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Question:  For the past few weeks my 13 year old cat has been drinking more water.  She is eating fine but she seems to be getting thinner.  What could be wrong? 

Answer:  There are many illnesses that can cause these symptoms.  Here are a few of the more common ones. 

1.  Diabetes mellitus:  Diabetes causes cats to drink more (frequently a lot more!), urinate more and eat more, but they lose weight despite their great appetite.

2.  Kidney disease:  The first symptom of kidney disease in cats is often excessive thirst.  At first the cat’s appetite may be fine, but eventually the appetite diminishes and they begin to lose weight.

3.  Hyperactive thyroid:  Many cats with an overactive thyroid lose weight even though they are usually eating more than ever, and some cats also drink more than than before.

 4.  Liver disease:  Certain types of liver disease cause increased thirst and weight loss without changing a cat’s appetite.

All of these conditions can potentially be helped, so be sure to take your pet to your veterinarian.  Routine laboratory testing can determine if these diseases are present, and your veterinarian can then discuss how to intervene and help your pet.

Rita Angelo, VMD

Dr. Angelo graduated from the University Of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship in small and animal medicine here at Oradell Animal Hospital and remained on staff as a senior general practitioner at both our Paramus and Fort Lee locations. Dr. Angelo was appointed Hospital Director of Oradell Animal Hospital in 2019.
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