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Weight Loss In Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Weight loss in cats may appear for countless reasons, and the reason is usually related to specific medical issues or underlying medical problems.

In recent years, obesity in pets is one of the burning issues.

It comes as no surprise that cat owners are focused on obesity.

With such a focus on cats gaining weight, people tend to miss when the cat starts losing weight unless it’s too late.

Weight loss in cats may appear for countless reasons, and the reason is usually related to specific medical issues or underlying medical problems.

Weight Loss In Cats

Regarding pets, people are used to dogs as real foodies. Unfortunately, for that common belief, people tend to neglect to realize how much cats east actually have.

Little is known, but when it comes to missing a meal, no animal has hard times like cats. Without food in reach easily, your feline will suffer – a lot.

So, when you notice that your cat refuses her raw food or that her bowl with dry food is complete the whole day, be sure that there is a problem arriving.

It’s also good to know that your cat might eat normally, but she still might be losing weight. In both cases, contacting your veterinarian is crucial as soon as possible.

Causes of Weight Loss in Cats

Weight loss in cats may appear due to various reasons. The range can be from simple lifestyle changes – such as moving to a new apartment, to serious illness.

Like in humans, cats’ weight changes to various underlying medical issues.

Whether you should contact your veterinarian if loses only a pound or more, your veterinarian is the only one who can surely tell you what’s wrong with your feline.

Also, your veterinarian is the only one who can run proper tests. Here are the most common causes of weight loss in cats:

1. Anxiety

Cats are creatures of habits, and as such, they don’t like it when something in their routine is different. If you expose your feline to other habits, rules, or places, every day, you can expect significantly different behavior.

Moreover, you can expect your cat to develop anxiety, depression, or stress. Other situations may stress your cat, such as:

  • High and excessive noise
  • Other pets
  • Dirty food bowls
  • Dirty litter box

Any change in a cat’s routine can stress your feline, so make sure that you ultimately make any lifestyle transition as easy as possible, if not stress-free.

2. Diabetes

Diabetes is a severe condition that can harm everyone’s health. In general, diabetes is caused by a failure to produce insulin or an impaired ability to respond to it.

As a result, weight loss in cats appears frequently. Cats with diabetes can:

  • Drink excessive amount of water
  • Urinate more
  • Develop urinary tract infections
  • Have sweetly scented breath
  • Act sluggish

3. Feline Infectious Peritonitis

This is a severe virus that usually occurs in cats raised in catteries. Cats with this condition will seem sick and experience a fever. As a general rule, fever can’t be treated with antibiotics.

4. Cancer

This is not something cat owners love to hear, but weight loss in cats can be a sign that your feline suffers from cancer. Other cancer symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiding
  • Lethargy

4. Not Getting Enough Food

Sometimes, the most significant issues are solved with the most straightforward solutions. For example, it may be that your cat doesn’t get enough food.

Do you have another pet in your household? Do you also have a dog who can easily reach the cat’s food bowl? This can be a reason why your cat is eating less.

Did you recently change the food brand? The calorie count matters. Every brand is different, so one brand might offer more proteins while others provide more fat.

As you probably know, cats are carnivores and need a lot of protein, so food high in protein should always be your first choice.

If your cat suffers from health conditions, such as arthritis, that can keep her from moving around quickly, you should rethink the cat’s bowl location.

Maybe she can’t reach her bowl easily. Think about potential obstacles within your home that can prevent your cat from getting enough food.

5. Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites are common in cats and can lead to weight loss if left untreated. Did you know that pregnant mothers can give kittens parasites while nursing?

Cats can also get parasites from hunting and eating food in the wild or outdoors. Moreover, they can get parasites from simply walking through contaminated grass and dirt.

Further, they can get parasites while grooming.

That’s why it’s important to regularly treat your cat for parasites; otherwise, you can expect a long list of problems.

If the cause is parasites, a simple dewormer might help, and your feline will restore her weight in no time.

6. Dental Disease

Cats are sensitive beings. However, they are not fond of exposing themselves to others when they are in pain. The same philosophy applies to tooth and gum disease.

These diseases can often appear, and you must oversee your cat’s behavior to notice any change.

If your cat suddenly becomes picky about her food, she might be experiencing some dental issues. It’s known that felines with dental disease often lose weight gradually.

7. Feline Hyperthyroidism

Older cats are more prone to specific conditions than kittens are. Therefore, cats over eight years are always at risk for hyperthyroidism.

In a nutshell, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ in the throat. This organ is responsible for various functions, including regulating the body’s metabolism.

So, when a feline becomes hyperthyroid, its metabolism goes into overdrive, and they tend to lose weight but is yet to be hungry all the time. They may produce strange sounds, meow at night, and have difficulty sleeping.

Your feline may also urinate large amounts and drink a lot of water.

If your feline demonstrates any of these symptoms, your veterinarian will do bloodwork to see if this is the cause of the weight loss.

Multiple conditions can cause weight loss in cats, including

  • Viral infections
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

Treatment for Weight Loss in Cats

The right treatment will always depend on the cause.

If you notice that your cat is losing weight, your first step should be to talk with a professional, so seeking veterinarian help is necessary. Your veterinarian will first do a physical exam.

After that, an adequate test will be asked to determine the problem. Once the testing is done, your veterinarian recommends appropriate medication, surgery, diet change, or other treatment.

Always ask your veterinarian for the right advice on feeding and the environment.

If you can determine a source of stress, your cat should be fine in a short period.

Start by working on that stress and have a goal – to eliminate it entirely. This should help your vet gain weight. If you provide changes and your cat continues losing weight, follow up with your veterinarian.

The Bottom Line

Prevention is the best thing when it comes to weight loss. If you want your cat to be healthy, you should prevent weight loss by providing the right food, the proper amount, and monitoring body condition.

Also, veterinarian check-ups and follow-ups on the check are the great preventing solution. Always contact your veterinarian if you think your cat acts strange or is not eating as usual.

As a general rule, treating a health problem in the early stages is always easier.