Old cat has stopped purring. Any idea why?

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ladybirder | 14:36 Fri 23rd Dec 2011 | Pets
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I meant to ask the vet yesterday while we were there and forgot. I've looked on Felipedia and FabCats and can't find anything. Maggie's purred all her life until recently. The minute you touched her - big purr. Now nothing. She did make a little attempt yesterday but it didn't get going and just stuttered out. She'll be 19 next birthday and she stopped purring about 6 months ago. She suffers from Hyperthyroidism and kidney problems and has injections every 4/5 weeks. Is it just something that happens in cats of a certain age?


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Are you on Facebook? There is a guy called "Pete the Vet" who is a vet in Ireland and if you ask him if he has heard of this he will give you a truthful answer that you will understand.

He has a slot on morning TV in Ireland and does a vets Q&A in the Telegraph newspaper.

Whilst I was typing the above a herd of elephants just ran down my stairs and through the kitchen - nope, I was wrong - it was one little tom cat. :-)
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Thank you Wolf. No, I'm not on FB but I do know Pete the Vet from Saturday's Telegraph. I'll have a look for him on line through the Telegraph's web site. There is something very sad about a cat that doesn't purr:-(
I was curious and asked him and he gave me a short answer;

Pete - I have a friend who has a 19 year old cat. She has Hyperthyroidism and kidney problems (both being treated). My friend is worried (not worried - not the right word) as puss has lost her purr. She has always been pretty vocal. What could cause this ? I suppose she is probably losing her hearing - could that be it?

Pete the Vet
Lots of possible causes of loss of purr..... laryngitis is common enough but could be something else - not urgent but she should ask her vet the next time she's in for a check up.
I don't think lack of hearing would stop a purr....

Maybe he will be able to give you a fuller answer with more details from you.

Here is a link - http://www.telegraph....ists/pete-wedderburn/
our pussy is god knows how old, He was living on the compost heap in the garden before we enticed him in, and has now lived with us for ten years, and He is probably 18 + years old. ( according to a vet) a real sad looking article. He has not "purred" for about 2 years, and now only occasionaly greets us with "pruuuuup" when we let him in in the mornings
( He's an outdoor cat, will not spend a night at home) I think this is just age, can't be bothered attitude. like elderly people, can't be ars''d. wants His dinner and a sleep in the sun in the conservatory.
Question Author
Oh how kind of you Wolf, thank you. She certainly doesn't have laryngitis that's for sure. There aren't really anymore details to give but we are back at the vet in 4 weeks and I will make sure I ask next time. I wondered if all old cats lost their purr. X
our old boy lost his purr, he was getting on for 18 when he went to rainbow bridge. he would chirrup or purrp instead, but most often he would curl up and snore his head off!
My cat often stops purring for periods of time but she also becomes irritable. I think it's just because she's a grump though. It's almost as if she gets PMS!
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Wolf we have been to the vets again and I asked about M not purring and she said there is no definitive answer and it could be one of many reasons most of which have been discussed on here. Age, dementia, forgotten how to do it, too much effort, throat infection (which she hasn't got). Just thought I'd let you know.
ladybirder - it is good to know that there is nothing wrong with puss, apart from her age and there is nothing that we can do about that.

I hope that she has a few years left in her. Frankie and Merlin are only 6 and are babies compared to Maggie.
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Thanks wolf. I don't think I will have her for many years to come I'm afraid. If she's here for next Christmas I will be surprised. She has lost 100g on each of the last two visits to the vet (one month apart) which is bad news as she now weighs only 2.9kg despite injections to improve her appetite. It's what happens when kidneys fail. She has an ear infection which she has some drops for and oh boy she can still put up a good fight when I try to administer them. So just keeping a close eye on her really, and hopefully recognising when her time is up and the kindest thing is to let her go. Just off to cut a slice of pork off the joint to tempt her. X

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