Putting weight on a 16 year old cat. How?

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Our question this week was:

What can put weight on a cat that is 16 years old and on the skinny side. Vets don't know why he is so thin. Old age?

Nancy Treece

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. As cats age, then can loose weight and muscle mass. One question I have is…is your cat eating normally or eating less? Is your cat maintaining its body weight or losing weight?

The first thing I'd want to know is if blood work is normal. Sometimes weight loss can be part of the aging change but can also be the result of different diseases processes such as hyperthyroidism or kidney disease.

If you haven't done so already, I'd recommend that you have your veterinarian do some blood work to ensure we are not overlooking an underlying problem that could be treated.

As far as other ways to put on weight, make sure you are feeding a high quality food. You can also supplement dry food diet with canned foods to increase the calorie intake. You an also try some different brands of food to find one that appeals to your cat most.

An article that might be helpful to you is on our Petplace.com is "The Finicky Feline." There are tips in this article about encouraging cats to eat.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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