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What Causes Weight Loss in Cats?

What Causes Weight Loss in Cats?

If your cat is losing weight rapidly without any apparent reason, then you need to get her checked as it can be a sign of some serious medical condition. What causes weight loss in cats and how serious it can be are some of the topics we will discuss in this article...
Niharika Arya
You can find an overweight cat easily, as cats gain weight fast. In such cases, weight loss is a good thing. But if your cat is losing a significant amount of weight without being on a diet plan and has lost about 10% of its weight in a short period of time, then this can be a serious issue. Weight loss is not a diseases or disorder, but it can be a symptom of some underlying medical condition. Cats may also tend to lose weight because of stress and depression. There may be a lot of reasons which can lead to your pet's weight loss and this can be found out by visiting a veterinarian. But for that you need to be careful about your cat's health and should try to give her early diagnoses and treatment.

Possible Causes of Weight Loss in Cats

There may be a number of reasons behind weight loss. Apart from weight loss you can also observe other symptoms like hair loss, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, etc. Following are some of the possible causes of weight loss in cats.

Diabetes is a very commonly found disorder in cats. It is of two types: diabetes 1 and diabetes 2. In diabetes 1, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin and in diabetes 2, the body does not respond to insulin. This disorder leads to appetite change, urinary tract infections, excess urination, etc. This is among the major causes of weight loss in cats.

Psychological Stress
Cats are psychologically very sensitive. A change of place, a new pet in the house, a change of their master, a change in their food brand, and other small things can affect your pet to a great extent. Even excess noise, dirty food dishes, resemblance of food dish to the litter box, etc., may reduce their appetite and result in weight loss.

Gastrointestinal Problems
Food allergies, irritated bowel syndrome, and inflammatory diseases are some of the GI problems which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite and various other complications, thereby resulting in decreased weight.

Lethargy, difficulty in breathing and loss of appetite are some of the symptoms of cancer in cats. Though cancer is not the primary cause for weight loss, it may affect some cats. Leukemia, sarcomas and mammary cancer are among the most common type of cancers found in these animals.

Intestinal Parasites
These are worms which are found in the intestine of animals. They develop and even grow up to 5 inches. Larvae of these worms can be passed on to kittens as they are present in the milk of the cat. These worms may cause vomiting, diarrhea and breathing problems and can further lead to unintentional weight loss.

Dental Problems
Tooth ache can be one of the causes behind sudden weight loss, as the cat stops eating due to pain and discomfort. It becomes very difficult to understand a dental problem as normally the cat looks healthy.

This is a commonly found disease in older cats. It is caused due to the over-production of the thyroid hormones T4 and T3. As these hormones are responsible for the metabolism, over-production leads to increased appetite, increased thirst, behavioral changes, but the most important effect is excess weight loss.

Old Age
Like any other living being, cats also become susceptible to many diseases in old age. Older cats are prone to acquire hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disorder, kidney diseases, heart problems, chronic renal failure, feline hypertension, etc. These diseases may lead to loss of appetite which in turn may result in weight loss.

If you observe significant weight loss in your feline, then take her to a veterinarian immediately to avoid complications. Early diagnoses and treatment can save your cat from fatal disorders. The above given possible causes may help you to understand the seriousness of your pet losing weight indiscriminately. As masking diseases is a unique quality of a cat's behavior, it is up to you to keep a close eye on his health and get her treated.