Okay, seriously, WTH is going on with my cat?

First of all, I’ve asked our vet at my cat’s last two annual exams about this behavior, and she’s checked him out and seen nothing unusual. Might warrant another call, who knows.

Inigo is an 11yro black kitty we adopted from a shelter when he was 11mos old. He’s just the best cat–a big lovable, unflapable lug who has no bad habits and a lot of love and purrs. He never was one to get into food (our other cat, Mija, was a stray we took in–she never learned to turn off the EAT ANYTHING YOU FIND, NOW!).

Well, lately Inigo has gotten weird about food and water. He drinks out of the toilet, and begs and mews when we close the lid. (Considering RuffLlama is 3 and doesn’t always flush, EW. We’re keeping that lid closed.) He’ll jump in the tub after RuffLlama’s bath to drink water that gathers in the toys. Just now, I chased him off the kitchen table as he was drinking out of a large glass of water we left out. This is just odd. He, of course, has a water dish available 24/7 with fresh water changed daily.

Then there’s food. Whereas Mija has been the one to sneak things, now Inigo is worse. Chicken left on the counter (for like, 5-10min while the rest of dinner was prepared)? He was on the counter taking a nibble within 2min. This is true of more and more things now.

Inigo has fine fur and has always been our hairball barfer. PetroMalt seems to help, but it does seem he vomits more now. He also has occasional very stinky and soft bowel movements, but that might be from the PetroMalt. I was wondering if something GI-related was going on.

At his most recent exam, I brought up this behavior and the vet couldn’t find anything particularly wrong. He was maintaining his weight, his eyes were bright, his abdomen palpated normally…nothing. She said–IIRC–as kitties age sometimes their livers start having problems, but since she felt nothing and his weight was maintained she figured this was more of a behavioral thing.

What do you think? Is Inigo just getting neurotic in his advancing age?

If he’s like my cat, he just might like moving water. Have you tried a kitty fountain?

Huh, I don’t know what to think about the hairballs and the diet changes. My Betty is 16 and she has always been weird about water. We finally broke her of being a toilet drinker but she insists on taking her water from the bathtub, bonus points if someone is in there and the water is hot and soapy. shrug We don’t even put out a water dish for her any more, we just make sure there’s always water in the tub. My friends’ cat Beastie always drinks from a water glass they leave in the bathroom because she won’t use a dish.

Betty is also a hair-baller. She hacks and coughs but rarely brings any up. The water stuff sounds normal to me but it is strange that his habits have changed. Betty was a right bitch and really not all that loveable for the first 5yrs and then she turned into a really nice cat. Last couple of years she seems to have gotten a bit senile and a lot more needy. They do seem to change over time and since you’ve gotten him checked out, maybe you shouldn’t worry so much. I hope it all turns out okay, pet problems are nerve wracking. :slight_smile:

I’d have the vet double check his blood work to make sure there wasn’t some mix up with another pet’s results at the lab.

You want to break the kitty of the toilet?

  1. Put cat in toilet.
  2. Close lid.
  3. Sit on lid.
  4. Flush.
  5. Repeat.
  6. Repeat.


I wouldn’t worry about it. I had a cat that survived doing that for 16 years. Its seems to be a cat thing. She never liked human food though, thank God.

This. Though I don’t see where the OP had blood work done. A complete geriatric cat work up should include baseline bloodwork and thyroid profile. A physical exam will not show renal disease, thyroid problems or diabetes any of which could explain the hunger and/or excessive drinking. Request a full blood workup now. The sooner any of these things are found the better for long term care and survival. Sure the kitty could just be getting a little senile but don’t take that chance.

What Wile E said. Both times I’ve had problems with my older cats they have shown themselves with changed eating and drinking habits first. Once it was hyperthyroidism (cat ate and ate but still lost weight) and once it was kidney problems (cat would hang out all day at the water bowl with her head hanging over the rim of the bowl).

When the Ruffian mentioned the vet, I assumed a regular work up had been done and given the weird drinking habits I thought they’d check for diabetes and thyroid issues as a matter of routine. Particularly in an older cat.

The late great Lenny had similar issues and it turned out to be hyperthyroidism. Drank buckets! But it had to be fresh – not only change his water daily, but a fresh clean bowl too. Squiggy like his water fresh, but I only need to wash his bowl weekly.

We’ve had a couple of old cats who started drinking a LOT more water (and making a LOT more urine) than they had previously. The vet diagnosed kidney disease. This requires bloodwork in addition to a physical exam.

The water thing sounds like normal cat to me - my two cats like “found” water better than anything (including the expensive water fountain we bought for them, naturally). Jim’s cat’s two favourite water sources are foot water after I’ve been soaking my feet and flower water, if I have a bowl of flowers. The food thing’s a little odder, but cats do change and learn things (especially from other cats).

No, for clarification’s sake, the vet did not do any kind of bloodwork as part of his annual exams. I forget what exactly is all involved; she gave him his shots, weighed him, checked his eyes and ears, palpated his abdomen, and took his temperature–that’s all I remember.

But, thinking about it and reading the posts here, I figured it’d be best to call the vet and get her input. She’s in surgery right now and won’t be available to call me back fro about 3 1/2 hours, but I’ll let you know what she says.

I think part of it is I’m home on maternity leave (pre-baby; he’ll be here in about 4 weeks), so I’m seeing the odd behaviors more. They’re not odd in general; Mija has always been more eccentric. It’s just odd for him, you know?

He BETTER be okay. 11 is young for a cat, dammit, and we just put down our 13yro dog last year. This cat has been through it all with me–studio apartment, marriage, townhouse, house, baby, new cat, dog (we adopted the dog when she was 9)–and he has just purred and adapted through it all.

My cat was like that until our last move this summer - then she turned into whiny baby who cries and throws herself at the bedroom door all night. Either this is one change too many for her, or she’s just having a harder time adapting to this one now that she is about 10 years old.

Not to worry, the likeliest culprits as far as illness go, would be pretty normal for older cats and often easily controlled with medication.

Lenny lasted years after he developed his thyroid condition and just had a daily dose of Tapazole. I didn’t really appreciate how MUCH water he used to suck back though until after he died. The water dish can last days now that Lenny isn’t gulping it all down. Squiggy is healthy and drinks normally.

I find it a bit worrisome that the vet wouldn’t do any lab work on him with his symptoms. Like others noted, the first things that come to mind when you have a cat drinking excessively and eating more than normal are thyroid, kidneys issues, or diabetes.

If I were you I would ask for blood work to be done, and ask the vet why she didn’t do this in the first place.

11 truly is young for a cat. He’s in his prime! I’d definitely recommend blood tests. My personal experience with hyperthyroidism and diabetes was that they were easily managed. My cat did pass away from her kidney problems, but as it turned out she only had one kidney and when the other one got infected we caught it too late to save her. If it had been caught earlier the outcome could have been different. I totally feel that changes in drinking habits are one big, huge warning sign.

Just an off-the-wall thought, but have you had his gums and teeth checked? Our 3-year-old kitty has always been ob-freakin-sessed with water, especially icy water. Recently found out he has some kind of localized gum/teeth infection and we think the water relives it (he’s being treated).

Any word from the vet yet? I (third?) the recommendation for bloodwork - a senior profile that includes thyroid and renal panel plus urinalysis.

Your being home might be the best thing to happen for him, if there’s something wrong, you probably caught it much earlier than if your routine was the same!