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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21387
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My cat is too thin, and not eating enough in hot weather.

Customer Question

My cat is too thin, and not eating enough in hot weather. She is feral, has a partner, and is active. It is not impossible to take her to a veterinary clinic, but I am concerned about her either getting injured being "carried" or running away afterwards. She is fed three times a day, and grazes in the bowls. We have problems with other ones, including a band of three raccoons that ate all of the food for several days (that is when this problem began). She has seemed frighted, and then only eats a few bites, and then walks off to rest. The seasonal timing of this isn't good, because she and her partner are active, and I fed them Iams food to clean out their systems...just before two others, three possums, and three raccoons showed up to eat their food. She is drinking plenty of fresh water, and eating at least three times a day.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have five pictures I can send of Symoney and her feeding patterns. The first two pictures show her partner (Ninja) eating and the typical amount of food in each bowl and their usual rate of feeding. There are three pictures of Symoney, showing her sitting by her bowl, grooming afterwards, and then walking back to rest. I can send these as attached files in response to an e-mail. I don't know if your software and webpage will allow a posting of photos.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I waited for the posting, until 2:25 p.m (approximately two hours). The pictures won't post to this page. I will wait for the e-mail, and then reply with the photos. I understand the veternarian will probably not be available later on. The page has indicated, four times, "we're sorry -- an unknown error occurred. Please try again..." to post or send photos. It says lightstreamer is in streaming mode, connecting, or I receive the error message.
Expert:  Michelle-mod replied 2 years ago.
I'm Michelle and I'm a moderator for this topic.
We have been working with the Experts to try to help you with your question. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to find the right fit.
I was checking to see if you had already found your answer or if you still needing assistance from one of the Experts?
Please let me know if you wish to continue waiting or if you would like for us to close your question.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I posted a question yesterday, regarding Symoney, an eleven year old, feral cat. She has lost weight in the past week or so, and this thinning down has occurred twice before. Once when she was very young---3 years old or less.
In the past week, she was attacked by three raccoons in the back yard, and these raccoons (bathed) drank their water and ate any food leftover. She seems to be nervous about those animals (and rightfully so since these animals were trapped and released in a park near the house. They are not afraid of humans, and they attacked me twice). It is hot weather, she does have a partner, Ninja, and they are frequently active even though they are 10 and 11 years old, and they were spayed and neutered.
I fed them Iams and they both ate heartily and thinned down a little. With the changes in temperature outside, they have been shedding and both them needed relief from hair balls and their over-eating from the long winter. They eat five to six times a day in winter time, down to 2 -3 times during the hotter weather. They tend to graze, and leave some food, so there are ants in the bowl problems.
In summary, there are many explanations for why she is losing weight (upset stomach, oral health problem, nervous ness, in heat-hot weather, etc.). I am concerned that she may become very upset in a cage, being boarded, and then runaway afterwards.
I have pictures of them feeding yesterday morning. The first two show Ninja eating a bowl Fancy Feast, seafood. The pictures were taking within a minute, so you can see he is eating. In comparison, Symoney only ate two mouthfuls, and then sat next to her bowl. I could not take a picture fast enough, before she started grooming, and then walked past to go sit and rest. Symoney is the little tortoise shell, in pictures three through five. Yesterday, I fed her four times, and she ate three meals. Even so, she is losing some weight in what will be hot weather....
Expert:  Michelle-mod replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** continue to look for an Expert to assist you. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance while you wait.
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome!
I'm sorry you did not receive an earlier answer. Your patience is greatly appreciated.
The problem with the raccoons, possums and other critters that may be eating the cat food is of concern. The ants invading the cat food is also unhealthy. Is there any other place you can put the cats' food and water, where other critters can't get to it? Perhaps, someplace up high? I know raccoons can climb, but if you change the location of the food/water, the other critters may stop coming around.
If Symoney is losing weight, there are various medical conditions that can cause this symptom, especially in older cats: diabetes, hyperthyroidism, liver and kidney issues are a few. Here is more information:
An oral/dental problem may also be a cause, if it's painful for her to eat, due to an abscessed tooth, gum infection, sores in the mouth (stomatitis), etc.
A routine senior blood test, including a thyroid panel, will provide more diagnostic tools for the vet, so it would be a good next step to have her evaluated in person by a vet so you can get a definite diagnosis and treatment, if needed.
If Symoney and Ninja are outside all the time and it's very hot, there should be an area of shade for them to rest in, and they must drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration. Is there any way they can or will come into the house to cool off?
If she's feral and you're afraid she won't do well at the vet's, especially if she has to be kept overnight for tests, treatment or observation, I'm sure after you explain the situation, they might lightly sedate her so she's less anxious.
I hope all will be well with Symoney!
Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback so I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you.
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Warmest regards,

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