Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My aging Tucker boy (sorry, a long post)

I was dismayed that Tucker had lost 10 ounces when he was weighed at his December vet check up. The vet ran bloodwork and nothing was abnormal. She noticed he'd lost some muscle mass around his upper back, and suggested that was a cause because he is aging.

I weighed him last weekend, and he's lost another three ounces. It bothered me, so I emailed Connie of tails of the foster kittens, asking for input. The facts are:
* He's on a grain-free wet diet.
* Nothing about his diet or lifestyle has changed.
*Bloodpanels and check ups (every 6 months) have been good.
*He's almost 15 years old.

Compared to Benny (who is 12.5), who is energetic and playful, Tucker is starting to show his age. It saddens me, though I know it's overall normal.

I wondered if giving him some chicken or other meat would give him a high-quality addition to his diet while being grain free. She suggested giving skin (for the fat content) with the chicken. Tucker adores human chicken and turkey, so I'm going to try this.

Another suggestion was to give probiotics, which I can easily do. I remember he loved Fortiflora, so I ordered a box from Amazon.

She gave me some links, which I'm including here in case anyone could find them useful.
Caring for an elderly cat (from fab cats)
Toward the end (includes chart on cat age)

Part of me is struggling with his aging. I remember when I got him, thinking, "Wow, he could still be with me when I turn 40!" Well, that time is almost here. I am VERY thankful he is here with us, but still think of him as a young cat.

Thank you for the information, Connie. Tucker has another check up in early May, and I'll get some thoughts from the vet then too.

8 comments:

Fuzzy Tales said...

It's hard to accept that even if our fur companions live to be old by their standards, their life spans are short in comparison to ours.

"Everything comes to pass, nothing comes to stay." Matthew Flickstein, Journey To The Center

(((Hugs)))

Old Kitty said...

Awwww Tucker is so adorable! I didn't think about giving the skin of chicken too - that's a great idea!! All the best with sweet Tucker! take care
x

amyjtoo said...

*hugs* Hope extra chicken and fortiflora are just the treats Tucker-boy needs.

I was kinda freaked when the vet visit this winter indicated Aerin was down in weight a bit too - but she still seems to be acting like herself.

They're always our kittens, no matter how many years go by, eh?

~*Connie*~ said...

Do not apologize for a long post.. it is your blog, you have every right :)

Hopefully a you can get some weight on him. It is so funny it seems like there is always some battle with weight.. get it on them when they are little, keep it off them when they are adults, and put it back on them as they age.

Purrs to Tucker that you hit on that magic formula for him..

Quinn and Angel brandi said...

Humans slow down. So do cats. It's all part of growing older. Some kitties and humans love to eat (and are forever on a diet their whole lives! Or should be.) and some are more "eating is for fuel", and they don't have the energy any more, so they eat less and lose weight (that was brandi's thing, and Mommy can only hope....).
Time to spoil a little!!
QUINN

Quinn and Angel brandi said...

Humans slow down. So do cats. It's all part of growing older. Some kitties and humans love to eat (and are forever on a diet their whole lives! Or should be.) and some are more "eating is for fuel", and they don't have the energy any more, so they eat less and lose weight (that was brandi's thing, and Mommy can only hope....).
Time to spoil a little!!
QUINN

Angel and Kirby said...

We all have to face the fact that our furbabies are getting older. It is hard not so see them as the bouncy kittens they were

Roberta said...

Tucker still looks great. Unfortunately, losing weight is part of the aging process. :-( I know it's worrisome when our babies start losing weight but the main thing Tucker remains healthy and nothing else has changed. If I had to gain weight, ice cream would be on the top of my list.

Triple kitties on the bed