He is 12 years old and slowing down eating but still eating just less than normal, loosing weight, hiding a bit more but

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Customer: he is 12 years old and slowing down eating but still eating just less than normal, loosing weight, hiding a bit more but has always been a loner. He stoped eating hard food but will still eat soft foods. and still using liter box. reduced grooming and staying in the bathroom more than usual instead of his favorite places
JA: I'll do all I can to help. When did you first notice this decrease in the cat's appetite? How is his energy level?
Customer: about a week ago and he has always been slow about doing anything for years but and not playful much over the years but seems to want less interaction these days and we have a 2 year old cat in the house and they usual get along well but he seems to be distancing himself more
JA: Does the cat seem to be in any pain?
Customer: not sure he isn't meowing like he hurts but his purr has definately quieted down over the last week or so. When he did purr it was very loud and now its faint. I thought that he might be in pain just not sure how to tell
JA: What's the cat's name?
Customer: Gizmo
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no
Answered by AngelaY25 in 16 mins 1 year ago
Pet Specialist

1,728 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Cat Veterinary, Cat Medicine, Cat Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

Hello! I'm Dr. Angela, the veterinarian who will be helping you today. Thank you for bringing your question to JustAnswer!

Just to let you know, JustAnswer will probably ask you if you want to talk over the phone. That message isn't coming from me, it's an offer from the website to buy an upgrade to a phone call. I'm not able to talk on the phone right now, but I'm happy to help you through this chat module. It can take a couple of minutes for messages to go through sometimes, so please don’t be concerned if there’s a bit of a delay between our responses.

Also, I want to make sure that I’m fully answering your question, so if anything I say is confusing or doesn’t seem to make sense, please let me know so I can clarify!

Im at work so over the phone is difficult right now

Chat is fine! I'm sorry to hear that Gizmo isn't feeling well. When would you say he was last his normal self?

about a week ago

Okay, and how much is he eating now, compared to his normal amount?

about half and we had to switch from hard food to soft food we couldnt get his usual hard food so not sure if it was the food cause he really wasn't eating much. but when switched to soft food his is finishing half to 3/4 of his food over a 24 hour period

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?

no i need to get him in but no vomiting diarrhea and still voiding and stools normal
he has just been less active and hiding more and not grooming as well as he use to. But we are assisting with thant

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).

ok we have been monitoring that closely and he does drink a lot which is good. I will get him in and continue to check the different foods. is this common for older cats to start to do things like this

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.

ok thanks for the information is there anything more at home we can do for him

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!

Thank you so much we will try that also. I just hope this is a phase with him and not the end of days coming that was my main concern.

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!

thank you

You're welcome!

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