Cats are somewhat lethargic creatures. They take long naps, lay out in sunny areas and curl up in blankets for large portions of the day. This is perhaps why most people worry about their cats getting fat. A problem that many cat owners don’t always consider, though, is their feline friend rapidly losing weight.
Sudden, unintentional weight loss in cats is usually indicative of a larger problem that requires the assistance of a cat vet in Alexandria, VA to diagnose. Cat weight loss might be caused by a wide variety of health problems, from depression to cancer. There are usually some additional signs that can help pinpoint the problem, but if you notice your cat has recently lost weight, make an appointment with your local veterinarian to identify the true problem.
Here are eight of the most common causes of rapid weight loss in cats:
- Gastrointestinal problems: Directly related to your cat’s nourishment, problems in the gastrointestinal tract may cause your cat to lose weight. These problems may stem from inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies or other issues. See a cat vet in Alexandria, VA to discuss your cat’s recent change in weight and diet.
- Diabetes: Diabetes, caused by a failure to produce insulin or an impaired ability to respond to it, can also cause rapid weight loss in cats. Other signs of diabetes include a change of appetite, excessively drinking water and excessive urination.
- Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism is caused by a benign tumor on the thyroid, which can also lead to increased drinking and urination. This condition can lead to more severe heart problems or death if untreated.
- Organ failure: Elderly cats, in particular, are susceptible to weight loss as a side effect of organ failure. This condition can be identified through blood and urine tests.
- Stress and depression: Similarly to humans, cats can experience severe anxiety, stress and depression. These psychological problems may cause cats to stop eating, resulting in sudden weight loss. Try to identify situations in your home that may cause your cat distress, such as loud noises.
- Cancer: Cancer is one of the scariest and also one of the most common causes of rapid weight loss in cats. Often, cancer-related weight loss is accompanied by a loss of appetite, lethargy and hiding by your cat.
- Intestinal parasites: Intestinal parasites, or worms, may also be the cause of weight loss. Worms also cause diarrhea, bloating and vomiting.
- Dental problems:If your cat has inflamed gums, bad breath and signs of decay on its teeth, it may have a painful dental disease that is causing it to not want to eat. Inspect your cat’s mouth for dental problems if you notice it dropping food, chewing strangely or drooling.
Once you make an appointment to see a cat vet in Alexandria, VA, the vet will likely physically examine your cat and complete blood work and a urine analysis to determine the source of the problem. Once identified, most health problems can be treated or cured.
If your cat is losing weight suddenly, call Kingstowne Cat Clinic and make an appointment as soon as possible. Our licensed veterinarians have served the community for more than 25 years, offering wellness exams, surgery, dental care, vaccinations and more for cats.
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