7 Common Cat Weight Loss Causes

Cat weight loss can be interpreted in different ways starting from the presence of parasites to more serious conditions such as diabetes. Emotional problems such as anxiety and stress may also lead to weight loss. If the weight loss is serious and the cat loses more than 1/10 of his body weight, you should consult the vet and try to find the causes for weight loss.

1. Diet Changes

Diet changes may not agree with your cat and he may avoid eating, losing weight. If you notice that your cat is not eating, you should see a vet and establish a different diet that may agree with your pet. You may also make the switch to the new diet gradually and possibly add some supplements that will increase your pet’s appetite.

2. Intestinal Parasites

The presence of parasites (i.e. hookworms, roundworms, giardia, coccidia) in the cat’s intestines will cause a lot of discomfort and also vomiting and diarrhea; weight loss is imminent. The most dramatic weight loss will be experienced by cats that have tapeworms, which will feed on the cat’s nutrients, so the cat will be deprived of these nutrients.

The intestinal parasites may be eliminated with dewormers and the cat should gain back the weight as soon as the parasites are gone. You should also administer preventive dewormers.

3. Diabetes

When the cat’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the organism doesn’t have the capacity to assimilate all the glucose from the cat’s blood, the cat will have diabetes.

In the first stages, diabetes will lead to weight loss, despite the increased appetite of the pet.

Watch out for other diabetes symptoms such as frequent urination, permanent thirst, halitosis and lethargy.

4. Feline Leukemia Virus

Sudden weight loss may also signal that the cat is affected by the feline leukemia virus. The disease caused by the FeLV is deadly in cats but may be prevented through vaccination.

The virus is transmitted through saliva and direct contact with an infected feline; the presence of the virus may also cause fever, breathing problem, oversized lymph nodes, pale gums and lethargy.

5. Teeth and Gum Problems

Over 75% of cats over the age of 3 are affected by teeth and gum problems; these will cause a lot of pain and the cat will experience even more pain when chewing (especially dry food), so will avoid eating. This will cause weight loss.

Dental and gum problems may be detected and the cat can benefit from treatment.

6. Emotional Problems

If the cat is affected by anxiety or stress, this may cause lack of appetite. Emotional problems may also lead to excessive chewing and scratching.

Stress and anxiety may be relieved by finding the cause and giving more attention to your pet. Pheromone diffusers and medications are also available.

7. Liver and Kidney Problems

The liver and the kidneys are organs that help with the digestion of food and filter the nutrients. If these organs are dysfunctional, the cat may lose weight and also have bad breath and a dull coat.