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Not eating losing weight.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH
Age: 1-2 years
Age: 13 months
Weight: 8 1/2 pounds
He was 9 pounds, but lost half a pound in May. He is a VERY picky eater. I have him on Wellness Grain Free wet/dry. Breakfast at 8 am, dinner at 8 pm. Meals were 1/3 of a 5.5 oz can, but he had trouble finishing in a timely manner (1/2 hour). Always leaving and having to be brought back before it spoiled. Dry food as an afternoon nibble (less than 1/2 cup, usually a 1/4). I *think* I've narrowed it down to the wet flavors he likes (Turkey, Chicken, Chicken & Herring). Still, mealtime is a complete struggle. He is painfully shy and will not eat if there is a stranger in the house (my son's friend has been here for hours today, and he bolted upstairs and hid under the bed in my daughter's room for 9 hours). My daughter is coming home from college for a week long visit in 1 1/2 weeks. I'm worried he won't remember her and freak out over a "stranger". But then my mother-in-law is visiting at the exact same time. Toki has never met her. I'm worried he will be so out of sorts that he will not eat well, and lose even more weight. Should I just ditch the wet since it's such a struggle and stick with dry? He has a water fountain.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I do tend to get worried when a cat has a reduced appetite and is also losing weight. This is usually a sign of a medical problem. With that being said, if he is eating his dry food then it is perfectly ok to just give him dry food. But, if it was just that he didn't like wet food this shouldn't cause him to lose weight. Losing half a pound in one month is very significant.

I would highly recommend having a vet examine Toki and perhaps have a blood profile run on him to make sure that there are no obvious health issues.

With young cats who have a reduced appetite and weight loss I get worried about a disease called FIP but there are also other possibilities.

It is possible that the lack of appetite is due to stress or fear, but I would rule out medical reasons first. If he likes to go and hide under the bed perhaps you could consider placing some dry food in a bowl under the bed?

You can also look into a product called Feliway which can help to reduce stress levels in cats but it is not a miracle product.

I hope everything works out ok for him.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you for your reply. I took Toki to the vet yesterday and he got a full exam including blood work. The vet said he is stressed. Probably due to people he doesn't know being in the house, lately. I just got some Feliway and some calming treats. I also went to an Asian grocery store and got some dried fish flakes to sprinkle on his wet food. This helped him eat his dinner last night and breakfast this morning. The vet also wants me to leave more dry food out for him to nibble on.
So, I think he is going to be okay. Thank you so very much for your time.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Well that is good news that there is no serious medical issue! Sounds like a good plan. I hope things improve soon.

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.