Why Is My Cat Losing Weight?

As a cat owner, you’re worried. Your cat‘s chubby tummy is gone now, and there’s suddenly a very visible waist behind the ribs. You can see and feel your cat‘s ribs (you couldn’t before!), and your cat‘s back is bony now, where before it was smooth petting.

“It may be as simple as the cat not taking in enough calories for its lifestyle, or there could be an underlying medical issue,” says Rucinsky. The change can be so gradual that you don’t notice, but your cat‘s eating habits may not be keeping up with nutritional needs.

Weight loss but still eating can also be caused by inflammatory bowel disease, which commonly alters the way that nutrients in the food are absorbed.” Your cat may also be drinking a lot and losing weight, which can be a sign of chronic kidney disease or diabetes mellitus. Visit your veterinarian to make sure that there aren’t any underlying medical issues and to get some solid nutrition recommendations.

Why is my cat suddenly so skinny?

There are two main causes for a skinny cat: Either they aren’t eating enough, or they’re expending more calories than they are taking in. They may not be eating enough due to stress, dental disease and/or nausea or a host of other reasons. … The other reason that a cat might be too skinny is a lack of access to food.

What should I do if my cat is losing weight?

If you notice your cat is losing weight, your first step should be to schedule a vet appointment. Your vet will do a physical exam first. Next, lab tests and/or x-rays may be needed to determine the problem. Based on the findings, your vet may recommend medication, diet change, surgery, or other treatment.

When should I be concerned about my cat losing weight?

Intentional weight loss that is part of a planned weight reduction program for an overweight pet is not a reason for concern. As long as your cat is losing at a rate that has been established by your veterinarian as acceptable. Usually a loss of no more than one percent of body weight per week is perfectly fine.

Why is my cat losing weight but eating lots?

You may suspect that your cat is eating more than normally, but still continues to lose weight. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that can result from a tumor on the thyroid gland, or an overactive thyroid which elevates levels of thyroid hormone.

For many cat owners, a main concern is preventing obesity and keeping their cats at a healthy weight. However, unintentional weight loss in cats can be a warning sign of an underlying medical problem. So, you might be asking yourself, why is my cat losing weight but still eating?

Hepatic lipidosis occurs when large quantities of fat are stored in the liver in order to provide energy to the body. Conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can affect the absorption of nutrients in the GI tract and contribute to weight loss, even if your cat is eating well.

If your cat is a hunter, or routinely hunts small rodents or rabbits, she may be exposed to GI parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms. Kidney disease, or renal insufficiency, becomes more common as cats age, and symptoms include weight loss and increased drinking and urination. Hyperthyroid cats are essentially in a state of starvation despite eating well, so as as result, increasing food intake by itself will not solve the issue.

Its not always easy to detect weight loss in your cat. The fluff of fur covering most cats can serve as camouflage for weight loss until there is a big change.

Any noticeable weight loss in your cat warrants a visit to your veterinarian to rule out serious health conditions. Your cat could be experiencing pain from arthritis that is making it difficult to jump up to where the food dish is.

Cats can also get parasites from hunting and eating prey, or even by walking through contaminated grass and dirt and then grooming. Your vet can examine your cats feces to determine if he is carrying parasites that might be causing weight loss. Diabetes is very common in cats and will require immediate veterinary care and ongoing treatment.

If your vet suspects diabetes, they will likely take blood and urine samples to confirm the diagnosis. It produces hormones that perform many functions, including regulating the bodys metabolism. When a cat becomes hyperthyroid, their metabolism goes into overdrivethey lose weight, are ravenously hungry all of the time, have a very high heart rate, and often meow at night and have trouble sleeping.

These viruses have different causes and possible therapies, but weight loss is a common symptom of all three. If a diagnosis is made, management and treatment will be based on the symptoms your cat is showing. To determine if kidney disease is the cause of your cats weight loss, your vet will do bloodwork and a urinalysis.

Treatment may include prescription food, medicine and even sterile fluids that your vet can teach you to administer at home on a regular basis. The diagnosis and treatment plan will vary depending on the kind and stage of cancer suspected.

At Mills Creek Animal Hospital in Concord, NC, were firm believers in making the veterinary experience as stress-free as possible for your beloved dogs and cats. Our team members have put this belief into practice by becoming Fear Free Certified Professionals and turning our facility into a haven that respects your pets needs and soothes any potential anxiety they might feel during their visit. We pride ourselves on being in tune with our patients and clients, providing only the very best care to ensure they share a long, healthy companionship for as many years as possible.

Reasons Your Cat Might Be Losing Weight

Below is a list of a few common causes of weight loss in cats.

Not Getting Enough Food

Sometimes, your cat is eating less than you think.Do you have another cat or dog in the house? Additional pets in your home could be eating your cat’s food or obstructing your cat’s access to their food bowl.Or did you recently change brands of food? The calorie content in a cup of food can vary greatly from one brand to another.Is the food dish up high on a counter? Your cat could be experiencing pain from arthritis that is making it difficult to jump up to where the food dish is.Your veterinarian can help you determine if there are obstacles in your home that are preventing your cat from getting enough food.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites are very common in cats and can lead to weight loss if left untreated.Pregnant mothers can give their kittens parasites, and they can also pass parasites through their milk when they are nursing. Cats can also get parasites from hunting and eating prey, or even by walking through contaminated grass and dirt and then grooming.Your vet can examine your cat’s feces to determine if he is carrying parasites that might be causing weight loss.If parasites are the cause, a simple dewormer, directed at the appropriate parasite, can put your cat back on the road to a healthy weight.

Feline Diabetes

Diabetes is very common in cats and will require immediate veterinary care and ongoing treatment.In addition to unexplained weight loss, diabetic cats typically drink an abnormally large amount of water and urinate large volumes as well.Overtime, without treatment, diabetes is a fatal condition.If your vet suspects diabetes, they will likely take blood and urine samples to confirm the diagnosis. Successful treatment involves diet changes and often insulin.

Feline Hyperthyroidism

Cats over 8 years old are at risk for hyperthyroidism.The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ that is located in the throat. It produces hormones that perform many functions, including regulating the body’s metabolism.When a cat becomes hyperthyroid, their metabolism goes into overdrive—they lose weight, are ravenously hungry all of the time, have a very high heart rate, and often meow at night and have trouble sleeping. They may also drink a lot of water and urinate large amounts.Your vet will do bloodwork to see if this is the cause of the weight loss.Treatment of hyperthyroidism involves controlling the thyroid gland, either with medicine, special food or inpatient radioactive iodine treatment. Your vet will guide you in choosing the best treatment.

Feline Viral Disease

FIP, FeLV and FIV are viral diseases in cats. These viruses have different causes and possible therapies, but weight loss is a common symptom of all three.If your vet suspects that a virus is the cause of your cat’s weight loss, they may perform blood tests and possibly more tests to determine if one of these viruses is the cause.If a diagnosis is made, management and treatment will be based on the symptoms your cat is showing.

Feline Kidney Disease

Feline kidney disease can also lead to weight loss in your cat.To determine if kidney disease is the cause of your cat’s weight loss, your vet will do bloodwork and a urinalysis.Treatment may include prescription food, medicine and even sterile fluids that your vet can teach you to administer at home on a regular basis.

Let’s

At Mills Creek Animal Hospital in Concord, NC, we’re firm believers in making the veterinary experience as stress-free as possible for your beloved dogs and cats. Our team members have put this belief into practice by becoming Fear Free Certified Professionals and turning our facility into a haven that respects your pets’ needs and soothes any potential anxiety they might feel during their visit. We pride ourselves on being in tune with our patients and clients, providing only the very best care to ensure they share a long, healthy companionship for as many years as possible.

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At Mills Creek Animal Hospital, our team proudly offers progressive medicine in a friendly, state-of-the-art animal hospital and all the essential care your pet needs for a long and healthy life with you and your family.

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They took such good care of both of my babies and made sure they were comfortable! Dr. Salzer and her staff answered all of my questions and put me at ease.

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Doctors are very patient and make sure you understand what is going on with your fur babies. Everyone there was very friendly and they took good care of my kitty.