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Author Topic:   older cat won't eat and is losing weight
Joanne
New Member

Posts: 6
From:Renton ,WA USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-05-2003 12:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joanne     Edit/Delete Message
HI,
I have a 13 year old female cat that has always been very thin. After her last vet visit a little over a year ago, they determined she was in good health except she was low on potassium and needed dental cleaning. We tried the supplements but she would would fight both pills and gel. Anyway, we were also told to feed her foods like IAMS or science Diet. She did gain weight and was much healthier. We no longer could feel her spine. But the last couple weeks I've noticed she is skin and bones again. This week I had off and she is not eating. I've tried canned food and she won't eat that. She use to love canned food. I'm very worried that maybe her teeth are worse or that the low potassium is really affecting her. She use to be scared of everyone except me, but now she lets anyone pet her and sits on their lap. She is constantly wanting water, but that has never been unusual for her. she was already tested for diabetes. She does not have that. I'm very worried and not sure what I can do to try and get her to eat. Anyone have any tricks? Its been hot, could that be it? We leave a fan on for both the cats and she likes that. She is not lethargic as she is up and walking around. I do notice it is harder for her to balance and to jump on to things. Any advice please? Thank you!

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Jadie
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posted 09-05-2003 06:23 PM           Edit/Delete Message
Hi Joanne,

I'm so sorry to hear about your cat not eating, I know how you feel. Earlier this year, I just had to have my 17 and 18yr old cats put to sleep, so I know how hard it is to see them sick.

Throughout the years as they got older, they both went through the same phases like your cat. They were very picky eaters, and would go through times where they just plain wouldn't eat. My cats loved canned food sometimes, and then other times they wouldn't even want to look at it. So it may just be that she's just going through some spells where she doesn't feel like eating. My cats did that and lived on for years, so there is hope that she's not sick, and she's just not in a mood to be a big eater.

At one point my last cat just plain stopped eating everything that she normally liked (she was always VERY picky), and I bought her Whiskas with savory nuggets dry food, and she tore it up... she loved that stuff, and it cured her no eating spell.

So maybe try that food, or something different that might sound appealing to her. It just may be that she's just sick of the other foods she's been eating. Also, I would definitely take her to the vet for a check up, just to make sure it's nothing medical, don't want her to suffer.

Good luck, let us know how everything goes.

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Joanne
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Posts: 6
From:Renton ,WA USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-05-2003 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joanne     Edit/Delete Message
Thank you Jadie, that is something I'd not thought about as far as going thru not eating spells as she ages. We did open a can of tuna today and if we left the water in she would eat some of it. So, that is a start. I'll try the wiskas stuff too.

I'll keep you posted.

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Mac
Member

Posts: 38
From:United States
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 09-06-2003 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mac     Edit/Delete Message
It is important to make sure they are getting enough calcium. Does she like milk? One of my cat's I have is a 12 year old calico that will sit for hours at her bowel until I realize she's doing a commerical for me "You Got Milk?"lol! She also loves cheddar cheese and gobbles it up when I give her some.

Also buy canned salmon the kind we human's eat let her smell the open can just make sure to drain it for it is a little to salty for them and see the response you get. If she doesn't get to excited I would put it to mean age is the factor as long as she has a clean bill of health and like the last post it will pass.

Cat's love Salmon it seems more than tuna at least the ones I have around here but the big thing is they will be getting the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids that help with the heart and many other conditions as well. It cost a little more than the regular canned cat food but to me it's worth every penny.

Hope this helps and she has many more years to give you.

Mac

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Bengal Lover
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Posts: 50
From:Seattle WA USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-09-2003 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bengal Lover     Edit/Delete Message
Make sure the milk is lactose free!!! Cats are lactose intolerant!!! Also, cheese has way too much salt for a little creature like a cat. There are milk treats like Healthy Essentials or Catsip that are lactose free. Over-Calcification is an issue though, so be careful. I sound like I'm endorsed by Royal Canin, but the RC Mature 28 or Senior 26 helps cats absorb the nutrients that their bodies need. As cats get older, they stop being able to absorb things like they used to. This food usually helps that. Like I always say, high-quality canned food is essential! If you do the salmon thing, make sure it isn't salted or marinated or anything. Make a trip to the vet definitely and have him/her look at your cats teeth. Sometimes their teeth hurt so bad that they stop eating or even throwing up due to infection. Hope that helps!!

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Bengal Lover
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Posts: 50
From:Seattle WA USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-09-2003 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bengal Lover     Edit/Delete Message
A couple more things. The weather could definitely be an issue also. I would recommend a haircut, but sounds like she's already traumatized as it is. I would stop feeding Iams and Science Diet. These foods have made a horrible turn for the worse. A trip to the vet sounds in order and take it from there.

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Joanne
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Posts: 6
From:Renton ,WA USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-09-2003 06:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joanne     Edit/Delete Message
First off, I wanted to say to Jadie that I am sorry to hear of you having to put your cats down. I know a couple of years ago we had to put my husbands cat down and it broke our heart. This cat I've had all her life and I can't bear the thought of losing her.

Thank you to everyone for your response. All good. She was drinking the tuna water drained off the tuna. But now she won't even do that. She isn't long hair. The weather is cooler now. Hubby called the vet today (we take her to a cat only clinic) and they will exam and do bloodwork tomorrow. I will let you all know what they say. When my husband discribed her lack of eating, lost weight and howling meows vs her regular meows, they said it is common in older cats and there are a couple things it could be. They said they are all curable. So, there is hope. I just hate seeing her like this. I hope they can make her well fast.

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Joanne
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Posts: 6
From:Renton ,WA USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-09-2003 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joanne     Edit/Delete Message
Forgot one thing, where do I get these supplements (lactose free) that you mention. I live in the USA. Is this a milk. She likes milk but automatically throws it up, always has. Same with our other cat, Tosha. Also, she gained weight on the IAMS, and lost when we bought a store brand. Then we went back on IAMS and she is now going thru this. I am feeding her canned food (Friskies), but she won't touch that either, and she use to be begging when I opened a can. Anyway, will see what the vet can do.

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Illflower
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Posts: 46
From:Ottawa, Ontario
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-10-2003 12:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Illflower     Edit/Delete Message
She's throwing up cuz milk upsets cats stomachs.

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Joanne
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Posts: 6
From:Renton ,WA USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-10-2003 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joanne     Edit/Delete Message
WEll, the vet said that this is all normal and that she is about to die. He gave us some food to use a syringe to feed her and some prescription food. He gave her a shot of fluids and a shot of B12. we can also force feed her water w/the syringe. He said there is nothing we have done to cause any of this and could not have prevented it. He specializes in geriatrics in cats. I guess 13 or 14 (I think she will be 14 soon) is her life span. He also gave us amocillin as because her body is giving us it cause toxicity in the body from the liver. Her eyes and lips were yellowish they said. Her prognosis is very guarded. This morning my husband came home and she was cold and stiff. He could not see her or hear her breathing. He turned her on her back and rub her chest. She is alive, but sounds like she almost went this am. He took her early for her appt. Yesterday, she added not drinking water along with not eating anything. Anyway, the vet said all we can do is keep her comfortable until she passes. This is breaking my heart. I got her at about 6 months old in October 1990, the day before my divorce from my first marriage was final. That is why she is named Hope. I have never had a cat die of old age, so this is new to my wonderful hubby of 5 1/2 years whom was the only other person she ever warmed up to. His cat died of cancer and Felines AIDS and all my prev cats died of being ran over except for one that died of Feline AIDS. Dealing with a cat that basically will die anyday is so hard and not something we have ever had to do. I keep hoping she will get better. She is walking worse today, but as hubby said, after how she was this am when he took her to vet, this is an improvement. We will get the blood test results tomorrow and then they want to see her again on friday. They do not expect there to be a cause in her bloodwork for her to be like this. He said he could see how passionate we were about our cats and that she is well cared for. The loss of muscle around her spine I guess is common in cats who are dying. Well, I've been pretty emotional today, sorry for rambling. Thank you everyone for your advice. I'm going to go spend quality time with my Hope now.
Joanne

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fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 09-10-2003 11:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
Cherish the time you have with her to love her and say goodbye. When I was in High School I came home and my cat had passed on the front lawn. He had just died before I got there. I always felt bad b/c I was late coming home that day and if I hadn't been I could have said goodbye. I know it is hard to watch her deteriorate, but be glad you can say goodbye to her.

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Bengal Lover
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Posts: 50
From:Seattle WA USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-11-2003 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bengal Lover     Edit/Delete Message
The lactose free milk is available at Mud Bay Granary. I think you can get Catsip at PetsMart and Petco though. You live the in the great NW so I think there is a Mud Bay in Kent. I work at the Redmond store. I hope your kitty is OK.

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jennycurti
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Posts: 2
From:Afton, NY USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-11-2003 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jennycurti     Edit/Delete Message
I feel for you and your pet, I know older cats tend to have symptoms like your cat, my mother's cat was this way also from the ripe old age of 16 to the time he was 18 he went on this roller coaster of gaining and then losing so much he looked emanciated. When he got thin he got slow, little steps instead of a healthy walk and so on. Try this to help your cat gain: 1 cup canned milk,1 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon Kero Syrup, 1 egg yolk (no whites)
Make sure the milk is condensed canned milk, (not sweetened condensed) this is actually a homemade recipie for kitten formula and it has worked for increasing weight in a grown cat, you can add vitamins to the mix also (if your cat does not like the vitamins taste, give it in little "doses" with the formula throughout the day in the "formula" mix a tiny bit each serving to get the full dose by the end of the day)
I know people are wary of giving a cat "milk" because it tends to cause dirreah but I have found canned milk does not cause dirreah like regular milk. If your cat DOES get dirreah with this formula, try substituting goats milk (you can find it in healthfood stores in canned, fresh and dries form-use it the same way)goats milk is really easy for a cat to digest and provides nourishment like milk would.
I use this formula as a treat for my cats and have found it useful for administering medicines. It is a great substitute for orphaned kittens as well and cheaper than the pre packaged formulas you get at the vets office, through my experiences I have nursed many orphaned kittens with this formula and they have thrived and grown to healthy adults.
Good luck

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Jamiya
Member

Posts: 1392
From:
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-11-2003 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jamiya     Edit/Delete Message
I am so sorry about your cat! The death of my dog earlier this year has made me terrified of losing my cats, although they should have many years left in them (they are 12 years old and have not been sick in over 10 of those years). Then again, I thought I had years left with my dog as well.

There is no good way to bring this up, so let me just out with it. Please consider the quality of life for your cat. Try everything you can to make her comfortable and happy. I hope you find something that works! But if you do not, perhaps it would be in her best interest to let her go.

I truly hope your cat responds to some of the suggestions people have given you. Do be careful of regular milk - one of my cats is lactose intolerant and throws it up every time he manages to steal some.


Jamiya

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Kameko
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Posts: 7
From:Richmond, VA, USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-11-2003 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kameko     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Joanne,

I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. I will tell you that my cat went through the same thing at a MUCH younger age. She is still with us, bone thin, eats barely enough to keep a bird alive, but she's happy. All the same symptoms, same prognosis from my vet. He said the only thing I could do is give her Pedialyte (like the give kids for dehydration) through a syringe. I did that every 10-15 minutes for two days. She hated it, but she is still with me today! I pray that this will work for you! Good luck!

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Daisy'smom
Member

Posts: 18
From:Hanford, CA USA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-13-2003 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daisy'smom     Edit/Delete Message
I am very sorry to hear about your cat. I have a 16 year old that I have had since I was about 11 who is not doing so well. I am terrified of losing her, everyone keeps saying I need to prepare myself, but how do you do that? She almost died in March and was acting much the same way as your cat. She had a tooth infection and was given antibiotics. This helped a lot, the first time she ate I was so excited! Now she is having a hard time breathing, and I'm not sure how much longer I have with her. I told her it was okay if she needed to go. You may want to talk to your baby so she knows you are okay with everything. Cats are very smart and I feel she understood what I was telling her. Good luck and just love on her as much as you can. My baby is named Daisy and I truly see her as my best friend. They help us through good times and bad, they are wonderful animals.

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Joanne
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Posts: 6
From:Renton ,WA USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-14-2003 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joanne     Edit/Delete Message
The lab tests came back on Thurs (Sept 11) that Hope's kidney's and liver had shut down. Her caclium bad too. I came home and held her for a while, made sure she knew how much I loved her and sat with her all evening. She was not doing good. But she still would look at us and tried to move to be closer. We ran an errand around 8pm. Came home around 10ish and she had thrown up. She was having a harder time breathing, she was non responsive as far as moving her head or anything. About 11pm she starting gasping for air and took her last breath with my husband and I at her side. We were going to have her put to sleep the next morning because she was getting worse and with the lab tests I didn't want her to suffer anymore. I guess she wanted us to be with her and to be home. It was so sad and I cried. I've never seen anything die, let alone my pet and best friend. Tosha our other cat hid all night. She is doing better now. I miss my Hope so much! To answer Daisy's mom, I don't think you can fully prepare to lose your best friend. My cat I had for 13 years and she has been thru alot with me. I did spend that evening telling her I loved her and that I did not want her to suffer anymore. My husband comforted her while she died and held her head and wiped her face when she was throwing up just prior. I could do nothing more than cry hysterically. She was always my comfort and now she is at peace. I know it will take time to not be so sad, but it is empty without her. Anyway,thank you all for your words and being her for me. Daisy's mom, I will pray for you and Daisy.
Joanne

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nern

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Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 09-14-2003 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
Im so sorry for your loss Joanne.

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Jamiya
Member

Posts: 1392
From:
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-15-2003 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jamiya     Edit/Delete Message
Your post made me cry. I am so sorry about your loss.

Be comforted that you were there with her, and she died in loving arms in her own home. My dog died outside and alone and I will never, ever forgive myself for not being there (even though there is no way I could have known).

Be at peace and remember her always.


Jamiya

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Mac
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Posts: 38
From:United States
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 09-15-2003 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mac     Edit/Delete Message
One of the things I love about this board is most on here are not afraid to open their hearts and express sincerely their love and compassion for their pets and in doing so this shows a trueness of hearts.

Today Joanne your lost is mine and I grieve with you.

Mac

[This message has been edited by Mac (edited 09-15-2003).]

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