Pet care can be challenging, especially for new owners. The challenge comes from the animals’ inability to say what they want or feel. In times when they’re sick or going through issues within their body, it’s difficult to tell if they’re hanging in there or not.
In cats, losing weight is almost always a manifestation of a health issue. It could be a sign that the cat is going through an underlying health problem. Although most pet owners think weight loss is common for senior cats, it’s still crucial to take action as soon as you’ve noticed physical changes.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition more common in older cats. Felines with the state produce too much thyroid hormone than their body needs due to an enlargement of the thyroid gland. The growth is commonly caused by a benign tumor that grows on top of the gland.
Although it’s nothing severe, hypothyroidism can cause many problems for cats—weight loss, increased appetite, increased thirst, and urination. Meanwhile, in more uncommon cases, the condition also causes vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperactivity.
Some cats will show signs of hyperthyroidism through their behavior. If they’re becoming a bit restless and noisier, chances are they are feeling something within them. Owners will also notice their pets lose hair or acquire greasy hair. However, the condition can be treated with radioactive iodine or oral medications.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is one of the most common disorders seen in senior cats. As the kidneys produce essential hormones, filter out wastes from the blood, help regulate blood pressure, and facilitate the production of new red blood cells, there is a chance that the organ will stop functioning at some point in a cat’s nine lives.
The most common symptoms of the disorder are increased thirst and urination, loss of appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. Chronic kidney diseases have no cure. However, the condition can be managed through medication, diet change, and fluid supplementation.
Cats can catch diabetes too. Diabetes mellitus is another common ailment that affects them. It is an endocrine disorder that affects the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone needed to regulate blood sugar. The symptoms of diabetes include weight loss, increased appetite, thirst, urination, and lethargy.
However, diabetes can be managed through several insulin shots and diet changes. Although other medications may be needed in some cases, most cats eventually revert to their usual selves after months of treatment.
Gastrointestinal problems are sure to cause weight loss in cats. As the condition reduces appetite, it causes the cats to shed a few pounds upon manifestation. Gastrointestinal problems also prevent the tract from digesting food properly and absorbing nutrients, leading to weight loss. The condition can be caused by various factors, such as intestinal parasites, inflammatory bowel diseases, pancreatitis, and other issues connected to the tract.
Aside from the loss of appetite and weight loss, other symptoms of the condition may include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Deworming is a quick and easy solution for most gastrointestinal problems. Others may require medications and supportive care.
Like in humans, dental problems in cats can cause extreme pain, especially while eating. The most common dental problem in cats includes periodontal disease, resorptive lesions, and tooth fractures. Other cats can develop stomatitis, an inflammation of a cat’s mouth that leads to extreme pain.
Dental problems cause bad breath, drooling, pawing at the mouth, or oral bleeding. However, dental issues have more accessible solutions, such as dental cleaning and medication. But severe dental problems might need surgery or tooth extractions.
Depending on its cause, weight loss in cats should be addressed accordingly. If you notice your cat is losing weight, it’s essential to schedule a veterinarian appointment right away. After a few tests and exams, the veterinarian should know exactly what causes weight loss and provide you with solutions. Follow the doctor’s orders, and your cat should be fine in a few days.
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