Is your cat losing weight?
Pet owners are familiar with the daily task of filling their cat’s water bowls.
They are also aware of the look and feel of their fur baby.
A cat’s water consumption and weight can vary depending on its diet, the weather, and age.
If you’ve been keeping a close eye on your cat’s health, you will be able to notice the slightest changes.
If your cat is drinking more water, there could be an underlying medical condition that is undiagnosed and untreated.
When this is paired with a noticeable weight loss, your cat’s health might be at risk.
1. Extreme Weather Conditions
Most cat owners take note of their cats’ regular water consumption and weight during different seasons.
On hotter days, you may notice that your cat will drink excessively but may not eat as much.
If this persists for a few days, your cat will begin to appear thinner.
Find ways to keep your cat cool in scorching weather.
You can wrap a towel around a frozen water bottle and keep it nearby your cat.
Or let your cat stay in an air-conditioned room.
But suppose you’ve started to notice excessive drinking and weight loss in your cat without any substantial change in its diet or environment.
In that case, it can signify a medical or behavioral condition.
2. Anxiety Or Stress In Cats
Contrary to popular belief, animals like cats and dogs can also experience negative emotions like stress and anxiety.
It can be caused due to unfamiliar surroundings, a change in their routine, or other unidentified factors.
Excess stress and anxiety can also cause behavioral and eating problems in your cat, leading to excessive drinking or weight loss.
Suppose you notice your cat drinking more water or losing weight in a specific environment or circumstance.
In that case, the chances are that this behavior is caused by anxiety and stress rather than a medical condition.
3. Gastrointestinal (GI) Problems
GI tract-related issues could affect a cat’s weight.
You will first notice a loss in appetite.
Internally, GI tract issues hinder proper digestion.
Your cat will have difficulty absorbing nutrients, leading to weight loss.
In cats, some well-recognized GI problems include pancreatitis, intestinal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, and other pancreatic issues.
Common symptoms of GI issues are loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
It also causes dehydration which may be why your cat drinks a lot of water during this time.
Treatment at the vet for GI parasites could be as simple as a deworming procedure.
For other GI issues, your vet may recommend medication and supportive care.
4. Diabetes Mellitus
Cats can suffer from diabetes just like humans.
Diabetes is a disease caused by a hormonal imbalance in the body.
The cat’s body makes insulin, which helps digest the sugar in the blood.
This dissolved blood sugar provides energy to the cells of the cat’s body.
If a cat is suffering from diabetes, its body can have problems with insulin production.
It leads to several health disturbances, such as lack of energy, excessive thirst, urination, and weight loss.
The diagnosis of the type of diabetes in your cat can only be performed at the vet through blood tests.
5. Kidney Disease
Excessive thirst, urination, and weight loss can be caused in cats due to kidney diseases or infections.
The kidneys are a pair of organs responsible for filtering excretion from the blood.
The kidneys also maintain the body’s water balance, ensuring the cells remain hydrated.
If your cat suffers from kidney disease, it may have trouble retaining water in its body, leading to excessive drinking.
Kidney disease can also be caused by an infection, or a UTI, making your cat feel like they need to urinate more often.
It leads them to make more frequent trips to the cat box.
Kidney disease can present many symptoms, such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.
It will lead to your cat losing weight.
The vet can diagnose kidney disease through blood tests and treat it with medication.
The thyroid glands are a pair of small organs in the body located in your cat’s neck.
These glands make several different hormones that aid the body’s metabolic functions.
This includes digestion, uptake of energy, and regulation of several bodily processes.
Excessive thirst and weight loss can be caused by a condition of the thyroid glands called hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the glands’ cells multiply faster than usual, resulting in excessive growth.
It leads to the overproduction of the thyroid gland hormones, which upsets the metabolic balance of the cat’s body.
If your cat suffers from hyperthyroidism, it may drink more water.
It will also experience weight loss due to digestive problems, loss of appetite, and frequent bouts of vomiting or nausea.
Hyperthyroidism is also diagnosed through a blood test, and a chemical called iodine is used to treat this condition.
7. Old Age
You may notice your cat losing weight as it grows older.
According to vets, well-known reasons for weight loss in senior cats include dental problems, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, hyperthyroidism, chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Excessive thirst and urination can result from old age as well.
An older cat is more likely to drink more often and thus urinate excessively.
If you have an elderly cat, regular visits to the vet can ensure that they remain healthy and free from diseases as much as possible.
8. Your Cat Doesn’t Get Enough Food
Even when you give your cat the food it needs, it may eat less than you think.
There are reasons for this, such as:
- Your other pets are eating your cat’s food.
- Other animals eat your cat’s food, especially when you feed your cat outside the house.
- A change of cat food that your cat dislikes.
- A change of cat food that contains fewer calories than your cat needs daily.
- Obstruction to your cat’s food bowl you’re unaware of.
- Inaccessibility of food bowl, because your cat may be too sick to go there.
9. Dental Problems
If your cat is experiencing gum problems, such as inflamed gums or broken teeth, it may be difficult to chew on its food because of pain.
This could explain your cat’s weight loss.
To check if your cat has dental problems, having bad breath may validate your assumption.
Visible gum inflammation would also tell you something is going on with your cat’s mouth.
Visiting The Vet
The best way to diagnose and treat excessive drinking and weight loss in your cat is to visit the vet.
The vet usually orders a complete blood panel to ensure all essential hormones and blood cells are within the normal range.
If the vet detects abnormalities in the blood tests, they might prescribe additional tests, like an ultrasound, to check the kidneys.
Once the vet has established a diagnosis, they will prescribe the necessary treatments for your cat.
The medical conditions mentioned above also provide the most common treatment applicable.
If your vet does not find any underlying medical concern, they may diagnose it as a behavior disorder.
It will require other types of intervention like training or addressing the source of anxiety or stress with your cat.
There are several possible reasons for weight loss and excessive drinking in cats.
A diagnosis by a certified veterinary doctor is essential to identify and address this problem.
The reasons for developing some of the abovementioned conditions are usually not apparent as several factors can cause them.
Genetics, diet, breed, and the environment can significantly impact your cat’s health and quality of life.
Keeping your cat healthy requires attention to its eating, excretion, sleeping habits, and average daily behavior.
If you notice anything odd or out of the ordinary that continues for a significant amount of time, it is best to consult a vet to rule out any underlying health conditions.
Purrfect n’ Pawesome is the brainchild of Amanda, who has been into researching and writing about pets to help other pet parents in nurturing their adorable pets. Currently, she runs Purrfect n’ Pawesome along with her team of experienced and dedicated pet experts. Along with being an awesome writer and entrepreneur, Amanda is a cat mom to two innocently spoiled cats, Balanca and Scruffy.
She has been writing about pet care and nurturing and wants to share her readers’ experiences, learnings, and knowledge.
Over the years, she had the opportunity to work with various pet owners having multiple breeds, and that exposure gave her experience and the lessons of a lifetime.
Her family, her entire universe revolves around her two cats, who give her endless support and inspiration to move ahead with her objectives in life. Amanda is a live example of a balanced approach to all parenthood questions we all face in life.