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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Cats can develop medical problems that can cause them to loose weight despite eating such as hhyperthyroidism or cancer amongst others. I would have some blood work done at your vet to try an establish what is causing the problem and then you can treat appropriately.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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Well-recognized causes of weight loss in old cats include chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems. Most are readily suspected and confirmed based on physical examination and routine laboratory testing.
As they age, cats are not able to digest their food as well resulting in increased nutrition requirements. If their nutrition does not meet their requirements, they will lose muscle mass resulting in the ability to easily feel the bones of their spine and hips when petting them.
Causes of Weight Loss in a Skinny Cat

There are two main causes for a skinny cat: Either they aren`t eating enough, or they`re expending more calories than they are taking in. They may not be eating enough due to stress, dental disease, nausea or a host of other reasons.

Older cats hunt less, spend less time outside, are generally less active and sleep for longer periods. They can have a reduced or fussy appetite, be less keen to play or groom and be more vocal. They also tend to become more insecure and therefore potentially more dependent on you.
Weight loss can be an early sign of illness, so check with your vet. It is common for older cats to develop medical conditions that cause them to lose weight, such as kidney and thyroid disease. If your cat is losing weight, it is important to consult your vet as soon as possible.
“A cat who`s losing weight but still eating is extremely common in older cats, and is a primary sign of hyperthyroidism,” Rucinsky says. “This disease is super-common and one of the most treatable problems we see.
While it`s not typically seen in felines, hip dysplasia and other cat hip problems can happen. It`s more likely to occur in purebreds, such as Maine Coons and Himalayans, than your typical domestic mixed breed cat.
Well-recognized causes of weight loss in old cats include chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems, to name a few.
Cats begin to change and slow down as they reach their senior years. One of the most noticeable signs is a gradual reduction in their weight. Older cats losing muscle mass is natural and can be reduced with proper nutrition.
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Senior Care Guidelines, older cats are classified as mature or middle-aged at 7 to 10 years old, as senior cats at 11 to 14 years old, and geriatric from 15 to 25 years old.
Signs that your cat is too thin or underweight include: being able to see their ribs (this will be clearer if you have a short-hair cat) their waist being very obvious behind their ribs if you look down at their back. their belly tucks up very clearly behind their ribs if you look at them from the side.
Some cats begin showing age-related physical signs as early as age seven, while others are still friskier than kittens at ten. A general rule of thumb is that a cat is classified as “senior” if she`s over 11 years of age.
According to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the average lifespan of indoor cats is 10–15 years. For outdoor cats, it`s as low as 2–5 years.
Indoor cats generally live from 12-18 years of age. Many may live to be in their early 20s. The oldest reported cat, Creme Puff lived to be an amazing 38 years old. Outdoor cats generally live shorter lives due to being more likely to be involved in traumas such as motor vehicle accidents or dog attacks.
Feel Around Your Cat`s Spine

Again, you should be able to feel the bones, but not excessively. If the vertebrae feel very knobbly or like there`s nothing on top of them, you have a thin cat and they`re underweight. If they`re difficult to feel, your cat`s fat and you have an overweight cat.

The most common cause of rear limb paralysis in cats is a blood clot that goes to the back leg, called a saddle thrombus or arterial thromboembolism (ATE). This clot blocks blood flow to the affected limb(s). A clot in the back leg suddenly causes the cat to be unable to put full weight on the affected leg.
Signs of Pain – Cats will usually display clear signs if they are feeling pain due to an illness or injury. They may meow constantly or hide away from people; some cats will even stop grooming themselves if they are too uncomfortable or unwell.
Hind leg weakness can occur in cats who have heart disease known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This disease causes a thickening of the heart muscle, which can cause blood clots that interrupt the blood supply to the hind legs, known as feline aortic thromboembolism (FATE).
The most common reason older cats begin drinking and urinating excessively is because their kidneys are starting to decline. The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood and producing urine. As cats age, their kidney function decreases.
It`s essential to know how much egg is appropriate for a cat. While a single egg is a relatively low-calorie, high-protein snack for a human, the high fat content of eggs can cause your cat to gain weight if the correct portions are not adhered to.
The entire process can take a few months and weight gain should be a slow and steady process. Purina provides a chart for a basic understanding of body condition scoring to help monitor the cat`s condition.
While dependent on many things, including luck, some domestic cats can live to up to 20 years old. During their life they will go through six key life stages which may help owners understand certain health/behavioural problems that could arise and things to keep an eye on.
The average cat lifespan is between 13-17 years. Some lucky felines have been known to live 20 years or more—the world record holder for oldest cat on record, adorably named Creme Puff, lived to be a whopping 38 years old. Many factors contribute to how long a cat will live.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat will not eat the renal food my veterinarian recommended, can I feed a grocery store food?
ANSWER : A. Your veterinarian recommended a therapeutic kidney diet because it has ingredients that will help slow the progression of your cat’s conditions, especially phosphorus and lower protein levels. Many of the non-prescription or grocery store foods generally have high levels of phosphorus and would not be ideal for your cat.

To help your cat accept the new food It is important to do a transition. There are two reasons to do a transition:

1) Occasionally a pet will have a GI upset when switched to a new diet,

2) A pet will accept a new food better when a transition is done to allow the pet to get use to the new texture and flavor.

There is more of a chance with a hydrolyzed protein or different (high or low) fiber level food to cause a GI upset. Transition recommendation:

1) Recommend ¾ old diet – ¼ new diet

2) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

3) ½ old diet – ½ new diet

4) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

5) ¼ old diet – ¾ new diet

6) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

7) End with 100% of the new food.

Sometimes a transition should be longer, especially for cats. Use the same recommendation, but instead of a few days, recommend doing each step for a week or more. If you cat is still not interested in the new diet you can research other non-prescription diets focusing on the labels for appropriate levels of phosphorus and protein.

Also, home cooking may be an option but make sure to provide adequate nutrients. A good website to consult is balanceit.com. This website helps you to create well balanced home cooked recipes and offers supplements to add into the diet.

Q. Cat was vomiting for a few days. Took to vet, received anti-nausea medicine 2 days ago. Drinks and no longer vomits, but won’t eat. I’m worried
ANSWER : A. If your cat has been feeling nauseated, it is possible that the nausea, or just general illness is making him want to eat less. However, you can try enticing him to eat with a few tricks geared to cats.

Warming up wet foods or even bland people foods such as plain chicken or boiled hamburger can make food more interesting to cats. Cats tend to go for aromatic rather than flavorful foods, so making the food as “smelly” as possible may encourage your cat to take a bite. Bland foods are also good for helping to soothe upset stomachs, which may still be happening if your cat had recently had a vomiting episode.

However, if enticing your cat to eat does not work, or he continues to refuse to eat any food, it is best to contact your local veterinarian for more care and testing. Cats can become very ill if they refuse to eat for more than a few days, and finding the underlying cause can help your cat feel better.

Q. My cats nose is stopped up on antibiotics. She has a loss of appetite, acting normal though. Is 3 ounces of can food enough in 24h? 9 pound cat
ANSWER : A. Cats with stopped up noses tend to eat much less, as you’ve noted, because they can’t smell their food as well. And the smell of food is pretty important to a cat’s appetite. You can start by warming up the food in a microwave – not too hot, test it yourself by putting your finger right in the center, as the temperature of microwave food can vary – as this will intensify the smell and hopefully make your cat more interested.

Saline nose drops, like those that are used on little kids, are safe to use on a cat to clean the discharge that is dried around and in the nose. There’s a brand called Little Noses that’s available in the U.S. That I like. You can put it on a q-tip and try to remove the debris. Humidifying the air with a humidifier can help as well, or you can put the cat in the bathroom and run the shower enough to generate steam. Don’t use “real” nose drops like Neo-synephrine or anything else like that – cats quickly build up resistance to them.

A 3 oz can of food is an OK amount in 24 hours, but do try the techniques above to help your cat get more interested in food. You might also try some baby food – no garlic or onions in the ingredients – as cats usually really like the taste of it.

Q. My cocker spaniel is 9 years old. He has involuntary bowel movements (little drops) very frequently, especially when he is asleep.
ANSWER : A. Is your dog on a senior dog food? I would get your dog on a high quality high protien dog food. Ask a pet store assosicate or your regular vet for a food recommendation. When you buy a better food the dog will have to eat less to get the same amount of energy from the food. The dog has to eat more of the cheaper foods to get the energy it needs from it. Meaning more poop and buying more food. So the cost really evens out. So the lessen your dogs bowel movements get on a better senior dog food. Next talk to your vet they may have a recommendation. If you switch dogs do it slowly by mixing the foods. Start with 10% new 90% old mixed for at least a week until you have switched to 100% new 0% old. Senior foods have more fiber to help with bowel movements. Take the dog outside to go potty more frequently, right before bed time.

Read Full Q/A … : Symptoms Questions & Answers

Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. My cat can only eat strained baby food consistency food. What do I add to strained meat to give her what she needs? She is a torti Persian 5 lbs
ANSWER : A. You should be offering her some wet cat food. Any brand is okay, but you could find a high quality food if you look hard. Cats prefer getting their water from their food, so it’s important to use wet food for a cat instead of just dry food. It’s okay to feed her white meat chicken, and things like that if you want, but you should definitely be feeding some sort of CAT FOOD.. and I bet wet food would be appealing to her considering it’s very moist, like baby food. You can even mash it up further, and look for a food that is really liquidy.

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.