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Cat issues
One of our cats (Tiger, for those keeping track) has been getting thinner lately, but has been just about as energetic as usual, doesn't seem to be in pain, etc. The main behavioral change we've noticed is (a) he's been begging for attention more often, in the way he used to do mainly to inform us that the cat water bins needed refilling, and (b) he's been after human food leftovers aggressively, when he never really did that before. Skitten wants to take him to a $10 vet clinic, and I've encouraged her to make an appointment.

Skitten suggested that I take a look at his teeth, to see if he has any obvious dental issues which could be making eating painful for him. I did that this morning, briefly (I haven't mastered the art of holding a cat's mouth open, so I looked during the brief times I got it open before he closed it again) and saw one tooth where I would have expected to see four. Perhaps I didn't look well enough. So our initial diagnosis is that he's not eating the dry food we feed the cats because he's lost teeth and can't chew it. When I left this morning, we had segregated him away from the other cats with a plate filled with a can's worth of tuna, and he seemed to be eating away at it.

He's about 13-14 years old, and seems otherwise in good health. With luck, feeding him wet food will fill him out again, but putting him on a separate diet from the other three is going to be a challenge.

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Our 5 year old cat had similar issues to what you're describing. We took him to the vet and it turned out he has an overactive thyroid which he is medicated for. I would definitely recommend taking him to the vet.

We plan on it, but we also feel that the not-wanting-to-gum-hard-food issue might explain all the symptoms.

I'm trying to contact Skitten now to find out if (a) she's made the appointment, and (b) she's let Tiger out of sequestration.

Also, you could feed him baby food and see if he likes that. It would be easy for him to eat and the meat ones are good for him, protein and all that, and perfectly safe as the vet suggested it when the cat in my house was sick. He usually gets it a couple of times a week now as a treat. :)

Elliott has the overactive thyroid thing. His teeth are good, but he started losing weight steadily. The vet said becuase he is older (14-15) it most likely was one of five things (liver failure, kidney failure, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or cancer) and the blood test they did tested for all but the cancer. Fortunately for us, it turned out to be the cheapest and easiest to treat.
It's not a good idea to give them tuna every day - they can develop pansteatitis from the fish oil. In fact, too much fish in general is not good for them. Chicken and turkey wet cat food without too many added non-meat items is preferrable, since they don't make mouse-flavored cat food.

We'll keep that in mind. Tuna is what we had on hand (as we typically serve kibble), so that's what we used.

So far suggestions include baby food and poultry-based mainly meat cat food.

my Loki was eating a lot but not gaining weight, and full of energy - in fact, since he was getting older, i thought it might even be a good thing. he was also meowing more than he used to, and generally trying to interact with us humans more. at his next regular check-up, they recommended testing him for thyroid function simply because of his age, and his was just beginning to be over-active. he had the radioactive iodine treatment, and was perfectly fine (although a bit more mellow, and a bit plumper) for another five years or so. (and i'm sure that whatever killed him had nothing to do with his thyroid.)

however, it sounds as if your Tiger may well have dental issues instead of/in addition to the possibility of a thyroid problem. bad teeth are just as bad for a cat as for a human, and just feeding him gooshyfood isn't going to fix that. let a vet tell you what Tiger needs.

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