When Your Cat Loses Weight
Fri, December 3, 2021

When Your Cat Loses Weight

Unintended weight loss in cats is usually a sign of some underlying health problems, which can get worse if left untreated / Photo by: J.Dream via Shutterstock

 

Unintended weight loss in cats is usually a sign of some underlying health problems, which can get worse if left untreated. Some owners believe that weight loss is normal for senior-aged cats, but cases vary and not one condition can apply to all. For this reason, it’s important to keep a closer eye on your cat if you notice that it has suddenly started losing weight. 

Some felines display habitual behavior around mealtime, and some of them can be quite demanding that they are served. However, cats are known to be more hostile and reserved than dogs, which always act hungry all the time, begging or whining for food. If your cat starts to act as seeming to be always hungry and yet showing drastic weight loss, you must immediately consult a veterinarian regarding this. Let the professionals know what is happening especially with regard to your cat’s eating habits. 

 

Weight Loss Causes

Many people worry about getting their cats too fat. But on the other hand, a sudden and unexplained weight loss on our feline friend is also a cause for concern. According to PetMd, the largest global source of pet health information in the world today, these are some medical situations that can cause your cat to lose weight. 

1. Mental health issue: Yes, cats have mental health too. Once they experience anxiety, stress, or depression, they might go off their food. This can result in significant weight loss. Some situations that might cause them to get really stressed and upset are excessive noise in the surroundings or other animals in their feeding area. This will discourage them from eating their meals. There are also instances when cats can get upset because of the disappearance of another pet or by a change in routine in your household. 

2. Hyperthyroidism: This condition is a common illness that usually affects older felines, according to an article published by The Spruce Pets, an online source for anything about pets. Cats that suffer from hyperthyroidism produce too much thyroid hormone because of an enlargement of their thyroid gland. This condition is usually caused by a benign tumor that grows on the thyroid. 

Many people worry about getting their cats too fat. But on the other hand, a sudden and unexplained weight loss on our feline friend is also a cause for concern / Photo by: Nils Jacobi via Shutterstock

 

The most common signs of hyperthyroidism in cats include weight loss, increased appetite, and increased thirst and urination. There are also cases where they experience vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperactivity while some felines might vocalize more than usual and become more restless. Also, their coats might appear unkempt and greasy. Pet owners must take note that hyperthyroidism is treatable with radioactive iodine or oral medications. 

3. Chronic kidney disease: Kidneys filter out wastes from the blood. These organs help in regulating blood pressure and facilitating the production of new red blood cells. Just like in humans, once the cat’s kidneys stop working properly, it could lead to a variety of other health issues. 

If your feline displays increased thirst and urination, it might mean that they have kidney issues that need to be treated immediately. These conditions will be usually followed by loss of appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, but these are manageable through medication, diet change, and fluid supplementation. 

4. Bowel problems: Cats that are always hungry might be suffering from intestinal problems, which can be associated with decreased or increased appetite, according to an article published by Pet Central, a website that provides information about pet’s nutrition and health. When a cat is hungry all the time, it might have something to do with having irritated bowels caused by an inflammatory disease or intestinal cancer such as lymphoma. 

Dr. Maryanne Murphy, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, and a clinical assistant professor of nutrition in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine said, “It depends on the primary cause of the intestinal disease, but if we’re dealing with an increased appetite, it could be because of the level of inflammation is affecting the cat’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients, and it may need to take in a higher level of food to compensate for that.”

5. Dental problems: Like humans, if cats suffer from dental problems, they might have trouble enjoying their food. Oral and dental issues can cause them extreme pain and decreased appetite, which can lead to weight loss. The common dental problems in feline include periodontal disease, resorptive lesions, and tooth fractures. Some cats might develop stomatitis, a condition that can cause painful inflammation in the mouth and gums that may be immune-mediated. 

Pet owners can check on their cats for signs of dental issues, which include bad breath, drooling, pawing at the mouth, and oral bleeding. If these symptoms are manifested, immediately consult a vet, who will put your cat under anesthesia while they do a professional dental cleaning exam and treatment if necessary. But be ready if the vet suggests that they will need oral surgery or tooth extraction.

Taking care of our pets is a lifelong (for them) commitment, and it usually takes a keen eye to tell if they are having health issues. It’s our responsibility to make sure they are kept healthy.

If your feline displays increased thirst and urination, it might mean that they have kidney issues that need to be treated immediately / Photo by: Maria Sbytova via Shutterstock