Why Is My Cat Losing Weight? (Causes and Treatments)
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Cats Losing Weight
Is your cat losing weight? Accidental weight loss is usually a sign of an underlying health problem. Many owners believe that weight loss is normal in older cats, but it is not. It is important to act when there is unexplained weight loss in your cat.
How to know if your cat is losing weight
It is difficult to tell if your cat is really losing weight when this happens gradually. If your cat is hairy or slightly overweight, it can be more difficult to determine when the weight loss occurred.
To assess the condition of a cat's body, first look at the cat's body from above. To get the ideal weight, you need to put curls around the waist that are noticeable but not extreme. Then run your hands down the cat's sides.
The ribs should be recognizable with a thin layer of fat. If the ribs are very prominent and visible, your cat is likely underweight.
What makes cats lose weight?
In many cases, cats lose weight if they don't eat enough. However, some diseases lead to weight loss despite adequate food consumption.
Depending on the cause, the weight loss may not be associated with other symptoms of the disease. There are many health problems that can lead to weight loss in cats, some more serious than others.
Overactive thyroid gland
Hyperthyroidism is a relatively common disease that affects older cats the most. Cats with an overactive thyroid gland produce too much thyroid hormone due to an enlarged thyroid gland. This enlargement is usually caused by a benign tumor that grows in the thyroid gland.
Common symptoms of an overactive thyroid include weight loss, increased appetite, and increased thirst and urination. Some cats also experience vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperactivity. Some will complain and move on.
Cats with an overactive thyroid gland can have cloudy and greasy fur. Hyperthyroidism is treated with radioactive iodine or oral medications.
Chronic kidney disease
Is one of the most common diseases in older cats. The kidneys make important hormones, filter waste products from the blood, regulate blood pressure, and stimulate the production of new red blood cells. When a cat's kidneys stop working properly, it causes a number of other problems.
Increased thirst and urination are among the first symptoms of kidney problems, followed by loss of appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. Chronic kidney disease cannot be cured. It can often be treated with medications, dietary changes, and water additives.
Another common condition that can affect cats is diabetes. This endocrine disruption affects the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone necessary to regulate blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of diabetes include weight loss, increased appetite, thirst, urination, and lethargy. Diabetes is usually controlled with insulin and changes in diet. Other medications can be used. Some cats even recover after several months of treatment.
Any problem with the digestive tract can affect your cat's weight. First, gastrointestinal problems can reduce appetite. Second, there are problems that prevent the digestive tract from digesting food and absorbing nutrients properly, leading to weight loss.
Some of the gastrointestinal problems that cats experience include intestinal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and other pancreatic problems, and even gastrointestinal tumors.
Gastrointestinal problems can lead to loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, etc. Treating gastrointestinal parasites can be as simple as deworming your cat. Other gastrointestinal problems often require supportive care and treatment.
Oral problems can cause severe pain, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Common dental problems in cats are periodontal disease, resorption injuries, and broken teeth. Some cats develop stomatitis, a painful inflammation of the cat's mouth and gums that can be related to the immune system.
Symptoms of dental problems include bad breath, saliva, paws in the mouth, and even bleeding from the mouth. The first step in treating a veterinarian is to numb the cat and, if necessary, clean, examine and treat the teeth by a professional. Some cats will require oral surgery and/or tooth extraction.
Cats, like humans, can develop cancer almost anywhere in the body. Cancer may or may not present as a tumor. Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in cats and can occur in the digestive tract, mouth, lymphatic system, etc.
Ultimately, most cancers cause malaise, lethargy, pain, muscle atrophy, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Cats can be very sensitive to changes in your home. Because external signs of stress are often well hidden, more serious symptoms may appear later. Any environmental stress can cause anxiety and stress for your cat. Loss of appetite is a common sign of stress and ultimately leads to weight loss.
There are many other health problems that can lead to weight loss. If your cat has an underlying health problem, you may see other signs of the disease. Many illnesses also have similar symptoms, so you will need a vet to make a diagnosis.
Treatment of weight loss in cats
Treatment for weight loss in cats depends on the underlying cause. If you discover that your cat is losing weight, make an appointment with your vet first. Your vet will first perform a physical exam.
Further laboratory tests and/or X-rays may be needed to determine the problem. Based on the results, your vet may recommend medications, diet changes, surgery, or other treatments.
If your vet issues a health certificate, the weight loss may be due to inadequate food intake or an unknown or undiscovered condition. Ask your veterinarian for advice on feeding and improving the environment.
Once you've identified your cat's source of stress, try reducing it. Your vet may also recommend a diet that contains nutrients and calories that can help your cat lose weight.
If your cat continues to lose weight despite these changes, contact your veterinarian. Your vet can refer you to a vet for an advanced diagnosis.
How to prevent weight loss in cats
You can prevent your cat from losing weight by regularly monitoring his body condition and visiting your vet for health checks. Cats mask pain and injury well, but a vet can spot a problem before it gets out of control.
Make sure to immediately inform your vet of any changes in your cat's behavior. It is much easier to treat a health problem early than to wait for a cat to become seriously ill.
Enjoy The Video Tutorial about the Top 9 Causes Why your Cat is Losing Weight!
Source: Our Pets Health
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