Many people are concerned about their cats being overweight, but accidental weight loss may also be a serious problem. It may be a symptom of a more severe medical condition.
You can find that your cat’s appetite is diminished or completely gone, a disorder known as anorexia, depending on the cause of your cat’s weight loss. This is risky for cats because they are vulnerable to hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver syndrome. This life-threatening disease occurs when the liver is forced to absorb large quantities of accumulated fat to provide energy to the body.
However, other medical problems may cause your cat to lose weight even though they consume the same amount of food as before.
If you feel your cat is trying to lose weight, regardless of whether it is eating or not, you should contact your veterinarian. If you’re unsure what your cat’s target weight should be, your veterinarian will advise you and recommend a feeding schedule to suit your cat’s nutritional requirements.
What Happens During Aging?
The skin deteriorates with age and becomes less elastic. White hairs can appear as the coat loses its shine. Your pet’s hearing and vision can deteriorate, and his or her memory may be impaired. Many older cats’ sleep habits shift as they get older, though some become more awake at night.
Your pet’s muscles and bones weaken, and his or her immune system slows down, making him or her less capable of battling an infection. Internal vital organs like the liver, heart, and kidneys can all fail. Other modifications cause the mouth to become drier, making swallowing more difficult.
However, advances in medicine have resulted in medications that can help mitigate the worst effects. And old cats will live happy, healthy lives. Age is not a reason to accept ill-health. Keeping your cat mentally stimulated will help them feel young – try hiding titbits around the house for them to find, but make it easy at first to prevent frustration. And older cats enjoy playing with new toys.
When do cats reach the age of adolescence?
Most cats are now considered to be in their middle years when they reach the age of seven. Many veterinarians are also providing “senior care” services, which are worth considering. Early detection of your pet’s changes allows for early identification and care, which can significantly enhance your pet’s quality of life.
Even if your cat usually toilets outside, it’s considerate to have an indoor litter tray as your cat grows older. Older cats can feel unsafe because they must be slower on their feet, so having an indoor tray may help avoid toileting issues. The best ones have low sides and are easy to walk into.
Causes of Cat Weight Loss
Anxiety, fatigue, or depression are all possibilities. Mentally stressed cats can refuse to eat, resulting in weight loss. Excessive noise, other animals in the feeding room, dirty food dishes, and proximity of the food dish to the litter box are all items that can irritate your pet. A cat’s mood may also be affected by losing another pet or a shift in routine.
Cancer is a terrible disease. While cancer is not the cause of all cat weight loss, it is a common cause. Loss of appetite, lethargy, and hiding are some of the more common symptoms.
Diabetes is a state that affects millions of people. Weight loss and appetite changes are expected in cats with this disorder, which is caused by a failure to produce the insulin hormone or an improper ability to respond to it. Diabetes can cause cats to drink excessive quantities of water, urinate more often than usual, behave sluggishly, develop urinary tract infections, and have sweet-smelling breath.
Infectious peritonitis in cats, the virus, which is most often found in cats raised in catteries, has been linked to waste. FIP cats will appear ill, with a fever that does not respond to antibiotics.
Taking care of the older cat
Weighing your cat every one to two months is a safe idea throughout its life. If your cat’s weight continues to increase after 12 months, you should begin reducing his or her food consumption. Check with your veterinarian if you’re losing weight because it may be an early sign of illness.
Medical conditions that cause cats to lose weight, such as kidney and thyroid disease, are common in older cats. If your cat is losing weight, you can see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Other cats develop a middle-aged spread, which must be controlled at all times. Overweight cats have a shorter lifespan and are more vulnerable to severe illnesses, including kidney disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Weight alone does not tell you much about a cat’s size, ranging from petite to massive. Only a thorough examination will reveal whether or not your pet is overweight. When viewed from above, can you see an hourglass waist? With light finger pressure, can you feel your pet’s ribs? If you responded no to these questions, it’s time to cut down on your food consumption. And if your pet has a potbelly, it’s time to start eating healthier. Crash dieting, on the other hand, is harmful to cats.
It could be preferable to stick to one of the many senior diets lower in calories and less likely to cause weight gain. Protein restriction has not been shown to favor healthy cats, but it has been shown to support cats with kidney disease. If your cat has kidney disease, contact your veterinarian for suggestions on a balanced diet.
Antioxidants and polyunsaturated oil supplementation (as offered by some senior diets) may be helpful, but there is no evidence. It’s best to consult your veterinarian.
If your cat is losing weight, contact your veterinarian to see if there is an underlying medical condition and see if a senior diet is appropriate. The vet may recommend special foods, and if the appetite is low, feeding little and often, warming the food, or adding a small number of pilchards or sardines may help.
Adding vegetable oil or margarine (in small amounts at first) to your diet can help you gain weight, as long as the extra fat doesn’t cause diarrhea.