Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Weight is a balance of intake and expenditure. Conditions which commonly cause these signs are thyroid disease, poor absorption of nutrition through the gut lining and diabetes and your cat should be blood tested to investigate these. Many of these conditions can be well managed if diagnosed in time

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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

“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.
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.
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.
Senior cat weight loss is very common. Senior cats have a decreased ability to absorb fat and protein. They lose about 1/3 of their lean body mass, meaning the weight your cat would be without any fat. After cats reach 11 years old, they require more nutrition just to maintain their resting body weight.
Your veterinarian can also prescribe high-calorie cat foods like Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Recovery RS canned cat food or Hill`s Prescription Diet a/d Urgent Care canned cat food. These formulations are highly digestible and provide the extra calories your cat needs to gain weight.
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.
In recent years, feline ages and life-stages have been redefined, cats are considered to be elderly once they reach 11 years with senior cats defined as those aged between 11-14 years and super-senior cats 15 years and upwards.
On average, indoor cats live to be about 10 to 15 years old, but can reach ages of up to 20 years old. Because indoor cats don`t have to deal with predators and some of the other potential risks that come with living outdoors, they tend to live a bit longer.
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.
The causes of unintentional weight loss in cats range from simple lifestyle changes to serious illness. Any noticeable weight loss in your cat warrants a visit to your veterinarian to rule out serious health conditions. They will be able to run the necessary tests to determine what might be at the root of the problem.
Yes, you should be able to feel your cat`s spine, along with their ribs and hip bones. That said, there`s a difference between being able to feel these bones and having them be protruding. As a general rule, if these bones are too prominent, it could be a sign that your pal is underweight or malnourished.
Particular care and attention is needed when your cat is middle-aged (4 to 9 years old). During this period, her metabolism slows and her caloric needs decrease. Pet parents need to be extra vigilant in monitoring their cat`s weight and must provide daily exercise and activities to keep their cats mobile.
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.
Senior cats need more taurine, a heart-healthy ingredient found in cat food proteins such as fish, poultry and beef. Feed senior cats a dry food that`s 10% fat to 28% protein, or a wet food that`s 4% fat, and 8% protein. All animals slow down, as they grow older, thus needing fewer calories and less fat in their meals.
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.
How Much to Feed a Senior Cat. Most senior cats will have about the same caloric needs as an adult cat—roughly 280 to 360 daily calories depending on the normal lean weight—as long as they are healthy. Some older cats will actually have an increase in energy requirements.
If your cat is eating a lot but still not gaining weight, it might be a clear symptom of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism results in the excessive production of the thyroid hormone, which increases the appetite in cats, but can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, and nausea, leading to little or no weight gain for cats.
Cats of all ages are notorious for sleeping, and senior cats are no exception. Life expectancy for cats is gradually growing longer; a cat isn`t considered a “senior citizen” until they are 12 to 14 years old. Just like when they were kittens, older cats tend to sleep as much as 20 hours a day.
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.

Cats tend to live around 15 years, on average. As in humans, female cats tend to live for longer than male cats. Neutered cats are also likely to live for longer than intact ones, and pure breed cats are less likely to live as long as crossbreeds.
The high moisture content found in wet food can also be beneficial to senior cats with digestive or urinary tract issues, or whose hydration levels are lower than you`d like. Cats can become fussier as they age.
The Task Force has designated four age-related life stages (Table 1): the kitten stage, from birth up to 1 year; young adult, from 1 year through 6 years; mature adult, from 7 to 10 years; and senior, aged over 10 years. The fifth, end-of-life stage can occur at any age.
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.

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 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 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. Should cats be declawed, or should they have their claws capped?
ANSWER : A. Declawing is the removal of the claw and last bone of that digit, and I would definitely advise against it. Many people assume that declawing is more or less like trimming your nails or getting a manicure, but the truth is that it is a painful and permanently crippling procedure. In fact, some countries have outlawed this procedure.

Not only is it painful, but declawed cats often find it hard to function normally without the last bone and claw. As a result, many cats experience behavioral changes, such as becoming more aggressive.

Besides, if you’re planning to have your cat go outside anytime in its life, I would highly recommend never to declaw your cat, since declawing leaves your cat defenseless, especially while interacting with other animals.

If your cat is clawing up furniture or other objects, I would recommend giving your cat more toys to claw at. In this sense, buying multiple scratching posts would be a very good option.

You might also want to consider discouraging your cat from scratching furniture by using a loud, firm voice whenever the scratching begins.

So, to sum up, having your cat’s nails capped is definitely a better, more humane solution. However, this may not be necessary either if you provide enough toys to claw at, try to correct unwanted scratching behavior, and trim your cat’s claws regularly.

Q. We have two female cats who are sisters. One was just diagnosed with generalized lymphoma. Is there risk of being contageous? What kind of food
ANSWER : A. Lymphoma is a cancer and not a bacteria or virus, so it cannot be spread from cat to cat via contact. However, if your cats are related, they may both be genetically predisposed to getting the same type of cancer. Feline lymphoma can also sometimes be caused by the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) which CAN be spread from cat to cat. The spread of these viruses is usually through bite wounds, saliva or fecal and urine matter, and the chances of spread among two amicable cats is lower, however testing both cats is always good.

As lymphoma can cause a decrease in appetite, sometimes the best food is one that will keep your cat on her normal eating routine so that she keeps her weight and energy up. Enticing her to eat by warming up wet foods, or even moistening and warming dry foods may encourage continued normal eating and may prevent weight loss from loss of appetite. A high-fat, high protein and low carbohydrate diet (such as a grain-free diet) may also help by providing a more calorie and nutrient dense meal so that every bite is beneficial.

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. Would a male cat be affectionate to another male cat or would a female be more affectionate
ANSWER : A. The sex of the cats is less important than the personality of each cat. If the cat you have at home is already a strong-willed cat, another cat like that will lead to a lot of confrontations as they both try to be in charge and an older cat shouldn’t be matched with a rambunctious younger cat. If you keep in mind what your cat’s basic nature is, you’ll find a good match. I’ve always had multiple cats and rarely have a problem integrating a newcomer.

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.