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My cat, Ben, used to catch mice and rats all the time. I felt bad every time I had to shut the door on him as I know he's trying so hard to give me a present. Once he caught 11 in one day during the Spring of 2020. Not sure if there's any correlation but he suddenly stopped hunting rodents after he started receiving medication for hyperthyroid. He also had a kidney flush during the same visit. Or perhaps it's old age? Ben was 13 at the time. He loves watching rodents and birds on Youtube though. Wondering if anyone else has experienced similar behavior with their cat losing interest in catching rodents? To be clear, I definitely don't mind not receiving presents from him anymore.

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  • Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include increased appetite and hyperactivity. So perhaps getting the hyperthyroidism treated could be the reason, though I've never heard of such a thing.
    – Kai
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 7:02

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In this individual case it's probably a sign that he's not feeling at his best right now. Catching rodents requires a certain level of fitness and very sudden, very quick motions. He might either feel pain during the pouncing and catching, or he doesn't feel perfectly well in general and prefers to rest.

Hyperthyroid can cause fatigue and muscle pain, so that's one possible cause. The medication can also have some side-effects we don't know about. Kidney stones can cause severe pain, especially during motion and urinating. Old age in general can have countless symptoms.

You should look out for any change in his behavior. As natural predators, cats hide health problems as much as possible. If they express any change like not playing or jumping anymore, hiding all the time, refusing to eat or drink or eliminating outside the litter box, you should immediately assume a health problem and schedule a vet visit. At his advanced age, a routine checkup every 6 months is a good idea for Ben.

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    I've been taking Ben to the vet every 3 months until we get his hyperthyroid under control. He's even had his teeth cleaned. He gets healthy canned food and loves running tap water. He gets non-toxic kitty litter as well as free rein outdoors. He chitters incessantly at birds and he still follows the scent of rodents. Based on what you've said, guessing it's old age which is not a bad thing at all.
    – kat
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 2:44
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    Treatment for hyperthyroid can also unmask renal (kidney) issues, so once his thyroid levels are good he should have his kidney numbers (BUN, etc) checked. If he has early stage renal issues he might feel a little bit more "blah" but not enough to show anything obvious. But it's probably just that he doesn't feel as energetic any more.
    – torek
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 12:11
  • Ben had his kidneys checked out at the same time. The vet mentioned his levels were too high so that's why he had a kidney flush. A few months later, the vet said his kidneys were stable. He's very inquisitive and wants playtime whenever he's fully awake around 9pm. There's also the possibility that he's too scared to be by himself outside too long now. His 'hood' got taken over by an Alpha cat a couple of years ago. He now insists that I escort him around for his walks an night.
    – kat
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 20:14

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