Why Is My Cat Losing Weight? 8 Common Causes - DogExpress
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Why Is My Cat Losing Weight? 8 Common Causes

Why Is My Cat Losing Weight? 8 Common Causes

Cats are lethargic creatures. They usually take naps, layout in sunny spots, and curl up in blankets. It is perhaps why most people worry about their cats getting fat. However, a problem many cat owners don’t always consider is their cat friend rapidly losing weight.

It’s not always easy to notice weight loss in your cat. However, the fluff of fur covering most cats can act as camouflage for weight loss until there is a significant change. Unintentional weight loss in cats can be a cause for worry. If you weren’t trying to help your cat lose weight, specifically if your cat is a senior, there might be a health problem to blame.

Here are eight common causes of rapid weight loss in cats:

There are several reasons your cat might be losing weight unintentionally, ranging from psychological problems and changes at home to underlying health conditions. Here are some of the most common causes:

1. Diabetes:

Diabetes in cats is a disease caused by the failure to produce insulin or the lack of ability to respond to it. It can be associated with a change in appetite and weight loss.

It may also be paired with signs like excessive drinking and urination, urinary tract infections, lethargy, and sweet-smelling breath. Therefore, contact your vet instantly if your cat shows any of these signs.

2. Dental issues

Dental issues that affect your cat’s mouth could result in a lot of pain, which may mean your cat is not able to eat that much food, or this may stop them from eating altogether, and both of these conditions will usually result in weight loss.

Some dental issues often seen in cats include resorptive’ lesions on the teeth, gum disease, and tooth fractures. Contact your vet if you suspect dental issues cause your cat to lose weight.

3. Gastrointestinal issues

Problems that impact your cat’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract may induce weight loss because they can reduce appetite or prevent your cat from completely digesting food to absorb the required nutrients.

The more typical forms of gastrointestinal problems include pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disorder, and cancers of the GI tract.

4. Hyperthyroidism:

A benign tumor causes thyroid hyperthyroidism, leading to increased drinking and urination. This disease can lead to more intense heart issues or death if untreated. Cats over 8 years old are at a chance for hyperthyroidism.

Weight loss is a very common symptom of hyperthyroidism in cats, and their coats may also appear greasy and messy. Commonly, this condition is treated with oral medications, radioactive iodine, diet, and surgery.

5. Organ failure

Organ failure can cause weight loss, which often occurs in older cats. This condition can be identified through blood and urine tests. Older cats’ common needs include diabetes and cancer, and they need a proper diagnosis from your veterinarian.

6. Cancers

Unfortunately, cancer can commonly cause weight loss in cats, mainly in older cats. Like in humans, cancer can occur anywhere in the body, with the most standard form in cats being lymphoma.

Signs other than weight loss may be present, including a lack of appetite, pain, lethargy, and hiding behaviors.

7. Kidney disease

The kidneys are responsible for many jobs within the body, including producing hormones, helping to regulate blood pressure, filtering waste products from the blood, and even helping to make new blood cells. So, as you can imagine, when things go wrong within the kidneys, it can cause many issues, including your cat losing weight.

Other signs of kidney disease in cats have increased thirst and urination, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Moreover, it’s best to book an appointment with your vet immediately.

8. Intestinal parasites

Intestinal parasites are prevalent in cats and can lead to weight loss if left untreated. In addition, pregnant mothers can give their kittens parasites and pass parasites through their milk when they are nursing.

Cats can also get parasites from eating and hunting prey, walking through infected grass and dirt, and grooming. Because parasites need different treatments, we suggest taking your cat to the vet if you suspect a parasitic infestation.

Read Also: How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat?

What if I can’t see my vet right away?

If you are concerned about your cat but unable to see your vet instantly, try not to worry too much. Rather, keep detailed records of what’s transpiring with your cat and then provide your veterinarian a call.

Then, define everything, listen, and follow their guidance. Then, your vet can instantly make suggestions over the phone to help your cat.

While many conditions that cause weight loss in cats are severe, please try not to panic. Less-threatening health issues, such as toothache or other dental issues, can also lead to weight loss.

Only your veterinarian can analyze what’s going on with your cat. Moreover, if you are concerned about your cat, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Read Also: Diseases That Are Common Among Cats


When your cat is eating and cannot maintain weight, it could be due to a severe problem. Treat it like one and seek medical alert as soon as possible. Talking with your veterinarian is the first step to getting your cat companion back to their happy and healthy life.

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