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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Kitten food for a Senior Cat?

My sisters cat Smokey is about 17.5 years old. We have noticed a significant drop in her weight over the last 6 months. She just had a wellness check up and all is well on the health front. Would it be wise for us to start feeding her kitten food to help her gain back some weight? She has been kibble fed her whole life, after some research on what to feed my own little loves we started feeding her wet. She is still playful, vocal, no problems with urinating or pooing, shes just down to about 3 pounds. Any food advice would be appreciated.

ETA: She eats about 8.5 oz of merricks grammys pot pie or turduken every day.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 04:09 PM
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Was she at her ideal weight before, or was she tubby? I'd say if she was at her slim, ideal weight, feeding her some higher protein/fat food can only help at this point (wet only, not dry ofcourse).

I know for rawfed pets they always suggest more fattier cuts for elderly animals if they are losing weight too fast.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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She averages about 8 pounds, never tubby, always just right. We tried raw with her and it was a no go. We will pick up some kitten food hopefully it will help
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 06:03 PM
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Did her wellness check include a full blood chemistry, CBC, and Total T4 (thyroid check)? If not, you should take her back to the vet and have those done ASAP. A 17.5 yr old cat with an ideal weight of 8 lbs who is now down to what must be an emaciated 3 lbs. has something going very wrong that must be properly diagnosed. That sort of rapid weight loss in spite of eating 8.5 oz of food a day, coupled with being vocal and playful, sounds like it might very well be hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can be medically managed, or even cured, but it has to be diagnosed first. If she is hyperT, she won't be able to put on weight no matter what you feed her until you get the hyperT under control.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 08:50 PM
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I would have her tested for chronic renal failure (CRF), which most elderly cats end up with, and the blood tests Laurief suggested. Her being 3 lbs is very bad. Something not good is going on. I don't know how your vet did a wellness check and said everything is good especially at 3 lbs. He obviously didn't do any blood work. If she does have CRF then you definetly do not want to feed her kitten food which is high in protein and probably phosphorus. I would go to a different vet and go asap.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 09:11 PM
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8.5 ounces a day??? The twins didn't even eat that much when they were younger! And she weighs 3 lbs.?

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry that was supposed to say 5.5 oz a day... we are taking her in tomorrow for a full blood workup. (New Vet) I'll keep everyone posted.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 01:16 PM
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We had the same issue with Pixel, where he started dropping weight. He too is in his teens. Once he started dropping the weight it seemed as tho he really did not want to eat. We give him Blue Buffalo as his primary cat food, free feeding with a UT formula dry. On days when he refuses to eat his minimum amount I supplement with Gerber baby food pureed meat. Sometimes he will eat that on his own, other times I will thin it enough to shovel it into him using a feeding syringe. I've noticed a pattern - if he turns up his nose at eating then after 2-3 days of syringe feeding then he starts feeling better & starts eating on his own again. Stupid spoiled cat.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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So things are not as dire as we thought. I underestimated her weight she is actually about 7 pounds right now, so about 2-3 pounds underweight. They ran a full blood chemistry checking her thyroid, and for CRF, they also ran a urinalysis. All clear. The vet did, however, find some dental issues, mostly gingivitis, severe enough to cause pain while eating, which is why the sudden drop in weight. After a shot for inflammation and some antibiotics she is already eating more and seems to be feeling better. Hopefully this will be the answer we are looking for.

The reason for the weight underestimate has to be the fact that I have a hefty 12, pound 10 month old, solid as a rock, kitty (otherwise known as Rowdy), Smokey (sisters senior kitty) seems sooooo small compared to him. The vet said that he will be a big boy, possibly around 20 pounds! He is super lean and muscular... but this is another post entirely!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 12:38 PM
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Glad to hear you got Smokey all checked out. A lot of the weight loss is likely due to muscle wasting. Muscles weight more than fat, and in elderly cats even tho they are active and eating well will have muscle wasting and weigh less than they were in their prime.
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