Categories: Cat HealthWeight

Cat weight loss with increased hunger – vet puzzled

by Michelle


Snowball is 21, an indoor cat, and weighed 18 pounds until recently. About 2 months ago he began loosing weight and his hunger increased.

I took him to his vet and the usual blood and stool tests were performed. All the results came back either negative or within normal ranges. He now weighs 14 pounds.

The vet said he seems healthy, not diabetic, not hyperthyroid, no parasites and his blood work came back within normal ranges.

Any ideas as to what could be making him so very hungry, and still be losing weight?

I have been feeding him wet food (he used to eat dry but I switched to wet because it has less carbs and I thought maybe he was diabetic... which I found out was not true)

He now eats 3-4 pouches of wet cat food daily. Why is he still losing weight?

What should I do?


Hi Michelle... thanks for visiting and asking. My immediate thought without research was hyperthyroidism but that has been checked out.

The other natural answer is diabetes but that too has been checked out.

Snowball is old and a larger than average cat. Commonsense says that the problem may be age related. I don't think that it is worms. But if a cat eats well and loses weight obviously the food is not getting to the cat, which might mean that there are worms. Although I feel that you would have noticed....Ah...I have just noticed that this possibility has been checked and proved negative.

You don't say that he drinks more and I am sure you would have noticed that. Increased thirst might indicate kidney failure.

By the way I am not sure that 3 pouches of food per day is high for a large cat. If it could be considered that Snowball is eating a normal amount then we are simply looking at weight loss in an old cat.

As a cat becomes old a number of behavioral and physical changes occur.

Although older middle aged cats can become obese, senior cats heading towards the end of their life are more likely to lose weight. They become more boney, scraggy. This may be due to the body not functioning as efficiently in absorbing food. Small frequent meals might help.

In conclusion (and this is a tricky one) your cat is at the top end of cat age and well above the average age, an exceptional cat in terms of age. He eats a normal amount and is losing weight. All the usual illnesses have been ticked off. It could be that he is simply showing signs of old age.

This may not help and if so I am sorry. By the way I am currently away from home and do not have access to my books.

Cat weight loss with increased hunger - vet puzzled to Cat health symptoms

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Cat weight loss with increased hunger - vet puzzled

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Jun 04, 2010 Mine too
by: casino14

I just took my cat Bandit to the vet because he has lost so much weight. He is also an older cat. Im not sure how old because he was a stray anyway he was a very large cat and he now weighs 8 pounds. The vet did blood test and eliminated all the normal things. Mine also has respiratory problems Dr. has decicded that it is gastrointestinal prob. I am supposed to feed him Royal Canin only in duck, rabbit,or venison. Only thing is he wont eat it. Alos vit B12 shot every week for a mo. Also prednisone which i cant get in him either.I had some pill cup and they worked for a couple days but no longer. He sniffs around in kitchen till he finds some old food from the other cats. (4) m afraid he is going to die soon if i cant get this straightened out. We put a bunch of warm water in the food and used a syringe to put some in him but it is so traumatising for us all.Maybe You can have your Dr. check on theat gastrointestinal thing. Also if anyone has any ideas as to my problem please let me know! Soon!!Thanks inadvance. And I hope this helps to look at some other problem that it may be . Good Luck.

May 29, 2010 Akoya pearl earrings
by: Akoya pearl earrings

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May 22, 2010 Appreciation
by: Michelle

Your notes and encouragement have been extremely helpful. I am so glad I found this web site and asked. Thanks to everyone who has responded. Michelle

May 21, 2010 Im sorry
by: kathy

Im sorry this is happening to yur beautiful Snowball. I too have seen this condition in older cats. One even seemed to have all the energy of a kitten sometimes even though she was like a skeleton with fur. Her name wasBrandy and she belonged to a friend of mine who I used to clean house for. She was a special cat to me. She followed me everywhere and helped me with all the house work. I was very sad when she died. I still have her picture on my dresser and think about her every time I see our kitten on the counter watching whats going on. I pray you find a solution to Brandys health.

May 21, 2010 Snowball
by: Ruth

Hi Michelle, it seems as if your vet has done all the usual tests but it wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion if Snowball loses much more weight rapidly or starts drinking excessively.
I wouldn't think it was a tumour because in that case cats eat less and less as the tumour grows.
The best way to feed old cats is little and often as they can't digest bigger meals as well as they can smaller ones.
I'd aim to feed him wet food about every 3 hours through the day and also leave a dish of a good quality senior light dry biscuits down for him too, day and night,along with a dish of water of course.
He is still a good weight for his age and old cats do lose a lot of their muscle weight.
I hope he stays as he is now.

May 21, 2010 Michelle
by: Maggie Sharp

Michelle, I am quite hesitant to say this, but this does happen to cats with age. Pharoah, my Abyssinian cat, was 16 when he got the exact same thing, he would eat like there was no tomorrow, but he would shed weight just as fast. We were baffled as to what could be wrong, so we just waited it out and tried to improve it ourselves. BIG mistake. We ended up taking Phezzie to the vet, because his weight loss was just rediculous, and we were told that with his age he had developed a tumor in his abdomin. His health continued to deteriorate, and about a month later we had no choice but to put him to sleep.

Your beautiful Snowball's case may not obviously not as severe as Pharoah's was, but it's true that a cat's health will generally deteriorate with age. I've known it to happen to quite a few people's cats, and weightloss tends to include itself sometimes.

As far as I know, this might not even be the case for Snowball's weightloss, but it's worth taking it into consideration. I hope you can find out why he's losing weight and fix it up. Best of luck!

May 20, 2010 Snowball
by: Michelle

Thank you Michael and Merrily.
I appreciate your advice. I am going to wait, watch and see what happens. I feed him whenever he asks and will continue the pouches. I know he is 21 and that is very old for a cat. Again, thanks for the support and confirmation that his vet and I have done all the right things. Michelle

May 20, 2010 Weight Loss
by: Merrily

As a rule I have found that dry food seem to be much more fattening than wet foods are. Recently I switched my cats from dry food to canned to raw. I noticed that their weight changed fairly rapidly. They are both much more trim than they were on the dry.
Also if you watch a cat on dry food, they seem to nibble more, simply because the food is available, at least mine did.
One of my girls eats more than the recommended daily amount of wet food, and the other eats less, and they both seem to be doing fine, you might try a little more food for him, every cat is different.
Of course always watch for other signs that something might be going on, such as excessive thirst, or excess urine output, just in case.

Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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