Hello! I'm Dr. Angela, the veterinarian who will be helping you today. Thank you for bringing your question to JustAnswer!
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Chat is fine! I'm sorry to hear that Gizmo isn't feeling well. When would you say he was last his normal self?
Okay, and how much is he eating now, compared to his normal amount?
Okay, I understand. It's not uncommon for older cats to be especially resistant to diet changes, so that certainly could be a component. Has Gizmo been examined by his regular veterinarian recently? Has he had any vomiting or diarrhea, or changes in his urinary habits?
Great! That's encouraging. I do think that your best bet is to schedule the first available appointment with Gizmo's veterinarian for an exam. They'll most likely want to do bloodwork, because there are a variety of common conditions in older cats that can cause the types of changes you're seeing at home - thyroid disease, kidney disease, sometimes diabetes mellitus, and periodontal disease are all common conditions in older cats that can cause changes in appetite, weight and behavior. In the meantime, I would continue to try a variety of different foods to see if there's one that might stimulate him to eat a little more, and make sure he's staying hydrated - his skin should spring right back into position when gently tented over his shoulder blades then released, and his gums should be moist (not tacky, where your finger sticks for a second after you gently press it to the gums then pull it away).
It's fairly common - there are a variety of medical problems that are common in older cats, which can cause these types of behavior changes.
The best things you can do for him at home are to offer him a variety of foods to make sure he's eating as close to his normal amount as possible, and to make sure he stays well hydrated. Some cats prefer a running water source and are more likely to drink from a dripping faucet or pet watering fountain, and some like a bit of flavoring added to their water (by mixing a little chicken broth or canned tuna juice with a small amount of water).
And you’re very welcome! If you have any other questions or concerns, please let me know - I’m happy to help! I'm not always online, but I do get a notification when I have a new reply, and will check back in as soon as I'm available. I hope Gizmo feels better soon!
I hope so too! Most of the conditions that I mentioned are potentially serious, but usually manageable with medications, sometimes on a very long-term basis. Hopefully Gizmo has some good quality life left in him!
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