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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21380
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My 15 year old cat has been losing weight & muscle mass for

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My 15 year old cat has been losing weight & muscle mass for 2 years. Bloodwork shows nothing abnormal. Today he stopped eating and his abdomen is full of fluid. I don't think he has long to live. What might be the cause? The vet suspects a cancer.

I'm sorry to hear your cat is not doing well.

Yes, the symptoms you describe may be indicative of a cancer growing somewhere in his body, especially if all blood work was negative, and this is not uncommon in older cats. However, fluid in the abdomen may also be indicative of FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) or congestive heart failure.

If the vet can withdraw the fluid from your cat's abdomen and test it, it will provide more diagnostic information. If the fluid is straw colored, this is usually indicative of FIP.

After testing, you'll have more positive information and you and your vet will know how to best proceed.

I hope all will be well with your cat.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He has been tested for FIP and FIV, both negative. IF it is heart failure OR cancer, is there anything a vet could do at this late stage?
Hi again,

If it is cancer, it would depend on where it was located and how advanced it was, but unfortunately, the prognosis would most likely not be positive. With congestive heart failure, if the fluid is removed and he's treated to prevent further fluid build-up, again, it would depend on how advanced the CHF was and any other concurrent medical conditions.

Only your vet can advise you most accurately, knowing your cat's full medical history and seeing him in person, for a hands on exam. Withdrawing and testing the fluid would be a good next step.

Cher and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you