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lesliel76

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Hi fellow cat lovers

I am struggling a bit with a senior cat of mine. She is about 18.5 years old and in the last 6 months lost a lot of weight. She has hyperthyroidism and kidney disease but both these things are pretty controlled and havnt progressed for years.

I took her to the vet and they ran blood and did an ultrasound. All looked good except some stomach upset they said was IBS. Add it to the list of stuff now! With this IBS she throws up about 2 or 3 times a week just clear liquid usually super early morning or night. I give her pepcid when this happens.

In addition to that her teeth of course are not good and she is currently on a round of antibiotics to help a little.....she paws at her face after eating sometimes and makes these kind of breathing and smacking sounds.

She started acupuncture to try to realign her body....and give some relief to bad hips. She has had 2 session and seems to improve a little after.

I guess I'm just struggling emotionally more than anything watching her age. I dont know what to do really. I also would feel a lot better if she gained some weight back on her. She eats ok but any suggestions for this would be great.

I am wondering too could it still be cancer even if they found nothing in the ultrasound like maybe I am catching symptoms early?

Anyone who has similar experience with older cats might help to hear your stories and how you deal with it.

Thanks in advance! Sorry if this was all over the place!
 

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It really isn’t “all over the place.” You spoke clearly about the issues. I know others will be along with good information. I do have some elder cats too. One is Felv and eating is an issue. He is thirteen now and I find that certain foods are things he has trouble digesting. He seems to know best what he can tolerate. It took trying different foods to get to the things he can eat well. Foods with lots of liquid are his choice for canned food. None of the dry foods were well tolerated until that Rachel Ray food came out. He will only eat two of the flavors but both stay down and he has gained a bit of weight. They are the Premium with Chicken and Brown rice and the Indoor Complete Chicken with lentils and Salmon. The latter has probiotics from pumpkin and various other things like berries and peas. If you read the ingredients on most cat foods you may find things that aren’t things you would choose to be there but with this cat, I am giving him the things he can digest and having Felv at thirteen, he has done well in his food choices. Lots of liquids may be key. For canned food he has become more picky. He does best , although I have tried many of the higher priced foods, on Fancy Feast flaked Shrimp or Tuna. He licks the liquid from Friskies shreds but does not eat the meat. I supplement with some home cooked foods like chicken breast in broth that is pure chicken and broth from water the chicken is cooked in. He loves treats and the lickables are what I use for him. There may be more nutritious foods out there for your kitty but I suggest you explore what she wants if you think weight is a problem. There is a spread sheet on the site that was done by very special site members. It gives nutritional info on many cat foods. I’ll try to find it and post it back to you.
Pawing at her mouth and smacking are something I have seen in an elder cat. Since your kitty is on antibiotics, maybe her dental issues will improve.
If her vet check was good, try not to worry. Easier said than done! I always advise for others to trust their instincts. You know your cat better than anyone else. You have done a wonderful job already! 18 and a half! Work on finding yummy stuff for her and keep doing what you have been doing. It’s obviously been very good for her!
 

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I was looking through a lot of threads for information on the problems you mentioned with your kitty and one of my favorite humans has posted sooo many great responses to others I am hoping that we may get a response here. I think that is the person who can give you better information than I can give. I am hoping that LTS3 LTS3 is available.
 

pearl99

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Could your kitty have meat baby food on the kidney diet? I use the Gerber 2nd Sitter foods, chicken and/or turkey. It wouldn't be something to give solely instead of cat food but in addition to, as supplement.
My kitty Gracie is 13 years old and loves it. She's decided she doesn't like the beef flavor so I just give the chicken and turkey. The Sitter food would be the one to get. We use it at the shelter I volunteer at for the cats that are not eating well, many like it.
I'm sorry your kitty is having difficulties!
 
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Jcatbird

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I have read a couple of good ideas on TCS! Kitten food is very nutritious and that might help and also, I was reminded that there are appetite stimulants that a vet can give. I don’t know if that would be in conflict with her medical conditions but you can ask! My go to for luring I’m feral cats for TNR is the , previously mentioned baby food, but also canned chicken breast in water that has nothing else in it. No onions or garlic etc. Also, as a treat, tuna in water. Tuna should not be her only food ,as any other human food, but it can be used to encourage more eating.
 

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Hi. Feeby is 16+ yo, and has lost a fair amount of weight over the past 1 1/2 years (she will be going in for a follow up check of her thyroid, since her last test was high). Aside from that, she has no other potential health issues that we know of. However, she also occasionally throws up nothing but a tad bit of liquid in the AM. I have come to conclude that because her eating isn't what it used to be that she accumulates stomach acids from having gone too long without eating. I try to break up long spells without food by giving her human foods like low sodium deli turkey, roast beef, etc. just so there is something in her stomach.

Pepcid (and some other similar treatments) might help but should be given on an empty stomach in order to be effective. I would try to get her to eat more frequently as that will help with the excessive stomach acids building up. Many other food possibilities have already been mentioned, so I won't repeat them. But, I know one thing that helps Feeby when she is eating less is Sheba Perfect Portions in pate style (Feeby is a pate only eater). Sometimes, depending on how she has eaten that day, I will give her a serving just before bedtime - most of the time she will eat at least some of it.

Did the ultrasound show any thickening of the intestinal walls? That is a typical sign of IBS. How did they define 'stomach upset' as being IBS? Does she have any issues with her stool? Also, I have heard that malabsorption due to a B12 deficiency is fairly common in cases of IBS, and will cause weight loss. So, maybe the vet should test her B12 level - that is not normally included in the standard bloodwork tests. You might also ask the vet about her hyperthyroidism meds and if they might need to be adjusted.

I think the pawing at her mouth is dental related, and if she was given antibiotics for that, then the vet must feel there is an infection - so that would be another area to continue to pursue with the vet.

Also, can she take arthritis supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin, green lipped mussels) to help with her hip issues? Feeby is on Glyco Flex Plus - has been for about 2 years; it has helped with her mobility and almost entirely rid her of a limp she was displaying.

Short of that, as is the case I fear with Feeby, she is just getting older and losing some of her interest in eating, in general. That is why I am now on a constant endeavor to find new foods to re-trigger her interest.

Sorry for the long response.
 
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lesliel76

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There are litter boxes with VERY low entrances that are wonderful for elderly cats. Or you can cut down a Rubbermaid container very easily.
This is a great suggestion for older kitties! I already have this for her a Rubbermaid box cut down low. Works great especially if you got a kitty who pees high!
 
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lesliel76

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So many good suggestions. I havnt tried baby food yet. That will be next on my list. I do put out a buffet of options for her when its time to eat but she kind of takes a few bites and licks and that's it. I have a mix of creamy, broths, patte. I have bought expensive fresh delivery foods she likes one day and not the next. She is so not into the perscription kidney food diet or IBS one. At this point I kind of figure the best food with the most nutrients I can get in her the better. I think im creating a bit of a food aversion bc im so focused on her that she's a little like leave me alone so I need to chill for a min.

I might ask about the appetite stimulate next time. She goes back to the vet in another week or so. Doing more acupuncture. Which I hope is helping her be comfy.

She isn't getting pain management besides the acupuncture. Overall she doesn't seem to be in pain, more just uncomfortable sometimes. From what I can tell she's not suffering and she been to the vet so much I think they would get some clues if she was. I hope not! Thats probably my biggest fear...but she purring next to me right now.

I keep thinking if I can just do everything right and the best way I can extend her life but I think I need to let go of the control! It really hard to figure out what to do when they age. This is my first round with an older animal. I have 2 at this age but she is the first to really start to show it.

Thanks for all these suggestions 💕
 
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lesliel76

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Hi. Feeby is 16+ yo, and has lost a fair amount of weight over the past 1 1/2 years (she will be going in for a follow up check of her thyroid, since her last test was high). Aside from that, she has no other potential health issues that we know of. However, she also occasionally throws up nothing but a tad bit of liquid in the AM. I have come to conclude that because her eating isn't what it used to be that she accumulates stomach acids from having gone too long without eating. I try to break up long spells without food by giving her human foods like low sodium deli turkey, roast beef, etc. just so there is something in her stomach.

Pepcid (and some other similar treatments) might help but should be given on an empty stomach in order to be effective. I would try to get her to eat more frequently as that will help with the excessive stomach acids building up. Many other food possibilities have already been mentioned, so I won't repeat them. But, I know one thing that helps Feeby when she is eating less is Sheba Perfect Portions in pate style (Feeby is a pate only eater). Sometimes, depending on how she has eaten that day, I will give her a serving just before bedtime - most of the time she will eat at least some of it.

Did the ultrasound show any thickening of the intestinal walls? That is a typical sign of IBS. How did they define 'stomach upset' as being IBS? Does she have any issues with her stool? Also, I have heard that malabsorption due to a B12 deficiency is fairly common in cases of IBS, and will cause weight loss. So, maybe the vet should test her B12 level - that is not normally included in the standard bloodwork tests. You might also ask the vet about her hyperthyroidism meds and if they might need to be adjusted.

I think the pawing at her mouth is dental related, and if she was given antibiotics for that, then the vet must feel there is an infection - so that would be another area to continue to pursue with the vet.

Also, can she take arthritis supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin, green lipped mussels) to help with her hip issues? Feeby is on Glyco Flex Plus - has been for about 2 years; it has helped with her mobility and almost entirely rid her of a limp she was displaying.

Short of that, as is the case I fear with Feeby, she is just getting older and losing some of her interest in eating, in general. That is why I am now on a constant endeavor to find new foods to re-trigger her interest.

Sorry for the long response.
Your situation sounds super similar to mine. Sorry your going through this too!! Not easy but sounds like your doing a good job. I do give pepcid as needed to help and I think your right on the money with the stomach acids. I keep saying to the vet that it's like acid reflux. When I get up in the night I try to feed her treats or something to keep it at bay. I try to not let her get an empty stomach but it's hard when she's getting picky about food!

The vet I had the ultrasound done at kind of sucked. I had an argument with him bc he never even got the final results from the guy who ran it. Long story but I have a new vet! She's kind of awesome and practices combining Eastern and western medicine which I love bc sometimes I like an alternative choice to have. I feel like you get 2 choices sometimes something super extreme and expensive or nothing at all and I like to know some of this middle ground options. Anyways I dont have a good read on it...but this vet said she might redo in November if she keeps losing. I have a weird feeling something is brewing I don't want to hear about! I hope its not cancer.

And yes she does need to get some deeper blood panels done. She did have a pretty extensive senior panel run but this vet did mention some other ones to do in a few weeks.

Thank you for those supplements! Thats next for me to try too!
 
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lesliel76

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Hi. Feeby is 16+ yo, and has lost a fair amount of weight over the past 1 1/2 years (she will be going in for a follow up check of her thyroid, since her last test was high). Aside from that, she has no other potential health issues that we know of. However, she also occasionally throws up nothing but a tad bit of liquid in the AM. I have come to conclude that because her eating isn't what it used to be that she accumulates stomach acids from having gone too long without eating. I try to break up long spells without food by giving her human foods like low sodium deli turkey, roast beef, etc. just so there is something in her stomach.

Pepcid (and some other similar treatments) might help but should be given on an empty stomach in order to be effective. I would try to get her to eat more frequently as that will help with the excessive stomach acids building up. Many other food possibilities have already been mentioned, so I won't repeat them. But, I know one thing that helps Feeby when she is eating less is Sheba Perfect Portions in pate style (Feeby is a pate only eater). Sometimes, depending on how she has eaten that day, I will give her a serving just before bedtime - most of the time she will eat at least some of it.

Did the ultrasound show any thickening of the intestinal walls? That is a typical sign of IBS. How did they define 'stomach upset' as being IBS? Does she have any issues with her stool? Also, I have heard that malabsorption due to a B12 deficiency is fairly common in cases of IBS, and will cause weight loss. So, maybe the vet should test her B12 level - that is not normally included in the standard bloodwork tests. You might also ask the vet about her hyperthyroidism meds and if they might need to be adjusted.

I think the pawing at her mouth is dental related, and if she was given antibiotics for that, then the vet must feel there is an infection - so that would be another area to continue to pursue with the vet.

Also, can she take arthritis supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin, green lipped mussels) to help with her hip issues? Feeby is on Glyco Flex Plus - has been for about 2 years; it has helped with her mobility and almost entirely rid her of a limp she was displaying.

Short of that, as is the case I fear with Feeby, she is just getting older and losing some of her interest in eating, in general. That is why I am now on a constant endeavor to find new foods to re-trigger her interest.

Sorry for the long response.
The Sheba was a big win for me right now! I was at the store and thought someone mentioned Sheba so I got it and she has been eating it like crazy! Good call. I've got that and Tiki cat on rotation right now till she's over it lol. Happy to see her eat a nice amount.
 

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Glad she (did I miss her name?) likes the Sheba! I am like you - will be feeding it to Feeby (along with testing other stuff) until she won't eat it anymore! Hope that is quite a long time from now - for both of us!!!! :crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers:
 
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lesliel76

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Daisy had a vet visit today and even with her new eating of the food lost more weight from 2 weeks ago. She was at like 8.6 now at 7.8 pounds.

The vet is a little baffled because outside of that she is ok. She mentioned that she looks really good. The vet said not to get too hung up on the weight bc they look at all things, the blood, the appetite, the bathroom habits, home comfort etc..

She took some blood work to look at the thyroid again. Did an extra panel for this that is more indepth. If that shows nothing we might repeat the ultrasound soon to make sure nothing is brewing in there other than her new IBS.

She got an acupuncture session also from the vet. She was very chilled out. Purring the whole time. Came home and ate some more and now is sleeping. I think I just have to be ok with whatever it is. I know I am doing everything I can for her. I am trying to not stress and just take in stride because she seems comfortable. The moment I think she is in pain or not comfortable then I'll proceed from there.

How can I just reverse her age make her young again!?
 
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