My cat, Beau, goes through times when he seems to eat very little food. I watch for other symptoms,but never see anything else. He gets regular vet care. My response is to go out and buy different food from the pet store but when he starts eating again, he eats the same old thing. He only recently started going out but on a leash or tether as the apt. complex where I live does not allow pets to run loose so I know he is not getting in fights, etc. He is on prednisone for asthma. He gets regular blood tests to monitor his level. What’s a worried Mom to do?

Lelia
Lewiston, Maine

Whenever a client expresses concern about her pet’s appetite, the first thing I do is check the pet’s weight. An individual’s weight is the most certain measure of whether he is eating enough.

It sounds like Beau has been to the vet very regularly. The vet should be weighing your cat every time he comes in. I’d recommend that you call the vet’s office and find out whether his weight has been trending up or down or staying stable.

If your cat is maintaining his weight, then I would be less worried about his bouts of inappetence.

If you are worried nonetheless, or if his weight is trending down, then I’d recommend more diagnostic tests. In addition to the routine blood tests that have been run to monitor for adverse effects from prednisone, consider urine tests, tests for leukemia and feline AIDS, X-rays, and an abdominal ultrasound.

The sort of comprehensive tests I’ve described very likely will show whether anything is wrong. But if your cat’s weight is holding steady, I’ll bet that he’s fine.

Photo: Missy digs in.

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