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Thread: Elderly cat question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Elderly cat question

    Hi I have a question. I have a 12 year old cat named Alison. She has gone from Ms. Grouch into not so much Ms. Grouch and more into Ms. lovey dovey. But I do have one question. When I pet Alison I am starting to feel her back bones and her pelvis bones on top, other than that she is normal. Is this something that I should worry about or is it just a normal aging thing?
    In loving memory of Tigger 2003-2009. In loving memory of Ashes 2001-2013.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
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    21,156
    Some cats do get moer bony as they age. I have a 13-year-old that is just like a kitten. It might be time for her to have a geriatric blood panel done. They're about $200 where I live, but is a really worthwhile test to do. If anything is starting up you might be able to treat it inexpensively, as opposed to later when it's worse and more expensive.

    Maybe a call to the tech at the vet's office would be an idea also.
    "To begin, begin." ~William Wordsworth

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Cedar Rapids Iowa
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    233
    Thanks, I do plan to do that when I get the money up. Right now money is a little tight.
    In loving memory of Tigger 2003-2009. In loving memory of Ashes 2001-2013.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
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    37,125
    There can be some underlying illnesses that can cause this, some are very common to old age. The neighbor's kitty that we fed was very bony, but he never took her to the vet, she did get slightly less bony when we started feeding her. He thought Kitty Lou could still hunt, I think .... but she just wanted attention, and food!
    I've Been Frosted

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    At university in Hertfordshire, UK
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    If she seems happy in herself, and is eating and drinking normally, it probably is just a factor of old age. The reason you can feel her backbone and to some extent her pelvis is because she is experiencing some muscle loss, which is usually normal as cats age and their activity levels decrease. There are some conditions that can cause muscles to waste, but if you are otherwise satisfied that she's healthy then I wouldn't be too concerned at this stage.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Rhode Island; USA
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    Cats in general do not drink much; as feral / wild cats, they get most of the fluid they require from their prey. So if you are only feeding her dry kibble, start adding some canned / moist food to her diet. As they age, just like humans, they are more prone to dehydrate. If you develop the routine now of adding some canned food, it will help in the long run.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
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    There are a multitude of underlying diseases or medical conditions cats are susceptible/prone to getting in their senior years. If you're concerned about weight loss in an older cat with a normal appetite, it could be a metabolic problem. In either case, bloodwork will be the best shot at giving you an answer.

    Pets are SO GOOD at hiding illnesses until they can't anymore. In most cases, by the time you see clinical signs, the disease process has already been going on for awhile.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Munich
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    Weight loss and getting bony can also be kidney failure. 30% of kitties older than ten have it. It can be checked in the blood panel. If diagnosed early it can mean years of good life quality. Do you notice that she drinks? Young and healthy kitties drink as well but you don't see them often at the water bowl. This would be an indication for kidney failure.

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