cat weight loss

sduck2June 11, 2009

Geez, I noticed my cat Moo looks a bit thinner, yet he's running and eating fine. I brought him to the vet because he always has dirty ears (probably yeast, not ear mites) and he's lost almost 5lbs. since his last visit 8 months ago. (16lbs down to 11) He's short hair, very muscular, so I noticed his hip bones protruding. The vet did blood work convinced it would be his thyroid. The tests came back fine except for high calcium value, which she told me should be re-checked in a month or 2. Everything else is normal.

I do have an over weight cat who is on prednisone for asthma in these warmer months so I switched the dry food to Nutro Weight Control. The fat cat only grazes dry food in the middle of the night, while Moo wants the fancy feast in the morning and some at night. Since this problem I've disgarded the Weight Control formula and returned to the old Purina One chicken and rice, hoping he'll put back on the pounds.

Would the blood work have shown cancer, tumors, or other serious illness? The vet thinks I should bring him back in 2 months but I think if he should loose 1 more pound, I'll need additional tests.

I though Asthma Kitty was killing me, now this!!

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"Would the blood work have shown cancer, tumors, or other serious illness? "

The short answer is, no. How old is Moo???? I don't want to alarm you, but scroll down and find Petra's thread, "Mass in abdomen". Sonograms are expensive, but may be necessary if blood/urine/stool tests don't show abnormalities.

Ask your vet if he/she can offer any explaination for a healthy cat (or any other animal) losing 1/3 of his body weight with an increased appetite.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:56PM
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He's only 7. I'm afraid to look at Petra's thread:( The vet felt his stomach and mentioned he must need to take a mean poo. That one line is starting to haunt me.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:31PM
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If I were you, I'd get Moo to a veterinary radiologist or at least a feline specialist for abdominal xrays and ultrasound to identify the "mean poo" and try to diagnose the source of the rapid weight loss. Your current vet gave you the typical, "I'm clueless, so we'll just wait until he's a lot sicker to try to diagnose him." Problem with that strategy is that by the time Moo is sick enough for your vet to get a clue, it may be too late to save him. You need to get a diagnosis now.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Sduck, don't worry too much yet, hopefully it won't be anything horrible. I do third Lisa and Laurie's advice, don't let the vet blow you off. That much weight loss needs to be investigated. Maybe your vet could take an abdominal x-ray to see if there are any abnormalities?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:57PM
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Thanks. I read Petra's story and will call the vet as soon as the lump leaves my throat and I feel I can talk without bursting into tears.

Petra, I'm so sorry.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 5:13PM
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LaurieF is right...get Moo to another vet if one is available.

I don't envy Vets (or MD's for that matter) in the age of the internet, having what they say second guessed by patients who read anectdotes from well meaning lay-people on message boards. BUT...what you are saying about Moo would seem to violate the 1st Law of Thermodynamics: Ei,the calories from that food he's eating have to go somewhere. Either 1)he is much more active over these last 8 months(very unlikely), 2)he has a metabolic disorder other than thyroid that wasn't tested for, 3) perhaps he has a digestive/intestinal issue and is not absorbing the food he is which case he would probably have diarrhea or 4)there is somekind of tissue growth being fed at the expense of healthy tissue. ESPECIALLY...if your vet palpated him and felt something.

Look, maybe your vet is spot-on (you would probably know...was Moo indeed constipated?), which is why I suggested you ask for a medical explaination for the significant loss of weight in spite no decrease in caloric intake. (I don't think the small amount of weight control food he was eating along with the FF would have made that much of a difference.)

Kudos to you for knowing what your cat's normal weight was. Please read Petra's thread.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 5:24PM
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I called the vet before leaving from work. She was gone for the day and will call me in the morning. I also live close to a Vet.specialist Hospital that people travel to from all over New England, so if she can't help she will refer me to them. I went through this with my asthma kitty and breathing problems. Whats another million dollars? Moo's here now wishing I would stop following him, eating and playing, just skinny. Petra, I'll have the same problem if I have to pill him. I'm lucky to get a pat in once in a while.

I'll let you all know. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 7:44PM
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sduck, I also have a kitty with asthma. As a result of steroid injections, she developed diabetes, which is currently in remission, knock wood. I know what you mean about a Million dollars. :o) The vet prescribed aminophylline tablets instead of steroids and they work great for her, I just give her half a tab when she starts coughing. Makes me mad that I was told she HAD to have steroid shots when she could have been on the aminophylline all along and we could have prevented diabetes.

Re. pilling, the only thing that works for us is to hide any meds in his food. I am already dreading tomorrow, he has to have his stitches removed and putting him in his carrier usually results in lots of scratches. Hubby is still healing up from last week.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 8:13PM
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Moo goes in for urinalysis and ultrasound next Thursday. Maybe the extra time will tell if he's continuing to loose weight or gain weight.

My friends think I'm crazy spending this kind of time and money on my cats but they know that's the way I am. I'm glad I have this website for opinions, heck I was glad to have this website to renovate my kitchen, my bathroom, knit sew and animal talk!!

thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 5:15PM
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I hope we didn't get you too hysterical...but if Moo is indeed healthy, the expense of an ultrasound will be worth the piece of mind.

Funny...I used to be paranoid that vets here in the city try to pad bills with unnecessary testing, but I learned the hard way that sometimes it is best to err on the side of caution. Lets all pray for the best for the

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 5:53PM
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I too had a cat that was older and started loosing weight. We took her to the vet. She had every test out there, everything came up negative. As things progressed she was getting constantly hungry but still losing weight.

The final diagnosis was cancer in her stomach lining. The vet did some sort of scan or x-ray on her (sorry I don't remember what) The only thing you could see was that the stomach lining was the slightest, slightest bit bigger than the lining of her other organs.

I read up on it and found, not surprisingly, that it is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Toward the very end, there was some blood in her stool but other than the weight loss, she seemed perfectly healthy.

You should definitely get an ultrasound done, as others above have mentioned. I know you would hate to lose your baby if there was something you could do.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 10:20AM
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Not good. Moo's been throwing up bile all morning, so I rushed him to the vet. He's running a high fever so he's on antibiotics to help. He also had an xray which the kidney looks enlarged and she thinks there could be a cyst on the left side. She also took a urine sample. I brought him home with antibiotics and we go back Monday morning for the ultrasound. I will keep an eye on him all weekend and if he should get worse, I will bring him to the emergency hospital. So of course I read about cysts on the kidney and its a common in cats and not curable. His age, type and symptoms all fit the bill.

I'm going to stop reading the internet now because just maybe, it WILL be OK.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 3:00PM
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Thinking of you and Moo, and praying for a good outcome. (((HUGS)))

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 10:20AM
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Unbelievable! Moo had an ultrasound yesterday. I left him for the day and picked him up late, after work. My vet had the day off so I was told she'd call me first thing this morning. The phone call of doom in my mind. She finally called while I was sitting in traffic this morning. The Ultrasound came back FINE! No tumors, No cysts on the Kidneys, No Obstructions. The urinalysis also came back fine although with a little unexplained suger. I think its those darn Party Mix treats he loves so much, and I give him all the time. (I know, I know but I thought it was his last supper!) I can't believe what wonderful news this is. I cried anyway.

So now I still have the problem. Why would he be loosing too much weight? Could it be from switching dry foods a lot this year?
Purina one Chicken and rice, to
Prescription allergy formula from the vet, to
Nupro weight loss formula (I have a very fat cat too)and when Moo got sick, I went back to
Purina Chicken and rice.

And what caused him to have such a high fever on Saturday?

I have to stay in my office all day before going home and giving him the biggest kiss and hug. (NO PARTY MIX!)

I have to keep a close eye on him and make sure he gains and not looses the weight. The vet is going to give me another dry food to try to prevent any stomach upset.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 1:17PM
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That is wonderful news...I'm so happy for you and Moo...especially after reading the post about the fever and vomiting. Did you ask the vet about the weight loss and if you did, did he/she have any ideas?

My cat has the opposite problem...she's stuck at 17.5 lbs even tho I cut down her food portions(she had gotten up to 18.5) She's a big cat, but she should weigh 15. She gets yappy if I feed her any less than the current amount. I feed her primarily Wellness canned chicken with a bit of Royal Canin RX Rabbit/green pea kibble (made without grain, corn, or soy)for snacking. You might want to try it...I put Odessa on the regimen because she had stomach problems when she came home from the ASPCA. She fattened up really fast.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 10:01PM
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