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Thread: Thoughts on older cat mystery health problem?

  1. #1

    Thoughts on older cat mystery health problem?

    My grandmother's cat is acting like a classic hyperthyroid case. She is 16-17 years old. She eats ravenously but is losing weight. She is much more active and demanding than she used to be, crawling all over my grandmother and getting into her space at all times. She's always been an affectionate cat, but this is an entire other level of demanding attention.

    She's also developed a very loud, demanding MEOW which she uses often.

    Her drinking is normal, her peeing and pooping are normal. She vomits once a week or so, but she's done that her entire life, and we've never found out why.

    WHen my grandmother described her behavior, combined with the weight loss, I immediately thought hyperthyroidism. I was very hopeful for a straightforward diagnosis, and even though it's likely to be masking renal failure at ehr age, I thought maybe we could get her some help since her behavior is driving my grandparents crazy.

    Today I took her to the vet, and I'm less confident now about what's wrong. She had an exam and a senior panel run in August, and everything (including her thyroid) was normal. Just to be cautious, we ran another senior panel along with an additional thyroid test....I can't recall the name, but the vet said that a small number of cats have normal results on the T4 and abnormal results on the other.

    The good news is that she looks really good for a cat her age. Her kidneys are a good size, her coat is soft and glossy, lymph nodes feel normal, no palpable masses, etc. The only abnmormal finding is that she has lost half a pound since August. The bad news is that if we get another normal panel we're back at square one.

    At her age, we're not going to go nuts on diagnostics, but my grandmother is being driven crazy and I'd like to help her enjoy Posey's golden years with her.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to what might be going on or how I can help Posey mellow out??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    When do you get the new blood test results back?

    Has anything changed in the home? Your grandmother must be a bit slower than she was 16 years ago. Is she playing with the cat less?

    What is the food she feeds? Maybe the formula has changed?

    Just tossing out some ideas, things to consider.
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  3. #3
    Most of the results will be back tomorrow, the secondary thyroid test may take until Wednesday.

    The home was remodeled recently. Posey's behavior problems started before the remodel, but I'm certain it hasn't helped. Posey is probably not getting as much one-on-one playtime as she was. The other cat in the house is close to five years old now, and while the two cats aren't friends, they have made peace with another and they don't fight anymore.

    After problems with crystals a few years ago, both kitties eat Hills CD dry food, plus a HUGE assortment of treats.

    Thank you for the probing questions, I need to think on this more and it helps to think on the questions I hadn't thought of yet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Definitely sounds like something is going on .... hopefully the tests will give you some clue! Does her needy behavior have any particular pattern to it?
    I've Been Frosted

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Is it possible that the elderly cat has become deaf. My 17 year old Mr. Mishkin became very loud and demanding when he turned deaf.
    I am a new member here in this forum.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    This sounds like Fister's behaviour, except that he hardly eats anything or drink. He has also lost a some weight, so I'm worried. He is 16.

    I took him to the vet a few weeks ago and he checked him over and could not see anything wrong. He also had the tests for Glucose, Liver, Kidney and the T4, which all came back within a normal level. I got some pills for boosting his appetite and they help a little, but I have to find out out what's wrong, so the next step will probably be an x-ray and possible other tests.

    It's so hard seeing our cats age, and not understand what they want to tell us. Fister has had a period of meowing a lot, also. He wants me to be close to him all the time when he's awake, and I do spend a lot of time with him.

    Does your grandmother's cat drink enough? If not, she could try to get some water in her with a syringe, like I do with Fister. Also, try to feed her only a little at a time.

    Sending lots of positive thoughts.
    Randi



    "I don't know which weapons will be used in the third World war, but in the fourth, it will be sticks and stones" --- Albert Einstein.


  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I was also going to ask about fluid intake, though I am not a fan of the syringe method. I would just add more canned /moist food, maybe a bit of chicken broth on the dry stuff.

    My Sparkle is age 17. She lost weight, and we decided it was just part of the agini process, much as older humans thin down. Of course, she also stabilized at a much lower weight than she had been .
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  8. #8
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    I would test your Cat's hearing as well just by clapping behind him.
    Sometimes my Older Cats would become frantic for no reason , but it passed quickly.We are praying that Grand Old Cat is all right.
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  9. #9
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    Hopefully the other thyroid test will show something. Mt RB Storm had hyperthyroidism and his blood work and T4 test were also normal. Although I think his T4 results were on the high normal side. My vet did the other test that you mentioned which did take a few days for results and it did show that he had hyperthyroidism. I think we caught his very early. He had lost weight and he was drinking more than usual. He was always hungry but he was also on pred so this also makes him hungry. He was on the pred because he would vomit everything up and he was diagnosed with small interstinal disease which I guess is a form of IBD. I hope you can find out what's causing this. Lots of prayers and positive thoughts are on the way.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by krazyaboutkatz View Post
    Hopefully the other thyroid test will show something. Mt RB Storm had hyperthyroidism and his blood work and T4 test were also normal. Although I think his T4 results were on the high normal side. My vet did the other test that you mentioned which did take a few days for results and it did show that he had hyperthyroidism. I think we caught his very early. He had lost weight and he was drinking more than usual. He was always hungry but he was also on pred so this also makes him hungry. He was on the pred because he would vomit everything up and he was diagnosed with small interstinal disease which I guess is a form of IBD. I hope you can find out what's causing this. Lots of prayers and positive thoughts are on the way.
    Big thanks to mbsmum and catmandu for suggesting testing Posey's ears. As it turns out, she is deaf as a post! The bloodwork isn't back yet, so we don't know what's causing the weight loss, but it's good to have an idea of what's going on. Between Posey's pestering and the other cat spraying, my grandma is at her wit's end.

    Any suggestions for calming a deaf cat?

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    I don't know if you mentioned this earlier, but has the other cat been tested for a urinary infection?

    If it's not medical then both cats may benefit from Feliway. It mimicks cat hormones that the cat gives off when it rubs its head or cheeks against something, so the cat is in its 'happy place'.

    A little goes a long way. It is not sprayed on the cat directly - either on a place where it spends a lot of time, or it comes in diffusers as well. I haven't used the latter, but others here have experience with it.

    Ask your vet about it.

    Keep us posted!
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