The Skinny On Unexplained Weight Loss In Cats: How To Be The Doc At Home And When To Visit The Real One At The Vet

25 November 2020
 Categories: , Blog


The feline is famous for concealing possible health issues, mainly because to do anything else in the wild means appearing weak to enemies. Weight loss, though, is something your pet can't hide, and it's something you need to know how to respond to, right away.

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Losing Weight 

Your feline may be shedding, offering the appearance of weight loss, making it hard to tell, especially if you have a very fluffy breed, such as a Persian or Maine Coon. Make it a habit of running your hands from the head to the tail, so you're familiar with the outline of the cat's body. That should provide you with a quick and easy way to estimate the possibility of weight loss.

It's also important to obtain an exact weight on the animal, particularly if you suspect something is wrong. Step on your bathroom scale by yourself, noting the number, then pick up your cat and subtract your weight from the new total. While not a scientific measurement, this process is generally considered acceptable to ascertain a pet's approximate weight and determine if there's significant loss occurring.

What To Do About It

Serious, sudden weight loss should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian immediately; however, if the loss is slight and gradual, you'll need to begin documenting the stats. Record how much your cat eats in a day and step on the scale together at least every other day. Within a week, if the trend continues downward, you should schedule an appointment for the animal to see a doctor.

What Not To Do

Avoid over-feeding your feline, even if you're concerned about the weight loss. If this turns out to be temporary, seasonal, or otherwise nothing to worry about, you don't want to pack extra pounds on in the meantime. You also don't want to change the food you're providing, unless instructed to do so by a vet. As much as you may be concerned about unexplained weight loss, you shouldn't offer people food, either. Pushing the cat to eat, whether successful or not, is also not advisable.

Your Trip To The Veterinarian

Even if your pet seems to stabilize, if you're worried about other symptoms, such as loss of energy or changes in temperament, bring your feline friend in for a checkup. Weight loss for no apparent reason should be investigated by a vet, but when accompanied by anything drastic, like vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy, the situation should be considered an emergency.

Your vet will conduct an exam, draw blood for testing, obtain urine for analysis, and need to microscopically inspect a fecal sample, looking for parasites. Problems like malabsorption, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and kidney or liver malfunction will be suspect; thus, a host of tests may be needed to definitively understand the feline's symptoms. Don't forget to bring your own notes and observations to the discussion.  

While weight loss in felines may be attributed to many causes, from benign to life-threatening, it's crucial that you be alert to the changes and report them to your vet. Follow-up on all of your own suspicions and take the time to record changes, just like a medical professional. From the home front, you are, in fact, the doctor of the house and your cat is dependent on you to recognize a potential problem and take the necessary action.mFor more information, reach out to a pet doctor, like