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Avatar universal

Helping my cat gain weight

I have a cat that is 17 y/o and is in overall great shape.  He runs, jumps, and plays with my other cats and chases them all over the house.  However, in his old age he has lost ALOT of weight.  My veterinarian did some lab on him about a year ago and everything was great.  He told me older cats tend to do that and whatever he wants to eat, give it to him.  I also give him steroids almost 2 out of 4 weeks in a month for allergies as he sneezes constantly.  I feed him Blue Buffalo dry food and he gets moist food once a day as well as 4-5 boiled shrimp a day and sometimes a go by McDonalds and get him a filet o fish or hamburger and give him just the meat and nothing else.  Sounds like alot I know but with all that he eats, he is skin and bones.  Nothing helps him add weight.  Any suggestions or is this just to be expected at his age.  He eats alllllllll day long!!  Anything from Lima beans to burgers, shrimp and cheese.  
6 Responses
506791 tn?1439846583
Vet found no thyroid dysfunction?
242912 tn?1402547092
Yes, as Pip said???

I have a friend with an elder cat who, too, was skin and bones.  She began feeding him WET FOOD ONLY (if you do this, add it in slowly over a period of time to avoid gastric upset).  It turns out kitty was severely hydrated and bounced right back. His horrible smelly skin condition has improved, as well.  He is 16!

I don't care what your Vet might tell you, they are not exactly educated in our animals diets; not their specialty, so they tend to repeat what the reps tell them to.  This dry prescription food is NOT GOOD - kitty needs wet food...grainfree if possible.  I'm sorry but I would eliminate the McDonalds unless rarely.

We tried the Dry Buffulo treats - I wasn't impressed although the first ingredient WAS meat, but the second was Brown Rice, with the 3rd being Oatmeal!  Pretty sure our kitties of old had a bit of trouble finding Oatmeal in the desert.  We had our kitty off treats (Temptations) for months, then decided to try a 'better' kind - Blue Buffalo.  She had not vomited for over 5wks, but all that came back with her eyes looking glassy and reactive...so the Blue Buffalo was eliminated as I believe she was reacting to the rice/oatmeal.  WELLNESS CORE dry (if dry MUST be fed) is a good product without any grains or additives or fillers.  The canned just says 'Wellness' with no mention of 'Core'.  With your elderly kitty, he needs all the moisture he can get.  I even go so far as to add a few drops to Jades wet food..not enough it's soupy, but enough so she's getting a few more drops of moisture.  

The sneezing...I would encourage you to wean off the steroids and start kitty on a Lysine product to help strengthen his immune system.  The steroids are just a bandaid until you can find the underlying cause.  I have a feeling it could be food allergies.  

We started Jade on Lysine for her herpes over 6mos ago, and there's been a noticeable improvement.  If you are interested in the Lysine, I can give you a link to a place online called iherb.  

I really think with a few simple changes you might have a new kitty! :)

Good Luck!  Oh, and what of the thyroid?
874521 tn?1424120397
hi....the other two posters above gave you some very good info. at a grand age of 17 a kitty needs a very good diet, lots of protein and low on carbs(which most foods are loaded with) and Hyperthyroidism is very common especially in older cats...they do get a ravenous appetite yet continue to loose weight and waste away. your kitty really needs to have a good check up and his thyroid tested. here is a link with good info. good luck and keep us posted.

1040373 tn?1273691088
You could get some NutriCal at the pet store. It's a high-calorie tube of paste that might help.
587315 tn?1333556383
You're cat sounds like he's doing awesome for his age.  It's great to hear how active he is.  I love hearing about such an active senior kitty because that tells me he's got a good owner. =)

I'm with the other 2 posters that asked about his thyroid function.  And, also, one other thing you can ask about is possible diabetes.  The longer he's been on steroids, the more likely it is that he's developed this.  Many people don't realize that steroids can induce diabetes, but it can.  It can happen to people, too.  Diabetes was induced in our cat that received steroid shots for a few months.  

If you're cat is eating a lot, and still losing weight, then it is likely your cat has either steroid induced diabetes or a thyroid condition.

Good luck and please let us know how he's doing.
Avatar universal
He too is fine...Blood work came back good. Eats a lot drinks a lot and plays with other cats. He does sleep a lot but is old so is expected. I split one can wet food a day between 3 cats and dry food throughout day. Anyone know if anything I can do to help him gain weight? He is getting smaller every month and looks like the size if my 3 year old cat.
I would up his daily intake of wet food. If the other cats are in good body condition, feed him/her separately, about 3x per day and increase the amount from 1/3 of a can to half then a full can.
Good luck with your kittie. I am going through the same thing with my 9 yr old cat. Blood work great, waiting on urinalysis results - no definitive diagnosis at this point.
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