Why Is My Senior Cat So Thin, Even Though He Has A Healthy Appetite?

CatChannel veterinary expert, Arnold Plotnick, DVM, believes the cat might have a glandular condition.

Skinny senior cat? Find out why. Via Pixabay


We have a cat named Spicey. He is about 18 years old now, and is very slow and very thin, but still going. He eats well but always has a rumbling stomach as though he is always hungry. Do you have any insight as to why? Many thanks.


I’d have to put hyperthyroidism high on the list. Hyperthyroidism is a glandular condition that affects older cats. In many older cats, the thyroid gland in the neck begins to produce an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. The increased level of this hormone causes the cat’s metabolism to increase, and cats will lose weight. They try to compensate for this by increasing their food intake, but they often cannot keep up, and will lose weight despite having an excellent appetite. Hyperthyroidism also can cause an increase in gastrointestinal motility, which may account for his rumbling stomach.

Fortunately, hyperthyroidism is very treatable. In fact, it is curable. It is easily diagnosed by a simple blood test. I strongly recommend that you have this test done on Spicey.

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Cats · Health and Care