My cat is loosing weight and won’t eat his dry food

Our question this week was:

My 12-year-old cat has been losing weight lately and won’t eat any of his dry food. He’s only eating moist cat food, and has recently stopped eating it and is only licking the juice. My mother has had him to the vet and they ran blood tests and a thyroid level (T-4 test) and everything has come back normal. He is a mostly indoor cat who goes out when he wants, but spends every evening indoors. Could the heat affect his eating pattern? What can I do to help him?

Dancy Simons


Hi – thanks for your email. You emailed that your 12-year-old cat has not been eating and has been losing weight. These are very concerning symptoms and can be serious. The fact that the blood work was normal is good but I’d worry there is still an underlying problem that has not yet been identified.

Kidney failure and hyperthyroidism are common problems in cats. These problems should have been eliminated by the blood work (but check with your vet). Other tests may be indicated such as radiographs (x-rays) and an ultrasound to help identify the underlying problem. Blood work is often just a “starting” point but additional tests may be needed to diagnose the underlying problem.

In response to your question if it is the heat, I would doubt it. Make sure he has plenty of fresh water; keep him inside if he is not feeling well. Encourage him to eat by offering some different foods.

And a tip that might be helpful to you is Dealing with Cats that Won’t Eat.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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