Older cat meowing incessantly & losing weight

by Kathryn
(Central Coast, CA)

I have an 18 year old cat that has always been full of life & extremely healthy. She is still extremely vibrant & active, but is losing weight, has started getting a bit "wobbly" & the last few days has started meowing extremely loudly & incessantly all hours of the day or night (I feel like a new mother...no sleep).

She's following us around much more & only quiet when we hold her or when she sleeps. She is an indoor cat, but desperately wants to go outside lately & is extra curious about & wanting to get into everything.

She stopped eating dry food, so we started giving her wet food which she eats some of & then later comes back for more. Any thoughts? We are stumped!

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Jul 16, 2010
by: sandra

I too have an older cat who often meows. I noticed that when he does that, he's hungry, but has forgotten where his food dish is. After I show it to him, he then will eat and be happy. I have heard that cats can get dementia where they often forget to eat, may forget to go potty in the litter, and so on. I now just remind my kitty of where his food is when ever I notice he's having an off day. If they forget to eat, you may want to encourage him to do so, that maybe why he's lost weight.

Jul 15, 2010
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'm sorry to hear your cat is having troubles, Kathryn. Aging cats can lose body mass, and need to be monitored for weight loss.

When weight loss becomes extreme, there is probably a specific condition involved (there are many possibles). They also sometimes become clingy, and often seek body heat to compensate for poor circulation.

Older cats also can experience forms of dementia, and this can lead to odd behavior, disorientation, personality changes, and howling at the moon.

There are a number of common health problems that affect older cats, the most common of which is feline hyperthyroidism. There are a wide variety of signs and symptoms, but unexplained weight loss is among them.

Priscilla used to howl at the walls for no apparent reason. While this behavior was never fully explained, my vet said that her hyperthyroidism might be the reason. She had a mild case, diagnosed at age 11.

I believe, however, that taking all things into consideration, she may have had feline hyperesthesia as well.

Other conditions that can cause weight loss include kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, and parasites.

I'd suggest you schedule an appointment with the veterinarian and document the symptoms thoroughly. Hydration is extremely important, so make sure she's drinking plenty of water.

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