Causes of Elevated Liver Enzymes in Cats

There are a number of potential causes of elevated liver enzymes in cats. These range in severity from very important and potentially dangerous to your cat's health to mild and otherwise relatively innocuous. However, because your cat's proper liver function is a very important element of his continued good health and survival, it's always important that you treat this issue as if it were very serious.

Liver enzymes are the chemicals inside of your cat's liver and blood stream that help the liver to complete the detoxification process that it is responsible for. The liver processes all of the blood and removes chemicals from it that might otherwise harm your cat's body. Without the proper balance of liver enzymes, your cat will be unable to adequately do this.

Enlarged Liver in Cats

An enlarged liver can come about in cats for a number of different reasons. It is relatively common in kittens, when a certain portion of the liver may be enlarged for a short period of time. Older cats oftentimes experience wholesale increases in liver size. This may be due to genetic factors, to other liver diseases and conditions, or to unknown sources.

As the liver increases in size, the balance of the various liver enzymes that it produces is likewise thrown out of proper balance. This can lead to a number of different problems, including elevated liver enzyme levels in blood tests.

Cat Liver Disease

Liver disease is a degenerative condition that affects a number of different cats as they run into old age. It is typically an end stage disease that doesn't present any unusual symptoms until the end of a cat's life. As part of the process of liver disease, the liver begins to produce enzymes in an uncontrollable way. While this typically leads to insufficient production of liver enzymes for your cat, it may also result in your pet having elevated liver enzyme levels as well.

Fatty Liver

Overweight and obese cats oftentimes suffer from a condition called fatty liver disease. This is caused by an influx of fat tissue into the liver of your pet. As this happens, the liver is unable to adequately detoxify the blood in the way that it typically would. One potential reason for this among many other possible causes is that the liver enzyme levels are out of balance. A fatty liver will oftentimes produce too much of one or more types of liver enzymes and too little of the other types instead.

All of the liver enzyme issues listed here can be at least partially addressed by a change in your pet's diet and some supplements. Liver supplements and medications are available through your veterinarian. It's crucial that you work closely with the vet in order to properly manage and monitor your cat's liver function and enzyme levels. This will ensure that he remains as healthy as possible as he deals with the condition that has disrupted his liver in the first place.