I have a fat cat that lost a lot of weight – Help me!

Our question this week was:

Dear Doctor Debra: I have an older cat that used to be fat. Over the course of a couple of months, she has lost a lot of weight. Her appetite has become ravenous and we feed her a lot to try to fatten her back up, but she is not gaining weight. I have taken her to the vet twice. She has some issues with her urinary tract…and we had her on a prescription diet and she has taken antibiotics. She has been cleared of the UTI, but she is not gaining weight still. She has been checked for Cancer, Hyperthyroid, Kidney Disease and parasites. The vet thinks that because she has chronic urinary issues that it has something to do with her not gaining weight. I don’t think that it is it. Along with the increased hunger, she acts out too. She often goes in an empty room and meows or “cries” and when you ask her what is wrong…she comes to you or looks at you. She also eats unusual stuff…I dropped a grape and she ate it before I could get it…she has also stole cheese off a plate. What do you think is wrong with her…I am worried.



Hi – thanks for your email. I’m worried too Joy. I’d recommend having your cat reexamined. Based on the information you entered, she is an 8-year-old Maine Coon. Weight loss can be caused by many different underlying problems. I’d recommend that your vet repeat blood work (CBC, biochemical profile, and thyroid level) and an urinalysis.

They did these tests once and they were normal but I’d recommend repeating them. This will help to determine if she has kidney failure, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes which can be common problems in older cats.

Are her bowel movements normal? If these tests come out okay- you can talk to your vet about seeing a specialist for another opinion.

Personally, I think it sounds like there is something wrong – we just need to find out what it is.

Grapes can be toxic in dogs but has not been documented in cats.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra