Unexpected weight loss in cat

Sarahbear05

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My cat, Lynx, is almost exactly a year old. We've had very few problems in the eight months we've had him, but in the past few weeks he's rapidly lose a lot of weight.

We can feel his bones when we pet him and he looks dangerously thin (There's an old pic of him and a new one attached below) and we can't seen to figure out why

He's been perfectly fine up until now. No health issues whatsoever, weight related or otherwise. We've always fed him more than enough (not enough for him to be obese, but he was never left wanting), he's a young cat at only a year old, he seems to have an appetite, and while we're worried it may be caused by a parasite or something, he's strictly an indoor cat and the only contact he's ever had with the outside world was before we got him at three months old. It's possible he could have gotten something from our other cat who we only got a month or two ago, but she's a healthy weight. And while he has come in contact with mice a few times, the last chance he had to hunt one was months before he started losing weight, so I don't see how he would have come into contact with a parasite of any kind.

What's more, he's acting healthy. Lynx is as playful and affectionate as ever. Earlier today he was playing with our other cat like nothing was wrong. At dinner time he stole a chicken leg off the counter. Even right now he's cuddling me, purring his little heart out. You'd never know anything was wrong if it weren't for his weight.
 

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di and bob

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If he is acting normal, eating, drinking, using the litter box and not hiding, then it most likely is a food problem. At a year old and as dangerously underweight as he appears in that photo, he should be eating as much as he wants 3-4 times a day. A cat under a year old should never be limited unless grossly overweight. Of course, it may be too that he is eating food that is disagreeing with him, but other signs would show up, such as skin problems and throwing up. I would start feeding him wet cat food often and unlimited right now. He needs to gain weight right now before his liver starts failing. It could be worms too, they can be passed from their mama at birth, and that one mouse he hunted could have had the fleas that give tapeworm. I got a prescription from my vet, just called and asked for it to be in my cat's chart, for Profender which I get at PetMeds on the internet. It's a topical that is applied high up on the back of the neck for ALL worms, including tapeworm which is common, and over the counter wormers do not have. All the luck and keep us posted!
 
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Sarahbear05

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If he is acting normal, eating, drinking, using the litter box and not hiding, then it most likely is a food problem. At a year old and as dangerously underweight as he appears in that photo, he should be eating as much as he wants 3-4 times a day. A cat under a year old should never be limited unless grossly overweight. Of course, it may be too that he is eating food that is disagreeing with him, but other signs would show up, such as skin problems and throwing up. I would start feeding him wet cat food often and unlimited right now. He needs to gain weight right now before his liver starts failing. It could be worms too, they can be passed from their mama at birth, and that one mouse he hunted could have had the fleas that give tapeworm. I got a prescription from my vet, just called and asked for it to be in my cat's chart, for Profender which I get at PetMeds on the internet. It's a topical that is applied high up on the back of the neck for ALL worms, including tapeworm which is common, and over the counter wormers do not have. All the luck and keep us posted!
We already have food out for him at all times (the way we feed our cats is we have a food bowl in the kitchen and another bowl in the bedroom and always leave them full so our kitties can eat whenever they like). We'll definately try feeding him wet food, though, and we have plans to take him to a vet. Thank you. 💖
 
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Sarahbear05

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We already have food out for him at all times (the way we feed our cats is we have a food bowl in the kitchen and another bowl in the bedroom and always leave them full so our kitties can eat whenever they like). We'll definately try feeding him wet food, though, and we have plans to take him to a vet. He has been known to throw up but we always assumed it was because he likes to eat things he really shouldn't (plastic, cardboard, literal jewelery, etc) so we wouldn't have noticed if he started vomiting because his food doesn't disagree with him, though in hindsight it is possible.. Thank you. 💖
 

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That sounds good, the only other thing I can think of is an overactive thyroid, which is rare in young cats. They can destroy the extra tissue with targeted radioactive iodine therapy or surgery. A vet could diagnose a thyroid problem with a blood test.
 

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You say he seems to have an appetite still, how much food does he actually eat in a day? If you free feed him or have multiple cats it might be a little harder to figure out how much he’s actually eating & keeping down but it would definitely be good to know
 

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Honestly I never recommend free feeding as its very possible the other cat is eating his food. If the other cat seems to be getting bigger then yes thats the problem. Some cats just can not be free fed as they cant restrain themselves. Switch to scheduled meals, 3 times a day is fine (morning, supper, before bed). That way you know how much he is eating, and if he still loses weight then see a vet.
 
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Sarahbear05

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You say he seems to have an appetite still, how much food does he actually eat in a day? If you free feed him or have multiple cats it might be a little harder to figure out how much he’s actually eating & keeping down but it would definitely be good to know
Sadly, we can't be sure exactly how much he eats. As I mentioned in another comment, we free feed our cat's and have multiple bowls so we aren't always aware of it when they do eat. However we've seen Lynx eating just as often (if not more so) than our other cat recently, earlier he let us know when one of the bowls was empty, and he always tries to steal our food during meals, which is how I know his appetite is fine.
 
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Sarahbear05

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Honestly I never recommend free feeding as its very possible the other cat is eating his food. If the other cat seems to be getting bigger then yes thats the problem. Some cats just can not be free fed as they cant restrain themselves. Switch to scheduled meals, 3 times a day is fine (morning, supper, before bed). That way you know how much he is eating, and if he still loses weight then see a vet.
Our other cat, Pandora, put on a little bit of weight when we first got her (she was a stray before she came into our home and was suffering from malnutrition so of course once she started getting fed she gained a little weight, but she's stopped since ganing since then and is still relatively thin- healthy, but thin) so we know she isn't overeating. The food bowls are never empty so it's not a matter of her eating it all and leaving none for him, and we see him eat pretty much every day (that's not to say he isn't eating the days we don't see him do so, we have multiple bowls around the house and the cat's are allowed free range so if he's hanging out in the bedroom and eats in there we obviously wouldn't know if we were in the living room) and Pandora's never seemed agressive with him because of it? Not to mention that we've had her for months and his loosing weight only really started a few weeks ago. However we'll still try switching to scheduled meals to see if it helps. I doubt the problem is with our method of feeding the two, but if it's possible it's worth giving a shot. Thank you. <3
 

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It seems to me though if he is trying to steal your food, he is hungry. I feed my cats before us, (and leave a bowl of weight control dry food out) then they don't bug us at dinner time.
 
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Sarahbear05

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It seems to me though if he is trying to steal your food, he is hungry. I feed my cats before us, (and leave a bowl of weight control dry food out) then they don't bug us at dinner time.
Lol he tried to take our food even before we got our other cat and way before he had any weight issues. We've always left bowls out for him and he usually eats fine, i'm pretty sure he just feels left out or likes the smell of cooked meat. We always fill his bowl in the mornings (or if it ends up empty mid day). I'm sure he is hungry- he looks like he's more than hungry- but he definitely eats his food, then begs for ours, and still manages to look the way he does.
 

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Lol he tried to take our food even before we got our other cat and way before he had any weight issues. We've always left bowls out for him and he usually eats fine, i'm pretty sure he just feels left out or likes the smell of cooked meat. We always fill his bowl in the mornings (or if it ends up empty mid day). I'm sure he is hungry- he looks like he's more than hungry- but he definitely eats his food, then begs for ours, and still manages to look the way he does.
I can only advise you to see a vet as soon as possible. Free-feeding or scheduled meatimes is not the issue.
When I was working my cats were obviously fed before I left and when I got home in the evening. I always left water and some dry food in case one of them was hungry.
Since retirement things have changed. One cat had a serious accident after which she couldn't swallow. Recovery was long and slow so that even 8 weeks later she could only eat small amounts and kept returning to her dish. Dental problems, extraction and recovery meant that another cat was hungry but frightened of food as she expected pain. So, over the years, I have been leaving food out at all times and in different places. I have never managed to make a cat fat but I have problems reducing the weight of already fat fosters!
I recently read an article (in German) in which a cat researcher wrote that cats should normally eat small portions of food 5 or 6 times a day!
I now have a cat (13 years old) with an appetite who hardly touches her food. I don't think she's lost weight but her general condition is deteriorating. Last week her blood and urine tests all came back as satisfactory, though I have now been informed that her SDMA value is higher than normal. It's difficult getting her to eat more than a teaspoon of anything. At lunchtime today, I boiled some white fish fillets (just for her, and of course, the other 3 cats) and she played around with the food in her dish and then went to look at what the others had left. She is now sleeping so hopefully she has eaten something.
But, do see a vet! There is a limited amount that we can do without the support of professionals!
Good luck!
 
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Sarahbear05

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It seems to me though if he is trying to steal your food, he is hungry. I feed my cats before us, (and leave a bowl of weight control dry food out) then they don't bug us at dinner time.
Hey, i'm replying to everyone who's commented with an update. We took Lynx to the vet today and apparently he ate some hair ties he found on the floor and they're blocking up his stomach. He's got fatty liver disease and weighs about four pounds. He desperately needs surgery and it's entirely possible he won't survive it. We're hopeful, though. The fact that the vet pushed for him to go into surgery instead of deciding upfront it was a lost cause is a good sign. He's young and strong. What's more, Lynx clearly feels like he has a lot to live for. Just this morning he was laying on my chest purring his heart out and he looked so happy. He hasn't withdrawn from us and isn't hiding, he still wants to eat even though he can't, he was still up and walking around. Lynx wasn't behaving like a dying cat would. He clearly hasn't given up on himself so we're not either. The vet's keeping him overnight, giving him water and pain killers through a catheter because they think it'll make him stronger and give him a better chance of making it through surgery. He's going to have surgery tomorrow and i'll update you guys on what happens then.
 
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Sarahbear05

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I can only advise you to see a vet as soon as possible. Free-feeding or scheduled meatimes is not the issue.
When I was working my cats were obviously fed before I left and when I got home in the evening. I always left water and some dry food in case one of them was hungry.
Since retirement things have changed. One cat had a serious accident after which she couldn't swallow. Recovery was long and slow so that even 8 weeks later she could only eat small amounts and kept returning to her dish. Dental problems, extraction and recovery meant that another cat was hungry but frightened of food as she expected pain. So, over the years, I have been leaving food out at all times and in different places. I have never managed to make a cat fat but I have problems reducing the weight of already fat fosters!
I recently read an article (in German) in which a cat researcher wrote that cats should normally eat small portions of food 5 or 6 times a day!
I now have a cat (13 years old) with an appetite who hardly touches her food. I don't think she's lost weight but her general condition is deteriorating. Last week her blood and urine tests all came back as satisfactory, though I have now been informed that her SDMA value is higher than normal. It's difficult getting her to eat more than a teaspoon of anything. At lunchtime today, I boiled some white fish fillets (just for her, and of course, the other 3 cats) and she played around with the food in her dish and then went to look at what the others had left. She is now sleeping so hopefully she has eaten something.
But, do see a vet! There is a limited amount that we can do without the support of professionals!
Good luck!
Hey, i'm replying to everyone who's commented with an update. We took Lynx to the vet today and apparently he ate some hair ties he found on the floor and they're blocking up his stomach. He's got fatty liver disease and weighs about four pounds. He desperately needs surgery and it's entirely possible he won't survive it. We're hopeful, though. The fact that the vet pushed for him to go into surgery instead of deciding upfront it was a lost cause is a good sign. He's young and strong. What's more, Lynx clearly feels like he has a lot to live for. Just this morning he was laying on my chest purring his heart out and he looked so happy. He hasn't withdrawn from us and isn't hiding, he still wants to eat even though he can't, he was still up and walking around. Lynx wasn't behaving like a dying cat would. He clearly hasn't given up on himself so we're not either. The vet's keeping him overnight, giving him water and pain killers through a catheter because they think it'll make him stronger and give him a better chance of making it through surgery. He's going to have surgery tomorrow and i'll update you guys on what happens then.
 
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Sarahbear05

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Honestly I never recommend free feeding as its very possible the other cat is eating his food. If the other cat seems to be getting bigger then yes thats the problem. Some cats just can not be free fed as they cant restrain themselves. Switch to scheduled meals, 3 times a day is fine (morning, supper, before bed). That way you know how much he is eating, and if he still loses weight then see a vet.
Hey, i'm replying to everyone who's commented with an update. We took Lynx to the vet today and apparently he ate some hair ties he found on the floor and they're blocking up his stomach. He's got fatty liver disease and weighs about four pounds. He desperately needs surgery and it's entirely possible he won't survive it. We're hopeful, though. The fact that the vet pushed for him to go into surgery instead of deciding upfront it was a lost cause is a good sign. He's young and strong. What's more, Lynx clearly feels like he has a lot to live for. Just this morning he was laying on my chest purring his heart out and he looked so happy. He hasn't withdrawn from us and isn't hiding, he still wants to eat even though he can't, he was still up and walking around. Lynx wasn't behaving like a dying cat would. He clearly hasn't given up on himself so we're not either. The vet's keeping him overnight, giving him water and pain killers through a catheter because they think it'll make him stronger and give him a better chance of making it through surgery. He's going to have surgery tomorrow and i'll update you guys on what happens then.
 
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Sarahbear05

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You say he seems to have an appetite still, how much food does he actually eat in a day? If you free feed him or have multiple cats it might be a little harder to figure out how much he’s actually eating & keeping down but it would definitely be good to know
Hey, i'm replying to everyone who's commented with an update. We took Lynx to the vet today and apparently he ate some hair ties he found on the floor and they're blocking up his stomach. He's got fatty liver disease and weighs about four pounds. He desperately needs surgery and it's entirely possible he won't survive it. We're hopeful, though. The fact that the vet pushed for him to go into surgery instead of deciding upfront it was a lost cause is a good sign. He's young and strong. What's more, Lynx clearly feels like he has a lot to live for. Just this morning he was laying on my chest purring his heart out and he looked so happy. He hasn't withdrawn from us and isn't hiding, he still wants to eat even though he can't, he was still up and walking around. Lynx wasn't behaving like a dying cat would. He clearly hasn't given up on himself so we're not either. The vet's keeping him overnight, giving him water and pain killers through a catheter because they think it'll make him stronger and give him a better chance of making it through surgery. He's going to have surgery tomorrow and i'll update you guys on what happens then.
 

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Hey, i'm replying to everyone who's commented with an update. We took Lynx to the vet today and apparently he ate some hair ties he found on the floor and they're blocking up his stomach. He's got fatty liver disease and weighs about four pounds. He desperately needs surgery and it's entirely possible he won't survive it. We're hopeful, though. The fact that the vet pushed for him to go into surgery instead of deciding upfront it was a lost cause is a good sign. He's young and strong. What's more, Lynx clearly feels like he has a lot to live for. Just this morning he was laying on my chest purring his heart out and he looked so happy. He hasn't withdrawn from us and isn't hiding, he still wants to eat even though he can't, he was still up and walking around. Lynx wasn't behaving like a dying cat would. He clearly hasn't given up on himself so we're not either. The vet's keeping him overnight, giving him water and pain killers through a catheter because they think it'll make him stronger and give him a better chance of making it through surgery. He's going to have surgery tomorrow and i'll update you guys on what happens then.
Good luck!!
 
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