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Why is my senior cat losing weight?

As a cat owner, it can be very worrying to notice a change to your cat's food intake, particularly when it is approaching its golden years. In this article, we set out to answer the main question “Why is my senior cat losing weight?” and look at some of the most common reasons why senior cats tend to lose weight.

How do you weigh your cat?

Before you panic, it's essential to make sure there is a reason for your worry. Using a digital pet scale, you can accurately measure your cat's weight and monitor its health. Ideally, it would be best if you weigh your cat every 2 or 3 weeks.

Do not weigh your cat on a human scale since these large capacity scales do not have the accuracy to show small weight changes, especially in most indoor cats.

What are the most common reasons your cat is losing weight?

Several things can be wrong with your cat, which might be causing it to lose weight, such as:

Dental problems – if there's something wrong with your kitty's tooth, it won't eat as much because the eating process is causing it pain. Your cat might paw at its teeth to show a problem. There may also be drooling and bad breath.

Chronic renal disease  - CRD is a widespread affliction in older cats, one that will usually get worse over time as the state of your cat's kidneys deteriorates. Cats with CRD drink a lot of water and subsequently pee a lot.

Pancreatic problems -When a cat has pancreatic issues, your cat cannot produce enough pancreatic enzymes to process food properly. 

Unfortunately, pancreatic issues will lead to hard stools because your cat would be having a hard time digesting.  These issues also cause cats to eat less. It will also show up in the state of their coat, which will visibly worsen.

Diabetes mellitus – as with humans, when a cat has diabetes, it means the blood sugar levels are abnormally high. Diabetes can often lead to unexpected weight loss. Be on the lookout, as diabetes also makes a cat pee more.

Feline inflammatory bowel disease – this happens when foreign agents infiltrate your cat's digestive system and prevent it from properly absorbing nutrients. Common symptoms include a general lethargy and decreased appetite.

Hyperthyroidism – ironically, while hyperthyroidism will cause weight loss, it will also cause increased appetite. It would help if you also kept an eye out for vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperactivity. 

Old age – lastly, your cat may be losing weight only because it's getting along in years. As time passes, your cat's stomach is slowly deteriorating, making it difficult for it to digest food.

What's next?

If your cat has rapid weight loss, we urge you to visit your vet as soon as possible. Even if there are no other symptoms present, unexplained weight loss can be a sign of an underlying health problem, especially in senior felines.

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