Wiley’s always been a healthy cat. In the 15ish years I’ve had him, he’s had maybe one visit to the vet for an upper respiratory infection, otherwise we’ve just had routine visits.
A year ago, after we went on vacation, we returned home to a cat who had dropped a bunch of weight suddenly. He STANK, and had loose stool. He’s always had GI issues, so that alone wouldn’t have sent me to call Dr. Magnifico, but the other two symptoms gave me quite a bit of concern.
Now, this is where it’s an excellent thing to have a vet you TRUST with your pets. She took one sniff and told me he’s in kidney failure. I’d had hopes it was just thyroid but she was very to the point about it: thyroid disease often masks other issues in cats, and in my Wiley’s case, it was kidney failure.
So, we made a plan. Because of his advanced age I didn’t want to put him through too much, as I know stress can cause bodies to do strange and detrimental things. We put him on a kidney diet and she prescribed subcutaneous fluids.
Once I found foods which he would readily eat, he started to put weight back on. He has always consumed a lot of water but with the added daily wet food I’m able to see the softness return to his coat. It took a few trials to find a KD wet food he’ll eat, and now he demands it on time every day.
He doesn’t often allow me to administer fluids. I let him dictate whether that will happen. And vitamin supplementation has been a non-starter. But with just the diet change he’s improved drastically and put some weight back on.
We’re going to continue letting him dictate what he’ll tolerate, but for now he’s doing very well.