeanutsFriend »

Scares you and you start to question if you are a desent cat person. I was hoping going along with nature was the right thing.
I guess it is.
I am not too good at seeing my friends suffer. Tricky to bring pleasure to your old friends decaying being.
My cats enjoy baby food too. No cat vitumans in there. I use to put it in there when my Cowboy was a baby. But I don't do that now. I guess I should.
Willie been sleeping all day.
Ray went out on the deck with the younger boys for some sun. Speedy been doing his ussual visiting each pack. Love with me, outside with the young ones and sleep with Willie. I forget he is old. Until I feel his spine.
All three of these were abused as kittens. I won't go into all that now. Spare you from the horrid stories of yet three more of these little beings go threw.
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Re: old cats

Post by Cussypat1974 »

It is normal to lose muscle mass as we age. But if it is severe/sudden then it could indicate another underlying problem (thyroid, diabetes, cancer, the list is long). Old cats do get thin, basically. But no harm to go to a vet to check it out. My Minnie is now about 18 and 2 years ago I saw she had lost weight rapidly. She had mammary cancer. She had an operation and I had a Scrooge Christmas lol. She is still sleeping on my head now, and is healthy again, with a pret near perfect body condition score.
It is worth investigating, even if the cat is "old". 15 is not old for a cat IMO, as I have had them live to be 28!
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