The Vet Experts
Should I Be Concerned About My Cats Weight Loss?
It's tough to tell if your furry friend is actually losing weight when it occurs slowly. And even more difficult if your cat has a lot of hair or is somewhat overweight to begin with. Depending on the cause, your cat's weight loss may or may not be serious.
Often, cats lose weight when they are not eating enough, but some diseases can cause weight loss regardless of food intake. So how do you know when it's serious or not? It's always best to check with your emergency vet when it comes to your pet losing weight. However, here is a list of the most common causes of weight loss in cats.
Gastrointestinal issues can lower your furry feline's appetite and sometimes even stop the GI tract from properly digesting food and absorbing nutrients. Both of these symptoms eventually result in weight loss. But GI issues can also cause symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, lethargy, etc. If you notice any of these symptoms, definitely bring your cat to your local urgent care vet or emergency vet.
Teeth and oral issues can cause intense pain and decreased appetite, which can result in weight loss. Common dental problems in cats include periodontal disease, resorptive lesions, and tooth fractures. Some cats can even develop stomatitis, a painful inflammation of a cat's gums and mouth.
If you notice bad breath, drooling, pawing at the mouth, or even bleeding in your cat's mouth, call your urgent care vet or emergency vet and have your cat seen as soon as possible.
Cats can be quite sensitive, and since they're often excellent at hiding their stress, you may not notice that something is wrong until it's quite serious. Reduced appetite is a common reaction to stress in felines, and lack of eating will obviously lead to weight loss. If there have been any major changes in your life or your cat's life, it's best to be proactive and consult your emergency vet before more serious stress symptoms arise.
Diabetes mellitus is another common ailment in cats. This endocrine disorder affects the pancreas' ability to make insulin, a hormone needed to regulate blood sugar. Signs of diabetes include weight loss, increased appetite, excessive thirst, frequent urination, and migraines. If you notice any of the above symptoms, call your vet and have your cat seen.
Hyperthyroidism is a common illness that usually affects elderly cats. Cats with hyperthyroidism create an excessive amount of thyroid hormone because of an enlargement of their thyroid gland. Common signs of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, increased appetite, excessive thirst, and frequent urination.
Some cats also experience vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and may have coats that appear unkempt and greasy. Hyperthyroidism is treatable, so if you think your furry feline may have hypothyroidism, call and make an appointment to see your emergency vet.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic Kidney Disease is another common illness in senior cats. Kidneys produce essential hormones, filter out wastes from the blood, help regulate blood pressure, and assist with new red blood cell production. When a cat's kidneys stop functioning correctly, it leads to a variety of issues.
Increased thirst and urination are some of the first symptoms of kidney issues, followed by lack of appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. Call your local urgent care vet or emergency vet if your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms.
Like people, cats can get cancer nearly anywhere in their body. Many cancer types will cause lethargy, pain, muscle wasting, loss of appetite, and weight loss. These symptoms can be serious, so definitely call your urgent care vet or emergency vet as soon as possible.
If you see your cat is losing weight, your first step is to have your feline friend seen by an emergency vet. Your urgent care veterinarian will do a physical examination, laboratory tests, and/or x-rays. Depending on the findings, your emergency vet may recommend medication, diet changes, surgery, etc.
Cats are experts at hiding injuries and illness; that's why it is best to have them seen before the symptoms get out of control. It's better to deal with any health issues that arise early on than to wait until your cat becomes very ill.
Here at Companion Veterinary & Urgent Care Center, we offer walk-in services for all your pet's emergency vet needs, so don't hesitate to call on your way in.