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Old 02-09-2007, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do you get weight on old skinny cat

my oldest cat is 14 and since summer she has started to lose weight. I've had blood work run twice and the vet can't find anything. Not hairballs, kidney failure or diabetes--but I can feel every vertebra. He says she's just getting old. She doesn't eat much but doesn't really act like she's hungry. I had her on Sr Pro Plan and have tried a couple of other foods to tempt her, with out much luck. Lately Ive been feeding Fancy Feast or Iams wet food ( I know, not so great) but she still won't eat nearly what it calls for as a recommended amount. Her bowels are working fine--she's had big poopies since being on the wet fishy food. Oddly she seems to want my salty snacks, like chips and popcorn, which she's never asked for before. I have to shove her head away from the popcorn bag or she'd eat as much as she coudl.
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did she have a thyroid function test? Hyperthyroidism can cause rapid weight loss. It is usually accompanied by increased appetite, but sometimes just the opposite, either loss of appetite or pickiness.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How long ago were the tests run? Maybe they need to be done again, or a second opinion sought.

If there is truly nothing medical wrong, there are high calorie foods available and there is a product that is the equivalent of Ensure for cats. Also have you tried enticing her with some human foods like some chicken or turkey? If she'll go for something like that, you can always use it as a 'topper' for some cat food. You can also use all meat baby food as a topper. Getting her on a premium wet food may help as well. And the vet can prescribe appetite enhancer meds. Sometimes, they just need a kick start and will resume eating normally after a few days of the meds.
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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she had thyroid along with all the other tests and it was fine too. Problem is she's always been a picky eater and won't eat foods that other cats gulp down. EVen now it seems to be more a case of just not eating enough. I'll find a food she'll eat, she eats pretty good for 2 or three days and then nah, don't want to eat anymore. I hate to keep hauling her back for more tests because it stresses her. She doesn't seem to feel bad, still jumps on furniture with no apparent loss of muscle control. What constitutes a premium wet cat food? My vets office doesn't carry it--says they think dry is better. I'll try the baby food idea, but I'll lay odds she won't eat it.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, if all the tests are normal, she could be just getting pickier in her old age. My Maggie started being very picky about 6-7 years ago (she'll be 22 in March). She won't eat dry food at all, hasn't for years. I agree with everyone that a premium cat food is best, but sometimes you gotta feed a cat what she'll eat! Maggie has turned her nose up at dozens of brands and flavors. Every once in a while I'll bring home something new for her to try, but for the most part, it's certain flavors of Fancy Feast that she will eat. She used to like Sheba, but changed her mind about two years ago. Some days, she gets a burr up her butt and 5 opened cans of cat food later, nothing will do but to go to the deli for some chicken or turkey breast. She will not eat baby food, either. I got her some new Sheba Premium Cuts (about $1 for 2.8 ounces, gasp!!!) last week to try, and she loved it! This week the Sheba went over like a lead balloon. I don't know how many times I've thought I've found THE cat food, went back for a case of it, and she thumbs her nose at me and the food. Oh, well, the othe cats ("the vultures") just love it when she refuses her expensive food......
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The fact that your vet said they think dry food is better really bothers me and I would recommend getting a second opinion from another vet. Premium foods are brands like Natural Balance, Wellness, Merrick, Innova, Nature's Variety, Eagle Pack etc. They all come in wet and dry formulas. I would really recommend wet over dry, but if you really want to use dry...then one of these brands would be good for her.

Cataholics....I deleted the double post for you...a moderator has to do that.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ah, dry! that could very well be the culpret and I'm surprised your vet didn't mention it. Did they check her teeth? Even if her teeth seem O.K., often, as cats age (just like us) their teeth become more sensitive and it may be uncomfortable for her to eat it. I would try to switch her to wet (I believe it's better anyway). Obviously, a premium food would be best but, honestly, at her age I would give her pretty much whatever she enjoys and will eat, if that's Fancy Feast or even Friskies, I'd let her have it. You could always mix in a pemium to help get some better nutrition in her.
The other thing I would try is to add feline digestive enzymes to her food. Again, as they get older it's more difficult for them to process their food and that can really help.
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Old 02-10-2007, 08:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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how's this for weird--one of the vets I saw--said there was a study that showed the cheap alpo sort of wet food is the closest thing to a cats natural diet. EWWW. I can barely stand to let her eat good fishy wet food--the smell when she craps is incredible. And NOT in a good way. My vet's office has about 6 vets (this was the newest, don't think I"ll be going back to see him) and oh lucky me, the owner of the office happens to sit right behind me in choir. Going to ask him first chance I get. I thought of the hard food/teeth thing. There doesn't appear to be anything wrong and they've checked. She'll eat pro plan sr+ in fish flavor, not so much in chicken, and absolutely no way in turkey. I just now dumped 1/2 can of fancy feast over pro plan. She very delicately ate off the fancy feast and if she ate any of the dry it was not much. Maybe if I let it set and soak in? Got a can of baby food this afternoon to try. You with the 22 yr old cat--way to go. I keep hearing about how cats live longer these days, but our family cats have all checked out at around 16.
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