New cat doing well, but older cat has issues

Dear Dr. John,

I just adopted a new cat. He is adjusting well to his new home with me and my other cat. I lost another cat suddenly a few weeks ago. As I look at his neuter site, I notice there is still some swelling, and I cannot help but wonder if he was properly neutered. How can I be sure? My older cat that is approaching 13 has recently lost quite a bit of weight. Could it be because of the new younger cat being in the house or could it be something with his health? Could he be depressed because of the absence of the other cat? He seems normal, doesn’t always play with the young adult male, but seems to be eating less. What should I do? D.M.

Dear D.M.,

I am sure that your newly adopted cat was properly neutered. It is a relatively easy surgery and not prone to error or omissions. It is typical to have some localized swelling of the scrotal sac before it eventually contracts after which not much is seen in the area of where it originally was. The only way to be sure is to have the cat examined by your veterinarian.

As for your older cat, I also suggest that you have him seen and evaluated by your veterinarian. It is possible that he could be depressed from losing his former house mate or because he is not fully welcoming of the new cat or both. Has the weight loss started since the loss of the other cat or the introduction of the new one? That could be an important clue to solving the mystery.

One thing I would do is weigh him as soon as you can, so you have some data even though the apparent weight loss has already begun. Perhaps your veterinarian has a recent weight on your cat and can compare the results to see how much weight has actually been lost. Given his age, there are also health possibilities that come to mind. If he goes outdoors, a fecal exam to check for parasites could be done. If he is drinking more, I would assess for kidney changes. In summary, thinking about the history followed by a thorough physical examination and any necessary diagnostic tests should yield answers. Hopefully he will be fine. Good luck.

Dr. John de Jong owns and operates the Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic. He can be reached at 781-899-9994.

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