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Pretty "slow".....?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
A while ago I posted about Ashley not coming downstairs a whole lot.....like hardly EVER. Yet, when I went upstairs, she would jump down off the chair she likes to be in and wanted to be around me, purred, etc. Here are some threads that give a tad background.




Anyway....bloodtests showed NOTHING out of the norm, but she lost muscle mass...has a bony spine, etc.

We put her on Cosequin a month ago since a few years ago, it helped her with some stuff....and this cat seemed to perk up (still not 100%)....she jumped on the bed at night and started coming downstairs more frequently.

Now...she is getting back to that original state of not jumping on our bed, etc. I am, once again, worried. She does come down more..mainly to just kind of "see what's going on" and I can con her on the bed sometimes, but she just 1/2 lays there. She isn't as "interactive", I guess you could say. She will want to be by me and all of that, but she just doesn't rub up against me like she used to and just is "slow" in moving and in what she does.

Now if I go upstairs when she is up there, she jumps right down and wants to be right by me still....and will purr up a storm. I will sit and scrapbook up there and she is RIGHT there next to my chair purring like mad and will even lay down next to me.

She is eating...but doesn't seem to be as much as she used to. Even last night...I gave her a small can and she took like 2 licks and was done. Normally, she INHALES that stuff!!!!!

Over Mother's Day weekend, we went up north so I filled (literally) with dry cat food. Here it is Memorial Day weekend and that dish is still 1/2 full. Granted, they aren't small dishes (more like a dog-size dish, but still. I've read that cats Ash's size eat like a cup a day or so.

So I don't know what to think. My husband says she is just getting older, but #1, this all seemed to come on all of a sudden back in April and #2, to change eating habits like that??

Maybe it is "normal", I don't know....but I guess it is the whole package.

She used to love to go outside when we went. She stayed right there with us in the yard or whereever and would sniff around...not going far. Now, she doesn't even ask to go out....and if I do take her, she is out for a minute or so and wants back in.

Thoughts?? Please!!!!
post #2 of 8
Did she ever have the blood work done to check her free T4 and T4? How old is she now? Is she peeing and pooping more or less than normal? I think you are very right to be worried. Old age is not a disease, but there are diseases/disorders that are more common in older cats. They can be treated once they have been diagnosed.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yep. Totally had those done and those were fine, as well.

Do you think a tapeworm would cause behavior changes like this?? I haven't inspected her feces, but she did have fleas before she got the URI...she has been treated (Revolution) for fleas, but I know that you can get a tapeworm from them.
post #4 of 8
It's possible. It's certainly worth mentioning to the vet. You can also check her behind and areas where she sleeps for small worm bits that look like grains of rice. Do you have copies of the bloodwork? What were the values?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I don't have any copies with me...but the vet (we've had him since 84) said everything was in normal limits and there was nothing that stood out to him.

I had just gone up to spend some time with her and noticed she hadn't even eaten all of the small 3oz can of food I had given her last night. Might be like a 1/3 left or so. When I went up, she was picking in it...and then went under the nightstand. That isn't like her, though, when someone goes upstairs. She just went under it head first and stayed there just like that. But..when I went down to her level, she was purring...which, I KNOW can be a bad thing.

I went about scrapping some pages (scrapbooking) and she never came out....then I went and got down on the floor with her.

She was purring pretty loudly and just had a "look" on her as if she weren't happy. When I put my hand on her head, she rubbed up against it and turned around to face me. I then just kind of stayed there with her and after a long silence, I said, "I love you sooo much, Ashie". And then she got up and out of NOWHERE, took a few steps to me and butted her head up against my face and rubbed her head against me. It was sooo sweet. She did a couple of more times before going back under the table to lay down. ONLY....she actually went on her side with her belly exposed like she does when she is being social.

I don't know. I am scared STIFF. TOTALLY STIFF.

The other thing I noticed was that her belly area is REALLY hard/firm. It has always been pretty solid, but with her a few pounds lighter than she was last August, I wouldn't think it would be so hard/protruding. The vet, though, again...never said anything about it.

I think if she is still acting this way come the middle of this week, I am going to take her to MSU Vet Clinic. Super expensive, but they are really good.
post #6 of 8
You might inspect her feces for tapeworm. It can definitely cause swollen belly, and lost weight. I understand that a sample at the vets can't find tapeworm, but if the cat has ever had fleas, it should be treated for tapeworm.

It could also be partly a "behavior" thing. Last summer we got a puppy, which is a "herding" breed. He was chasing the cats a bit, and 3 of our cats just sort of told him where to go, but Elsa, my formerly feral girl, was terrified of him. It took me a while to notice, but I finally realized that Elsa wasn't eating, or even coming downstairs where the puppy was, because she was afraid of being chased. So I took some time to change the behaviors by teaching the puppy "off" or "stop" when he would chase her, and also would hold his collar when it was time to feed her so she could get to her food (which was put up out of the reach of the puppy as well.) That really worked well, and she started gaining weight right away.

I was thinking maybe your kitty is afraid of your daughter some, and maybe you could show her that she's safe.

Oh, another thing, I have a senior cat that's 17 1/2, and she got kinda skinny and ratty and was constantly hungry. I started feeding her Wellness, Tiki Cat, and Merricks (which I find in a specialty store) and it really, really made her look and act much better. She also likes Avoderm dry and Artemis dry. If your cat is somewhat stuffed up, she may not have an appetite if she can't smell her food. The Tiki Cat is REALLY fishy - it might stimulate her appetite!
post #7 of 8
The weight loss and muscle wasting concern me. I don't want to frighten you more than you are already but my Palekana who just went to the Rainbow Bridge on Thursday had severe weight loss and muscle wasting. The vet finally discovered that she had a large mass/tumor in her abdomen. I know Ashley has had blood work done but has the vet palpated her abdomen? Has she has x-rays of her abdomen? The tumor in Palekana's abdomen felt firm. I didn't know what I was feeling when I felt her abdomen. The vet had to explain what the tumor felt like.

Good luck and hugs to you and Ashley. I hope you can find the source of her problems and that it is easily treatable.
post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by carrie640 View Post
I don't have any copies with me...but the vet (we've had him since 84) said everything was in normal limits and there was nothing that stood out to him.
Unfortunately, not all vets are up-to-date on the newest information. Hyperthyroidism was only really starting to be recognized and diagnosed around 1980, so most vets trained at that time would not have had much experience. Since then, lots more information has been discovered, including that senior cats are often hyperthyroid even with normal T4 values. When a senior cat's T4 is above 2.5 (assuming the range of "normal" values is 0.8 to 4.0), they are often hyperthyroid, and a free T4 test should be done. With most vets, you still have to ask for a free T4, and because 2.5 looks like it is in the "normal" range (even though it is not normal for older cats), it is easy for vets who haven't kept up on the latest research to miss the diagnosis.

That said, there are other things that can cause similar symptoms, including kidney failure and cancer. Is she pooping normally? Constipation is pretty common in older cats, and it can lead to the hard stomach you're seeing as well as weight loss. I know you've been going to your vet for a long time, but I would encourage you to be proactive by researching some of the common problems in older cats (hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, constipation, etc.). Get copies of your cat's blood tests. I love my vet, but there are times when I notice trends before she does because I have more time to review my cats' blood test and urinalysis results. (By the way, a urinalysis may also be a good idea.) Has your vet checked your cat's teeth and gums for signs of loose or broken teeth or redness? Mouth problems can cause cats to not want to eat--you can check her teeth at home by lifting her lips and pulling them back. Like Jean44 suggested, an x-ray would be a good diagnostic tool to possible see if there are issues with her internal organs.

I wish you the best, and I hope you can find some answers.
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