Need help in diagnosing cat symptoms

Need help in diagnosing cat symptoms. My 13-year old female cat had started to lose weight pretty rapidly but is also eliminating outside of the litter box and still going inside the litter box. I have had multiple tests done with no luck. She is still running around and jumping on my bed and just seems happy otherwise. Any ideas as to what could be the problem? Thanks!

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Jun 24, 2010
Similar symptoms
by: Katzeye

Our ten year old male cat has similar symptoms. Like the original poster, we don't have the finances to have MRIs, scans and x-rays done through a specialist.

In Nov, he weighed about 23lbs, today he's between 6-8lbs. We took him to a vet, they performed a full blood panel on him, (specifically looking for kidney and hypothyroidism) including feline leukemia and everything came back normal. Fecal occult was also negative for ova or parasites.

He eats twice a day, mostly wet now since his teeth are going bad, drinks water and mostly just sleeps. He's still incredibly affectionate but remains wobbly and stumbles when he walks. His hair is falling out in mass quantities (could be the summer temperatures starting) and now he has a cold in both eyes.

Would be interested in hearing what others have experienced and any results from a necropsy (if performed).

Jan 11, 2010
See a specialist?
by: Kurt (Admin)

Kidneys are a common problem. I'm assuming that the right tests were done, done properly, and are conclusive, and so on.

I'm guessing a complete blood work up was done. If x-rays and a complete blood work up don't give your vet a direction to go in, it's hard to know what to do without further input from a qualified vet.

Have you thought about taking her to a feline internal medicine specialist or perhaps an integrative veterinarian (preferably one that specializes in cats)?

I know this is extremely expensive, and it's frustrating to say the least, but it would probably be my next step. If there is a veterinary college near you, you can try that.

There are several ways you can get some veterinary consultations without paying big bucks too. For a relatively small fee, there are several sources you can use. Keep in mind, of course, that your goal here should be to get some direction, and then move forward with more testing.

You can call Cornell and see if they can give you some direction.

Dr. Louis J. Camuti Memorial Feline Consultation Service


1-800 (548-8937)

You can ask a question online at

You can also ask questions of Dr. Shelby Neeley over at Ask the Cat Doctor

There are many reasons for rapid weight loss, though. Diabetic cats may eat more than normal, yet continue to lose weight since they're not metabolizing properly.

Cancer is always a possibility. Parasites as well. I've read that cats can suffer from wasting disease, but it's not common.

Is she eating less, or eating the same amount and still losing weight with no marked increase in activity? Does she have really bad or odd smelling breath? Dental disease, diabetes, and other conditions can cause changes in the way the breath smells.

Hyperthyroidism may cause a cat to burn more calories. This may result in weight loss, and may or may not be accompanied by a heart murmur, and may indicate hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. If a murmur is detected, you'll likely need an echo-cardiogram to know for sure (see a specialist).

The inappropriate elimination may or may not be related. She might not be feeling good at times and that may be when she doesn't use the box.

I hope that helps. Please let us know what happens with her. Many other cat owners have had similar stories with mysterious weight loss, and don't really know what to do next.


Jan 10, 2010
Re: Kidney or urine issue
by: Original author

Thanks for the suggestion. Actually, that's what two vets thought of at first and ran all the tests. Unfortunately, they couldn't find anything wrong. She's had some xrays done as well. Nobody can figure it out.

Jan 09, 2010
by: Anonymous

It is normally failing kidneys that causes rapid weight loss. Blood tests and urine analysis should tell. Defecating outside the box is either getting revenge for something, or loss of control of the bowels.

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