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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30035
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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I have a 16 year old cat. All his life he was obese [18lbs]

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I have a 16 year old cat. All his life he was obese [18lbs] a few months ago he began losing weight he probably is down to 10 lbs now. At the time he was happy and enjoying his new mobility. He was up and down the steps and energetic. He continued to loose weight so I started feeding him more wet food which he devours. Now his back legs are loosing strength. He no longer walks on his toes but on the flat of his shins [?] and has lost his energy, he no longer goes up the stairs. Plz any help would be appreciated.
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a 2003 graduat, and currently a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about this concern for Jeremy.
Very important information you provided about the weight loss and how he is walking.

At this age, there are some very specific conditions that could be contributing to what you are observing!

1. Hyperthyroidism (elevated thyroid hormone). The second most common condition in older cats and absolutely a common cause for pronounced weight loss.

2. Kidney disease

3. Diabetes! Especially, in larger or overweight cats! and absolutely can cause that walking on the shins you are describing!

*Chronic Kidney Failure
* Diabetes
* Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)

So, what to do?
Got to get into a vet for basic testing.
A feline basic blood test and a urine test (urinalysis) may answer a lot of concerns, or at least rule-out many possible explanations.

What can tests tell you:
Chemistry Panel
CBC (complete blood count)

Both, a blood and urine sample is usually easy for a veterinarian to obtain. A urine test is taken directly from a needle poke into the bladder, with a needle no bigger than what is used to give a vaccine.
- ensure a thyroid level is also included on the blood test to rule-out hyperthyroidism (elevated thyroid hormone)

I really think the basic blood and urine test will tell a lot about what is going on and what is treatable or manageable.

He eats his portion AND the other cats! Very very common to see increased appetite and body weight loss with the thyroid problem, which can be helped.

I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select Reply to Expert, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. Prior to leaving a feedback rating, which I greatly appreciate so I am recognized by Justanswer for responding, my goal is to provide you the best answer possible.
Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy and other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Rod,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Jeremy. How is everything going?

Dr. Andy