Changes in your cat’s weight, whether up or down, can be concerning. When anything changes with your animal, you notice that sudden weight loss can be particularly alarming. Weight loss with no change or increase in appetite should send up a red flag.
When a cat loses weight suddenly, and the weight loss is not expected, it could signify an underlying health issue. It could be anything from depression to kidney disease. Some signs can indicate the problem, but you must make sure that you keep an eye on your pet.
Common Causes of Rapid Weight Loss in Cats
There are a host of different things that could affect your cat that could impact their weight. Check the information below to see what they are and how to help your feline.
Gastrointestinal problems are linked with your cat’s digestion. They may have inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, or other problems.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin and respond to it appropriately. Some of the signs include excessive drinking of water and increased urination.
Hyperthyroidism is the result of a benign tumor on the thyroid. This illness can cause your cat to drink more and urinate constantly. It can cause heart problems or even death if it is not adequately treated.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney illness is one of the most prevalent illnesses that afflict senior cats. The kidneys are responsible for producing hormones, rid the body of waste, help control blood pressure, and help with generating new red blood cells. If the kidneys are not functioning the way they should, it can lead to serious health problems.
Oral and dental issues can be exceedingly painful for a cat. It can diminish appetite and lead to weight loss. Some common dental problems in cats are periodontal disease, resorptive lesions, and tooth fractures. Some cats develop stomatitis, which is an inflammation of the mouth and gums, and it is quite painful for a cat.
Signs of dental issues include malodorous breath, decaying of the teeth, drooling, and oral bleeding. This condition will require a professional cat teeth cleaning and further treatment if it is needed.
Cancer may be in the form of a tumor. Cancer can cause rapid weight loss in cats, and it can reside in the oral cavity, GI tract, or lymphatic system.
Types of Cancer in Cats
Cancer can appear in different forms in cats. Read on to see what they are and the signs of the illness.
Lymphoma is cancer in cats that spreads throughout the lymphatic system; the body’s ability to fight infection is compromised, and allows cancer cells to flow freely. Feline Leukemia vaccines may prevent this disease.
Mast Cell Tumors
Your cat could have a lump that consists of white blood cells. They can be benign or malignant. Your veterinarian will help you to figure out if these lumps are concerning and what to do about them.
Squamous Cells Carcinoma
This cell is cancer that is like a type of skin cancer in humans. The squamous cells are what make up a feline’s skin. The respiratory and digestive tracts consist of these cells. Cancer can manifest within these cells. Some of the signs of this type of cancer include bad breath and sores on the mouth.
This type of cancer is not common in cats. It is aggressive, and it is sometimes found in large-breed cats.
Fibrosarcoma or Soft Tissue Sarcoma
This cancer forms in the muscle or connective tissue of the body, and it could be anywhere on the cat’s body.
Cancer is a devastating diagnosis, but it does not have to be a death sentence. If your cat develops any form of cancer, you and your vet will devise a treatment plan to help your cat fight the disease.
Other Contributors to Weight Loss for Your Cat
Here are some possible additional reasons for a cat’s weight loss.
Intestinal parasites, also known as worms, may also be the cause of weight loss. Worms can be accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting.
Cats sometimes respond to any changes through weight loss.
Anxiety and Depression
In cats, anxiety and depression can be caused by a sudden change, loss of a friend, loss of an owner, and any change to their environment. A sign that your cat is stressed is reduced appetite.
There are a plethora of symptoms that can lead to weight loss in your fur baby. You need to watch your cat closely to see if any changes come with the cat’s weight loss. If you see that your cat is in discomfort and inexplicably losing weight, you should contact your veterinarian.
Treatment for Weight Loss in Cats
The treatment for weight loss depends on what is making the cat sick. If your pet is losing weight, you should take them to the vet to make sure there are no underlying problems. Your vet will carry out a nose-to-tail physical exam, and if they feel there needs to be testing done, they will do labs and x-rays, if required.
The treatment will depend on the results of these tests. There may be a proposed change in diet, recommended medication, surgery, or some other treatment.
If no underlying conditions are causing your cat to lose weight, you should monitor the cat’s food intake. Make sure that what they eat is rich in nutrients and calories. Create a safe and stress-free environment for your cat to eat their food. Your vet may have some suggestions about the choice of food to give your pet.
How age can Affect Your Feline’s Weight
Kitties that fall somewhere between ages one to seven have average body weight, with only a small percentage being obese. That percentage grows after the pet’s seventh birthday. Cats who are twelve years old and older may lose weight, and twenty-three percent of older cats become underweight.
It is similar in humans. Many people gain weight after fifty, but they can become frail and thin when they get into their senior years. However, the type of cat does make a difference; for example, an Abyssinian cat is naturally small and thin, and a Maine Coon is a larger cat.
Call Northern Pike Veterinary Hospital
There could be an illness that is causing your cat to lose weight. You can’t overlook the possibility that they may be suffering from some health condition, especially if your cat is unexpectantly losing weight.
If you speculate that something could be wrong with your cat, you should always take them to see the vet. They can help you determine what is best for your pet. To book an appointment at Northern Pike Veterinary Hospital call 412-373-8580!