My Older Cat is drinking a lot of water and losing weight. What could it be?
There are three common problems that make cats lose weight and drink a large volume of water. The first is kidney disease. These cats usually flood the litter box, but their urine is very dilute. It can even look watery and have little or no odor. Often their appetite is diminished and they may sleep more than usual. The second is hyperthyroidism. Many of these cats will eat and drink more than usual, yet still lose weight. The thyroid sets our basic level of metabolism and in this case the metabolism is in overdrive. Many hyperthyroid cats will be more active than previously, particularly at night. They can yowl loudly in the nighttime hours. The last common possibility is diabetes. These cats also tend to eat more and drink more than is normal for them. Their urine is usually yellow, and can even look thick due to the sugar that is in it. Many, but not all, diabetic cats were overweight or obese when the problem started.
All of these diseases are treatable, but not curable. If your cat is drinking more than he/she previously did, then a physical examination with bloodwork and a urinalysis are necessary to accurately diagnose the problem. The earlier in the process that we intervene, the longer your cat will live. There are other, less common, problems that cause weight loss and increased water consumption. At Sudbury Animal Hospital, we want to work with you to diagnose the problem and help your cat live a longer, healthier life. Call today (978) 443-2839