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Question
Good afternoon. I just had a question regarding my oldest cat and her throwing up almost every day. She is an 11 year old chinchilla fur long hair domestic and has been with me since she was a kitten. She is an indoor cat and is fixed. I recently moved to a new city and have noticed since the move that she has lost a ton of weight. At one point, her fur (which is normally very soft and shiny) was getting greasy and getting a lot of matts. It's as if she just didn't want to clean herself anymore. She has always been very hygienic, cleaning herself at least 25 times a day and so on. She never really ever begged for food (I have 4 cats on a feeding schedule). Since after the move, she would eat her helping and not even 5 minutes later, come screaming at me for more food and if I don't feed her within a 30 minute radius of her meowing excessively at me, she throws up right in front of me. I feed my cats a little bit more than they are required and feed them often through out the day. They always have clean water accessible and 5 clean litter boxes. She's also been going to the bathroom outside the litter box which is so weird for her. I've had her on so many different, expensive foods, hoping that would help with the problem of the weight loss. At first, I thought she had an allergy to gluten, so I bought her a gluten free food. That did nothing. Then I had her on Blue Buffalo (one of her favorites), that did nothing. Then I had her on Royal Canin, that did nothing. I've even had her on sensitive stomach food, and that did nothing. How I can describe it, it's as if there is no food in her dish 24/7, she comes in front of me and pukes. Now, I don't know if that's "to get back at me because she's mad" or what? I am willing to take her to a vet but I just wanted to get some feedback online first. Thank you.

Answer
Hi Michelle,

I think what you're seeing here is a symptom of a greater problem. While I'm not a vet, I have seen enough cats like this to know that what you're describing, the weight loss, the greasy, coat and the ravenous hunger, are all symptoms pointing to hyperthyroidism. Cats do not get hypothyroidism, like so many humans do, but they get HYPER- which is too much thyroid.
Now there are a couple of other things that can cause this but the most likely and more common one is hyperthyroidism.

Common symptoms are vomiting, constant hunger and vocalization, greasy, matted unkempt coat and weight loss.

You need to get her into your vet asap and have her tested for this. It is not uncommon sad to say. There are many different treatments for it so ask your vet to discuss which ones they offer.

There is a new gel out that you can rub on your cats ear that I hear has made things much easier for owners and has fewer side effects for the cats.

There is now a diet as well for these cats and it is very well tolerated and does a great job of maintaining a cat. Hills makes it and it is suitable for life.
Here is an article on hyperthyroidism in cats:

http://www.petplace.com/cats/hyperthyroidism-it-can-strike-your-older-cat/page1.

There are many on this site as a matter of fact. They can better educate you on the disease.

So get her into the vets asap and get her tested.

Please let me know what you find out.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT

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PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!

Experience

I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

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Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

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http://askthevettech.com/

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Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

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Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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