Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help you with Biscuit. There are many problems that can cause a cause a cat to look ragged, but one of those this time of year is shedding while also growing a thicker coat of fur for the winter. It does concern me though that she has lost weight and has raspy breathing after she drinks.
If she is eating well, but still losing weight she may have a condition called hyperthyroidism which can be managed or treated successfully once diagnosed. If she is not eating well, she probably has an infection (abscess) that is making her not feel well, or she could also have kidney failure.
If she has been drinking lots of water and urinating more than normal this could also indicate diabetes.
She doesn't seem her usual slim and healthy self. We hardly see her these days, and don't know where she hides in our extensive grounds.
She has eaten Benevo vegan dry food since kittenhood, and supplements it with field mice and the occasional baby rabbit, We have no other ani
we have no other animals or pets, and our rural property is isolated by agricultural fields surrounding our grounds of 40 acres. Could she be reaching her final days? is that why she is hiding away, and emerging only to be picked up in her favourite way, and stroked..we do do this every day and she has the loudest purr of any cat that we've ever heard...co0nstantly purring, especially when we pick her up. But now she hides away most of the time...might she pass away hidden away? should we take her back to the vet?
The fact that you don't see her much recently could also be a symptom that she is indeed sick. Cats tend to go into hiding when they are ill. . .it's a natural instinct for them to avoid them being preyed upon.
I'd definitely have her vet take another look at her. He/she may need to do a blood profile and possibly a urinalysis to determine the cause of her potential illness.
The fact that she seemed healthy to your vet 7 weeks ago is, to me, another reason to suspect that she has a treatable (or manageable) illness that once addressed will get her back to her good health.
By the way, it sounds like she has a wonderful life!!!!