Dear Christopher Cat
Our 13-year-old cat is losing weight, even though she’s eating and drinking normally. We checked the Internet and learned that she might have chronic kidney failure, but I wonder if it’s just old age. What do you think?
While surfing the Internet is a great way to learn, I think it’s time to check another source: your veterinarian.
I am 11 years old, and as I age, I plan to look as robust – and weigh the same – as I do now. Weight change, up or down, is not part of normal aging.
It’s possible your cat has kidney problems, but cats that do usually drink and urinate larger volumes as their kidneys become less able to concentrate urine.
Because your cat eats and drinks normally, it’s more likely her weight loss is due to something else.
One common cause of weight loss in us senior cats is hyperthyroidism, caused by an overactive thyroid gland revving up the metabolism.
In addition to weight loss, some hyperthyroid cats develop vomiting and diarrhea. Thankfully, treatment is simple and effective.
Many other diseases are accompanied by weight loss, so I’d recommend an appointment with your veterinarian for a physical examination, blood tests and a urinalysis.
Once you know the cause, you’ll be able to treat the disease and reverse your cat’s weight loss.