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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16920
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hi, I have a 16 year old cat. She started night yowling about

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have a 16 year old cat. She started night yowling about a year ago. The vet said this was a form of dementia so we make sure we have feliiway and keep night lights on. She is very thin and over the last 3 weeks has got almost skeletal. She still eats and drinks lots and goes to the litter tray regularly. Is there any food I can use to fatten her up. She has a very sensitive stomach and can only handle senior iams and a bit of whit fish. Is this a serious thyroid problem or is she just getting old? She panics at the vets which is why I haven't taken her yet! Please help?!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about Mini's increased vocalizations and weight loss.

Was any blood testing done at her visit a year ago?
Cats can certainly become senile as they age but far more commonly these are the effects of hyperthyroidism with or without other metabolic disease processes (kidney, liver or intestinal disease or diabetes).
I would be highly suspicious of hyperthyroidism, which is a tumor of the thyroid gland that overproduces thyroid hormones and leads to weight loss and an increased appetite, often with some vomiting or loose stools and increased vocalizations. These cats seem to feel great initially but cannot maintain their weight due to a very high metabolic rate. If the disease is not controlled it can lead to heart, kidney and liver damage, hypertension, brain bleeds, and retinal bleeds and detachment.

I understand that getting her into a veterinary clinic will be very stressful in her condition. I recommend looking for a veterinarian that will agree to visit her at home where she will be more relaxed and it will be less stressful for her. They can examine her and draw blood which will help guide treatment.

In the meantime it may help to feed frequent small meals of canned food. It may help to try kitten food as well as it has more calories and protein which may help her maintain more muscle mass. Make sure to introduce any new food very gradually as any sudden diet change is likely to further upset her gastrointestinal system, leading to vomiting and diarrhea.

Best of luck with your girl, please let me know if you have any further questions.
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