Had the appointment this morning; in and out relatively quickly. They took blood/urine samples and are testing for many of the things listed by Jk2003 & Nurse Kelley. Should have results tomorrow AM. The vet agreed with daily wet food & adding in the lysine supplement (that should arrive sometime tomorrow, along with the scale). So that's where we're at for now; waiting. Thanks everyone for your advice & encouragement; I'll keep you updated.
Hoping for some pootie advice from the wonderful Meese here. I have two cats, now almost 11 years old, who I rescued when they were two months old. This is the female, Fudge:
And this is her brother, Dark Chocolate:
DarkChocolate has always been bigger and heavier (and quieter, he usually doesn't vocalize unless he thinks we're sleeping in too late on the weekend). Fudge has always been an attention hog - she seems to have a sixth sense to let her know when her brother is getting attention, and she comes running from wherever she was in the house to demand her share of the pettings. They usually get along, aside from occasional squabbles about a toy or sleeping spot; usual sibling stuff (they're not actually from the same litter, but since we got them from the same shelter at the same time, we call them brother/sister).
Fudge had feline herpes as a kitten; as a result she does tend to be permanently sniffly/stuffy (she sneezes a lot) and has one eye that's cloudy (although she seems to see fine out of it for now). Over the years, DarkChocolate become heftier, but lately Fudge is feeling thinner and smaller than before (she looks puffy but most of it is fluffy fur, she's actually fairly light), which has me worried.
Here's where the needed advice comes in - they've always been raised with dry food only (wet food maybe 3x a year as a treat), in one of those auto-feeder things where as the bowl empties, it refills from the reservoir, so they can eat on their own schedule, etc. I'm planning on switching their food to a different brand, to see if that encourages Fudge to eat more, but I was also thinking maybe I should get rid of the auto-feeder and just put them on a regular feeding schedule, possibly including wet food. My theory is that part of the issue may be that Fudge, with her respiratory issues, just doesn't smell the food as much and so she's not interested, so wet food might spark her interest (she is definitely interested in food in general; she eats up the treats pretty quickly, but either she doesn't like or can't really smell the regular dry food they're on). She isn't acting abnormally otherwise, just seems to not be eating as much.
The two main concerns I have are a) how to transition them from having food available all the time to being fed on a regular basis, and b) whether switching to a combo of wet/dry food will end up increasing DarkChocolate's weight too (if anything, I'd like him to lose some, but Fudge I think needs to gain more). Also, when you do feeding on a schedule, what sort of gap is OK? I'm usually up around 8am, but I don't get home until around 8pm or later; is that alright?