It’s not an unusual presentation, an elderly cat that is losing weight but is ravenous day and night.
Once diabetes, another common cause of these symptoms, has been ruled out it may very well be the endocrine (hormonal) disease hyperthyroidism.
This disease is not uncommon in older cats and is caused by an overproduction of thyroid hormone from the thyroid glands. It results in an out-of-control metabolic rate and this upsets the regulation of carbohydrates, fats, and protein as well as the function of the heart. If untreated a cat can become seriously unwell.
SIGNS OF HYPERTHYROIDISM
+ Weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite
+ Increased thirst and urination
+ Poor coat quality
Fortunately, the vast majority of cats that develop hyperthyroidism can be treated very successfully and most cats will make a complete recovery.
There are different options for the treatment of hyperthyroidism and the treatment of the individual patient depends on how well the kidneys and the heart are functioning. In most cases, it involves life-long daily medication and regular blood, urine and blood pressure tests.
If you think your cat might be showing some of the signs mentioned above you should call your Vet immediately for advice and arrange an appointment for appropriate blood and urine tests.