One of the biggest reasons an older cat starts to lose weight is hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is an overproduction of thyroid hormone. This hormone acts as the gas pedal on the body. If there is too much, the body races. These cats are running a marathon even when they are standing still. Your cat’s body will actually burn off more calories than it takes in, even though it is eating more than normal amounts.
As a cat owner, you may be unaware there is a problem. Your cat may have a great appetite and be very active. But, as the disease progresses, other signs include vomiting, increased drinking, increased urination and increased vocalization may result. Unfortunately, cats can also develop heart disease and high blood pressure due to the increased demand placed on the heart. Your cat also has a greater risk for producing blood clots. These can lodge in the lungs, hind limbs or brain (stroke).
The good news is that this disease can be controlled. There are four different approaches to treatment. They are diet, surgery, life-long medication and radioactive iodine. The pluses and minuses of these treatments should be discussed with your veterinarian. With treatment, most cats go on to live a healthy, normal life.
For further information or to schedule an appointment, contact Hudson Veterinary Hospital at 330-650-2929