Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. There are a couple of things you can try. For one, switching gradually to a higher calorie and high protein food might do the trick and rather than leaving food out all day, offer fresh food twice daily. You can also try adding fish oil or olive oil to his current food. Lastly, adding in tuna fish or canned kitty food to appeal to his palate plus add extra calories should help.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

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.
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.
Like weight gain, weight loss is a serious issue in cats. When your cat is losing weight but still eating, there might be an underlying medical problem, particularly hyperthyroidism or diabetes. If your cat is losing weight rapidly or is underweight, consult your veterinarian.
Some cats may simply need a higher calorie food and could benefit from a, high-calorie, canned therapeutic food. Older cats struggling to keep on weight may benefit from a highly digestible food rich in antioxidants, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and prebiotics.
It`s not uncommon for older cats to experience weight loss, and sometimes it can be difficult to find the cause because a cat`s metabolism changes with age. Kidney disease, or renal insufficiency, becomes more common as cats age, and symptoms include weight loss and increased drinking and urination.
You`ll be the proud owner of a senior cat by the time it hit about 11 years old. If a cat lives beyond 15 years of age, it`d be a “super-senior”. When caring for older cats, it sometimes helps to think of their age in human terms.
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.
Older Cats Might Lose Weight and Muscle Mass

If your cat is getting into their senior years, it is normal for their body to change. As long as they are continuing to consume their regular meals and staying hydrated and nourished, it`s normal for them to become a little more knobby and bony – especially along the spine.

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.
You can also fatten up a cat by putting wet food or canned cat food in their food bowl. The extra fat, moisture, and lower carbs make wet food a healthy method to encourage weight gain in your cat. Most cats prefer wet food over dry food, so wet food can be a good option if your cat has a diminished appetite.
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.
You should be able to feel your cat`s ribs, spine and hipbones quite easily but they shouldn`t stick out. Feel the base of your cat`s tail. There shouldn`t be any build-up of fat where the tail meets your cat`s back.
Thanks to improved nutrition, living indoors, and advances in veterinary medicine, cats live longer and are now considered older at 12 to 14 years, says Richard Goldstein, DVM, assistant professor in small animal medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, whose oldest feline patient reached a …
Key Points: The oldest cat in recorded history is a cat named Crème Puff who passed away in 2005 at the age of 38 years and 3 days. A cat`s average lifespan is 12 – 14 years – but many cats live much longer. Indoor, neutered cats live much longer than outdoor cats.
Place littler trays and food bowls in an easy-to-access area close to your pet. Raise food and water bowls so that your pet doesn`t have to strain or bend over. Changing to a shallower bowl can also help. Offer food by hand, this can help to comfort your loving pet and you can adjust food placement easily.
Hyperthyroidism. If your cat is eating more than usual, but still losing weight, hyperthyroidism could be another culprit as well. This happens from a benign tumor that`s being produced by hormones on the thyroid gland.
Cats lose weight for a variety of reasons, and may be related to anorexia, or refusal to eat. Infestation of internal parasites, stress, anxiety, depression, a change in food and even moving to a new home can cause a feline to stop eating, leading to a dramatic decrease in body weight.
The end stage of dementia in cats may happen when they have lost interest in anything they previously liked or when their quality of life has gone down significantly.
Older cats may vocalize excessively for a number of reasons, including disorientation, loss of hearing and pain due to one or more medical conditions. (Please see our article, Meowing and Yowling, for more information about excessive vocalizing and how to resolve it.)
Cat dementia symptoms

The brain damage and cognitive dysfunction known as cat dementia causes changes in your cat`s behavior, memory and awareness levels. Here are some of the more common cat dementia signs & symptoms: forgetting old training or routes. appearing confused or disoriented.

If your cat is sleeping a lot, this could just be due to old age. Cats naturally slow down as they get older and many prefer to sleep for longer. However, if your cat is not eating at all, this is a very serious situation and needs urgent medical attention.
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).
If your cat gets to 20, she`s around 97 human years old. Unlike dogs—who have different human age equivalents depending on their size—the formula for cats is universal because they`re all roughly the same size.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

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 continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. How do I know if I am losing my cat. She is 8 and weighs about 20lbs. She is having issues breathing and I don’t have any money to take her to the vet
ANSWER : A. Your cat really should be seen by a vet. Her weight may be the only thing causing her breathing problems, but without an exam, there’s no way to know for sure.

If you are in financial difficulty, there are ways of still getting your pet treated by a veterinarian. Ask if they take Care Credit and apply online. This is a credit card specifically for medical, dental, and veterinary expenses.

Call a local animal shelter or college of veterinary medicine in your area and ask if they have a low- or no-cost veterinary care program.

GiveForward and Youcaring.com are crowd funding websites that help you raise money to help take care of your pets

Harley’s Hope Foundation is an organization that ensures low income pet parents and their companion or service animals remain together when issues arise.

Many breed rescues and groups have specials funds available for owners who need financial assistance, such as the Special Needs Dobermans, Labrador Lifeline, and Pitbull Rescue Central.

Banfield Pet Hospital has its own programs for owners that can’t afford their pet’s care.

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP) works with seniors, people with disabilities, people who

have lost their job, good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten who may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion.

The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization that provides financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.

God’s Creatures Ministry helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help.

IMOM is dedicated to insure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker

is financially challenged.

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation has many programs including helping people with medical bills. They are a good resource for information.

Brown Dog Foundation provides funding to families with a sick pet that would likely respond to treatment, but due to circumstances, there is not enough money immediately available to pay.

Some groups help with specific disease, such as Canine Cancer Awareness, The Magic Bullet Fund, Helping Harley Fund, and Muffin Diabetes Fund.

The Pet Fund and Redrover.org are great sources for help to care for your pet.

The Humane Society website has many links to other organizations that help with veterinary expenses.

Read Full Q/A … : Vetinfo

Q. I have a cat with that virur (aids) could u tell me about her disposition and care
ANSWER : A. Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately the discussion about what you asked has no straightforward answers and can be quite complex.

First thing that I would double check, considering that your cat is very young, is whether she is really infected. It is important to remember that kittens born to FIV-infected queens will receive antibodies from the queen via the milk, and so will test positive early in life though they may not be infected. Kittens with a positive test result should always be retested when they are 5-6 months of age.

Many FIV infected cats are able to live happily with the virus for a long period of time, and indeed the virus will not necessarily ever cause clinical disease.

Different factors will influence the onset of disease in your cat including:

– The ”subtype” of FIV your cat is infected with,

– Her immune response

– The presence or absence of other infectious agents.

To maintain a good quality of life for your cat, I will give you these general guidelines, but you will then find certainly helpful to speak with your veterinarian for specific cases.

– Some antiviral medications used in human patients with HIV infection have also been shown to help some cats with FIV infection. Interferons may have anti-viral effects and modify immune responses. A recombinant feline interferon (feline interferon omega) is available in some countries. Down side is the cost usually.

– Keep your cat away from other cats and possible source of infections;

– Maintain good quality nutrition;

– Keep your cat indoor if possible regularly checked by your veterinarian;

– Keep your cat away from non-infected cats.

Q. My 16 year old indoor cat has lost most of her body weight in the last couple of weeks. I think she may have worms. What do I do?
ANSWER : A. Weight loss can be a serious sign of many underlying conditions in older cats, most notably metabolic issues such as thyroid disease or organ dysfunction. If no worms are visible in her stool, bringing in a stool sample to check for them, or making a wellness exam to check for any other causes of the weight loss are best to help find why your cat is losing weight prior to just treating for worms.

If worms are present, then determining the type of worms they are is the next step. Worms generally cause digestive upset in cats such as vomiting or loose stools in addition to weight loss in large infections. The two most common types include roundworms (long spaghetti-like strands) and tapeworms (small rice grain segments). Roundworms can generally be cured with any over the counter wormer, however tapeworms need a wormer specific to them to be given. Tapeworms are also spread via contact with fleas, so starting a flea prevention treatment can help prevent further infections. Cleaning all bedding and the environment your cat is in will also help for any type of internal parasite infection.

Q. My 18 yr old cat has been losing weight and the vet said he has no med. Reason why. Is there away to help him gain weight?
ANSWER : A. There are a couple of things you can try. For one, switching gradually to a higher calorie and high protein food might do the trick and rather than leaving food out all day, offer fresh food twice daily. You can also try adding fish oil or olive oil to his current food. Lastly, adding in tuna fish or canned kitty food to appeal to his palate plus add extra calories should help.

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.