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Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian
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Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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I have two 17-year-old cats. Tiger, a neutuered male, has

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I have two 17-year-old cats.

Tiger, a neutuered male, has been acting odd, even for him. He seems interested in food when he hears me open a can, but I rarely see him eat. He does not seem to be in pain anywhere when I pet him.

I weighed him last week, and he was 8.2 lbs. His weight has always been between 7 and 10 pounds.

He was diagnosed with Feline Stomatitis several years ago, and after years of steroid shots, the vet finally extracted almost all his teeth. I think he has two left. Back when he had teeth, and he was in pain, he would take a bite of food, scream, and run away — now, he is not taking any bites, and not screaming, so I don't think one of his two remaining teeth is causing the problem.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your 17 year old boy Tiger who has been reluctant to eat over the past little while. This is definitely a concern, but at least he doesn't seem to have lost much weight given his weight was 8.2lb last week. Given his history of feline stomatitis, I would be worried about a relapse. He only has two teeth, but it is still possible for the gums and even the tongue and back of the mouth to become very inflammed. Or there could be a completely separate oral issue here going on and given he is 17 now, we also have to consider an oral tumor.

We also have to consider whether Tiger could have an internal organ issue. Older cats are prone to kidney issues, thyroid issues and diabetes - particularly given he has had life-long steroid injections for his stomatitis. If you have noticed an increase in water in take or urination, then you really should get him seen today or tomorrow if you can. Here your local Vet can carry out a full oral exam to help rule out an oral mass, as well as take some blood to check his internal organ function.

I do think Tiger needs to be seen in the next week or two as a minimum to help rule out a repeat of his stomatitis or an oral mass. In the meantime, continue with tempting him with a range of different foods. Small amounts of tuna are fine for now, but also consider going to your local Vet to get some Hill's A/D. This is very palatable and high in protein, so he wouldn't need much of it for it to really help here.

Best of luck with your boy and let me know how you get on. As above, do get him seen if you have noticed other symptoms such as him drinking or peeing more than usual, otherwise, continue to tempt him, but do try and get him seen at some point this week or next week. Let me know how you get on if you get a chance. Don't forget to click an excited face :-D if this has been helpful. Please be sure to reply using the REPLY TO EXPERT button if you need any further help or advice.

Kind Regards,

Dr M D Edwards

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Hi Debi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Tiger. How is everything going?

Dr Edwards