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My cat is constantly begging for food, getting on the stove…

My cat is constantly...

My cat is constantly begging for food, getting on the stove and table looking for food, and eats all his own food, yet he is so thin. He has never acted like this before. He has been throwing up a little more than usual also. Any idea what I should be looking for?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did your cat eat anything unusual?

I am not aware of him eating anything out of the ordinary. Dog food on occasion.

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the cat's name and age?

His name is ***** ***** he is 13 years old.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Klaus?

He was neutered around six months of age. He has always been a healthy cat

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
7/22/2017
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,595
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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I am concerned that Klaus is begging for food, scrounging for food, yet getting very thin despite such a good appetite.

His more frequent episodes of vomiting may be due to eating too much, too quickly.

When we see weight loss with an apparently normal or increased appetite we need to worry about disease processes that either don't allow him to digest and/or absorb the food he is taking (such as diabetes, liver disease, primary intestinal or pancreatic disease including cancers) or those that lead to a higher metabolic rate such as hyperthyroidism or cancer.

In an older cat the more common diseases we see include hyperthyroidism (a tumor of the thyroid gland that overproduces thyroid hormones) or if he were drinking more and urinating a tremendous amount, diabetes. Sometimes early on with diabetes we only see weight loss.

Both diabetes and hyperthyroidism are treatable or at least manageable.

Hyperthyroidism is controlled with daily oral medication (Tapazole, also called methimazole) or a very special diet called y/d both of which must be done for the rest of his life or treatment with radioactive iodine to selectively kill tumor cells which is usually a one time therapy. There are pros and cons to each therapy which your veterinarian can discuss with you after getting a firm diagnosis.

Hyperthyroidism is not painful, but elevated thyroid hormones can make them feel edgy or nervous and thus cranky, increase the heart rate and interfere with sleep, like drinking way too much coffee or energy drinks. Long term if left untreated it can lead to heart disease, hypertension, possible eye damage as well as kidney and liver damage. But if caught and treated many of these things can be reversed.

Diabetes is controlled with diet and insulin therapy.

Has he had any testing done to achieve a diagnosis?

Ideally he should have a complete blood count and biochemistry profile with T-4 checked as well as a urinalysis. These tests often give us the information that we need.

If those aren't diagnostic then it is time to move on to more specialized testing. I recommend checking vitamin B levels to look for signs of intestinal disease, a test for pancreatic insufficiency called a TLI, and an abdominal ultrasound to look for signs of changes in the walls of the intestines as well as evaluating his organs. He may need an endoscopy to collect biopsies of his intestines if they look abnormal.

In the meantime you might try feeding him a higher calorie prescription food called Hills a/d or Iams Maximum Calorie from your veterinarian and make sure he has access to plenty of fresh, clean water.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,595
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified
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I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

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