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Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience:  Canine and Feline Specialist, DABVP, Veterinarian since 2000
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My cat, age 12, has become very restless. he has started meowing

Customer Question

My cat, age 12, has become very restless. he has started meowing constantly (does not appear to express pain) and wanders the house all day and night. He recently had a kidney infection but was treated and recovered. He is also losing weight. My vet has checked him out and has not found any grows. The restlessness is very disconcerting. Thoughts? TY
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Can you tell me if there are any other symptoms? I am concerned with the weight loss.

Did they follow up on a urinalysis?

Also, how long has it been since he had full bloodwork and x-rays of his chest/abd/spine?

I'll be online for the next little bit, and then back this afternoon to help.

Dr. Devlin
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes thank you. he is sneezing a lot. my vet believes that he has bad teeth and that this has caused the sneezing. It could be true. he has a heart condition so given his age, they do not want to knock him out and work on his teeth. He is eating well so the weight loss confuses me too. he had a chest xray and full blood work within the last month. the xray was clear. He was on an antibod for the sneezing and that seems to fix the issue but it is back. He did have utainalysis - 2x in last month. The 1st that said kidney infection and the 2nd showed very good improvement. My vet did hydrate him thru the skin 2x.
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 8 years ago.

You have some options depending on what you would like to do.

Cat's with heart conditions, depending on the severity, actually need more attention paid to their teeth. Oral infections can complicate heart disease by leading to infection of heart valves, and can also contribute to frequent urinary tract infections. In addition, it's painful, which may be part of his restlessness.

If possible, if you can have him evaluated by a cardiologist, they can perform an echocardiogram on the heart to see if he would be a candidate for anesthesia and a dental cleaning. This can also be done by a specialist, and while it will cost more, you can even have a boarded anesthesiologist monitor anesthesia. If he hasn't had an ECG and blood pressure, at a minimum, these should be performed by your vet. Your cat may need oral infections drained or teeth extracted.

With older cats with urinary tract infections, it's very important to perform a urine CULTURE as well as a urinalysis at the end of treatment, and then 2-4 weeks after to make sure it hasn't returned. Again, with his teeth, I'm concerned he may have recurrent issues.

Did they check his thyroid? Double check with them that it was normal if you aren't sure. Hyperthryoidism can lead to heart disease and behavioral changes.

Possibilities for him at this point for the vocalization are pain (teeth, arthritis, other), underlying disease, such as hyperthyroidism, or dementia, or unlikely but possible - brain tumor.

Once you have gone as far as you can/will medically, I would recommend pulse antibiotic therapy for his teeth and trying a round of pain medicine to see if it helps him settle. I would recommend buprenex under the tongue/in the cheek.

If that doesn't help, then you could look into medication for anxiety/dementia. Some of the medications can be compounded into a transdermal form that can be rubbed on his ears, minimizing his and your stress.

I know this was a long post. Please let me know if you have questions or need anything else. I'm here, and want to help. :)

senior cats:

cognitive dysfunction:



Dr. Devlin
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 8 years ago.
Do you have any other questions for me? Please let me know how things go.

Feedback is definitely appreciated, too.

Dr. Devlin
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 8 years ago.
I just wanted to check and see if you had any other questions, and how things were going?
Dr. Devlin