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Elderly cat getting very thin.

(46 Posts)
Anne58 Sun 15-Apr-12 17:04:44

I don't think there's much to be done about this, but just wanted to ask if others have had the same experience.

The oldest of my mogs is suddenly looking very thin, and when we stroke her every bone in her spine and pelvis can be felt. She eats well, doesn't seem to be drinking excessively and seems ok in herself (still jumps up onto laps, the bed, sofa etc)

We adopted her 10 years ago, and she wasn't young then, we estimate that she is probably over 20!

artygran Sun 15-Apr-12 17:17:03

Phoenix how worrying for you. We had exactly the same problem with our dear old cat just before we moved last year. I couldn't believe how thin she went in spite of eating normally. The vet did blood tests and diagnosed a thyroid complaint. She put her on daily medication (Felimazole). Unfortunately, after a few months, she had a set back and we had to face the worst. But she was seventeen. Do get your vet to look at her, because if it is a thyroid complaint it can be managed.

expatmaggie Sun 15-Apr-12 17:19:40

I think it is the beginning of the end. Somehow what she's eating is not being properly digested. If she's jumping onto beds and sofas then she's good for a while yet. Just care for her, perhaps cook for her yourself. I usually buy frozen fish and let it sit in a little slightly salted water until its done. Then I flake the fish and put it with the liquid in the cat's dish. Usually they love to drink the fish liquid even if they don't eat all the fish.
It could be that one day she will go missing. Cats very often seek out a dark place to spend their last hours.

I wish I could be more cheerful but if she is 20 then there is little hope a vet could do anything about it.

granjura Sun 15-Apr-12 17:28:45

expatmaggie is right, 20 is a very good innings for a cat- but I know that does not make it any easier. Yes, pamper him, as said give him some extra special food to enjoy, lots of cuddles. I feel perhaps the best reward we can often our wonderful pets is to recognize when it is time to allow them a painless exit. Not time yet, as he seems to be still enjoying life, albeit at a slower pace.

Ariadne Sun 15-Apr-12 17:37:19

My Rosie (very much MY cat) died when she was 24. She got thinner, her fur was a mess, but she ate, drank, (and other vital things) and came to greet me when I got in. (Well, when she realised I'd got in - she was deaf.) Then she'd sit on my knee and purr. So I said we'd let her decide, and one day her body just gave up; we took her to the vet and she died in my arms. But I think she was happy. Oh dear...sad

Anne58 Sun 15-Apr-12 17:37:41

Thank you for the replies, they are appreciated.

artygran I know that thyroid problems are treatable, but I don't think she would relish me forcing pills down her on a daily basis!

expat I think you are right, she is, after all a very old lady. 2 years ago she was unwell and ended having major surgery. The easiest way to describe what was wrong was a twisted gut, the vet said it was quite common in cats under 1 year, but not in ladies of a certain age! She made a fantastic recovery, so I suppose we have had extra time. By the way, the bill was over £600!

tanith Sun 15-Apr-12 17:57:36

I think everyone is pretty accurate about you old lady, mine went the same way very thin but eating normally she also got vocal at night. She was 21 and been healthy all her life apart from an accident, I didn't want to inflict a daily tablet fight on her either so I pampered her for a few months she gradually became incontinent and stopped going outside or cleaning herself, the day she couldn't walk to her tray was the day I knew it was time.. I gave her a favourite meal and she passed away on my lap at the vets.. the fact she'd had such a long and happy life made it a little easier to take that last step. You'll know when the time comes I'm sure..

Anne58 Sun 15-Apr-12 18:17:35

The fur thing applies too Ariadne , the best way to describe how she looks at present is like a very old, much loved cuddly toy, a bit ragged round the edges, if that makes sense?

I feel that this is her last stretch. When we got her she had been an indoor cat all her life, she adapted so well to going outside, (although she has never been keen if the weather isn't good!) even now if it is sunny she loves to go out and warm her old bones on the south facing decking.

In an ideal world I would love her to be just lying in her favourite spot, in the sunshine and gently slip away, but it rarely happens like that with pets.

She will be looked after and loved until either she pops her paws or we have to make the decision.

artygran Sun 15-Apr-12 20:03:38

Phoenix I'm sorry - I misread the fact that your cat was, in fact, twenty, not ten (it's been a long day). If she'd been younger, then I would have said it was worth a try. Our vet seemed to think it was worth a try even at seventeen, but that's vets for you! We decided to call it a day when our cat didn't seem to be able to support her very little weight any longer. You'll know when it's time to let her go.

GillieB Sun 15-Apr-12 20:18:47

I am so cross withh myself because there was something in one of the weekend's newspapers about how to look after an edlerly cat and I can't find the wretched article - it would be either the Sunday Times or Telegraph. I do remember it said that fish is easier to digest than meat. My vet has also recommended that we feed our cat food which is designed for "senior" cats - still looking for it, though. He has a tendency to cystitis and can only have wet food.

Carol Sun 15-Apr-12 21:11:29

Oh, how sad when it gets to this stage of their lives. Our cat Smudge grew up with the children and would follow them to school, then wait on the caretaker's window ledge at home time, so she could follow them back home. She became very thin when she got to about 13, became as light as a feather, and then one day went missing. We searched for her for about 5 days and eventually I heard a weak miaow and traced her to a nearby garden. I brought her home and fed her well then took her to the vets the next day, when he told me she had broken her leg and had some bone loss on her hip which would prevent it healing, so sadly we let her go. I was so relieved to have found her, as not knowing where she was would have been so distressing. We have to let our pets go when the time comes, but it's the price we pay for all the love and fun they bring us.

sunflowersuffolk Sun 15-Apr-12 21:32:28

Oh dear, just been snivelling after watching end of the film Marley and me, and now this has me in tears. We lost our much loved Rosie 8 weeks ago aged 15, I had hoped to have her much longer than that. She had a tumour on her chest and it wasn't possible to treat or operate, so we did the last thing we could for her, as she couldn't eat properly.... really miss her.

We have her brother and sister still, (plus a little stray we found the next year) but the boy is also getting a bit thin and old looking, and not himself lately, so I'm probably going to take him to vet this week. No doubt will cost a fortune, blood tests etc, but if its thyroid, may get treatment. I never want to prolong their life if they will suffer, but sometimes, with treatment, they go on for a few more years.

Ariadne Sun 15-Apr-12 21:41:27

"Cats leave law prints on your heart."

absentgrana Mon 16-Apr-12 01:57:02

It might be worth investigating the possibility iof steroid injections. These can help make an elderly cat feel better in a general way and put on a bit of weight.

sunflowersuffolk Mon 16-Apr-12 20:19:29

thanks absent, I will take him this week, he isn't TOO thin, but I want to catch anything before it gets too bad, after losing his sister. Fingers croseed its not too serious.

sunflowersuffolk Mon 16-Apr-12 20:28:15

apologies Absent - I just realised this was meant for Phoenix and her poorly moggie. thanks for the idea anyway.

shazormerod Mon 24-Nov-14 15:39:25

Hi i was wondering if anybody could help my 11 year old tom cat called Piggy (yes that's right his name is Piggy long story why is name is Piggy) has become thin over the last couple of months he eats what i put out for him but not a great deal of it,he use to wolf his cat meat down but doesn't anymore he will eat a couple of mouthfuls and then leave the rest of it,i thought he had gone of the cat meat so have tried different cat meat even senior but he will hardly eat senior cat meat,please can anybody suggest anything. He will eat a couple of prawns,chicken and tuna. Also there is a bit of a smell on him is that because he is getting old. Could you also tell me do you times a cats age by 7,my boyfriend said you don't but 9i thought you did.

Deedaa Mon 24-Nov-14 22:34:55

11 isn't all that old for a cat shazormerod so I would definitely get the vet to have a look at him. If he is smelling a bit it could be a problem with his mouth or teeth which would make his saliva very smelly and might put him off eating.You wouldn't want to find that you'd left him with an abscessed tooth or even a tumour in his mouth like one of mine had. Far better to have it checked out now.

I don't know about working out a cat's age. There are quite a few 20 year old cats around and they'd be 140 if you multiplied them by 7!

Anne58 Mon 24-Nov-14 22:41:50

Very good point re teeth Deedaa, and definitely worth getting the vet to check.

ninathenana Mon 24-Nov-14 23:48:37

As an ex vets assistant I agree teeth/mouth problems are quiet likely.

Faye Tue 25-Nov-14 07:30:54

The vet told us that we should have brought our cat in earlier, she was still eating well but feeling the cold. DD ended up with another of our family cats and I told her and SIL that he was too thin and very old and probably suffering, but they wouldn't have it because he ate well. He ended up with a broken bone and they rushed him to the vet. They put a bowl of food next to him and he was still eating on the drive there.

Now their old dog has cancer, the vet had advised he had a dislocated paw, they thought possibly as he was jumping up high to steal the cat's food. Around three hundred pounds for X-rays supposedly showing the dislocated paw then two months later the vet realised the dog has cancer and they needed to get more X-rays. I can't believe the cost of the X-rays plus there are two months of treatment the dog had before the cancer diagnosis. He is a lovely old dog and will be sadly missed.

anniezzz09 Tue 25-Nov-14 09:09:48

Faye, has the vet ruled out a kidney problem? We had an elderly cat that got very thin and the vet said that old cats often become diabetic and their kidneys fail. Ours was then on medication and went on happily for some time.

Faye Tue 25-Nov-14 11:18:34

annie the cats were very old, one was sitting so close to the heater she was singeing her fur. The other ended up with a broken bone and was terribly old, frail and bedraggled looking. I think their kidneys had well and truly packed in by then.

Lapwing Tue 25-Nov-14 12:47:49

phoenix - your description of your cat reminds me of the problems our cat had and that turned out to be liver problems. I can only suggest that you take her to the vets for a blood test. It is so hard when we know they are not well and they cannot tell us what is wrong.

anniezzz09 Tue 25-Nov-14 17:34:47

oh dear Faye sounds like it's very sad all round. It's hard when animals get old and sick, we've had too many like that. We are currently spending on our elderly rescue cat who has a chronic eye problem. The vet isn't sure what it is and the insurance company are now refusing to pay out because a year has gone by. It's costing a fortune. All the best.

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