Cats are indeed somewhat lazy creatures. Most of the day, they tend to take long naps, lie out in the sun, and curl up in blankets. It is perhaps for this reason that most people worry about their cats getting fat. The fact that their feline friend is rapidly losing weight is an issue many cat owners do not often consider.
What weight should my cat be?
Several factors, such as age, breed, sex, and health conditions, will influence a cat’s weight expectations. For Example, Compared to the giant Maine Coon, a Singapura, the smallest cat breed, has a healthier weight.
Changes in diet, exercise, and other factors can lead to a change in weight over time. In some cases, sudden, unintentional weight changes can indicate underlying health problems.
The following are eight of the most common causes of cats losing weight rapidly:
- Gastrointestinal problems: Gastrointestinal issues can contribute to weight loss in your cat, and the symptoms can vary from vomiting to diarrhea. These problems may cause inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, or other factors.
- Diabetes: Weight loss and changed appetite are common symptoms of Diabetes, which can be caused by insulin resistance or a failure to produce insulin. This is a severe illness requiring veterinary care and ongoing cat treatment. The symptoms of diabetes in cats include excessive water consumption, frequent urination, sluggish behavior, urinary tract infections, and sweet-smelling breath. Diabetes-stricken cats must receive immediate veterinary care and remain under treatment.
- Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism is a common disorder in older cats caused by an overactive thyroid gland. Thyroid glands are butterfly-shaped organs in the throat. The gland produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones, which substantially increases the body’s metabolic rate and leads to weight loss. Cats over the age of 8 are at risk for hyperthyroidism. If left untreated, it can cause severe heart problems or death.
When your cat is diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, you and your veterinarian will discuss several treatment options and possible dietary changes. Your veterinarian may prescribe a special diet and oral medications to increase your cat’s absorption of nutrients and restore him to a healthy weight.
- Organ failure: Many elderly cats suffer from weight loss, and determining the exact cause can be difficult, especially since metabolism changes with age. Older cats are more likely to suffer from kidney disease. You can detect these problems with simple blood tests and urine tests from your veterinarian.
- Stress and depression: Cats can also experience anxiety, stress, and depression-like humans. Cats can stop eating due to these psychological problems, resulting in them losing weight rapidly. Determine what situations in your home may cause your cat distress, such as loud noises.
- Cancer: Changing weight quickly or dramatically is one of the symptoms of many feline cancers. Rapid weight loss in cats is one of the scariest and most common causes of cancer. Cats can suffer from cancer in various ways, and its symptoms vary accordingly.
- Intestinal parasites: If left untreated, intestinal parasites can lead to weight loss in cats. The presence of worms can also cause diarrhea, nausea, and bloating. A simple dewormer directed at the appropriate parasite can keep your cat on track to a healthy weight.
- Dental problems: There may be a painful dental disease causing your cat to not want to eat if its gums are inflamed, it has bad breath, and its teeth are decayed. You should inspect your cat’s mouth if you notice it dropping food, chewing strangely, or drooling.
The veterinarian’s examination is the first step toward determining why your cat continues eating but loses weight. Your veterinarian will perform diagnostic tests, including a physical examination, blood work, urinalysis, and other tests. A complete physical examination may give clues about the cause of the weight loss; for example, a kitten with a “pot-bellied” appearance may have intestinal parasites; an elderly cat with a mass in the neck region could have thyroid disease.
A series of simple tests provide information about the cat’s overall health and may provide further clues about the underlying problem. In a cat with weight loss, the most common screening tests would include CBC (complete blood count), serum biochemistry profile, urinalysis, parasite testing, and evaluation of thyroid hormones. The treatment recommendations for your cat may vary based on the information your veterinarian finds. Whatever the case, your cat should eat a well-rounded diet that meets all its nutritional needs.