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Why is my cat loosing weight?

Captain Jack the cat

Weight loss can be a serious problem in cats. Most cats LOVE to eat and don't worry about looking like a super model. Weight loss (especially in older cats that are usually fat and sassy) always warrants a trip to the vet. Sometimes the weight loss might be so gradual you don't notice it (friends who haven't seen Fluffy in a long time comment on how thin she is looking). We always weigh Fluffy during an exam and the weight loss will be noticed.

Some common problems in older cats that can cause weight loss include Kidney disease, Hyperthyroidism, Diabetes, Pancreatitis and Cancer (Lymphoma is unfortunately common in cats as they age). Dental disease is also common in older cats, and can be quite painful. (Of course there are many more possible problems, but these are the most common.)

Kidney Disease and Diabetes have similar signs. They both cause Fluffy to drink a lot of water, urinate a lot and loose weight. Cats with Diabetes will also have a great appetite and still loose weight. Cats with Hyperthyroidism will also have great appetites and still loose weight. Blood work and a urinalysis is necessary to diagnose these problems.

A thorough physical exam, fecal check for intestinal worms, blood work and a urinalysis are some tests to start with. If the cause of the weight loss is not evident on these initial tests other test may be necessary. Xrays, abdominal ultrasound , biopsy or endoscopy may be needed.

If Fluffy has a poor appetite there are appetite stimulants such as Entyce and Mirtazapine available.

Questions? Call Dr Judy at (630) 859-0471 or Email her at

Judy L. McBeth DVM, CVA

Fox Ridge Veterinary Clinic

Your Pet's Family Doctor - Since 1994

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