Why is My Cat Losing Weight?

cat eating from a bowl

Most of the time, after noting sudden changes in the bodyweight of cats, we tend to assume that it is normal for that to happen. Well, it is not. There could be various reasons your cat is losing weight, and most of these reasons are negative. Most of them are associated with health conditions that could turn very severe if not attended to.

How to know if a cat is losing weight?

There are different ways to tell when there is a weight change. For example, if you notice a difference in your cat’s appetite and it starts eating too little food, you should check on its weight as it has likely dropped.

Another way is by running your hands over its body and noting the muscle changes when petting and giving them affection. There is also the use of technology, such as the metric smart scale used to measure the random weight of cats, that you can use to know if you feline is losing weight.

Reasons why your cat is losing weight

gray domestic tabby cat eating fresh green grass

A cat may be losing weight for many reasons, either medical or for other reasons. The issue should be quickly identified and a solution implemented before things escalate to the point of no return.

Some of the medical reasons include:


A cat may be suffering from diabetes which is the lack of insulin in the body or impaired distribution of insulin. Some of the signs include a change in appetite and excessive drinking of water, and also excess urination. However, there is a treatment for this disease, and after a few months of treatment, some cats can be back to normal health.


Like human beings, cats also get cancer, and it becomes the main factor in the cat’s weight loss as it may manifest anywhere in the cat’s body, causing a change in the appetite of the cat and weight loss together with weight loss pain and muscle decrease.

Dental problems

Dental problems in cats can cause excruciating pain, leading to a change in their appetite and eating habits; basically, this leads to weight loss and emaciation of the cat. There are a few dental diseases affecting cats, which include:

Stomatitis – This is a condition that causes inflammation of the cat’s mouth.

Periodontal disease and tooth fractures – Periodontal disease is the infection of the gums that causes swelling and/or bleeding.


This is a disease very rampant among old cats which is caused by the development of a tumor on the gut of a cat. The condition is characterized by weight loss, diarrhea, frequent vomiting, restlessness, and cause the cats’ fur to appear greasy and unkempt. However, the disease can be treated if the cat is taken to a veterinarian.

Intestinal parasites

These parasites or worms depend on the cat for survival; hence they feed on the inside of the cat’s intestines. It is difficult to tell the symptoms as they are mostly not visible, but most of the time, they cause the cat to bloat, have diarrhea, vomit, and also can cause loss of breathing to the cat. They can be treated by deworming.

Organ failure

This is mainly associated with kidney failure, which is a widespread disease among elderly cats. The kidney is significant as it filters waste from the blood and helps regulate the pressure in the blood. Once the kidney fails or is infected in a cat, it causes appetite loss, weight loss, lethargy, increased thirst, and increased urination. This cannot be cured, but meanwhile, it can be managed through medication.

A white and gray cute European cat on a gray cement

Stress and depression

Cats, just like human beings, also suffer from stress and depression. The depression may cause the cat to reduce its appetite hence leading to weight loss.Cats are very sensitive to changes but are good at hiding it. Stress can also be caused by too much dirt around the cat, as it is a clean pet. Excessive noise and disturbance may also lead to anxiety and depression for the cat.


Generally, a cat’s weight loss is associated with its environment or health condition, and consulting your vet, once the symptom is discovered, is always the best thing to do. Giving your cat natural food is recommended, as preservatives and other added component might cause diet troubles, especially if your cat has conditions. Most causes of weight loss are human-oriented; hence we ought to take care of cats responsibly. Monitor your cat’s diet and ensure that they only eat health-enriching foods.

If you enjoyed this breakdown, please check out our other great articles like the one about caring for elder cats.

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