Older cat with a boney back - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Older cat with a boney back

My cat Sassy is about 14 years old now. She's always been very trim, and right now she weighs in around 9lbs. She had her last vet visit a few months back and according to the vet she'd gained weight since her previous visit. So that was great. If I run my hands over her sides I can feel that Sassy's ribs are covered with a bit of padding, and she has a bit of an outward curve to her belly.

My problem is, if I run my hand over her back I can feel every bump of her spine. Her hips are also very boney. The vet didn't seem concerned and all of Sassy's tests (she had urinalysis and a completely blood count last vet visit) came back proving she was in good health. So I've just been trying to put this from my mind and try to convince her to eat more every meal time. She's just not putting any weight on, and I really wish she would...

I'm not sure what to do. She didn't gain any weight when she was being free-fed kibble, nor when she was on canned food. I've been really hoping she'd gain some weight now that she's on raw, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Could this just something that has to do with her age? Like a swayed back being more common in older horses? Or is this something I should be concerned about?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 12:45 AM
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This is common with a lot of senior cats, especilly as they advance to their mid and late teens. As a cat ages, into their teens they do tend to lose muscle and some weight, as muscle weighs more than fat. As long as your cat checks out well with blood and urine tests, and has a healthy appetite and is active and interested in life, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Did you vet check the cat's thyroid levels? If not, it should be done as well.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 09:52 AM
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Aging bodies lose muscle tone and mass, as well as fatty deposits. Physical structures sag, and gravity pulls everything downward. Even so, the spinal and hip bones shouldn't protrude, so it sounds like your girl could use a bit of additional weight. Elderly cats often do better with multiple meals a day, so if you can slip in an extra meal or two during the day, she may put on a little padding across her topline.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 12:48 PM
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My SweetPea, now age 16, has bony hips and a bony spine and not much in the
way of muscle anymore. The last two years he has really aged in appearance.
His coat is also rough and sparse.

I'm glad your Sassy came up with good results from her blood work. Sweet Pea
has been on thyroid meds for quite a few years now but I think the physical
changes in him are more from age than the hyperthyroidism (except for his
rough coat and lack of whiskers....those are from the thyroid problem).

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