Cat losing weight and staring at water bowl.

by Narcissie Menefee
(Glen Burnie,MD)

I have a very old Persian cat that I rescued about 10 yrs ago just before they were going to put her to sleep at the shelter. She has been pretty healthy once we got her some weight on and defleed. My problem is this, about a weelk or so ago she started to slow down on her eating and the last few day's(and nights) she just sits at her water dish and cries. I picked her up last night and was shocked at how thin she has gotten. I am 60 yrs old and trying to raise my two granddaughters ages 3 and 4 so I pretty much have my hands full. I am ashamed that it took me this long to see is so ill. I really can't afford a vet right now as my husband has been out of work since before Christmas but I really don't know what to do and I am so afraid she is dying. Any help will be taken and as soon as I can afford it I will be happy to purchase your book or make a donation. Thank you so very much.

Answer by Kate
Hi Narcissie
I completely understand your current situation, many people are finding themselves in the same situation. unfortunately there are not many things you can treat at home cheaply and in this case given that your cat is very old it could be that she is coming to the end of her life and may be suffering from any number of possible illnesses from cancer, heart trouble, thyroid issues etc and only a vet could diagnose and treat for these.

It may be that you will have to pay fro a consultation vet fee and get his candid opinion on her condition. If he is a good vet then he should be frank with your and let you know if he feels that it due to her age or if there is an illness involved and that it would be worth treating or not given her age etc. tell him your current financial difficulties and he should give you a full explanation of possible causes and treatment etc. A consultation fee should only be around £40 (thats what i pay here in the UK)

I do hope you can find a way to take her to the vets as she definitely does sound rather unwell.

best wishes Kate

Comments for Cat losing weight and staring at water bowl.

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24 yr. old cat
by: Dana

Dear cat lovers
My cat went downhill fast. She is old but was given a clean bill of health a year ago. Then about a week ago she stopped eating and took her to the vet. They gave her fluids did blood work and said she only had mild kidney issues . This last week she continued to not eat and losing weight then started just hanging out at her water bowl but would not drink. She is normally not a cuddly or lovable cat and does not like being held. But yesterday she wanted me to hold her and I knew......I know she was telling me she was in pain and she was not going to get better. The last act of love I could do for her was to end her pain. As a fur mom this is such a self-less act . I consulted with her vet and at her age (24) there was no doubt that she had reached her end . I feel for anyone going through this but PLEASE don’t let your cat suffer. My sadness is overwhelming but I know it was the right thing to do.

by: Ann

Kidney failure is common in older cats that have been well cared for. As cats live longer, they tend to develop it as opposed to living in the wild where they would most likely succumb before reaching 5 years of age.

Cat not eating or drinking
by: Stacie

My husband brings home a new German Shepherd hyper puppy. It scares my cat she runs off for about 4 days I can't find her then I see her Scurry behind the chicken house. 3 more weeks go by and I'm looking all over the land, I have 15 acres and I can't find her. We finally found her in an old barn that we were tearing down. I don't know if she was terrorized with the new dog but she has lost 4-5 lbs. The temperature outside has been 94 degrees. I carry her back with no problem to the house. I can't get her to drink or eat. I am Force feeding her water. I can't figure out if possibly she has not had a good diet for the last 3 weeks and not enough water or if she got into some poison since the grass was high in that area and there are lots of mice. I have already spent $3,000 on her the first two weeks of her life. I don't want her to suffer. Salmon is not even working.

by: Elizabeth

I hope Abby Gail has improved! Sounds like you are doing a great job looking after the children as well as everything else. My beloved puss has kidney disease, so gets very fussy about food - turns out he also has tooth problems which is why he wasn't able to eat. He has just had a tooth removed and is sat sitting over the water bowl now - he's been there for about 20 minutes now. I'm wondering if it's something to do with the anaesthetic.
Good luck with your fur babies everyone who has commented! They are so precious!

On a side note Kate - in these days of struggling for equality, could I ask you to refrain from automatically assuming the vet is male? These little things matter, especially to children - who grow up assuming all 'important' jobs are held by men.

Cat dozing over water bowl
by: Suzie

My beloved rescue cat, Jack, has been diagnosed with a stomach tumour in the last two weeks. I have been advised that it is inoperable at his age (12 years)and am therefore providing him with palliative care at home.
He has been eating okay although he has lost nearly a third of his body weight in the last three weeks and his mood varies from one day to the next. One minute he doesn't want to know me, and the next he curls up on my lap, purring.
This site has been useful because he dozes on the floor with his head almost in his water bowl. Tonight I have moved the bowl from under his nose three times, but he just moves back over it, so I have given up.
I will have to return him to the vets for his final trip at some point soon which I am totally dreading, but your website has bolstered me and now I know what is going on I feel a bit more reassured that, whilst not a common situation, this might be expected under the circumstances. Poor Jack. x
Thank you for this information and best wishes to anyone else out there going through a similar sad process.

Drastic weight loss and disinterest in water or food
by: Lynne

have same prob ryt now with my 14 yr furboy. Sadly i have to save him from a tumour which has agressively wasted him in last 2/3 weeks.(just found out last monday)and ive GOT to say goodbye first thing tomorrow morning.
he has up until then been 'normal'with everything and having had a major op 4 years ago to save him from something else,i was advised last monday to let go as he hadnt eaten a meal....just picked for over a week and was tiny in such a short space of time. He has now only drunk very little water(4/5:sips once a day,if that for last 4 days) or just stares at it or me and have ave given pallative care 24/7(even sleeping on hall floor with him!) He is my boy and my home is not a home without him and i can only pray and hope he knows how much i love him and its the last,most loving and heartbreaking thing i can do for him.He is my best friend and i have to take him over the bridge to cat heaven so he is painfree and at rest. Ive hardly slept or eaten all week as i felt guilty if i did it and guiltier if i dont.sorry for the rant but beware if your cat is not drinking enough and losing weight.if youre lucky..its treatable.If not...dont put off easing their nightmare too long. Brokenhearted.😭

by: Anonymous

Hello cat lovers. I read your comments with great interest. I have rescued cats for over 50 yrs ,My feral cat Lucy has for the last month been dragging her water bowl all over the kitchen floor.I remember many years ago that this was a common disease , I have forgotten the name . I believe it affects the liver and kidneys. She now is very thin and her coat is getting matted, The problem I have is that because she is feral , I cannot groom her , and I dont want to stress her out by taking her to the vets , where on times she has literally " climbed the walls". She is also very cold and will come on my lap for warmth but as soon as I move she runs. So I have decided to let nature take its course. I am giving ALL my cats Diatomaous Earth in their food, this helps kill worms in cats. Egg yolk is very good for sick cats. Best Wishes to All. linda.

I can relate to your problem
by: Sandy

I can relate to your situation. I have a 20 year old tortoise colored cat. Yes, 20 years old! A few years ago she did what you explained. I searched online for any remedies that I could try at home. What worked for her, I placed water in a few different kinds of bowls: glass, plastic, ceramic, stainless steel. And, what she finally ended up eating was Baby Food in the meats, I think it was the Turkey. I had to try a couple different kinds. Once she started eating, then I mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with her food.

Currently, I watch her closely every single day. She has lost weight and body mass in the last few years. but, she still eats, drinks, and litter box habits are all the same. She still jumps in the window for sunshine. She has good eyesight and can still hear. sometimes she gets fixated on the bathroom sink water faucet. I just remove her to her cat bed and cat tunnel area, place a fresh bowl of water and fresh cat food -- put a nightlight on her and she is good. It's almost like she needs a distraction from the faucet.

She really does like isolation though, and I have a cat tunnel, that she loves. It's made out of foam, but in the shape of a tunnel a neighbor gave it to me. she had purchased it for her small dog, but he didn't use it.

I hope this info helps. It doesn't replace the vet visit, just more of what to expect as your cat gets on with age.


Your kitty sounds very ill :(
by: SR

Hi-I really think your cat is ill-most likely it is in a lot of pain; however, cats definatley do not show the amount of pain they are in so she is probably in a lot more discomfort than it may look-please try to take her to the vet asap-a good vet that will be honest with you-she may facing one of many health issues&I personally feel if you discover that she has a severe chronic painful illness and do not have the funds to treat her or to take away the discomfort then possibly humanely putting her to sleep would be better than letting her live in so much pain (unless you have someone who could provide her with a lot of love&attn and afford the expenses)-If she ends up in a shelter, she may end up dying of the stress of being away from her home due to her age; however, if her condition can be treated&someone is willing to take her in then I think choosing that option would be best-

staring at water
by: brenda

Hi there , sorry to hear about your cats health issues , Im currently dealing with the same issue . My cat is 11 years old . Just recently stopped eating , and would only stare at her water . I took her to the vet (when even treats couldnt get her to eat) , and we think she has fatty liver syndrome . I have been force feeding her for about 17 days now , Today i m optimistic that she is improving . If your cat has not eaten normally for more than 2 days ... take her to your vet , Fatty liver is reversible if treated early enough . If your have questions I m here to help while i deal with the same thing

Thank You
by: Narcissie

Thank you so much for being candid with me and I am sure you are right. I have noticed a new development this morning, my cat(Abby Gail) seems to be trying to eat but can't seem to chew well so I gave her some chicken broth and she did drink that. As soon as I can get out of the house (we are snowed in here) I am going to go to the pet store and get some paste that I had to feed a sick kitten once and at least she will get some nourishment. hoping she can hold on for a while longer and I will take her to her vet. I will keep you updated if that is o.k. Again, Thank You

Comment from Kate
Hi yes i would Love to know how she gets on.

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