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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24378
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My16 yr old female outdoor cat just takes a few bites of wet

Customer Question

My16 yr old female outdoor cat just takes a few bites of wet or dry cat food & does sip her water.She hardly touches baby jar strained meat which she usually gobbles up.She still jumps up on her bed & my lap.I can tell that she has lost weight.Don't know what I can do for her.She has only been to the vet once when she was younger.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Daisy 16
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Daisy?
Customer: She did vomit food on Thurs. But in the last few days her appetite has diminished.Normally she has a soft meow when she wants food., I usually feed her every 4 hrs.Not sure how much she actually consumes sometimes because of a stray cat getting in her food.Her meow last nite was very loud & unusual for her.She doesn't act like she's in pain.Behavior seems almost the same.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

There's usually more than one thing going on in a 16 year old and whenever a cat of her age has become inappetent and experienced weight loss I need to consider age-related major organ insufficiencies such as renal failure (a very important differential diagnosis) or hepatic failure as well as malignancies. Daisy doesn't have the reserve of a much younger cat and so "watchful waiting" for any more than a few days isn't prudent. A vet will want to thoroughly examine Daisy including performing diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests.

It's unclear to me why she vocalized in that manner. It can indicate discomfort, anxiety, or both. Medical conditions such as hypertension and hyperthyroidism are also known to cause such vocalization. Please check her vital signs for me...

1) Check her gum and tongue color. They should be nicely pink - not whitish (anemia) or bluish/greyish (cyanosis/hypoxia/lack of oxygen to her tissues).

2) Check her respiratory rate. She should be taking less than 30 breaths/minute while asleep or at rest.

3) Take her rectal temperature. Any body thermometer will do when placed 1.5" into her rectum for 1 minute. Normal is 100.5-102.5F. This is a two person job!

Please let me know what you find.