This editorial contains views on the importance of animal research in the field of cachexia, a crippling syndrome associated with almost all chronic diseases that dramatically impact on quality of life and survival of the patient. Unfortunately, it is infrequently identified or diagnosed and too rarely treated. Even if treated, the treatment options are extremely limited, as no truly successful therapies have been established so far. Therefore, research in animal models is of outmost importance, but care should be taken in designing these pre-clinical studies. We propose a design as close to clinical trials as possibly and to use primary endpoints that are of clinical relevance.