Older Cat 15 years, lossing alot of weight quickly.

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
Post Reply
Madeleine89
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:53 am

Older Cat 15 years, lossing alot of weight quickly.

Post by Madeleine89 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:09 am

Hi, I am hoping to get some advice as to what I should do about my Cat Thomas. Sorry if this is long winded but I would like some advice as I am torn and do not know what to do.

Thomas is 15 years old and was in perfect health, he went to the vet in January for his yearly check up and yearly vaccinations, the vet weighed him and he had lost a little weight but nothing to be concerned about as he has always been of bigger size. In the past month and half his behaviour and health has changed hugely. I noticed he started to look thinner and his eating had reduced hugely. Just over a week ago he didn't come home for 48 hours I didn't know where he was and then when he did came home he wasn't interested in his food. I took him to the vet he had lost more weight and we decided to do a blood test to see what was going on.

He was put on an anti inflammatory for 4 days and on the second to last day he threw up about 5 to 6 times, we took him back to the vet and told to take him off the anti inflammatory and give him a bland diet see how he go's. His bloods came back and there is noting ab normal showing in the results, he also behaviour wise not himself, he is contently up several times in the night just walking around like he is out of sorts and cant seem to settle. He is such a beautiful old boy and I love him dearly but he is continuing to not eat and losing weight and if he dos eat its very little. Unfortanilty the next step the vet said is a scean but i don't have 550 dollars to pay for a scean. I want to do the right thing by Thomas and i don't want him to be in pain or suffering.

Dos anyone have any tips or advice for me, i am really struggling to know what the right thing to do.

User avatar
fjm
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 576
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:11 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: North West England

Re: Older Cat 15 years, lossing alot of weight quickly.

Post by fjm » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:44 am

If his blood tests came back normal that would seem to rule out kidney, liver and thyroid issues, presuming that your vet tested for these. There are many other things that could cause the symptoms you describe, but it sounds as if your vet suspects a tumour. I would ask what he or she thinks a scan may reveal, how the results of the scan may affect treatment options, and whether the recommendation would be for symptomatic treatment and pain relief whatever the results. Perhaps a different pain medication may help, or an injectable rather than oral one. I am sorry - it is a horrible situation to be in, to have a beloved cat in distress and not know how to help him.

User avatar
Ruth B
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1291
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:31 am
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: Older Cat 15 years, lossing alot of weight quickly.

Post by Ruth B » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:07 am

Poor lad, and poor you, these golden oldies do make us worry don't they.

I'm not sure I can give a lot of advise, I'm sure all the normal possibilities have been checked by the vet, but they are worth mentioning just in case.

Does Thomas seem hungry and wanting food, but then decide not to eat what is available. If he does then trying him on different types of food might help. If he is only on dried food then he might find a wet food more palatable. If his teeth or gums are sore it could be that eating is a problem for him, or if he has some type of upper respiratory infection it could be that he can't smell the food so doesn't think it's safe to eat. However I would have hoped that problems with the teeth or an infection would have been picked up by the vets.

You say he went missing for 48 hours and wasn't hungry when he came back, this could mean that he has someone else he is scrounging food off, so when he returns he is already well fed. It might be worth putting a paper collar on him with your phone number and a request for anyone who is feeding him to call you. If anyone did phone you could then explain to him that he is undergoing vet treatment to try and sort out his weight loss problem and he isn't a stray.

Thyroid problems can cause a change in behaviour and weight loss, but that should have been picked up with the blood tests.

Finally I will add that some cats do loose weight as they get older and behaviour can change. We had a cat who in his prime weighed in at about 5kg, when he reached about 13 years old his weight dropped to just over 3.5kg, he did need some teeth extracted in the end, but even after the dental work he never put the weight back on even though he was eating well, but he stabilsed at 3.5kg for another 3 years and was fine and healthy eve though he seemed very thin compared to how he had been.

Hopefully it is just that Thomas is getting a bit old and possibly starting to show the first signs of dementia which would explain his nightly wanderings.

User avatar
Mollycat
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 433
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: Older Cat 15 years, lossing alot of weight quickly.

Post by Mollycat » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:02 am

Tricky one, the three most obvious possibilities should have showed up in a decent set of bloods.
Does Thomas have any tender spots where he flinches if you touch?
Does he have any dandruff, especially at the tail end of his back?
Is he taking particular care getting down from things (chairs etc) instead of jumping down like he usually does?
Is he sleeping more deeply than normal, or restlessly, or in strange positions?
Does he sit in the loaf position with his feet on the floor (not tucked under his chest)?
Have you noticed any changes in his drinking or toilet habits?
When he wanders around at night does he yowl at all?
I would hope your vet would have checked all of this.

PS although many elderly cats do lose weight, it's not always normal. The newer thinking is that they should be given more calories and high quality protein - vets used to say lower calories and reduced protein to protect the kidneys. But more recent studies have concluded that muscle wastage in older cats is down to protein needs increasing. Something people need to make up their own minds about and not blindly take one vet's advice without looking into it.

Sniper1
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:49 pm
No. of cats in household: 18
Location: West mids

Re: Older Cat 15 years, lossing alot of weight quickly.

Post by Sniper1 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:32 pm

I totally agree with the higher protein for oldies I find plenty of fresh fatty meat good for keeping their weight up

Hipkit
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:52 pm

Re: Older Cat 15 years, lossing alot of weight quickly.

Post by Hipkit » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:11 pm

One of my cats, Lucy, who had gone missing for several hours the night before, began showing the same symptoms on March 14th: she stopped eating and was drinking more water than normal. (Kidneys? Diabetes?)

But her bloods were normal.
She was 16 years old. The vet thought she had a distended abdomen, maybe ascites? His conclusion: FIP, despite the fact that she was the wrong age for this. It got to the point where I had to syringe feed her.

I hope this didn't happen to the OP.
Lucy died while being nursed at the vet hospital on April 4th. I'm not convinced she had FIP, for which there is no definitive test - she was too old for this condition.
I hope the OP's cat returned to full health.

booktigger
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 2081
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:36 pm

Re: Older Cat 15 years, lossing alot of weight quickly.

Post by booktigger » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:17 pm

Hipkit wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:11 pm
One of my cats, Lucy, who had gone missing for several hours the night before, began showing the same symptoms on March 14th: she stopped eating and was drinking more water than normal. (Kidneys? Diabetes?)

But her bloods were normal.
She was 16 years old. The vet thought she had a distended abdomen, maybe ascites? His conclusion: FIP, despite the fact that she was the wrong age for this. It got to the point where I had to syringe feed her.

I hope this didn't happen to the OP.
Lucy died while being nursed at the vet hospital on April 4th. I'm not convinced she had FIP, for which there is no definitive test - she was too old for this condition.
I hope the OP's cat returned to full health.
Unfortunately, there is no age limit for FIP. Whilst it normally affects cats under the age of 5, they can come into contact with it early in life, and it lay dormant in their system, and then come to a head anywhere from 13+, normally when they encounter a period of stress.

Post Reply