7 Causes of Feline Weight Loss

Feline weight loss should be an alarming symptom as it might signal different diseases or the existence of parasites. You cat may lose weight if he is under stress. In each of these cases, visit your vet and find out the cause of the weight loss.

1. Parasites

If your cat has parasites, he will lose weight as a consequence of his lack of appetite and vomiting. The most common parasites that cause weight loss are the tapeworm, giardia, heartworm and the hookworm. These are treatable and may be detected in your cat's feces or blood work. However, you need a precise diagnosis from your vet.

2. Feline Leukemia Virus Disease Complex (FELV)

The feline leukemia virus is a retrovirus from the same family of viruses as the FELV virus. The leukemia is a fatal disease. It is transmitted through saliva and other secretions.

The cat will also display symptoms such as fever, depression, enlarged lymph nodes, discoloration of nose and tongue or breathing difficulty. A cat with leukemia has a weak immune system and will be susceptible to a lot of infections.

3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBC)

The inflammatory bowel disease causes chronic vomiting and diarrhea and will lead to weight loss. The upper or lower intestines are affected by inflammatory cells.

IBD may be treated with some dietary restriction and identifying the cause of the irritation.

4. Liver Disease

The liver helps keep the blood free from toxins and facilitates digestion. Liver disease may be caused by increased toxicity in the cat's body, hepatitis or cancer. Besides weight loss, the cat will vomit and have diarrhea. Your pet will have yellow eyes and mucous membranes, suffer from depression, have seizures and bad breath.

5. Diabetes

Diabetes is an endocrine disorder caused by the deficiency of insulin in the body. The insulin is needed to properly metabolize the sugars in the blood. Diabetes causes weight loss. You will also notice apathy, constant urination and thirst, vomiting and bad breath.

Diabetes is not treatable but can be managed by the administration of insulin shots. Detecting the disease is critical.

6. Kidney Disease

Kidney failure may be fatal to a cat. If the kidney has lost more than 70% of its filtering function, the cat has kidney failure. The kidney failure is caused by infections, kidney tumors, cysts and kidney disease. Most of the kidney failures are not reversible. Wet diet will be prescribed and phosphorous binders will keep the condition under control.

7. Stress Induced Weight Loss

If a cat is under a lot of stress he will lack appetite. The causes of stress may be recent changes in the cat's life, such as moving or the presence of a new pet or person in the home. The stress may be handled through therapy or by reassuring your cat that he is still important to you, and creating a comfortable home in the new place.

Excessive weight loss can cause feline anemia. Detecting the cause of weight loss is important for your cat's health, as some of these diseases are fatal.