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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3924
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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I have a tiger cat that is 16 years old. She eats and drinks

Customer Question

I have a tiger cat that is 16 years old. She eats and drinks plenty of water but is very thin. Her hair is falling out and clumps up on her. Some days she seems fine and other days she has a hard time walking straight. Do you think it is just her age ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Good morning and welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and will be happy to help you and Shermie.I'm glad you wrote in because as our cats get older there are different diseases that can cause weight loss and increased water consumption and urination that can be treated or successfully managed. It's really the best time to look into her possible problems because she is eating well!The more common problems that older cats can have is hyperthyroidism, diabetes (I doubt this for Shermie), lower urinary tract disease, kidney disease, and cancer (not as treatable of course. The first 4 possibilities can be sorted out with a blood profile and a urinalysis, and I would certainly recommend these tests for Shermie.I'd also recommend that Shermie receive a continual dose of Metacam (this is like ibuprofen for cats) as she probably has some arthritis in her "golden years" (just like us!).The fact that her hair is clumping means that she isn't keeping up with her grooming like she used to. She may need to have a lion cut for the summer, or if it is still possible for you, you may need to brush her daily to help her out with her grooming.Hope these suggestions are helpful, but please reply with any questions or concerns that you have.Dr. Barbara
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for helping. Shermie has always been a thin cat at the most 8lbs. but I am guessing that she is half that at this point. She eats and always seems hungry should that be a concern as well. Or does that help in telling you what might be wrong?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have not taken Shermie to the vet because they are afraid of her. She is not very friendly and they scare her.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for responding. It really sounds to me like she is hyperthyroid (a very common problem in older cats). This does require a blood test to diagnose, unfortunately for poor Shermie. The hallmark signs of this are increased hunger, eating well, and losing weight! Since this is just an educated guess, when blood is drawn for her thyroid test, she should have a full senior profile and a urinalysis, to make sure all else is OK.You could give Shermie some Benadryl before her appointment. This has a sedative action also. The dose is 0.5mg/pound of body weight. I'd talk with your vet also before the appointment to see how they would like to handle Shermie's fear. Almost all cats are very nervous and afraid at the vets, but they show their fear in different ways. Shermie is just VERY expressive!