mystery weight loss

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Noah & me (GA), Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    A quick rundown. Five male cats, all seniors, neutered and vaccinated with no serious previous medical issues other than a few UTI episodes years ago. No diabetes so they all eat Royal Canin SO which is a urinary health food that actually works. There are some weird dynamics here; who's the alpha, who sleeps where, mostly they just tolerate each other which is typical but it's been getting worse. We've been in lockdown since March so we're all ready to stab each other in the eye with a fork.
    Lewis is obese and thinks he's the alpha so he eats first and he's always ready to eat more. Marco was an outdoor cat before rescue and the most savvy of the bunch, not interested in being the alpha and a loner. They go outside with me meaning end of the driveway, look around and back inside. Marco has to eat grass but doesn't puke it up and there are no chemicals in the grass. Lewis poops just outside the box but it's not "the box reminds me of something painful", it's just something he does.
    Lewis lost 25% of his normal weight and is slowly getting it back. Now Marco has lost 15%.
    Blood and urine tests are all negative, no bladder or GI issues, it's not dental, no one has an ingrown nail making them nuts. There's nothing odd in the litter, no leaking cans of paint stripper, no one has swallowed a battery. Lewis is a mouser (they get in from the garage twice a year) and a savage when he sees actual meat, something I haven't seen in 40+ years.
    What am I missing? I'm not in denial about cats getting older, I've been there.
    @Wendy&Neko @Larry and Kitties @Chris & China (GA) @Kris & Teasel @JanetNJ
     
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  2. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Awwww hope this gets resolved quickly, Dickson. Unless of course Lewis isnt sneaking his brother Markos meals. :rolleyes::confused::stop:
     
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  3. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Hiya,

    Just to double-check, did the bloodwork include thyroid function? At our vets you need to request thyroid tests in addition to the bog standard general bundle. Hyperthyroidism is a common issue for middle-aged/senior cats so, given the age of your guys, it's not outwith the realm of possibility that two of them might develop the condition coincidentally.

    Might be worth researching other endocrine issues that might trigger weight loss in the manner you're observing.


    Mogs
    .
     
  4. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I agree to have the vet check the thyroid if they have not done so. You also may want to feed him separately to make sure he is eating his food and one of the other cats is not eating it instead.
     
  5. Panic

    Panic Well-Known Member

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    Apr 10, 2019
    Has their eating decreased any or were there diet changes? I couldn't figure out why my tom was a little underweight until I realized he wasn't getting the same calorie intake after I switched him off dry, added to the dog snitching his food. I felt a little silly after I realized that. :oops:

    Hopefully it's something minor like that.
     
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  6. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Hi Mogs. :bighug:
    It's a good lesson to learn, not every vet has the same idea of what a "wellness" test or bloodwork should include. Thyroid numbers were the first thing we looked at and all the numbers were straight down the middle. We free feed them as much as they want and yes we have a backup bowl of kibble. Some are shy and private eaters but Lewis and Marco make no secret about it and never appear hungry. This may sound odd but I have never seen them drink water, they have 3 bowls around the house always clean of course. I've forever been told that's normal for wet food cats.
     
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  7. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Hey Dickson! :bighug:

    Indeed it is common for wet-fed cats not to need to visit their water bowls. Still need to keep 'em out and monitor any consumption, obviously.

    Glad to hear thyroid problems have been ruled out. I hope you manage to identify the issue and that it's something easily addressed - or, better still, just a transient thang that goes away of its own accord.


    Mogs
    .
     
  8. Sam & Esse

    Sam & Esse Member

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    Oct 18, 2017
    Hi :) Is there any chance they could have picked up worms? Over 40 years in my neighborhood without worms, or fleas, or ticks, and then BOOM! Someone brought them in, and since no one else on the street actually cares for their pets, the parasites have run rampant. Although I keep my yard clean, the wind blows 24/7 here, and the eggs come in on the dust and contaminate the cat grass :blackeye: The two feral kittens I took in last year were chock full of round and tape worms. :oops: I ended up getting a full bottle of Drontal, should last me a few years lol!
     
  9. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I'm wondering ...Whats the weather like there Dickson? Zoe NEVER drank water in all the years shes been here. We have had consistent 120 degree days here and all of a sudden she drinks!
     
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  10. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Ye gods! :eek:
     
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  11. Lalkabee

    Lalkabee Member

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    May 1, 2020
    If you aren't sure about their drinking habit and you are worried about it, add water to their food.
     
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  12. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I add any water to zoes food and she rejects it.
     
  13. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Tell me about it.:rolleyes:
     
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  14. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Mar 19, 2016
    I know this is a joke :rolleyes:, but could it be as simple as this? That they're just responding to the sort of ambient stress of living in pandemic times, picking up some of the vibe around them and losing some of their usual appetite as a result?
     
  15. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

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    May 18, 2016
    Has there been a change in the formulary of the S/O?

    There has been the occasional hissing and spitting here too. Note: we do not have cats at present.
     
  16. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    It's scorching hot here and stupidly humid, not the ideal time to be wearing a fur coat. Their time outside is limited to 5 minutes. Years ago I almost cooked Hannah the dog just walking in the shade so the AC isn't just for me. It's set to 72 all day and all night, I'll save the planet another day.
    Despite the lack of trees here we have a serious tick issue, idiot me never equated that with cats. Has anyone else had ticks on a cat?
    It will cost next to nothing to have them all de-wormed. There's dog and raccoon crap everywhere here and the front door faces directly into the wind.
    @Sam & Esse Thanks for that. I peeked at your profile. We have a Sam, my childhood teddy bear was Bobo (still have him) and Jacob's alias was Pig Pen. If you think that's odd there's someone here who was born in the same hospital as me. Small world. :smuggrin:

    This just popped up as I was typing. We all talk about cats picking up on our emotions but seeing it is another thing. MIL likes to eat two hours before us, BIL has cancer, SIL is an idiot, I'm a wreck. They know something's going on and I can't hide it when DON'T COME NEAR ME is written all over my face. That's life. :(
     
  17. Panic

    Panic Well-Known Member

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    Apr 10, 2019
    Despite being surrounded by pine trees that the cats love to play in, I've never found ticks on them (plenty on me and occasionally the dog, but never the cats). Last year the vet found one on Panic which genuinely surprised me, and wanted me to treat her for ticks but I'd finally found a flea treatment that worked for her allergy and didn't want to switch. I think she was newly diagnosed then so it must have been because she wasn't grooming herself. Which begs the question ... do cats remove ticks themselves?

    For what it's worth, my cats aren't eating as much as usual right now. It's been in the mid-90s where I'm at for several weeks and the tend to leave the bowl with food left over.
     
  18. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    A couple other things can cause weight loss. I presume you've tested all their blood sugars. ;) SO is rather high in carbs. :eek: I had a cat on c/d (also high carbs) when Neko was diagnosed, so the gang got switched to low carb, low phosphorus raw. Canned OK too. With plenty of water added, and glucosamine for urinary issues guy.

    The other thing that can cause weight loss is GI malabsorption due to a couple possible diseases. You wouldn't necessarily see vomit, diarrhea or constipation. Hopefully you can tell the latter. with a herd of cats in the house. There is a special GI panel that can be run and is a first step for diagnosis. It will check for B12 and folate for starters. Step two is an ultrasound. Has Lewis always pooped outside the box? Misplaced poop can also be a sign something isn't perfect back there. Definitely worth a conversation with the vet if weight loss doesn't stop. Have they been on SO a long time?
     
  19. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Thanks Wendy.
    They've been on SO for at least 2 years. Marco and Andy's constant bouts of UTI stopped when we switched. They wouldn't go near a water fountain.
    It's exactly like you said, I don't see obvious signs of vomit, diarrhea or constipation but the two I mention are beyond private. A motion activated camera would be easier than a vet emergency. I check every corner of the basement where an unhappy/sick cat would vomit or poop and never find anything.
    Lewis is an oddball cat, he was rescued from an unhappy place and is hard to love. If he was human I'd say he was bipolar. Sounds mean but that's who he is.
    Before I get that quizzical look from an inept tech, does that GI panel have a name? My alternate vet does his own blood work and invests everything back into the clinic so he'll be on board with alternate theories. I'm sure you've seen the look, "Well that's not likely to happen and you're not a vet so..." It's annoying.
     
  20. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

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    Feb 28, 2012
    I've gotten a GI panel from Idexx labs that was just for B12 and folate. You can have it sent to Texas A&M for their GI panel if you think there is anything more abnormal going on, for a couple extra tests, one being Spec fPL. You could just ask for B12 and folate tests. Always "starving!" plus loosing weight sounds like something going on if you think he's getting fair access to the food bowls.
     
  21. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    You could ask for a Free T4 test to see if there's thyroid issues popping up. If the Bloodwork values are near 3 it would be something to keep an eye on.

    As far as them getting along, my house would be chaos without the three feliway multicat diffusers going. It's funny you have five males. I wound up with 6 girls.

    My cats eat a lot less in the summer.
     
  22. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    In the first post I said Lewis was "a savage when he sees actual meat". I don't think I've ever had a cat that responded to actual meat; red, white, seafood, cooked or uncooked. Last night Lewis was being belligerent so he got some daddy time on the porch and was an angel. An hour later I shooed him away from my dinner and he bit my wrist as hard as he could. Not a nip, he really chomped down.
    I always ask for a quick dental check for cats that seldom leave the home, something that would make any cat miserable. I'm sure now I never got an answer to that from the vet last week.
    @JanetNJ Don't know if this is relevant. We've had as many as nine males but six were a family, always happy. When I rescued my niece and her female cat last month none of these guys would go near here. That's odd for Andy who welcomes every new cat or dog with a head bump. This all started long before a strange cat whose medical history I don't know came to visit.
     
  23. Becky & Baby Girl GA

    Becky & Baby Girl GA Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    I was going to mention the GI testing, some malabsorption problem. Baby had IBD & needed B12 shots for that. It seems as if you’ve checked everything else. I do believe all animals feel our tension & stress. My new one Sina is half crazed & I’m sure it’s my fault! I wouldn’t be too alarmed unless they’re acting poorly.
     
  24. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Acting poorly? Lewis was an angel again today alone with me on the porch. Daniel really resents that and took a swat at Lewis when we came in. Daniel has also gone after Cynthia's face, then he's an angel for 48 hours. Maybe a microdose of MDMA would help, our neurotic dog took valium for fireworks and thunder.
    I'll get some Feliway this week.
     
  25. Becky & Baby Girl GA

    Becky & Baby Girl GA Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    1DA31995-8FFE-4B64-9184-6212E382AD72.jpeg Sina needs bi-polar meds. Attacks my arm & really bites hard; next minute she’s laying on me all purry & snuggles. It is a love/hate relationship. Cats... maybe I’ll order some feliway for my anxiety.
     
  26. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    lol
     
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  27. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    Aug 5, 2016
    Hi one question how's his coat looking? does it appear normal a bit more greasy or some other change?

    One more thing you could ask you vet to check in his blood work that they probably haven't checked and can cause them to be ravenous and still loose weight is if either his aldosterone or cortisol levels are not normal
     
  28. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    I have one like that. She's my sweetest and craziest. Feliway multicat diffusers do help
     
  29. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    I think I've got her cousin. Lúnasa also goes for my legs. Makes getting into the bathroom quite an undertaking on occasions. :arghh:


    Mogs
    .
     
  30. Becky & Baby Girl GA

    Becky & Baby Girl GA Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    @Critter Mom & @JanetNJ- she just needs more play & now I wish I’d taken two kittens! (She is a 1 yr old)I feel it would not be good at this point. I try to play but she gets bored very fast with whatever I attempt. I’ll order some feliway today. Glad I hear familiar stories... thank you
     

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