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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7367
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My 13 year old cat has been losing weight over the last 2

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My 13 year old cat has been losing weight over the last 2 months (from 7.5 to 6 pounds) she eats very little and has small stools. Vet did blood and urine tests last month and did not find anything wrong. She is getting Royal Canine SO formula and also a little food that is to help digestion.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Daisy, I hit enter to soon. Today she threw up (which she does frequently) and I found bits of cat litter in the vomit. Why would she do this?
JA: This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Daisy?
Customer: She does not seem to be in any pain. Her sleep and play is usual.

Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am Dr Z. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with a reply ASAP.

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Daisy today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 30 years of experience and would be happy work with you, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you if you don't mind.

It is not uncommon for cats to have underlying GI disease that leads to decreased appetite and weight loss as well as intermittent vomiting. Some affected cats will also eat non-food items as a result of their GI disease. This may be why Daisy was ingesting litter.

Did your vet perform any sort of imaging studies such as an xray or ultrasound?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No we have not. I know it would be a couple of hundred dollars and want to avoid putting her through the stress. She did have the xrays about 2 years ago because of her vomiting but everything looked clear at that time. We love our kitty but do not feel we would want her to go through surgery at her age and the amount of weight she has lost.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
At one point a few years ago she weighed 11 pounds.

Thank you for the reply.

This is a very common scenario in cats and it is likely that there is disease present, but that it is hiding very well. Most of the time with the symptoms you describe, the most likely location of the problem is the GI tract. Some cats have a low grade flare up of pancreatitis which can be a challenge to confirm as it is not always evident on routine bloodwork. Along with that, many of these same cats also have a degree of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or even slow growing intestinal cancer. Unfortunately, either of these can be present and there can be no other abnormalities noted on bloodwork, xray or even ultrasound, although these tests should be run to rule out other conditions that present with the same symptoms. There is a specific GI blood panel that can be requested and if abnormalities noted, can lend support to either pancreatic or intestinal disease. The only way however, to confirm the diagnosis is with a biopsy of the intestine. This can be done via endoscope, but is better performed with an exploratory surgery. The problem with this is that many cat owners are not willing or able to pursue the diagnosis by these means. It is for that reason that many cats are "suspected" to have IBD or GI cancer as the cause of their weight loss and anorexia once all of the other easy to find things have been ruled out.

I suspect that may be where you are at with Daisy. If that is the case, you can discuss with your veterinarian the pros and cons of proceeding with a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis in her situation. Even if you choose to not go the route of biopsy, she may benefit from a course of corticosteroids and perhaps a hypoallergenic diet as sometimes food allergies contribute to the IBD. There are other medications and supplements used to manage IBD as well. Steroids help many cats with either of the two conditions to regain their appetite and gain weight, but if there is intestinal cancer, the result may be short lived. Often times, we are able to manage many of these IBD cats for quite a long period of time and with a relatively good quality of life with medications alone. Work with your veterinarian to decide what is best for you and her, but most likely, there is some therapy that can be offered and hopefully help as least for awhile .

Here are a few links you may find informative.

intestinal lymphoma

inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

feline pancreatitis

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z

petdrz and 2 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your quick response. It will help us decide what course of treatment we will pursue.

You are most welcome. I see these kinds of cases very frequently; almost daily in fact as IBD is very common. We are usually able to help most of these cats with some form of therapy, but each case is different and highly personalized to the cat and their symptoms. Good luck.

Thank you kindly for the positive rating. It is truly appreciated.